** Disclaimer: Not to be read while consuming food.

When I became a parent, I was comically clueless. I was never the natural maternal type. It wasn’t as if I had a slew of young cousins or siblings running around to help take care of. I didn’t go the babysitting or summer camp counselor route like many of my high school buddies. My first job at 15 was in a restaurant.

My husband was just as mystified about parenting as I was. I’ll never forget the first time we tried to change our newborn daughter’s diaper. We were in the hospital and I had given birth only a few hours prior. We decided that the baby’s diaper seemed full so we ripped it off of her tiny bottom. Then, silence. We both looked at each other, waiting for the other one to make the first move. That’s when my husband and I realized that we both didn’t know how to do one of the first tasks you should know as new parents. I pulled a VERY rookie move and handed our newborn to my husband while I figured it out, who placed her naked body on top of his chest for some skin-to-skin contact. I am still dumbfounded with how unaware we were of so many things, including the fact that infants are biologically unable to control their bladder or bowel movements. We learned pretty quickly that you NEVER leave a naked baby’s bottom free for more than a couple seconds if you can avoid it.

It was in that moment that our beautiful, innocent baby girl defecated all over my husband’s chest. I’m aware that all the parents reading this are well versed in early infant stools, but I need to go into some detail for the other readers. I’ll refrain from oversharing, for fear that I will lose half of our audience. It’s called Meconian, and it’s composed of materials ingested while the infant spends time in the uterus. So think, intestinal cells, mucus, amniotic fluid, and bile. As you can imagine, it was not a pretty site. My husband definitely discarded the tank top he was wearing that day. It’s like anything else in life, you can certainly do research (and with the example above, some preemptive research could have done us some good), but ultimately you need to ‘do the thing’ in order to learn the lay of the land. In this case, we learned the hard way. What are some of your early parenting blunders?

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