Weddings are blissful. A celebration of young love, the uniting of families, and the scent of fresh flowers. Optimism run high on a sunny spring wedding day. Every future bride dreams of this day. Every past bride knows that behind the scenes, weddings do not come without chaos.
Picture this, I was 26. It was my sister-in-law’s wedding day. One of the very first moments that I was “christened’ into motherhood. Truly, it was a billboard for the lifelong awkward job of motherhood.
There I was, bridesmaid ready, in my strapless gown, full make-up, hair freshly blown and styled. As a new mom of an infant; hair and makeup in one day, it was a rarity. My dress hiked up, straddled in the back of my mother-in-law’s minivan. Uhhmm yeah. Here comes the awkward. We had pulled off in a parking lot because my 4-month-old infant was screaming uncontrollably. I unbuckle my first child. Colicky child. Angel to Satan in 5 seconds child. Assuming I needed to feed her and relieve my engorged baby feeders. I unbuckle her, lift her out of her infant seat and set her right on my lap. My lap. The lap of a satin ball gown for a wedding that starts in less than an hour and is across town. My lap. My lap, that is now splatter-painted mustard yellow from the silent explosion that must have been causing all the ruckus. This is one of THOSE poops. The kind of poop where you cannot possibly imagine how all that shit could even fit inside a tiny baby. My first instinct was to cry, but no. Mascara people, mascara. Crying would get me nowhere. Assessing the situation, I knew I had no suitable change of clothes for her. It was the only fancy dress she owned. I certainly had no change of clothes for myself. Plus, we only had about 45 minutes to get across town in hellish traffic. All my fate rested in my diaper bag.
My only option was to pull my shit together. Literally. God gave us babies, and for this, he gave us baby wipes. And those suckers can clean just about anything. Careful not to destroy the top half of her dress as I cleaned her up, I trashed her diaper and her little dress bottoms that were beyond rescue. Scooped as much oozing poop as I could out of her infant seat into a plastic grocery bag. Wiped out her seat best I could draped down a burp cloth. Buckled her back in. Onto myself, I realized quickly that dark satin is a miracle fabric. Though I probably smelled sour, the dress cleaned up remarkably well. I was shocked, but it seemed we were in the clear. Less than an hour later, I walk down the sandy beach with my husband and baby. Standing in a beautiful wedding. Listening to the vows, I peer down to my princess’ matching linen baby shoes. Soft little Mary-Janes with just a smudge of hidden poo. All I could do was laugh to myself silently.
What set in as a moment of panic, of sheer desperation is now just a funny story. It should have been a vision, a glimpse forward to all the years of awkward I had left to overcome. In the past 10 years of motherhood I’ve been slapped in the face during a swim class, the red-faced victim of countless public tantrums, and even more slipped in public toddler curse words. Small children love to embarrass and make liars out of us. Especially in front of the in-laws. “She barely sleeps. She barely eats.” 30 minutes later said child shovels down a pound of broccoli, and takes a 5-hour nap. All of that awkward fun is only from my oldest. My little one brought me so many moments of creepy awkwardness I wrote a special post titled “I think I’m raising a serial killer”. I’m serious. You should check it out. I even have photos.
Godspeed. Enjoy all the awkward, though it’s debilitating at times, looking back they make for the best memories.
About the Author, Kelli Matonak
Residing in south Florida, Kelli is a mommy blogger and self-proclaimed laughter addict. She enjoys sorting Barbie shoes, perfecting her British accent and snuggling with her Police Officer husband watching The Walking Dead. Her two daughters ages 10 & 4, keep her on her toes and provide hours of entertainment and rejected meals. Kelli also spends her time devouring books, climbing mountains of laundry, exploring Pinterest wins and fails and finding ways to make her family’s life on earth more delightful.
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