Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scat

I’ve been debating for over a week if I wanted to share this or not.  It’s not the kind of story I generally post, but everyone keeps telling me it’s too funny/horrifying/relatable not to share.  I’m going to offer a disclaimer, though:  if you don’t have kids, this blog will probably not interest you.  In fact, you’re probably going to wonder why on earth I would ever think this was appropriate to share.  Heck, I’m willing to bet some of you who DO have kids might feel the same way.  But I know that there are at least a few of you who will read this and think, I am so glad that has happened to someone else!  So without further ado, I present my one and only scatological story (with pictures). 

Sunday before last, my mom’s side of the family had their annual reunion/potluck.  I dressed Peanut in an adorable new outfit so that she’d look “spiffy” when she saw all of her relatives.  We loaded into the car to make the 45 minute drive to the church where it was being held.  Not long after leaving the house, I heard Peanut grunting.  Dang, I thought.  She’s going to poop.  I worried about her squishing poop up her back, as babies often do when they are in a car seat. It makes an awful mess, on the child and and in the seat.  Then she began to cry.  She cried for a few minutes and stopped.  I could smell the gift she’d left me in her diaper and made a mental note to change her the moment we arrived at the reunion regardless of how many relatives wanted to stop and talk.
About twenty minutes into the trip, I stopped for gas.  When I got back into the car, the odor had grown more offensive.  I thought it was just because I had gotten some fresh air while I was filling up. 

Not poop
As we drove, though, the smell grew stronger and more rancid.  John didn’t seem to think it was any worse, though, since his nose had sadly become acclimated to it. 

Worried about having a seat full of poop, I upped my speed a little and focused on getting to the church. Peanut sat in the back seat talking to herself and giggling.  I glanced into the mirror at one point to see her putting something in her mouth.  “What are you eating, Peanut?”  She just smiled. I assumed she had found a Puff somewhere from the day before. 
Suddenly, as we topped a hill, the smell became overwhelming, almost to the point it gagged me.  John smelled it, too. 

“We need to pull over,” I said. “It smells like it got out of the diaper.”   I could already picture a trail of poop up her back.  I couldn’t remember if I’d packed a change of clothes before we hurriedly left the house and wondered if she’d be attending the reunion in nothing but a diaper.
I pulled into an empty church parking lot.  Grabbing the diaper bag, I went around to open the back of my SUV so that we would have room to change her.  John got out and opened Peanut’s door to assess the situation.  I knew from his reaction it was bad.  I never dreamed it would be as bad as it was, though. 
Not poop
She had indeed pooped.  No, that’s not the word.  She had exploded.  My sweet little girl looked like she’d been taking a mud bath.   The poop had not gone up her back as I’d feared; it had pushed out of the legs of her diaper and run down to her ankles.  She had kicked her feet around and managed to smear it between her toes.  But my curious little baby had to get a closer look.  She reached down and stuck both hands in pools of liquid poop.  
She had smeared poop across her face and into her hair.  Suddenly, a wave of nausea swept over me as I remembered my question from a few minutes earlier:  What are you eating, Peanut?
My daughter smiled up at me from her poop smeared face right as the realization set in that she had been eating her poop.  My baby put her poop in. her. mouth.

(In her defense, there was corn in it.  What, too much?  Deal with it.  At least you weren't there to witness it.)

99% of me wanted to crawl into the back seat and cry.  The other 1% ordered me to pull myself together and clean the child up.
The day before, I’d taken her travel wipes out of the diaper bag and put in a large pack to take to the sitter.  Thank goodness I had or we would have been removing our clothes to wipe her down.  It took the entire pack of wipes for the two of us to clean the radioactive poop from her stinky little body. 
Fifteen minutes and 75 wipes later, she had on a new diaper and there was no visible poop on her body.  She still smelled like the devil's armpit, though.  By this point, my husband and I were both sweating profusely in the 100 degree Southern heat.  I was miserable in more ways than one, struggling not to cry or scream in frustration and exhaustion.  And repulsion.

At least it's not poop
I called my mom to let her know what had happened, so she was ready and waiting to assist when we arrived.  We took Peanut to the bathroom and gave her a bath in the sink.  I ran my fingernail under all of hers, trying my best to remove any remaining particles of poop since she’s constantly sticking her fingers in her mouth.  She was very patient as I scrubbed her with soap and paper towels, even letting me wash her hair.  We rinsed her off and my mom said she smelled fine.  I stood back to take a look at her, looking for even the tiniest trace of fecal matter.  Peanut grinned at me.  Her mouth.  Oh my Lord, what do I do about her mouth?  I’m not proud of what I did next, but I don’t see what option I had.  I squirted soap on my fingers and thrust them into her mouth before she could protest.  I rubbed and scrubbed the roof her mouth, cheeks, tongue and gums.  I wiped her four little teeth with a paper towel.  She didn’t cry or resist or even make a face.   Yes, I washed my 11-month-old daughter’s mouth out with soap.  
My mom assured me that Peanut didn’t even remotely smell like poop anymore, so I let her carry my daughter out to see all of the family.  I looked at myself in the mirror.  A fuzzy halo of hair surrounded my face, courtesy of the humidity.  All of my makeup had melted and there was mascara under my eyes.   I scrubbed my own hands and arms and tried to make myself presentable.    I went to the kitchen, poured a glass of tea and took a deep breath.  While my extended family admired my precious, freshly-scrubbed little girl, I found myself laughing just a little.  I had survived Poopageddon.  I still had the task of scrubbing out her clothes, but I would just have to think about that later.  At that moment,  I felt like I’d earned some sort of “mommy badge.”  My child finger-painted herself with feces, and I didn’t have an absolute meltdown.  With the help of my brave husband, I'd done what had to be done.   I shook my head, amazed at what I was able to tolerate for the sake of my own child.   
Now it may be a different story the first time she vomits…

1 comment:

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

Fab-You-Lous punkUation, girl! Bravo!! Encore!!! Meet me in Heaven, miss gorgeous. I wanna kiss your feet for both being Miss Fantastic, PooperScooper AND a knock-out-gorgeous-doll. God bless you. Promise? Do we have a promise, kids? HeeHee