1. I remembered my rule (too late) that I never attempt to dress my toddler when I’m already in my work clothes.
2. My kids will slack off getting ready for school as long as humanly possible.
3. My toddler, the one I should have checked before I got myself dressed, is covered in poop.
If you have a queasy stomach, stop reading right now. I can recommend a few blogs instead: Rebecca Palsha’s Alaska Bites blog (which will make you hungry) and Steve Mac Donald’s Midtown Edition (which will make you smart.)
Okay, fair warning. If you read more, you may want to yak.
I found my toddler in the toy room, playing with cars. We were running late, so when I smelled the tell-tale poop stench, I blew past that moment of “Wow, I should probably hold him away from me in case this is a big one” and sailed right into “Lets get this kid cleaned up so I’m not late for work” mode. Of course, I picked him up and held him to me, instantly feeling that wet squish that you immediately know is not going to be good.
I approached the changing table, still not knowing the magnitude of the interior of my son’s diaper. I underestimated him. Grossly. As I unzipped his feety pajamas, the devastation became apparent. Skids of poop could be seen as far north as the left nipple. The look of horror mixed with disgust crossed my face. My toddler began to laugh. If a toddler can laugh maniacally, he did.
As I attempted to pull back the diaper, carefully, like maneuvering the wires on a bomb that’s clock had not yet begun to count down, the first splashes of slippery poop splattered against the changing table. The time bomb clock began its furious race to zero, to BOOM. I began wiping with one hand, holding legs up with another, while rotating to pull more wipes and pull back more pajamas. More poop began to fall. I scooped it up. I wiped. I wiped. I wiped some more. He squirmed and squirmed and squirmed some more.
When I finally got the diaper off and into the trash, I moved onto the pjs. As I carefully peeled them off of my boy, the shreds and dollops of crap began falling to the carpet. I held the baby in place on the changing table as I reached down with the other to collect the droppings, while not mashing them into the carpet. It was, in a word, disgusting. You know it’s bad when a mother of three is gagging over the contents of her own child’s diaper.
Eventually, all the poop was gathered up and deposited into the trash. I dressed the baby. I washed my hands. I could still smell residual poop stench as I drove to work.
You know those posters they hang up in high school nurses and counselors offices that show a screaming baby? You know, the ones that are meant to promote abstinence or at least condom use? They should show what really happens when you’re a mom. They should show you up to your elbows in crap. And, they should make it scratch and sniff.
The one funny thing about all this: I just returned from a women’s retreat this past weekend. The last thing they said to us Sunday morning is we needed to keep up our joy in the moments when we’re covered in poop. Boy, they called that one.
Oh, and if the start of my day wasn’t enough, the end just might be. I picked up my kids from day care to find my middle child, my other son, screaming bloody murder. Straight to the doctor we go… ear infection.
All I can think is wow, I’m really glad I went to that retreat. If I hadn’t, this day might have been enough to push me right over the edge…