Wipe Out

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The other day, I was in Target (shocker!) and I overheard a mom talking to her youngster in the cart just a few feet behind me: "Uh oh, are your hands sticky?" the little girl was starting to throw a fit, smacking her fruit-snacked-hands together in dismay..."I'm sorry, honey," the mom anxiously continued, "mommy doesn't have any wipies, you will just have to wait. I'm sorry, I don't have any wipes!"
No more did the sentence leave her lips when I stopped in my tracks, jammed my only free hand into my purse, and whipped out a single wet wipe as I spun around in her direction: "I have a wipe!" (I'll admit I kind of felt like some sort of superhero coming to the rescue - albeit a single moist towelette being my secret weapon leaves much to be desired among powers...still...)
The woman paused for a second, glanced at my child-be-cumbered cart and smiled in relief. "Thanks!" she said as we exchanged short introductions followed by friendly "I've totally been there" anecdotes and typical mom "yay for Target" farewell quips. A single wipie saves the day again.

These wet wipes, I tell ya, they have got us moms hooked for life. They are the single deadliest weapon in a mother's baby bag arsenal. They have gotten me out of so many jams, I'm pretty much planning on keeping them in my purse from now on, long after my kids' behinds might need them. I don't know about you, but for me (in a pinch) baby wipes have been stain lifters, furniture polishers, underarm savers, booger pickers, feet cleansers, wall scrubbers, toddler bathers, cart disinfecters, ear swabbers, lense swipers, table dusters, paci sterilizers, and of course...bottom wipers. To name a few. (You can't tell me you've never given your kid a "hobo bath" to stretch their bath time onnnne more night???)
But, until that day in Target, I never thought a lone little wipe could be a conversation starter. Okay, it wasn't that big of a deal, really.
But, you know that moment when you are in a store and your kid hasn't napped yet, and all it takes is one tiny thing to set off the emotional bomb that your child is containing, but for some reason you still think "this will be a short trip, I only have to get such-n-such and we're outta here, surely we will make it before the bomb goes off" and you nearly would - you truly almost do - except that the dollar aisle caught your eye and you just had to stop and see if those $1 kitty halloween socks come in her size...and turns out those kitty halloween socks were the one tiny thing to trigger the end-all-be-all tantrum bomb of all time and...boom!
Toddler emotional explosion. Total wipe out.
Yes, well, I have been there. (See picture [please don't think less of me for snapping a photo of my crying child mid-tantrum...it was the exact moment her father texted to see how our day was going - and that was my text-photo reply, no caption, enough said.]) And, that day in Target I could tell that not having that single wipie to rescue her daughter's sticky hands was her child's "tiny little trigger"...and, well, I'm glad to say the bomb was diffused quickly and safely that day and no Target customers were harmed in the explosion of that toddler's tantrum that day.
So, stash your arsenal, mommies.
Wipes, dipes, and a good helping of encouragement
(emphasis on courage).
Maybe your kids won't need them on that outing, but you never know who will. Next time you see a mom in need, or a kid on the verge of total breakdown, resist the urge to think she doesn't have it all together (who does?) and offer her a smile (or a wipe if need be!) and pass on a little reminder that sweet moments are just around the corner. Sometimes it just takes a while (a deep breath, a good nap, and a hearty diet coke) to get there. (See picture). Ahhhh.


  1. When my Robbie was a baby/toddler he couldn't stand to have dirty/sticky hands! He would be playing outside and then suddenly look at me and show me his hands, frantic look in his eyes, as if saying "fix this now!" ha!


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