Every bed in my house wears a mattress pad. This protective layer is the only line of defense against bodily fluids destroying an overpriced mattress. They’re indispensable — the greatest invention of the modern world, right behind Spanx. All this is to say, I recently experienced a Mommy Milestone that made me realize in 2018, we remain a primitive society: Where are the car seat mattress pads?!


It started innocently enough. I was delivering a casserole to a new mom when my children dutifully passed out in the backseat, just as we pulled into her driveway.


I’ll only be a minute, I thought, as I slipped out (leaving the car running, of course!) and speed-walked to the front door. The new mom showed classic symptoms of Adult Interaction Withdrawal, and unloaded about how pumping was going and how one boob keeps producing more milk. In the middle of an exposition about the pros and cons of baby-wearing, I successfully maneuvered my exit.


As I closed the car door, the toddler stirred.


“I have to pawwwwwwtee,” he softly whined and drifted back asleep. We were 15 minutes from home; we could make it.




Eight minutes in, he woke up in pure panic; I’m talking The Shining level screams: “I HAVE TO PAWTEE! PAWWWWWWW – “


And then silence. And his poor little eyes grew huge as saucers.


The following events come to me in a blur. Pulling into CVS. Hoisting a pee-soaked toddler in one arm and a wriggling 16-month-old in the other. The stares. Stuffing the 4-year-old into the only extra clothes I had — pants, size 18 months. Cramming an old sheet onto the car seat so he could ride home without saturation. Driving home in a pee-soaked shirt that will never be the same.


And then dismantling the car seat. This, my friends, is an art of its own.


Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.

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