I have been sooo friggin’ blog blocked lately. I even posted something yesterday, decided that I hated it, and yanked it down. (Though Molly did get in a comment!)
I am working on something else right now, so I think all my decent writing material/energy/mojo is being used there. It’s a finite pool, folks. VERY.
But, I feel guilty.
So, I am going to try to whip up a little something for you now.
If you’ve been reading here for a while — or even, say, a week — you’ve probably noticed that there is at least one topic that always starts the rambling…
I am going to warn you that this story is about poop. And lots of it.
So, if you don’t like poop, you should move on.
The story begins 4 or 5 years ago, but I am not telling that part yet.
We are going to begin an hour ago…
My sister called and told me that The ACN might be coming down with a bug. The twerp told her teacher and/or EAs that she wasn’t feeling well. She was doing a bit of coughing and felt a bit warm to the touch. At that point, my sister said that she was still giggling and eating and seemed to be OK. It was just a heads up from my sister, in case I didn’t feel comfy munchkin-watching this weekend while she was sick, even though my sister knew there was no way in the world that I would have said “no.”
I said “no” once 3 years ago. I was sick in bed and absolutely miserable. I really couldn’t get up.
I STILL feel guilty.
In addition to not being able to say no, my family (and beyond) have learned that they can get me to do just about anything if they tell me that the ACN wants me to do it.
“Peter… [the ACN] wants you to sing Eddie Grant’s “Electric Avenue” while wearing a ball gown and smacking yourself on the ass with a badminton raquet.”
And I’d do it, too.
And now I feel like listening to that song.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, squirty is feeling a bit sickies. However, she did tell my sister that Uncle Pete will make a “good nurse” for her this weekend. Something she feels pretty secure in saying since, over the years, she’s peed, pooped, puked and sneezed (including directly into my mouth more than once) on me numerous times.
As promised/threatened, let’s focus on the pooped part.
Also, as mentioned, let’s travel back in time.
When poodle pop was born, she had a perforated bowel, and ended up with an ostomy bag for the first year of her existence. (Hearing her scream as the glue from it pulled her skin off took a good ten years off of my life.)
So, for a year, I didn’t go anywhere near that area.
I was Uncle Pete, but not UNCLE PETE yet. I would carry her around all day to get her to stop crying. Seriously, I’d keep walking until someone took her away from me and made me sit down. But, I wasn’t yet a full-service Unc.
Even after the surgery to get rid of the ostomy (when my father claims they put the stink in her poop) and get things back to normal, I wasn’t having anything to do with poopy diapers.
I would change pee diapers. And the ACN loved that. She giggled with delight as I struggled to figure out how to put them on her. She especially loved when I’d stop and ask her if Unc had any idea what he was doing. She’d shake her head “no” and howl.
At that point, my babysitting was done in short spurts. Because, if she pooped… well, somebody better be nearby.
Until one day…
Because I wasn’t full-service, my folks were doing the munchkin wrangling one weekend. It was a Friday morning. I remember it as if it was yesterday… I guess the end of your innocence is like that.
My mother told me that she and my Dad had eye appointments to go to, and that I should watch squirty. She said, “We’ll be back in an hour.” I gave her a look. It takes a half hour to get to the eye doctor. That’s one way. Plus, they each had an appointment. And yet she was going to be back in an hour. Now, I’m no stranger to my mother’s attempts at bending time, but this was special, even for her.
(My mother is an absolute character. I could write dozens of posts…)
I ignore my mother’s assumption that they’ll somehow find a rift in the time-space continuum and say, “Fine.” And then I look at the ACN and say, “No pooping, you!” and she giggled.
So, my folks left. ACN and I were cuddling on the couch. She had just finished breakfast. She was still only… a year and a half old, or so, and liked her naps. My hope was that she’d fall asleep and I’d watch a movie until my folks got back.
But, thirty seconds after my folks left, the ACN turned her little munchkin face to me and gave me the biggest smile ever. I thought it was a bit weird, but oh so cute. Then she looked away, pointed her little toes, and let loose with something evil out of her bum.
I heard it first. It sounded like an angry dragon.
I felt it start filling the diaper, which was against my forearm.
And then I smelled it. I… don’t have the words.
I sat up straight. This caused her bum to fall directly into my hand.
And I felt her diaper expanding and expanding.
“Oh GOD!!!!!!” I yelled. Which scared the ACN for a moment… until she saw my face and began giggling again.
I grabbed the phone with my hand that wasn’t currently supporting a ticking poop bomb. I dialed my Dad’s cell #. “The cellular user does not have his phone on.”
“You old bastards!!!”
“Uhm… [ACN.] Unc is going to have to change your poopy bum.”
I’ve never seen a child with a bigger smile.
I went to get up off the couch, which caused her shirt to go up a little and that was when I first noticed it…
There was poop smeared on her back, way past the top of the diaper.
“That’s not supposed to be there,” I said.
Yes, more giggles.
Then I looked at her pants and saw the poop coming right through the material along the edges of where the diaper was.
And then I looked at my own pants.
“It looks like Unc is going to have to change his own poopy pants too.”
