You know that project that people do in high school to prepare them for parenting (or to discourage them from it - haven't figured out which purpose it serves)? The one where students have to carry around a 10-pound flour sack, secure a babysitter for it when they're busy, etc. etc. etc.? I should have paid more attention in high school.
I'll be honest. Senior year, I had other priorities, and having kids was nowhere on my radar. I promptly chucked that sucker in the trunk and left it there for the entire week of the project. I didn't make up activities and write about them in the provided journal. I didn't draw a cutesy little face on it and dress it in tiny clothes like the rest of the girls. I didn't find a babysitter for it while I was at cheerleading practice. I knew that as long as it was in my trunk, it was safe and sound, and I could turn it in at the end of the week and be done with the whole ordeal.
Somehow, that kind of treatment doesn't work as well for real live babies (and no, I didn't put Milo in the trunk). Unlike flour sacks, babies are precious, and sweet, and they smell so pleasant (at least 95% of the time). They need to be guarded constantly and kept safe from anything scary, yucky, or dirty. I have to confess, I did a bad job of that today, and what I'm about to tell you will never win me Mommy of the Year (to quote Brittany). Poor Milo was right up close to something a little scary, very yucky, and somewhat dirty, and I didn't even know it.
Flashback to yesterday. I was at Amanda's house dropping off some shorts, and she asked if I'd like some ground buffalo meat.
"Buffalo? I thought those were extinct... or endangered... or something like that. Can you even hunt them?"
"Absolutely, and someone packed our freezer full of meat. Would you take some off my hands?"
"Hmmmm. Sure. I know Nate likes it since he ate those burgers the other night at your house. I could probably find something to do with it."
(I won't even go into the fact that I had no idea what I would do with it. As a vegetarian, I tend to be very timid about preparing new meats.)
"Okay, thanks, Kate. I'll have Ethan put it in the car."
And that's the last I even thought for a second about buffalo meat. Milo and I ran some errands, cleaned and cooked for company that night, entertained, and picked up Nate from work. Then it was off to Lowe's, home for dinner, hanging out with Chad and Tree and hearing all about their adventures in Israel... I never even remembered that Amanda and I had even talked about buffalo. Until today, around 11 a.m., when Mom walked me to my car to put a basket in for me.
"Sweetie, what's this in the back seat? I think it's leaking, whatever it is."
I stared at her for a long minute. "Mom, I have no idea. What on earth is that?"
And then it hit me. "Oh my word, ew ew ew ew ew! That's buffalo meat, and it's been in my car since yesterday around 1:00! Mom, what do I do? How do I clean that? What about Milo? He's been sitting next to that! EW!!!!!"
Oh yes, I had been driving around with my poor babyson sitting right next to a pile of thawed buffalo meat, just leaking blood and meat juices all over the seat. Can you breathe in salmonella, or whatever it is that comes off of raw buffalo? My poor child! Mom took the meat to put into the dumpster, and I drove home as fast as I could, threw a dish towel over the seat, and whisked Milo into the house and safety. What is wrong with me?
I won't even bore you with the details of the cleanup or the long list of products I used in an attempt to make it go away. Needless to say, the car now overwhelmingly smells of Pinesol (and as much as I love Pinesol, apparently you can have too much of a good thing), and no one will ever sit in our back seat again. (*Correction, Nate did mention that I may have to sit there all the time from now on as punishment.) Remember yesterday when I mentioned that I might need a bit more sleep? Remember HEB? Right. That was nothing compared to this. Not only did I soil my lovely newish mom and dad car, but I also exposed my poor babyson to something scary, yucky, and dirty at the same time. It's like I was the quarterback, and I got sacked by a little bag of buffalo.
So, kids. When you're asked to carry around a bag of flour and pretend it's a child, for heaven's sake, just roll with it. Imagine all the scenarios you could come across when you're a grown-up and have a baby for real. Remember that you might be a little bit clumsy and a lot forgetful by that time. Think about the last thing on earth you'd want to expose a child to, and practice avoiding it at all costs.
And if anyone asks you if you'd like some buffalo meat, at least have the good sense to put it in the front seat where you'll actually remember it's there.