• J Mess


Putrid payback for those precious 5 extra minutes of sleep.

Taking care of a child is exhausting. It's indisputable. I've never met anyone who's said, "oh caring for another small human is exhilarating. I've never had so much energy!" Nope doesn't happen. When they're super small, kids cry all the time and never sleep for intervals of more than 3 hours. When they're a little older, they don't sit still and you have to chase them around. Nevermind the constant cooking and cleaning. Nevermind the constant translating of noises into needs. That cry means "mommy come get me." This cry means "I'm starving, feed me now." And that grunt means "give me that thing immediately." Sometimes I'm so tired I don't even have enough energy to make it all the way to bed. So on the weekends when my husband is home, I like to steal every extra minute of sleep that I can.

It was 7am and the "mommy come get me" crying started. How about 5 more minutes kid? Or hey maybe we replace that cry with "daddy come get me." My husband and I silently vowed to get him in 5. Which became 10. Because you know, Facebook. And we're terrible parents, as we looked at the video monitor and laughed about how it looked like he was trying to climb out of his crib (which I'm sure is in our not-so-distant future). Except apparently this was not the normal crying. This was in fact a "mommy there's poop all over my crib, get me outta here" cry. I wouldn't have recognized it as I've only had the privilege of encountering this cry once before... and I hope to never hear it again.

My husband knows when I ominously call his name something bad has happened. There's a giant bug, a flood, or 400 stray cats outside our door. Or our actual cat has done something he's not supposed to. Or Nathan's poop is somewhere that's not inside his diaper. Not inside his diaper was the understatement of the century this time. It was everywhere. All over the mattress. All over the crib railing. All over his stuffed kitty. All over his hands and feet and underneath his fingernails. I'll spare you any photos of the actual crime scene because I'm sure you're getting the idea.

I instantly knew when I entered the room. The overwhelming smell hit me immediately. Oh shit. I just kept saying that over and over as I surveyed the damage. What do I do first? As you know I've had some experience in poop triage, but this was a whole new level of disgusting. We promptly removed him from the crib and tossed him onto a wee wee pad. I decided the hands were the most important and cleaned those first. Is there a manual for this? If not, I should write one. Next were his feet, and then careful removal of his soiled pants to get to the source: the diaper. If you don't have an assistant for this, good luck. My husband held Nathan's legs and responded to frantic demands like "higher," "wipe," and "scalpel." Just kidding on that last one, or not. Because once the diaper was off, we had to surgically remove his poop covered pajama shirt without smearing feces all over his face and body, and I actually strongly considered cutting it off him. I've come to realize that sometimes there have to be casualties in the war on poop. But I was confident that I could do it because I was very good at the game “Operation” when I was a kid and my husband was there to support me. As I began this tedious task, his choice words of encouragement were “don’t shit the bed...”


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