Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.
[Lights come up on a woman laying in a half-reclined hospital bed, wrapped in a fluffy robe. She talks to the audience.]
The never-ending pile of “firsts” begins in the hospital. The first footprint. The first feeding. The first bath. The first sleepless night. But one “first” we encountered was a bit more than we bargained for.
[Standing up, she walks over to a baby laying in a hospital bassinet and starts to change her diaper.]
[Yelling] Honey, come and check this out! It’s like black, sticky tar in her diaper…and it’s everywhere! Yuck! Do you remember what it is called?
[Pause] Meconium? Are all of her poops going to look like that?
[Pause] You don’t know? Wait…wait…I’m remembering now…I think they turn seedy and yellow after this, don’t they? That should be “interesting”.
[To Baby, sweetly] It’s okay, honey. It’s just your very first poop! Mommy is so proud of you…and really hopes that all of your poops aren’t so…dramatic!
[She finishes changing the diaper, brings baby back to the bed and sits down. Talks to audience again]
We were pretty excited about that very first poop, not realizing that once her regular pooping schedule kicked into high gear, we would be changing 15 – 20 diapers a day. It’s a little like every “first”; wonderful for a while, but then it transforms into something less…fun.
The thrill over the first tooth turns into the painful realization that they can use those teeth to bite you while nursing.
The amazement over the first step quickly turns into paranoia that she will fall and crack a tooth at any moment.
The awe over their first time using the potty turns into the reality that you will have to know where the nearest bathroom is at any moment.
It is easy to let the reality of “after the first” take over, to start complaining about the 12 poopy diapers that you changed in a single night or to obsessively hover over every shaky step they take.
But the trick? The one I don’t always remember? The trick is to celebrate each moment as a “first”, as a new moment.
[She stops, listens, and sniffs the baby's diaper.]
I think we need another new diaper. More meconium, coming right up!