Listen, I’m not against the truly helpful lists of items-every-mommy-needs-or-you-will-die. But most of those items are for the sunshiny days of motherhood, after the postpartum depression succumbs to medication and you still have a week of maternity leave.
But what about the trenches of motherhood? What about when you’re up to your neck in poop and pretty sure there’s a mealy layer or two of puke in there, too?
If I could go back and do it all again, here’s what I’d request:
- Clorox Item of the Month Club. Two memberships still may not be enough. And can we just agree that the vortex-like plastic opening never works properly and we just need Clorox wipes dispensed like baby wipes? I swear we won’t get them confused. (Well. Twice.)
- Wine. Mixers. Airplane bottles of liquor. Anything along these lines. (Cliché? Apologies! Best to move on now!)
- A baby monitor with a gargantuan snooze button the size of the numbers used on those oversized phones for really old people who can’t see so well. The snooze button will allow you to mute the volume for a precise amount of time during which the baby can choose to go back to sleep or you can choose to get up.
- One of those oversized phones for really old people who can’t see that well. (Have you met us?)
- Disposable, sanitized yet comfy slippers. Like, what ER docs wear when heading into surgery, only with fluffiness inside.
- Dry shampoo BY THE PALLET. (While we’re at it, make that: paper towels; actual towels and many, many fitted sheets. And Ziploc bags. All sizes. Unless they’ve created child-size, and then get maybe 15-20.)
- Handi Wipes in all forms: those cylinders that never quite fit in the cup holder of the minivan, bags of individual wipes, a potpourri of the sensitive wipes, the fully loaded ones… if it says “Handi Wipe” on it, I will take two. Dozen.
- Expandable sneakers, for feet that were a confident 8.5 before child number one and now flirt with narrow 11’s after child number three. What? No? Just me? Carry on.
- Some form of attachable device that spits out unlimited toddler-sized hair elastics. (Pink only, please. Or as my toddler explains succinctly, “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! THAT’S RED!!!!!!! I WANT PINK!!!!!!!!”)
- Pajamas that look like clothes, because that’s how you’re answering the door for the next six weeks at least.
- A subscription to Scary Mommy. (Oh happy day! Subscription is free! Perhaps a compilation of greatest hits?)
- A big, pink, fluffy robe… with a built-in bra. Just trust me.
- Some delicious combo of fanny pack and hand sanitizer. I don’t know how it can be done, but it needs to be done. Weapon form or otherwise. (Perhaps a 40-foot shooting radius? Or would that be the unprecedented combo of a Super-Soaker and hand sanitizer? But then where would I put my cell while I shoot?)
- Sickness (or Activities Season) Survival MREs. Like those thumb-sized face towels packaged in a plastic egg. Add water and POOF! A beautiful meal lands on the kitchen table, complete with appropriate levels of napkins and Handi Wipes. Actual meal should mirror images used for marketing. I don’t care if they’re high in carbs and low in protein. Just put something pretty on our table for everyone to potentially eat three times a day as we drop like dominos or race in and out like a relay team, trying to sustain life without being late for practices, open houses or restorative Mom’s Night Out events.
- Spray-on Desitin.
- Pukachutes. Naturally, these would be attached along the child’s collarbone at birth. When the child’s temperature reaches a certain height, the Pukachute activates in the form of a tubular bib, ringing from shoulder to shoulder in anticipation. As vomit begins to rise from the child’s belly, the Pukachute deploys, saving the lives of mountains of home and personal décor. (Coincidentally, this plan includes deploying the child somewhere off the shores of Normandy, to be cared for by a lovely French family and returned upon elimination of germs.)
And finally, my husband’s immediate reaction when asked what we really should have asked for: A vasectomy.
Nice touch, dear.
Stay healthy out there, people!