Aspen Princess: I finally learned what FOMO means
It finally happened.
I swore up and down and back and forth that I would never do this, but it is practically a rite of passage, and I just can’t help myself.
The other day I changed the babes out of a foul-smelling diaper, undressed him and took him downstairs for a bath. I don’t care what people say — you don’t ever get used to that smell just because it’s your own kid. I have to seriously mouth-breathe, and even that’s pushing it in terms of what my olfactory faculties can handle. I should seriously invest in one of those plastic nose-plug things or maybe even one of those gas masks they wore to make crystal meth on “Breaking Bad” because, let’s face it, the kid isn’t even on solid food yet. It’s only going to get worse.
So I carry my naked little gumdrop downstairs in all his delicious, doughy, dimpled-skin glory. As I’m filling up the tub, I feel something warm on my shirt, and it takes me a second to realize he is peeing on me. No big deal — I can just whip off my shirt because I am, after all, in the privacy of my own home. Shirt is now on the floor, baby is in the tub, and I’ve started singing the “rub a dub dub in the tub tub tub” song that I made up myself. Who knew I was also a songwriter?
So babes is in the tub, smiling away, splashing and kicking and glowing and shiny, his tuft of blond hair matted against his soft little skull like silk thread. I’m washing his slippery skin with this delicious-smelling baby soap, and he’s looking at me with shining, bright eyes. Except for one thing: He still stinks.
I lift him out of the tub to examine him, and he looks spanking-clean. So what is that smell? Is it so bad that it sticks to the insides of my nostrils, the same way you get a bad taste in your mouth? I mean, he’s in the tub, right? I start scrubbing him a little harder, thinking maybe the invisible stink is stuck to his skin.
Then I notice a little smear on the edge of the tub where I was resting my arm. And then I find it. The little stinker pooped on my arm as I was carrying him down the stairs.
So yeah, that happened.
As if he was aiming for the grand trifecta of showering mama in bodily fluid, he decided to spit up all over my other arm as soon as I lifted him out of the tub. I should be proud: As a descendant of the great state of Minnesota, it was his first hat trick.
I never in a million years thought I’d be a stay-at-home mom. In my mind that conjured up images of women who know how to garden and bake, and I should probably stop right there before I piss a lot of people off with my sexist remarks. Having been raised by a modern, professional woman who worked for as long as I can remember, I did not see myself home alone with the baby in those lonely daytime hours, pushing a vacuum cleaner with unkempt hair, sneaking small glasses of boxed wine while soap operas played on TV.
I assumed that I’d hire someone to help me. I’d go back to work. I’d start with a nanny at home, and then eventually I’d put Levi in day care. I never wanted him to remember the first time I left him somewhere without me. I’d want him to be socialized from a young age. Plus, I’d want to maintain whatever I have left of a career, even if it has been reduced to blogging for used-car salesmen and corner drugstores. I pictured myself all coiffed and manicured and tailored, my fancy shoes clicking around on the wood floors as I scurried around the house every morning trying to get out the door on time, toting a travel mug and a fancy purse, because that’s what my mom did. We were not fed hot breakfast as a family, sitting around the table with a glass pitcher of orange juice. I was lucky if I got a granola bar thrown at me as I was thrown out of a speeding car at the bus stop.
So I did line up some child care, and then something funny happened. I canceled it. I can honestly say I haven’t been to Aspen in weeks, if not months, choosing instead to toodle around the midvalley, bouncing from Starbucks to Crown Mountain Park to Whole Foods to Bristlecone to the Basalt pool to Heirlooms or Faboo to say hi to Monika. I’ve also started hiking Arbaney every morning with my baby and my pug, where I have gathered enough fodder for next week’s column, so stay tuned.
Sure I have (I just learned this) FOMO, or fear of missing out, especially over Food & Wine weekend, when even my friends who aren’t that cool got into the Wine at the Mine party and I wasn’t even invited. Yes, I am a little envious of All the Way May, who attends every single Food & Wine event on the docket and dons every variety of the latest trend in sundresses and tall shoes at the Grand Tasting, shooting pics for her social column. She is the poster child for the working mom, who is still skinny and pretty and cool, and I’m at the Basalt pool in a bikini I probably should not be wearing.
So what if I’m getting pooped on and am drenched in spit-up half the day? I hear his little giggles or see that toothless smile and realize I’ve done a lot crazier things than this for love.
The Aspen Princess had better get into Food & Wine next year. Email your love to alisonmargo@ gmail.com.
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