Ikea, Disposables and Vaginas: The Dirty Work Behind Motherhood
By Shannon_Lell on March 01, 2012
I used to watch gynecological surgeries on a daily basis. Sometimes they were in the OR, other times in the doctor's office. Sometimes the doctors used my equipment on a patient down there and I had to make sure it was cleaned properly. Every now and again I looked down at my scrubs or shoe and saw a questionable splatter of something. Whenever that happened, I usually ended up throwing the article of clothing away. That's the nice thing about disposable scrubs.
And yet, in the course of four years in that line of work nothing I saw, smelled or touched was as disgusting as the things I'm confronted with on a daily basis at home with an infant and a toddler.
Case study #1: We own two Diaper Genies; one for my 2.5 year old daughter's room and the other for my infant son's room. We find that Diaper Genies work well for keeping the room odor-free. However, you have to buy specially made, disposable inserts to hold the diapers that are $20 for three inserts. Each insert is supposed to hold 240 diapers, but that's a load of horse shit. They don't. In practicality, they probably only hold about 100. As a business model, it's pretty good. I used to sell disposable devices to the surgeons so I'm familiar with how it works. But for the consumer, which is now me, it kinda sucks. All of this is a non-sequitur just to explain that we stopped throwing pee-only diapers into the Diaper Genie. After about a year we got smart and started only throwing #2's into that thing. This way, we only have to empty it every two weeks or so and we save on having to buy those stupid inserts.
There is an inherent drawback to this strategy. Two week old, fermented poop smells like the anus of rotted roadkill on the side of a Texan highway in the middle of July. Yes, it really is that bad. Over time I've gotten rather efficient at emptying these diaper pails so that as little offending odor as possible escapes into the air and thus, my nostrils. Today I emptied both pales. As I walked them out to the trash at arm's length one bag broke open in the driveway. I'm still retching thinking about it.
Case study #2: My daughter had cereal with strawberries this morning for breakfast. Just keep that in mind.
I've been itching to go to Ikea for months. I haven't had a sufficient enough cause for the trip until we decided that Brooke is finally in need of a "big girl bed" Ikea is about a 30 minute drive from my house. When you get there, the maze through the store is an awe-inspiring adventure for a fanatical organizer like myself, and it can take well over an hour to properly complete. First, you enter in the living room section. When you follow the arrows on the ground you will be led on the entire Ikea Adventure one room at a time. You will meander through bedroom sets, closet set-ups, mock kitchens and baths. Then you will pit stop at the cafe next to the kitchen gadgets and then continue on to office, textiles, lighting and lastly, the odds and ends like pots, pictures and fake plants. I could easily make it into a spiritual experience.
I decided that if I was going to procure any enjoyment from this trip with two kids in tow, I would have to properly sedate the toddler with handheld electronics. Before I left the house I purchased and downloaded an entire season of Max & Ruby onto my Kindle. There, that should do it. She saw me doing this and when we got in the car she wanted to watch Max & Ruby RIGHT NOW! Sure thing baby. Here ya go.
Twenty minutes into the trip and I hear her moaning from the backseat. I ask her what's wrong and she tells me she needs to take a nap right now. She says she needs to go to her crib and sleep because she's sooooo tired. My child hardly takes naps and for her to ask to take go to bed at barely noon is an oddity for sure. I looked back in the rearview mirror at the precise moment she pukes up her breakfast all over herself. Turns out that watching a Kindle while riding in a car isn't the best idea for a toddler. Who knew?
Twenty minutes later I have a pukey toddler covered in curdled milk and stomach bile pressed to my chest. It was all I could do to hold in mybreakfast. As I turn away to unlock the door I hear, "Mommy, I just ate a strawberry." Oh good GOD!
When I went to clean the car seat I discovered, to my HORROR, that underneath that nice, removable, washable cover were crevices, groves and tiny spaces that were overflowing with putrified, cottage cheese-like curds. The smell is so thick and raunchy that it sticks to my nose hairs even now. I think they are suffering from post traumatic stress.
I pulled that thing out into the driveway and began circling it with a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner in one hand and a roll of paper towels inthe other. I heard that old-western showdown music in my head. After 5 minutes I just left it there and did what I always do when I don't want to do something... I called my husband at work. I generally feel better knowing that he knows what disgusting things were going on in my life at any given moment.
It's 9:30pm and I still haven't cleaned it. Over these hours or procrastination I've decided that I'd rather stare down the barrel of a stranger'svagina any day over this shit. And furthermoe, I would seriously pay $1000 for a disposable car seat right now. Seriously.
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