First off, let me begin by saying that I love being a dad. My four-month old daughter takes my breath away every day with her beauty. She makes me laugh, she makes me wonder. She makes me say, “Holy shit! Did that just happen?”
It’s that “holy shit” moment that I’d like to share with you now.
On November, 13, after a long day, I decided to feed my daughter pureed carrots for the first time while my significant other ran errands. By first time I mean, it was the first time she would have carrots, not the first time I would be feeding her. I’m a hands-on type of dad and spoon feeding my little princess is not a big deal. On the contrary, it’s usually good for a giggle or two. But not today.
There was a great philosopher, I forget his name, who once said,”Only when you’re tired and alone will shit go wrong.” Maybe it was Murphy. First off, unbeknownst to me, pureed carrots from Gerber have the consistency of tomato soup; way too viscous for a young lady who thinks the epitome of self-actualization is drooling and blowing bubbles with her saliva. Also unbeknownst to me, my daughter does not like pureed carrots. As a result, I was way underprepared with the necessary cleaning products for our feeding. At the end of our dining experience we both looked like mutilated zombie extras in Dawn of the Dead.
We headed up to wardrobe and changed.
Back down on the couch I began playing with her little feet and blowing little poofs of air in her smiling face. Cute, right? I thought so. However, playing with my daughter’s feet for some reason, usually gets her to poop. Which isn’t usually a big deal, except for today. Now, what I am about to share with you is all true and happened just the way I describe it. Even the most implausible and impossible parts of the story. I mean it. Really.
My baby began pooping, and it was a big poop. Again, this is no big deal. I have seen this before. What I didn’t see was that, due to my daughter’s prolific explosion of feces, her diaper had become faulty. The poop kept coming, my tired eyes not taking in the totality of the situation until I picked her up for her diaper change. Her pink pants had become stained with dark spots. My pants and my shirt were batting clean up to this diaper breach and I suddenly realized something: we were in a Code Red Crap Situation.
I sprang from the couch emitting the necessary, most likely obligatory and completely reactionary statement, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” She giggled. I held her out at arm’s length and looked my child in the eye. She looked at me and her face said it all. If she could’ve spoke she would’ve said, “What?” I paused there in the living room, holding my baby in outstretched arms, poised in some kind of odd half crouch stance for some reason, wondering what to do. First things first, we needed to get to wardrobe and put these crap flames out before we had a full-scale crap inferno.
Now, from the living room to my child’s room is exactly 16 stairs upward and 5 steps down a hallway. Not, by any means, an insurmountable distance. But, I noticed that somehow, crap was spreading over my child like some kind of hyperkinetic rash as she bounced in my hands up the stairs laughing at all this fun. Crap had steamrolled down my child’s leg and into her sock. Crap had seeped up my child’s jacket and was now on her hand. Crap moved from my clothes to my skin. It seems a lot can happen in 16 stairs and 5 steps.
When we got to my daughter’s room I found myself still holding her, arms still outstretched, legs still in some kind of ready-for-anything crouch position and vacillating between changing table and crib. I think I might have been muttering something intelligent like, “Um. Uh. Ahhh. Ohhh. Um,” with each back and forth twist. Where does one put their crap filled child? They don’t write that one down in the manual. I opted for the changing table. Crap was now on my baby’s face. Crap was also now on my leg. Ahhhhh!!!
I wriggled out of my crap-stained t-shirt and did some kind of booty dance out of my shorts, losing a sock along the way for no reason other than it was a casualty of the situation. As far as I can acknowledge, my sock had remained crapless. I looked at my child. She was still smiling. Only one thought came to mind, “BATH!!!” I had to get the water running and make this transition from changing table to bathtub happen now.
For four months we have used our guest bathroom as the baby’s bathroom and, for four months, this has worked perfectly. Except for today. Today it seems my girlfriend thought it would be fun to do laundry circa the 1880’s. As far as I knew our washing machine was still fully operational, but today there was baby laundry all over the floor of the tub. Dear God, why is this happening?
I grabbed our baby’s wash basin and sprinted into our other bathroom, my one sock not impeding my progress at all. I turned on the water rapidly and tested it. Too damn hot, damn it! I backed down the water and noticed that filling the wash basin for baby’s bath was vastly harder in this tub than in the guest tub. Awesome. I sprinted back to the baby. All of this took less than 30 seconds and crap had not spread much further on my child.
She was a mess. I began stripping her down and noticed that with each layer I peeled back the mess worsened. “We’re gonna need more handi-wipes.” Then, I gagged. Oh no. Once I start gagging I can rarely stay focused enough to not vomit in my mouth or something much worse. If there was some kind of label that happened after a Code Red, like Code You Have No Hope Of Surviving, this was the tipping point. “Relax!” I told myself. “It’s just mud. Pretend it’s just mud.” That worked, somehow. Some men rise to the occasion, some men fall I guess, landing in a pool of their own vomit. I wiped her down with moist wipes as best I could and threw her soiled diaper into the diaper bin, it was ten pounds if it was an ounce and loaded with sludge. I hightailed it to the bathroom, baby in outstretched arms, crap still on my hands and on baby’s face.
I tested the water. Still too hot! Why God? Why? I dumped it out, balancing baby on one leg, leaving crap on my leg. I refilled it with cooler water and put baby in. Things were looking up. Now I just needed soap. Soap… oh, no. Damn thee, soap, you are where you should be, but not where I need thee. The soap, shampoo and towels for my child where all in the guest bathroom where they usually are kept. Nice. I picked my child back out of the tub and, dripping wet, we ran to the guest bathroom where we balanced on my crap covered leg yet again and Dad adeptly gathered all he needed with one hand.
Then we scrubbed. Then we inspected. Then we scrubbed some more. Then we inspected again. Then we dried off. Then we reclothed in pajamas for a total of 3 outfit changes in less than 2o minutes. Then we put the crap stained clothing into the carrot stained clothing pile for Mom. Then we went downstairs.
Now, apparently while all this was going on upstairs, one of the cats had had too much too eat or a furball had become too much to bear because there, in the foyer, right on the welcome mat at the front door, sat a huge puddle of thick cat puke. I then realized that this is exactly what is laid out Revelations 2:12, or maybe it was the Book of Job, and that the worst parts of the Bible were coming true before my very eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next thing I sat on was a crown of thorns.
I sighed and brought my baby back into the living room and called my girlfriend. It was then that I noticed the couch had been soiled during the Code Red Crap Situation as well. Later, my girlfriend would clean our daughter’s clothes and remark, “Holy shit! Jesus Christ! There is shit inside her sock! Honey, look. Shit! Shit insiiide her sock!” I didn’t have to look, I knew. What part of “Code Red Crap Situation” did she not understand?