So much about me has changed since I became a mother. I am now responsible for keeping another human being alive.
I am now responsible for keeping another human being alive.
Let’s unpack that statement a bit: Another person is depending on my dubious abilities to feed, (mostly) clothe, and occasionally bathe him. That little person wakes me up in the middle of the night, expecting a response other than me shutting him in the laundry room (as I’m wont to do with our sometimes noisy dogs). I get up with this child, change his appalling diapers, allow my (much abused) breasts to perform essentially the same function as a Holstein, then gently rock him back to sleep and creep quietly from his room like a breastmilk-soaked ninja.
In response to all of this new pressure, so many things are different. My wardrobe has changed (all things stretchy), my go-to hairstyle has changed (hello, ponytail every. single. day.), my dedication to wearing makeup and brushing my teeth on a consistent basis has changed (understatement of the year).
However, one change overshadows all the rest: my Google search history.
For your perusal, here’s a small sampling of things I’ve Googled since my son was born. Just to prepare you, there are so many poop/vomit related questions on this list that it borders on the absurd. The fact that I am so invested in another person’s bodily fluids is somewhat depressing.
Question: “How to make a child sleep?”
Answer: Conflicting advice that is usually summed up with “but all children are different.” Swell.
Question: “Best swaddles?”
Answer: “Drop hundreds of dollars on the most expensive ones you can find only to figure out that his favorite is the one you forgot about in the box of hand-me-downs from your cousin Linda”
Question: “How long can a baby go without sleep?”
Answer: “A long, long time.”
Question: “How long can an adult go without sleep?”
Answer: “Not as long as a baby.”
Question: “What makes poop green?”
Answer: A stupid long list of things, but in our case, blueberries were the culprit.
Question: “How to get a diaper genie to quit smelling?”
Answer: The overwhelming opinion seems to be emptying it more frequently, but I found that holding your breath every time you’re within a five foot radius is also effective.
Question: “How to get poop off walls?”
Answer: “Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a hazmat team.”
Question: “How to get a child to poop in a toilet?”
Answer: “Patience and shameless bribery.”
Question: “Is PTSD from potty training a thing?”
Answer: There are some lovely support groups out there. Their “new member” gifts include Pull-Ups and mini bottles of liquor.
Question: “Best medicine for teething infants?”
Answer: “Typically Motrin.”
Question: “How often can I give a child Motrin?”
Answer: “Not as often as you’d like.”
Question: “While breastfeeding, can a teething child actually bite a nipple off?”
Question: “Best nipple cream?”
Answer: Sadly, I never found one truly up to the task.
Question: “How to get pizza vomit out of an area rug?”
Answer: “Blot, don’t scrub. Pray. Pray some more. Turn the rug so that the offending stain is hidden under a piece of furniture. The stain is in the center? Sounds like a good time for a new ottoman.”
Question: “Best carpet to hide stains?”
Answer: “A magic one.” (I think it flies, too.)
Question: “How to use a NoseFrida?”
Answer: A YouTube video you can never unsee.
Question: “Can Benadryl make a baby hyper?”
Question: “What causes hair to turn gray?”
Answer: “A sick child who is hyped up on Benadryl.”
Question: “How much can I drink while breastfeeding?”
Answer: “Not enough.”
Question: “How do you know if a child has a blood blister under a fingernail?”
Answer: “Look at some truly horrifying images and go from there.”
Question: “How to treat a blood blister under a fingernail?”
Answer: It’ll probably just fall off, “but call your child’s pediatrician to make sure.”
Question: “How long does it take for a lost fingernail to grow back?”
Answer: “Longer than you think.”
Question: “Will my child support me in my old age?”
Answer: “Maybe. But if not, perhaps by that time your potty training support group will offer different sizes of Pull-Ups and full-size bottles of liquor.”
This is just a smattering of the new questions I’ve asked the in last few years. Like my life (and my breasts and my ability to not pee a little every time I sneeze), my Google search history – and the ads that go with it – will never be the same.