Time to Change the Sheets

Last week, my boys had the stomach flu. You’ll know from my previous posts that it wasn’t pretty. It was actually quite nasty. There was a lot of clean up involved. Several loads of laundry were washed. The carpet was scrubbed. The bathrooms disinfected. However, one disgusting remnant remains: my sheets.

My five-year old has figured out that he needs to quickly stumble to the bathroom when his stomach makes the all-telling rumble. But, the 16 months old is a little too young for that. We’re still in the throw-a-towel-over-the-splash-zone stage, much like sitting in the front row of a Gallagher show. Last week when we were in the midst of it, after a couple of nights with no sleep, when the baby let it rip on my bed in the middle of the night, I took one of those towels and laid it down over the mess and went back to sleep. Don’t judge me. I was exhausted.

Fast forward a week. The kids are better, but my bed is not. That first night of sleeping with just a towel separating me from the contents of my youngest son’s stomach was gross, but necessary. The next night as I zombie-walked to my bed, completely spent from a day of dealing with two sick kids, I made the choice to just go to sleep in the dirty sheets. It’s like working out or telling a lie, it gets easier the more you do it. So, by the third night of my sickening sleep habit, I was barely phased by the filth. Then, as things do, life got in the way and I never got around to changing my sheets.

Yesterday, I shared my shame. I told a couple girlfriends about what I had done. The look of disgust mixed with horror and a shake of sympathy on their faces told me it was time to change the sheets. Last night, I yanked off all the gross bedding and replaced it with nice, clean smelling sheets.

I went to sleep renewed, breathing in the linens and praying for two things: one, I’ll remember to change the sheets in a timely fashion and two, my kids don’t dirty it up for me before then.

So, folks tell me your dirty little parenting secrets. Maybe you change your sheets at a regular intervals, but you’re sending your kid to bed with only a Twinkie for dinner. Do tell!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christy
    May 11, 2011 @ 18:37:11

    I have all the good intentions of making my kids and man nutritious, well-balanced, delicious meals. I would love to do it. But I’m missing the chromosome that would help me actually get it from in my head to the table. It frustrates me! I need to just work harder at meal planning is what it boils down to.

    One night, after a long day of work and then picking up kids in different places and getting everyone home, and before cleaning and bills, I was stumped on what to feed them for dinner…so I picked a theme. Orange. I fed them cheetos, oranges, cheddar cheese, carrots and cheese-its for dinner. They loved it.

    Oh, and I keep telling myself I will only let them eat at the table. Then I feed them bk, lunch, and dinner at the table and it works out ok. I am a big fan of “eat what I fed you for dinner, because that’s it, I’m not going to cook two meals and you’re not getting a snack later.” Then there are those nights where I feed them and they barely pick at it and then it is bed time, and I am so desperate for them to be quiet that when they whine, I cave and let them take a snack to bed. Then it haunts me in the morning in the form of icky crumbs in their rooms, which really annoys me!

    Oh another dirty secret, I have been that mom in Walmart screeching at her kids like a redneck trailerpark howler monkey with no coping skills. So much so that other patrons steer clear while looking at me sideways. Clearly those people do not have their own children. I love the women who in those moments say something kind and funny and relatable that makes me feel not all alone, it kind of fixes the moment. It has happened a couple of times, and I think that’s not so bad a track record for six and a half years of parenting. Sometimes they just fray the last…little…nerve.

    I am sure I will think of more throughout the day…I love that you came clean in your post, and for giving us the opportunity to do the same. I hope you and lots of people respond, can’t wait to read more!

    Oh, I took my oldest to the ophthalmologist a few weeks ago…the really good one who takes months to get an appointment with. 20 minutes into the appointment, I noticed she was wearing tights, shirt, jacket…no pants or skirt. And I did not notice this at home, in the car, walking in, waiting in the waiting room, or anywhere near the beginning of the appointment. Then my youngest kept telling me she had to pee, and I was so absorbed in what the doc was saying, it didn’t register to take her to pee, so this child that’s been potty trained for a year had an accident on the floor of the carpeted doctor’s office. Which I cleaned up with those thin brown cardboard papertowels. This all made me laugh because my friend has been telling me for years I need to lower my standards because I am a perfectionist who formerly would rip herself a new one over the slightest mistake. At this appointment I texted her what was happening and that I had officially arrived at Not Perfect, and she was delightful and told me indeed her work was done, I had made it.

    Oh, and then there is the problem with inappropriate giggles that gets me sometimes when my kids get hurt and I am sad or scared for them…but get the giggles to relieve the pressure. It’s not good. My kids are used to it. My oldest fell down the stairs at the sitter once and told me about it when I picked her up. I sheepishly smiled, while hopefully apologizing profusely with my eyes. She glared at me, “It’s Not Funny, Mom. I hit my head on every step on the way down!” Oh, come on…NOW it’s funny.


    • areyoudreaming
      May 11, 2011 @ 19:15:07

      I knew I wasn’t alone! Thank you! I often joke that I am the winner and runner up for the World’s Worst Mom awards. In fact, it’s a running joke with my kids now. If they want something at the store and I say no and they ask why I say it’s because “I’m the world’s worst mom.” And they’re like “Oh, yeah, that’s right.”
      Thanks for reading. Subscribe and you can read all my crazy antics with my kids. And keep replying!


  2. Christy
    May 11, 2011 @ 19:22:19

    Yes! “Because I’m a bad mom.” LOL. So succinct, so easy. My friend uses a similarly good one, he tells his daughters, “Because I like your sister better than you.” Duh.


  3. KalleyC
    May 11, 2011 @ 23:32:00

    Your baby baby actually threw up on the bed and not on you! Okay, now I’m envious! My daughter has a habit of throwing up on me. When I try to face her the opposite way, she squirms and fights to face me so that she can throw up all over my shirt. When she’s sick, I don’t even bother wearing a nightgown to bed because I know that it will be drenched.

    I thought I could pawn her off to my husband so he can have an experience, but she fought him to get back in my arms, and there went my clothes.


  4. Clarice
    May 13, 2011 @ 01:04:52

    Feel free to hate/envy but I’m quite proud of this. My son is not a puker in fact he’s only threw up on me and peed on me once 🙂 one secret is I wait until I have nothing to wear before I do laundry yeah I know it doesn’t top your changing sheets but it’s something. I’ll try to think up something more juicier and post it later


  5. Amy
    May 13, 2011 @ 06:43:54

    We must be on the same wavelength. I slept in warm baby pee one night last week…and then the following night in cold, damp, leftover baby pee. (The things you’ll live with when you’re exhausted!) Then last night, the baby vomited in the sheets and on me. They’re in the dryer now…I couldn’t do another night. 🙂


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