Today we need to knock out the next six first-round matchups. Read the description of each problem in the pair, then vote for the one you think sucks more than the other. MY DESCRIPTIONS ARE ONLY FOR EFFECT, and you should vote on how bad YOU feel each problem is, not based on my description of it. Voting runs midnight to midnight, EDT.
7. Your child is bitten by another child vs. Pacifier falls into dirty sand
8. Stranger chastises you for baby's lack of hat vs. Poopsplosion
9. Catch glimpse of your postpartum backside in a mirror vs. Another mom in your mom's group writes a book during naptime
10. Persistent diaper rash vs. 18-month sleep regression
11. Nanny at the playground chastizes you vs. Child says they like the other parent better
12. Asked if you're your baby's grandmother vs. Baby pukes in your mouth
Here we go!
Your child is bitten by another child
You pick up your child at preschool and are met at the door by the teacher. Your sobbing child is rubbing their arm, and the teacher tells you that another child in the class, the one you always thought was too wild, has bitten your child. No broken skin, but there is a distinct bite mark on your child's arm. Your child cries the whole way home.
Pacifier falls into dirty sand
You've just decided never to come to this playground again because the sand is so filthy and you're going nuts trying to keep your kid distracted and entertained by the slide. Having made that decision, you relax your attention for the exact amount of time it takes your toddler to rip the pacifier out of their mouth and fling it, making a perfect David Wellsian arch directly into the ratpoop-infested sand.
Stranger chastises you for baby's lack of hat
Your big-headed, delightfully willful darling does not like to wear a hat. It can be a problem in the winter, but now that it's 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) outside, it's all copacetic. Until the stranger with the loud voice walks up to you on the street and insists, "You should put a hat on that baby!" and looks at you like she wants to call Child Protective Services. It's 50 degrees out.
Whoa! Out the sides of the diaper, out the sides of the onesie, soaking through the pants onto the stroller and blanket, up the back of the diaper up to the baby's neck and out the neck of the onesie into the baby's hair, all over you and your phone and the diaper bag. You notice a glob on your eyelash when you blink. And the baby's just smiling.
Catch glimpse of your postpartum backside in a mirror
You know how your hips spread during pregnancy? And they don't go back right away? And you feel so much smaller once the baby's out of you, but you're not? And you didn't need to know that, because "9 months on, 9 months off" is really a good guide and not everyone has a personal trainer and chef and nanny? Well, then yes, curse that stupid mirror.
Another mom in your mom's group writes a book during naptime
She was always so quick to take off after playgroup, wanting to get her daughter down for a nap. You wondered why she was so anti stroller nap, or why she didn't want to hang and get an iced coffee or just keep each other awake during the early afternoon mom-slump. And then one day she announced that while the rest of you had been napping yourselves, or on FB, or cleaning, or just staring off into space, she had written a book in 90-minute increments during her daughter's naps. And you knew she wasn't trying to one-up you, but still...
Persistent diaper rash
This is not "slap a little Lansinoh on it" and it'll go away. This is not even triple paste and air baths. This is persistent, weepy, red, scaly, ugly diaper rash that fades but doesn't go away and then comes back full force and makes your baby cry and cry.
18-month sleep regression
What? the? hell? Running leaping just-talking toddler, who has been sleeping through the night for months, suddenly wakes up three times a night and won't go back down. It's like her body just won't let her fall asleep, but she's agitated and cranky and screeches when you fall asleep with your forehead on the crib rail. It is insulting and perplexing and makes you wonder if you've done something horribly wrrong.
Nanny at the playground chastizes you
Out of the blue, a nanny at the playground turns to you and tells you you are teaching your child badly, that your child is not a "good sharer," and that you let your child get too dirty, and that this is why the nannies at that playground don't let the children they watch play with your child. Stunned.
Child says they like the other parent better
Whether it's a toddler hiding their face from you and reaching for the other parent, or an older child telling you straight out they prefer the other parent, it's a gutpunch. Especially if you're the one who does most of the caregiving and you child rejects you for the other parent. Worse than any romantic rejection could possibly be.
Asked if you're your baby's grandmother
So yes, you haven't been getting enough sleep lately, and maybe you could use a haircut, and maybe you're walking around in maternity clothes like Caillou's grandpa does, but when the woman YOUR SAME AGE at the store asked you about your grandson while pointing at your son in the stroller, well, that is just hurtful.
Baby pukes in your mouth
Poor sweet crying baby. You wake up and go to get the baby from the crib, pick them up and just as you're saying, "It's okaaaa--" the crying baby throws up directly into your mouth.
Schedule update: We are only voting in two match-ups over the weekend, and voting will open Friday night at midnight EDT and close Sunday at midnight EDT (when Monday's six match-ups will open for voting).