…about baby vomit, below. For reals, y’all. Not for the childless, this post…especially not any as-yet childless people who feel they may someday want children. Save your innocence.

So, last week was my first week back at work after a six month maternity leave and I have to say I was feeling kind of smug. Oh, ’tis pity, ’tis true. But I was entitled to gloat a leetle, no? After all, I had drafted up and adhered to a fairly ambitious meal plan (the chore plan, not so much). I had prepped my clothes and accessories each night to ensure a smoothly executed morning departure for work/daycare operation. And most impressively, I’d schlepped my little Piglet to and from my office in downtown Manhattan all the way from our Upper East Side apartment. She’s in daycare in my office building for three months, part of the firm’s very recruiting-friendly “infant transition” program for parents returning from maternity leave. That’s pretty impressive, right? Granted, it was a four day week, and I left the office at 5:30 every day (hells yeah! flex time!), but still. I was like, “This is great! I can totally do this! Work, parenting, cooking nutritious meals, keeping a spiffy house, wtf are all these people kvetching about? It’s totally manageable.”

And then yesterday my baby barfed all over a senior associate at a baby shower in Park Slope – a full hour+ on the subway from our house. It was honestly, just…surreal. I had been dreading taking her down to the shower with me, and even told Josh that I had a feeling she may be a little sick, but he was like, oh, she’s fine! (you crazy hysterical mother!) The trip down actually wasn’t so bad. At my friend’s house she actually sat quietly in my lap and mugged for all the admiring ladies…and then when I tried to hand her off for a nanosecond so I could get my nursing cover and feed her, WHAMMO! Actually it was more like, “Delicate cough…cough…WHAMMO!”

I’ll spare you the details of the clean up efforts (you’re welcome!) and just summarize: we hightailed it home, on the subway again because I was stuck in freaking Brooklyn, sans carseat. It took over an hour. I cursed this city and the idiots who built it and the fool I was for moving to it…what was wrong with me?? What possessed me to leave my comfortable suburban home in Canada where if you couldn’t drive (or in my case, be driven) to an event, you simply wouldn’t go? But eventually we arrived at home, where I wearily passed Piglet off to Josh and tried to impress upon him the utter awfulness of what had just transpired. She, of course, had never been in better spirits, and they cackled and rolled around the bed until bedtime. I figured her poor stomach must be empty and let her nurse lots.

Um. Yeah, I don’t need to tell you how this story ends up. Aaaand now it’s Sunday at 8pm and we’ve spent the last 30ish hours getting pretty well acquainted with the more hellish side of parenting, specifically six separate vomiting incidents. You know how people say that when it’s your baby, the poop and barf and stuff doesn’t gross you out? Nope, it’s still gross. But definitely gross tempered with a healthy dose of compassion…especially when they’re just so wee. Piglet’s not even six months, and of course doesn’t understand why all of a sudden ma’s not letting her get a nice, long nursing session in. I’m not allowed to give her more than a tablespoon of breastmilk at a time – really just enough to keep her hydrated – and she must just be beside herself with hunger. Awful. And so of course her sleep has been terribly poor, which makes her ca-razy.

Finally, the kicker, the little cherry on top that puts my smug uber-working-mama delusions of grandeur into perspective: she can’t go to daycare tomorrow! Which means that I can’t go to work tomorrow. Or, I guess I could, but since I’m actually not really doing much by way of real work yet it makes more sense for me to stay home than Josh. I can probably scrounge up enough busywork to do from home so that I don’t have to take a vacation day. 

So when I get into my next polemic about how women truly can have it all, please remind me of BabyVomitGate ’09? I’m sure people at work will be understanding about how kids tend to get sick when they start daycare, etc etc, but way to effectively stamp the “mommy tracked” label all over my professional persona. Back for four days and then oops, sorry, “working from home” for a bit, sorry! Get someone else to write your stupid brief, dur. 

By the way…any ideas on how to make amends to someone your baby puked all over?

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