Judging by the huge purses and bags most moms carry around, it's pretty obvious: we're always prepared. But as I rummaged through my over-sized purse in the handicapped stall at Panera tonight while a food covered Finn squirmed and kicked and tried to escape his stroller and Liam (hopefully) kept a watchful eye over himself and our dinner table, I was devastated to learn that while I may very well be prepared (there was a LOT of stuff in my purse!), it is not always for the right situation.
Fortunately, because I'm a mom, I'm generally resourceful enough to make up for it. So I used a size three diaper for a maxi pad.
Yes. Yes I did.
And while I'm pretty sure it's better than if I had to do it the other way around (there's no way Finn would lay still enough for me to stick a maxi pad to his onesie), I'm also pretty sure all the holiday shoppers in the crowded restaurant could tell I was wearing a diaper.
Because they're bulky. Even when properly fitted. And they're not known for being the quietest undergarment ever invented.
Oh, I tried to make a quick exit after the incident. And technically, I guess we did. But a quick exit for us meant cleaning the entire booth with baby wipes (didn't forget those!) then making seventeen trips back and forth to the garbage can that was conveniently located no where near our table.
There I was reaching over the table to wipe up all the cream cheese (swish, swish, swish). And bending down to get the food that got thrown under the table (Hey oh! Mama's got some junk in her...oh god, is that a diaper?). Climbing up into the booth to scrub the yogurt covered partition and pick macaroni noodles off the bench (swish, swish, look at the crazy lady!). Then taking tray after tray after tray (what's up with all the trays?) alllll the way across the restaurant to the trash can and heading back to the table for the next load (swish, swish, swishswishswishswishswish).
Sure I could have stacked the trays and saved a few trips. But I couldn't trust my weak wrists in a moment like this. Dropping a pan of piping hot enchiladas face down on the open oven door just as company is sitting down for dinner is one thing (one thing that sucked...). But dropping a stack of trays, half eaten bagels and more used baby wipes than you could shake a stick at in the middle of a crowded Panera whilst wearing my one year old's diaper? That's a risk I was just not willing to take. (I mean, just picture me on my hands and knees cleaning up the mess...)
I definitely could have asked Liam to help and normally would have in a second. But I had already sent him up to order his own grilled cheese after the macaroni and cheese he thought he wanted was not doing it for him (that might help explain some of the trays...). I peered over the wall next to the our booth watching him while a whole line of friendly people coached him to "grab his change" and "pick up the dollar he dropped" and "take the pager." I know I was not helping for a reason (I'm trying to empower him to be self-reliant!) but who knows what it looks like to other people. And while I really don't care what strangers think, sometimes the random acts of kindness are hard to take. Watching my five year old carry trays to the trash while I sit like a bump on a log is fine. Watching a helpful stranger do it because he thinks my kid is not capable? Not fine. At least, not tonight.
Perhaps I should have left the mess and run out of the restaurant backwards with a sweatshirt tied around my waist. But there's just NO WAY. I couldn't be the woman in a diaper and the woman who let her toddler eat like a drunk gorilla and didn't clean up after him. No. Scratch that. I could NEVER be the woman who didn't clean up after my kids in a restaurant.
I have standards, you know.
When we finally got outside, I remembered we had parked waaaay across the parking lot, back by the craft store. On our long walk of shame (swish, swish, swish, swish), my sister texted me back (I had to tell someone I was wearing a diaper in public - you can't keep stuff like that inside). "OMG, are you STILL wearing a diaper? Go to a 7-11 NOW!!!"
I'm sure. Like anyone in their right mind is going to force their kids to make another stop during prime melt down hour when one of them is covered in cream cheese and the other one is pretending to be a (very loud) baby. I mean, seriously. Is she crazy?!
Besides, it's not like I was going out on the town. I just had to drive home. And if there's one thing that crazy astronaut lady taught us it's that a car is a totally appropriate place for a grown up to wear a diaper.
Hey! Guess what literally JUST dawned on me. I bet I had a QUARTER in that huge purse of mine! I am always prepared and NASA smart...