Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bring Your Daughter to Work Day

Yesterday I went to campus to meet with my supervisor and some of my colleagues and talk about various projects that I will be taking on when I return.  Since I'm going back mid-semester, I won't be doing the traditional teaching, but instead will take on a few administrative duties and also work with the tutoring center to help some students who are in danger of failing writing classes.

I've had a lot of mixed feelings about going back to work, and I expect I'll be writing more about that stuff later as my back-to-work date approaches, but yesterday was "take the baby to work" day as I spent the afternoon on campus for a few informal meetings.

And I totally I managed to get up, shower, feed the baby, fix my hair and put on make up, put on a cute outfit, and leave the house by noon (so eventually getting out the door by 8:30am should be no problem, right?).

Speaking of outfits:  one of my besties works at a high-end department store and she gifted me a darling pair of hand-me-down dark skinny jeans (that have looooots of stretch in them).  I wore those with a big oatmeal colored sweater and boots and felt very casual-yet-professional and pulled together as I walked across campus in the crisp fall air with a sleeping baby in a carseat (um, those things are freaking heavy!), and a diaper bag worn as a backpack, and my purse-large-enough-to-hold-a-notebook.

I was totally a Competent Working Mother.  I was rocking it.  I was making it look easy because it WAS easy!

Oh, if I'd only known then...

Caroline woke up when we got to my office, so I fed her before the first meeting and she was angelic the whole time.  She smiled at my dean, she played on the floor on her blanket, she snoozed in her carseat in between meetings while I played on the internet sent very important e-mails, and then she sat on my lap during the second meeting.

So during the second meeting, I was holding her and talking with the dean and another professor (a new faculty member whom I was meeting for the second time and I want her to like me so we can be work-friends) about hiring a new faculty member in the fall.  Toward the end of the meeting, Caroline started making the cute cooing noises that she makes.  Except her coos are not so much sweet, soft noises as loud, scolding squawks.  And sometimes it really sounded like she was participating in the conversation as she would shout emphatically after we made certain points.  But for the most part she was being super well-behaved and adorable.

And then, as the meeting was drawing to a close, she started pooping.

(Oh, yes, this is another post about baby poop.  Perhaps I should start posting that warning at the beginning?)

It was one of those audible poops (as most of them are), so I was doing my best not to giggle as she farted loudly in my lap.

So anyway, she's pooping away as we're finishing up the meeting and I'm trying to keep a straight face as I agree to edit the job listing and e-mail it back and meanwhile I can feel the vibrations of this poop on my lap.

Then there was a final loud squirt as the dean of academics was getting up to leave, and I felt something warm all over the top of my legs (and my fancy new-to-me designer jeans).

And I knew with complete certainty that the baby had just blown out her (cloth!) diaper and shat all over my lap.

I was completely mortified and also totally grossed out.  I can handle baby poop just fine, but I like it to stay where it belongs (i.e. IN THE DIAPER) and not get ON MY CLOTHES.

So, not knowing exactly what to do, and not wanting to cause a huge ruckus and be known to my new colleague as "That professor whose daughter pooped all over her," I just sat very still and held the baby in place, on top of the puddle of poop on my lap.

I knew the meeting would be over any minute, so I just kept chatting politely and hoping no one would notice.  Just when I thought everyone was leaving, someone would make another point, and the conversation continued.

And the puddle of mustard-shit continued to soak into my fancy new jeans as I tried to roll my chair further under the desk so as to cover my thighs without squishing the baby.

Then Zuzu started crying and ran everyone out of the office and (amid baby wails) I was able to survey the damage.

OMG are you KIDDING me?  No.  That's mustard poop.
I had an extra outfit for the baby in the diaper bag, but it hadn't occurred to me to pack an extra outfit for myself.

And I had another meeting scheduled in twenty minutes.

So I attempted to wipe the jeans with some paper towels and baby wipes and then changed the baby's diaper on my desk.  Then I got a burp cloth wet in the drinking fountain and tried to clean my pants with the wet cloth.  Zuzu started screaming because she was hungry, so I had to pause in my clean-up efforts and feed her as I sat in wet, poopy pants.

