A few years ago, when A was only a few months old, and freshly home from the hospital after getting her tracheostomy, I was invited to someone's house for a sales party. You know, a party for one of those home-based businesses, like Creative Memories or Pampered Chef. The hostess of the party was a co-worker of J's, and I didn't know her very well, but I said yes because frankly I needed to get out of the house after so many stressful months.
At the party, there were several women, most of whom knew each other. I knew no one, except for the hostess, and as I said, I barely knew her. Anyhow, a few of the women were apparently new moms. They were complaining about food stains on their babies' clothing. "Sweet potatoes are the worst!" one mom exclaimed. "The stain just never comes out no matter how you pre-treat or wash it". The other moms agreed, and thus began a long discussion among them of the worst foods to feed your baby, in terms of how bad it would stain their child's onesies.
Of course, they didn't know me, or my situation, but internally I was aghast. "Excuse me, ladies", I wanted to shout, "don't you know how lucky you are that your babies EAT!?!? My baby has a feeding tube, and doesn't eat, or drink at all! I am pumping my breastmilk 5 times a day in order to feed my baby. I would give anything---ANYTHING--for her to be eating like a typical 5 month old should, and would be eternally grateful for sweet potato stains on her onesies because that would mean that she was EATING LIKE SHE SHOULD BE!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it's just clothes, anyway...wash it, bleach it, or forget about it, because your child will outgrow it soon enough anyway!"
Of course, I didn't say any of this...it wasn't the time or the place. But that moment stuck with me. How many things do we take for granted until it's taken away? Now, at the age of 3 1/2, A is eating and drinking just fine, and in fact will be getting her feeding tube removed this summer. But to this day I relish stains on her clothes....it means she is eating, and eating messily, like the toddler she is and is supposed to be.
RETREAT! (A noun, not a verb.)
4 hours ago