How the Sweet Potato Defeated The Dangly Red Earrings

A girl I adore recently asked the Facebook world for a reminder about the fashion laws concerning white pants after Labor Day. I quipped that they are not to be worn while a toddler is in the home.
Usually, I abide by this rule but today I decided to take the risk of wearing white shorts while my toddler is in school. Mind you, they were shorts but and it is 92 degrees outside the judges ruled in my favor.
After an hour working out I decided to shower and look like an actual human being with an identity outside of “Mom” today. I have to face the medical professional world and meet new people– the perfect reason to wear “big girl pants” that don’t have an elastic waist.

Here I sit, wearing a college t-shirt I’ve had since 2006 and black cheer-leading shorts that know any attempt to do a flying eagle would land me in the ER. What happened?
When I left the house I was wearing a clean, matching, trendy outfit. It had ACCESSORIES and dangly jewelry, despite the baby on my hip. I even got compliments on them from other ladies with great fashion sense, which affirms my sister-solidarity. Victory, people!

After an hour out we returned home. No longer performing for an audience of ladies, the littlest monster dropped his smile, turned his head and let out a screech. “FOOOOOD!” he loudly demanded. This should be easy, right? Grab baby food jars from the pantry and a spoon and handle it. Not in this house.
First, grab the pieces of his feeding tube, mix his feeding formula, prime the pump, hang the bag, flush with water and get pump up the jam. This four minute ordeal does not satisfy this kid’s need for food. The screams continued. Dashing to the refrigerator and locating a Tupperware container of food, I suddenly found my fingers were no match for the seal. Apparently the food was still too warm when it went into the refrigerator. Every person who has tried to open such a food container knows exactly where this is headed.
Finally getting the seal to break, the container did an Olympics-worthy gymnastic routine from my hands to the counter, spilling its contents…straight down into my shirt. Somehow, my white pants were not harmed. Miracles happen every day, I tell you. Still, I was in a frozen basketball point-guard position with jazz hands trying to cope with the cold, orange sweet potatoes that were now oozing into my undergarments. Cold sweet potato. It HAD to be sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are the only vegetable I truly cannot stomach. Perhaps it is the texture, taste or both but as a child I discovered this food and I were NOT friends. The kindergarten lunch aide who instituted the 3-bites-before-dessert-rule also discovered this by bite two. Her shoe and my brownie were casualties. Worst day ever.

With that childhood memory flooding back with the sight and smell of orange disaster on my counter and down my front, I grabbed the last clean towel to begin damage assessment. Meanwhile, the screaming child was unsympathetic. Like all mothers, I quickly and carefully wiped up and took care of my child bearing the orange badge of motherhood.

After feeding him the remnants of my afternoon FEMA drill, I returned to my 7am state of work-out attire with my resilient red and gold dangly earrings proudly standing firm against a faded t-shirt. Ouch.
We will need to venture out again for medical paperwork and errands, at which point I will be brave and find a new shirt to go with my white (soon to be stained by a three year old, I’m sure) shorts. Why? Very rarely to medical professionals consider you a ‘mommy on the go’ who has in all together when they see you struggling with a double stroller, without make-up and in sweaty clothes. No, they see a mother who is barely surviving. This came straight from a world-famous doctor’s mouth after an appointment in which she said, “Despite all the medical issues, you seem to be doing great. I mean, your hair is done and your outfit looks great.” I turned and said with a truthful smile, “If I came in here in a pony tail and yoga pants, you’d think I couldn’t care for myself, let alone my children.The moms who say they are struggling but also look like a mess are more likely to lose their children than those that look pulled together.”
She paused and said, “You know, that is absolutely true.”

When I go out later today, I will cling to that hour when I looked cute today. The fact is, if another mom in yoga pants looks at me in disgust, it will be all I can do to not say, “I have sweet potato in my bra and don’t have on red dangly earrings.”

Moms, we can do this. Yoga pants or skirts, put on that armor and conquer the day. Avoid orange food and remember, I still think you look great. The beautiful struggle looks great on you and even the moms that look pulled together are probably smuggling Cheerios in their waistbands.


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