So much for my "competent working mother" charade.

After she ate, I gave my pants another half-hearted swipe with some baby wipes and was left with this:

The remnants of mustard poo.
So I did the only thing I could think to do:  I put my scarf on as a belt and left the ends hanging down in front to try to cover the wet poop stains.

Looks totally normal, right?
And then I grabbed the baby, her blanket, a couple of toys, my notebook, and a pen, and headed downstairs to my final meeting.

Competent working mother here.  Totally rocking it.  Please ignore the poop stains.


  1. Oh my goodness! First of all, when this baby is Caroline's age, I hope I can be as skinny as you are. Second, yuck yuck yuck-- that has happened to me too, and I mean, you are just totally screwed, right? because who the hell is carrying around an extra pair of adult size pants? (And if you were, that would NEVER happen until you got so sick of having extra jeans in your diaper bag that you took them out. THEN the baby would shit on you.)

  2. Lmfao. Seriously! Hysterical! And what is up w that mustard color?! Haha

  3. Oh my!! You totally rocked the scarf belt (very creative) and I am in absolute awe of your ability to look fantastic in skinny jeans three-ish months post partum.

    I had milk leaking ALL OVER THE PLACE at my defense. Thank goodness I was wearing a blazer! Poop's way worse though.

  4. Very, very clever!

    The one time that Gwen spit up all over me requiring a change of clothes happened to be a day when she was ~3 months and not yet going to day care, and I had gone out to campus for reading group, through which she happily played on the floor before spitting up all down my arm. Luckily, I didn't have any other meetings scheduled, so I just holed out in my office until I could go home and change.

  5. On the plus side your thighs look fab! Skinny jeans gotta fit skinny legs!

    And cute boots too.

  6. Oh! And I love your bag. When I was pregnant with Cale I was super excited to splurge on a cute Dooney and Burke tote that I would use as a diaper bag. Never realized how fitting that duck logo is for you! Dear Miles, why don't you have a fun last name with a cute animal?!

  7. Note to self: don't catch up on blog reading while eating a late / rushed lunch at my desk. Especially when lunch is leftovers - broccoli / potatos with a (kid you not) egg and mustard dressing.

    Early disclaimer would be good! :)

  8. How about a picture of the cute poopy baby, too? :)

  9. Only you. I must say, only you my friend!

    I was lookin like a total sausage in skinny jeans on my trip to BC..and that was 3 months post partum after my FIRST! So good on ya!

    I hope the back to work blues don't weigh you down too much. I'm happy you're at a job you like (hopefully still like). But I can't wait to read about the stir of emotions as the date approaches.

  10. Awesome!!! Yes extra clothes as a mana is essential. Only they don't make diaper bags for all that... It's called luggage :).

  11. Too funny! The scarf looks great!

  12. I'm so sorry that your awesome jeans were poop covered but thanks for the belly laugh!

  13. wow that's a lot of poop!!! So funny now, sure it was stressful in the moment!

  14. And this is why I love you soooo much.

  15. Can't stop laughing!

  16. So sorry for laughing at your expense!!! :) I'm impressed with how you hid it!!

  17. No one's blog posts make me laugh like yours. Also...I went to a job interview a month after having L with a significant amount of spitup on my shoulder, unbeknownst to me. I still was offered the job.

  18. I am literally laughing my ass off right now.

    So glad you improvised!! Haha...

    I look forward to hearing more about balancing work and motherhood!


  19. 1. Hot mama!

    2. I cannot get over just HOW yellow that poop is. B's was yellow before solids, but I don't remember it being neon like that!

    3. Nice save.

    4. B's first doctor told me to keep a spare pair of clothes in the car for myself. Riiiight. Like I'm gonna lug that around. I refuse to carry anything but a JJ Cole diaper tote that's the size of a clutch! Maybe a better solution would be a giant scrub sponge with a mini bottle of shout. ;)

  20. Amazeballs. I've actually heard that we are supposed to always have an extra outfit for OURSELVES, as well. I've not done it...but maybe we should:). I love this so much!