Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's Just Poop

Repeat after me... "It's just poop." I'm just going to close my eyes for a few minutes and chant to myself...

Mark is still a little squeamish when it comes to toddler poop, but I think I've finally come to terms with it and the fact that it's just a very natural and real part of life with a baby and growing toddler who is not quiet yet potty-trained.

On Monday, I picked up E from day care, and it was beautiful outside. It was a little overcast, and 46 degrees was feeling like 60 after this long winter! I decided to take her for a walk straight from day care, around the outskirts of town, over the covered bridge. I ran what I could and walked the rest. E was happy for a stroller ride and some walking on her own.

When we got back into town, about a half mile from the car, she said, "I'm hungry! I get a 'nack?"

Hmm, my mommy radar knew it was bowel-movement time, but I figured that we'd still have time to get back to the car and get home. She wouldn't have to sit too long in a poopy diaper. I let her get a little cookie at the local cafe, and we browsed the local bookstore.

Worried that poop-time was fast approaching, I told her that it was time to go, but she wanted to look in one more shop. I hadn't noticed any suspicious smells yet, so I let her continue to browse.

The next shop she picked had a photo booth in it, complete with curtain. E stepped inside, closed the curtain, pushed the buttons on the photo machine, giggled, then got unusually quiet. I stood outside the booth, contemplating the wonders of the universe, patiently waiting for her.

Finally, she threw back the curtain, jumped out, and said, "Hi, Mama!"

The smell hit me right in the face.

"Whoa, there! Let's get you back to the stroller," I said. This began a 10-minute mommy-and-toddler chase that ended with me picking her up crying and bringing her outside to her stroller. I got her settled, but the guilt set in. I couldn't let her ride in a bumpy stroller and poopy diaper all the way back to the car. There was a public restroom close by, but I had no diapers or wipes.

It's moments like these when I become some kind of mommy-survivalist. I don't know if I like the challenge or want to torture myself. I pushed the stroller into the restroom.

As usual, the diaper-changing station (at least they had one) had no liners. I took off my sweatshirt and put it down for her. Then I prepped for surgery.

I rolled up my sleeves and grabbed about 5 handfuls of toilet paper. "Here we go," I thought, as I turned around to see E trying to purposely roll herself off the changing table, just for fun. I reached out and caught her legs just before she got enough momentum to fall off. I wiped my brow and tried to stop my heart from racing.

The bathroom was unusually hot and reeked of cigarettes and musky perfume. I gagged a little bit as I prepared to introduce a new scent to the humidity.

I won't get into all the gory details, but it was a blow-out diaper of epic proportions. I had to go back for more toilet paper, but I eventually got her clean.

Then I noticed a huge poop smudge on my sweatshirt. I got E dressed, with no diaper (saying a silent prayer to the patron saint of toddler-bladder-control), set her on her feet, and got some wet paper towels to scrub my sweatshirt. Then I tucked it away neatly in the stroller basket.

I threw out all the nasties and washed my hands really, really well while cringing a little bit. E was now busy running into each restroom stall, trying to slap each public toilet, playing some little toddler racing game. I scooped her up and got her to wash her hands.

I got her back in the stroller, bundled with hat and blanket for her legs, and pushed her out into the chilly Spring air. And, it was then that I remembered why I had originally put on my sweatshirt in the wee hours of the morning, as I rushed out the door.

1. It was a little chilly out.
2. I was wearing an Old Navy striped shirt, and the middle stripe of the shirt, the one right across my boobs was see-through. And I was wearing a lacy, red bra.

"Oh no," I thought, as I glanced down, then up at a passing tourist who gave me a too-happy smile. I quickly reached for my sweatshirt... "Ugh... to wear the still-stinky, poopy sweatshirt and save some of my dignity, or go free and get a reputation as the skankiest mom in town..."

Eh, I've never cared much about my reputation anyway. I proceeded along, pushing the stroller, letting it all hang out, only feeling slightly uncomfortable as drivers passed me and almost went off the road. Halfway to the car, though, it got cold enough that I had to don the poopy sweatshirt.

We made it to the car, then home with no accidents, changed our clothes, and (surprise!) we both survived another poop-tastrophe.

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