Momsicle started because being a new mom sometimes felt like being pounded with a meat cleaver and then tossed about in a bag full of bread crumbs.
I knew I could share my not-everything’s-cute-and-wonderful stories with my friends. In particular, a lot of emails went out to my girlfriends from my Teach For America days. Our bond was forged during the first year teaching, and it’s difficult to be surprised by anything after that. If we hadn’t had humor, we might not have survived.
The other day a bunch of new stories went around and I have to share a few here. How could I not when they involve two moms and a knitted penis toy, a baby meltdown with police intervention, and a really stinky kid in Europe?
From my friend Theresa who teaches third grade in an international school in Europe…
So, one of my students is from Mumbai and he’s vegetarian. He’s been known to rip some pretty ripe farts from time to time, mostly not in his control, but occasionally he leans over to really let one fly. Once I had to ask him to please not do this on the carpet during story time. He replied in his super cute Indian accent, “My mom tells me not to fart in pubic places.”*
Another day, this same lad was having a tough time and began to cry. Apparently he was strung out from having visitors from India six weeks running. He wanted his peace and quiet, mostly to build his Lego towers. Another boy, a Swedish kid, tried to comfort him. He told him that he also recently had unwanted house guests, including a baby that “smelled real bad!” My Indian boy asked between tears, “Did he smell worse than me? I smell really bad, too!”
*[Editor’s note: kids messing up “public” and “pubic” never gets old!]
From my friend Marisa who has a very, very new baby…
As a new mom, I’ve learned not to entrust myself with valuables when I haven’t slept for days. At the doctor’s office the other day we brought along the uber-expensive breast pump we had just purchased.
After the visit my wife and I parted ways in the parking lot because we had driven separately. I then proceeded to watch her pull into traffic with the $300 breast pump sitting on top of the car’s trunk. I sprinted through a hedge and across the street to intercept her, only to watch it fall off the trunk. I was able to pick it up before she hit the really busy street. We were so tired that we did not even laugh about this. She later said, “Usually we would find this kind of thing hilarious.” I did not have the energy to even giggle.
Also, someone sent us a baby toy that looks like a penis. We received a hippie, fair-trade, hand-knit baby toy that is supposed to be a radish. But really it looks like a penis. Up until ten days ago, I didn’t have a lot of experience with penises, but now that I look at one every time I change a diaper, I’m pretty familiar with their shape. And this toy is definitely a penis. Someone in a Guatemalan village who is making these things is having a really good laugh. In an attempt to get the baby to go to sleep yesterday afternoon, we took this toy and started shaking it around while singing (to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”), “This is a radish shaped like a penis, yes it is! This is a radish shaped like a penis, yes it is!” Bad Mommies!
From my friend Suna who recently took the brave step to be full-time with her infant daughter…
I cried my way to playgroup yesterday. My baby isn’t a newborn and I’m not pregnant. Driving twenty minutes across town isn’t supposed to turn into a herculean task. My daughter cried when I put her in the car seat, and ten minutes later she was still crying.
After fifteen minutes of hysterical, nonstop wailing, I pulled into the parking lot of a hip café where people without children sit at 2 p.m. on a weekday, looking cool and important with their rescue dogs, sipping tea and soaking in the sunshine.
I walked and rocked my hysterical daughter as she clung to me for dear life, rubbing her red, wet eyes in my shirt, with me, on the corner hugging her just as tight.
Of course a white police vehicle pulls up and two officers get out to ask me if I’m okay. They are partially blocking traffic, but my daughter instantly gives a big smile as she recognizes her uncle! Yep, here he is on duty when he comes across his little sister crying with her baby, out on the corner in San Francisco.
My ego is so stripped down and humbled by my daughter at this point that I am perfectly at peace with the fact that my brother’s partner probably assumes that I am a wreck who spends my days city crying on street corners.
Parting words of inspiration for other parents from Suna…
Today is a new day. My mommy and baby yoga class melted the knot that developed during my car ride yesterday. With the soundtrack on monks chanting “Ommmmmmmm,” as the words “Namaste” floated out of my instructors mouth, a loud burp, followed by a mess of smelly spit up landed on the mat in front of me. My daughter’s version of “Namaste.”
But there are wipes to clean that mess up. My baby is happy, the weather in San Francisco is foggy and crappy, I have homemade granola bars waiting for me at home, and a fantastic group of friends whom I can share these moments with and smile and know that I am not alone.