Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yellow Muck and Dirty Hands

I’m sure my daughter will be mortified one day by all these diaper blowout stories, but I doubt she could ever be as mortified as her mother and I have been while experiencing them. Besides, she keeps giving me so much material to work with, both literally and literary, that I can't help but write something.

My Little Angel: Silent but messy.
My wife and I were prepping to leave for our book discussion group at church when we decided to check Abigail’s diaper. When I undid the semi-velcro straps and lifted the flap, I saw a small amount of number two at the bottom of the diaper. Although Abigail was only 13 days old at the time, we’d already figured out that she doesn’t do diapers that way. She will either have a full diaper or an empty one.

I decided I didn’t want another experience wherein she finishes her business as I’m attempting to switch out a clean diaper for the dirty one. My previous attempts have met with as much success as Indiana Jones’ attempt to swap a bag of sand for a golden idol in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Naturally, I resealed the biohazard, unbuttoned and pulled up the bottom half of her onesie, and decided to wait a few minutes for Abs to finish what she started.

That was mistake number one.

I held her on my lap and clicked around on my laptop while I waited, eating an apple. After a few raspberry noises from her bottom half, I decided it was time to go back to the changing station, assess the damage, and make the swap. Keep in mind that the time to leave for church is still counting down.

As I set down my apple and reached under my little darling to carry her to the changing table I discovered her diaper had leaked. The texture is similar to pond muck, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of holding it in your bare hands, but a lot more horrifying due to the surprise.

As I briskly walked to Abigail’s room I saw a long, diagonal yellow streak across the front of my shirt. At the changing table I grabbed a wet wipe with my one clean hand and wiped off priority number one: my dirty hand. I then took off my blue shirt and turned my attention to my child.

Abigail was surprisingly quiet throughout the whole experience. Her onesie, which I had unbuttoned, had a small stain on it, so she would need new clothes before we left for church as well. The leakage point on the diaper was near the top in the back, so it was accessible to her hands, which were waving around like mad.

I went to grab another wet wipe but discovered our container was empty. I called in Hannah to come in and hold Abigail’s hands up so she couldn’t get the dandelion yellow all over them while I tore at a package of spare wipes.

I removed the diaper and lifted up Abigail’s bottom by her ankles to do yet another damage assessment. It wasn’t too bad. Most of the explosion had been contained by the diaper, and with a few wipes I had managed to get things set in order again.

Then Abigail did something new.

She turned her head to one side and started spitting up her supper. Since her back had largely been spared from the diaper mess, she decided to mess up her hair, neck, and shoulder area with white milk spittle.

With a clean diaper on her bottom I grabbed some more wet wipes to get to work on her face, hair, and neck.

She was finally clean.

I handed her off to Hannah and went to work cleaning the changing pad. I had to get a plastic grocery bag to seal off the diaper before tossing it in the diaper genie because there was no way to contain the mess within the diaper itself.

I finished the task by cleaning my hands on a wet wipe and went back into the living room to pick up my stuff, finish my apple, and head off to church.

As I came into the living room I saw that the apple had fallen to the floor, likely when I got up rather quickly from the couch. Since I was still shirtless, I headed over to the bedroom to pick out another shirt to wear.

I rested my hand on my thigh and—déjà vu—pond muck sensation. I looked down only to discover that the diagonal streak across my blue shirt extended to my blue jeans. The yellow on my hands was just like those dandelion paintbrushes we made when we were kids. I turned and ran into the bathroom to wash it off. Hannah had left her curling iron on the sink so I grabbed it to move it.
Yellow Muck: There's more where that came
At this point I’m not sure what numbered mistake I was up to, but this was definitely the next in sequence. I’m not sure how many people decide to curl their hair two minutes before they have to leave, but my wife is definitely one of them.

I gave a little yip, which my wife describes as more of a shout, as I rapidly let go of the still hot curling iron. Grabbing it by the handle this time, I moved it away from the sink and twisted the knobs for the sweet relief of cold water, half forgetting that I originally went to the bathroom to wash muck off my other hand.

I changed into a new shirt, new pants, and washed off my apple. Hannah put Abigail into a sleeper outfit and gathered the car seat, diaper bag, and my bag with class materials. We got to the church on time, but I now have a little more grace in reserves for people with children who show up a little late now and again.

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