“Hee hee hee.” She could not have been any more excited.
I had NO idea what to do next.
I purposefully didn’t learn how to change poopy diapers. They can’t make you do what you don’t know how to do, right? Suddenly my brilliant plan of (mostly) faked incompetence wasn’t looking so hot.
“Munchkin, do you know what to do?”
So, I took a deep breathe. Which I quickly regretted when the smell hit me again.
I wandered towards the bathroom. It seemed like the place to go when you are carrying a poopmachine that has exploded over itself AND you.
I decided that she seemed much more relaxed about having poop on her than I did. So, I did what any sensible person would do…
I put her in the bathtub. No water, of course.
I said, “Don’t go anywhere.” And I scrambled to find clean clothes to put on.
Ideally I would have grabbed a shower, but I already put her in the tub. And I didn’t have BBQ tongs big enough to move her again. So, I pulled the shower curtain closed so she can’t watch me change. (More giggling.) I do what I can with a washcloth and a small sink, and then throw on some clean sweats and a t-shirt. Oh yeah, my shirt took a bit of a beating during the transfer of munchkin to the tub.
I pull the shower curtain open. She is still smiling.
“OK. I’m clean. That was step one.”
I am holding my dirty clothes in my hand. I have no idea what to do with them, so I chuck them in the bat
h tub too. Then the wash cloth I used goes with them. I look at the towel I used to dry myself with and decided that it came too close to poop, so it was going in the tub too.
I remember that I had dropped my shirt on the bathmat — yup, tub with with mat too.
It is now getting pretty crowded in there, but the ACN is loving it.
I should note that this entire time, I am rushing around like mad. And if you know me, and most of you don’t, I typically travel at a much more laid-back rate.
Now it is time to remove (and possibly burn) The ACN’s clothing.
I slowly take off her pants, which could not be more filled with poop. I cough a couple times and toss them down the other end of the tub.
I’m now staring at the business end of that diaper — which is truly having it’s tensile strength tested by the mass of yuckiness inside of it. I have no idea what to do with that thing.
So, I run and grab a plastic grocery bag out of the recyclables. Fuck Al Gore. He wouldn’t be so smug if he was in my shoes. (Wait, I threw them in the tub too.)
I slowly removed the diaper. I’m not going to lie, as much poop stayed on her as came with the diaper.
“This is not right at all…”
I stuffed the diaper in the plastic bag and tied the top of it as tightly as I can.
I have no idea where my mother might store heavily shit-filled diapers.
(Ignore the switching of tenses in this post. I am still traumatized.)
So, as any of you would do, I ran to the back door and tossed it onto the driveway.
I just… I just didn’t want to be in the same house with it.
So, I returned to the ACN. She was still smiling. I started removing her shirt. I already knew that the poop was up her back a little. But, as I rolled her shirt up further and further, I saw that it went ALL THE WAY up to the back of her neck.
I paused a few moments to wonder where she had been keeping all of the poop to begin with, before gently removing the short. Somehow I managed not to get any in her hair. Or mine. No, really. That was a genuine possibility.
I tossed the poopy shirt in the tub, near the ACN’s toes, and stared at my poop-caked niece. She looked back, clearly anxious to see what hilarity I might cause next.
The next step, clearly, was to wash the poop off of her. The tub seemed like a good place to do this, but the tub was already filled with a three foot pile of shit-filled clothes and towels…
So, I scooped up the twerp, trying so hard not to get her poop against me, and held her with one hand over the sink. I used the other hand to get the water just the right temperature… and then spashed water with my free hand at her little butt.
This turned out not to be nearly as successful as I had anticipated.
So, I grabbed a towel that was hanging next to the sink — possible for decoration. I wet it and used it to start wiping her down. It didn’t take long to get pretty pooped up. So, I chucked it in the tub and grabbed the towel from the other side of the sink. I lather, rinse, repeated.
And then chucked that towel in the tub.
She was pretty close to clean at this point, so I did a little more hand splashing and called it done.
Then I realized I had no way of drying her. So, I held her dripping over the sink with one hand, as I leaned waaaaaay to my left (being 9 feet tall helped here) and opened to bathroom closet. I could only reach the hand towels, so I grabbed a half dozen or so of those.
I used two to dry her, and wrapped her in the other four.
I gave her a hug… and chucked the two drying towels in the tub.
I looked around at the bathroom.
The tub now had a four foot pile of clothing and towels.
There was a good half inch of water on the floor.
And I didn’t care.
I carried munchkin around a bit. Just holding her and regaining my composure. She got squirmy and her towels were dropping one by one across the kitchen floor.
I took her into her room and picked an outfit and got her dressed.
A couple hours later, my folks returned.
As they came in the back door, my mother was asking, “What is in the bag in the driveway?”
My dad saw the munchkin sleeping on my lap on the couch and shushed her.
Nobody noticed the fact that I had the glazed expression of someone that had just returned from ‘Nam.
My father looked down at the ACN and whispered, “Awww. So cute.”
My mother followed the trail of towels across the kitchen, picking each one up. She carried them into the bathroom and…
“What the fuck happened here??”
And that is how I learned how to change poopy diaper.