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Holy Crap, Batman January 18, 2011

Posted by J. in Domesticity.

So, a couple of weeks ago Dave had an ear infection.  Nothing serious, saw the doc and got some antibiotics to clear it up.  One of the listed side effects of the medicine in question is “may cause diarrhea, weeks or months later.”  Interesting, I thought, and filed that tidbit away.

That tidbit has come back to haunt me.

Yesterday morning, he slept late (it being a holiday and all) and when he got up he was in a good mood.  He felt a bit wet, so Larry went to change him.  He slid the zipper of his fleece blanket sleeper down a couple of inches, and exclaimed, “Holy shit.  Oh…God…oh, this is bad…”

I looked up and I could see brownish staining through the fleece fabric.  “Take him to the bathroom!” I said, and we whisked him away.  I started the tub while Larry peeled Dave out of his sleeper.  Friends, there are no words.  This child wins the  award for “Worst Blowout Ever.”

He had liquid feces from his collarbones to his toes.  It coated the inside of his sleeper like human wallpaper paste.  Luckily, it only smelled sour and sick, not particularly poopy.  If there’s a “luckily” to this whole scenario, that’s it.

On the plus side, the sleeper contained the whole of it.  My friend Jeanne said I should tell Carters and they could start a whole ad campaign around that particular feature.  “Trust Carter’s Sleepwear–We keep the poop in!”  I rolled the sleeper in the now-contaminated bathmat and set it aside like a bay leaf.  Dave went into the bath, and then the shower as the water turned rapidly to poop soup.

Here’s where it gets gross.  Seriously, it was child’s play up to this point.

Larry takes a pink and shiny boy into the living room to get dressed, and I retrieve the sleeper to rinse it out before putting in into my washing machine.  Larry suggested throwing out the sleeper, and if it hadn’t been one of his brand new ones that fits so nicely and contains poop so well, I’d have done it.

I stuck it under the tub faucet and rinsed it out as best as I could, then I tossed the suit and the mat into the tub.  Now, I had to clean the tub.  It was draining very slowly, which is not unusual in the tub but the timing of a clog could have been better.  I had to hit it with Liquid Plum’r and wait 15 minutes before I could go in and rinse out the tub and then scrape the “larger, solid bits” up with a paper towel.

This is one of the reasons I feel parenting is over-rated.  Have you ever seen that particular scenario described in a baby book?  Did they mention that it’s not just going to happen to you once, but many, many times?  I can guarantee you that the sentence “You will find yourself with someone else’s fecal matter in your hair and under your nails more times than you can count,” has never been published in a manual of child raising.

Wait.  Back that up.   Did you say “many, many times?”  Yeah, I did.

Here I need to add that I’ve felt for a few days like I’ve been fighting a cold.  It’s like I get a cold, but not all the way.  My nose is stuffy, but not jammed up and running like a bastard like when I have a real cold.  My chest feels congested and my windpipe feels like it’s coated with…well, to overuse a visual, wallpaper paste.  It’s some sort of upper-respiratory thing and it’s going around.  It’s not fatal, alas; ’tis merely annoying.

Last night I tried and tried to go to sleep, but that coated trachea feeling wouldn’t let me.  I kept having to cough and clear my throat and I tossed and turned for hours and hours.  Some time after midnight I dozed off, only to wake up at 3:10 because I had to pee.  And when I coughed to clear my airway, it felt like someone had been reaming my throat with a toilet brush.

I came downstairs and noticed that the pellet stove was backing up.  (That’s what happens when the cup where the pellets burn becomes full of ash and needs to be emptied.  If it gets too full, the pellets overflow the cup and try to go back up into the feeder while they’re on fire, which the stove doesn’t like so it goes into shutdown, and for some reason is reluctant to start up again once it’s cleaned out and re-fired.  It’s like it says to itself,  “These dumbasses are going to burn the house down, so I’d better save them from themselves.  Clearly they can’t be trusted.”)  Anyway, I shut the stove off and waited for the cycle to end, which takes about 20 minutes or so.  I’m sitting down her at 3:30 in a summer nightgown (’cause it’s hot upstairs…stupid old house) with no bathrobe or slippers, and now I have to throw on a coat and shoes and wander outside in the zero degrees to dump ashes–AGAIN–half dressed. It’s getting to be a theme this winter.

By the time all is said and done and the stove is clean and running again, it’s now almost 4 in the morning.  Thoroughly chilled, I go back to bed and try to stop coughing and clearing the crud out of my throat.  Larry woke me at 6 to tell me there’s no school today, then Mary woke me at 7 to tell me that it was 7.

Dave woke me around 7:30.  I smelled him before I saw it.  His bed was covered in vomit.  Great big chunks and splatters of puke.  His sleeper was covered in it.  His hair and face were caked with it.

Down the stairs we go, Dave under one arm and his blankets under the other, and right into the tub.  Good thing too, since his diaper was again blown out and there was puke on the outside and poop on the inside.  I’ve had only a few hours of sleep, no coffee, I have vomit on my bathrobe, shit on my hands, a blanket & vomit burrito in the washing machine, and a naked, cold baby in the shower.

I cleaned him up, started the wash, tossed in his sleeper, got him dressed in a clean sleeper (which once again held up to the crap-containing task–thanks Carters!), got myself dressed and tossed in my befouled bathrobe and got the kids some food before I finally sat down for breakfast and a much needed cup of coffee.  Oh, and did I mention my throat feels like I’ve been swallowing razor blades all night?  Lovely.

Halfway through my raisin toast, I hear, “Mama!  Dave stinks!”

Yes.  Yes, he does.  Liquid poop number two.  Change pants, wash hands, finish breakfast.

“Mama!  Dave stinks again!”

Seriously?  Again?  Oh, and this time he wasn’t fooling around.  Blew out the sides and top of the diaper requiring a handful of wipes, a warm facecloth, and another clean sleeper.

One puke, three diarrheas, three diapers, three sleepers, and it’s only 9:30.  I am going to finish this cup of coffee, switch over the laundry, and take out the trash.

Then I may or may not shoot myself.  Stay tuned.



1. Haley - January 18, 2011

Oh…oh…I really have nothing to say but damn.

2. Yorkie - January 18, 2011

Okay, I don’t get that “may cause diarrhea weeks or months later”. WEEKS or MONTHS?? How the hell does that work??

But mother of pearl, that was one terrible night, Jen. No platitudes, no nice-ities. Just damn…you poor girl. And the bitch of it? No one will remember it but you.

I think you should write a VISA commercial for the Carter’s sleepsuits:

Crib mattress protector: $10.00
Hot water: $5.00/hour
Laundry detergent: $4.50 a bottle
Baby suit that can contain a bucketload of shit so it doesn’t get smeared from one end of the house to the other: priceless.

For everything else, there’s VISA…

3. Camille - January 18, 2011

Oh my Poops…you poor thing. I remember babysitting one of you (who shall remain nameless)and well…you’ve had enough poop stories for today. But suffice to say it was green, copious, ongoing, and haunts me still. No wonder I never had kids…It was so toxic I think it rendered me sterile. No really.

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