One hot afternoon, in the middle of July, I handled the most massive, disgusting diaper blowout of my life…. which, after dealing with the various explosions of four kids, that’s quite a feat. Epic intensity. Code Brown. Code Double Brown. Everywhere. All four kids in the car were screaming because of the stench and mess… Had to perform emergency damage control and clean-up in the Chik-FIL-A parking lot, barefoot. Why was I barefoot you ask? Because I THOUGHT I was just going to go through the drive-thru quickly to get lunch for my Herd of kids. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
It began when I asked poor little Butch Cassidy, age five, who sits next to the baby, Lucky Little Lady, in the car, if he smelled something bad. Based on the smell wafting up from the backseat, I suspected that LLL had a “bad diaper”. After sniffing carefully, he reacts by gagging violently, and INSISTS that I pull over and do SOMETHING. “Mama! Her seat is COATED in poop! It’s flowing like lava out of her seat! It’s getting on me! HELP!!!!” my oldest son shrieked.
Horrified at the mess that awaited me, I quickly pulled into a parking spot in the Chik-FIL-A lot, and jumped out of the car to open her door to assess the damage. Butch Cassidy wasn’t exaggerating! The nastiness was all over her legs and dripping down the sides of her seat.
To intensify the disgusting hilarity of the situation, my wild child keeps shaking a toy that’s saturated in her filth and it’s getting all over everyone. The scene looks like a kitchen mixer has gone berserk in a bowl of brownie batter… Only this was NOT brownie batter. This was an explosion of nasty, acrid poop. Her excited toy-swinging is flinging the nastiness into the back row as well, so the other two kids, Sundance, my four year old son, and the Princess, my almost three-year old daughter, are going berserk, all while LLL giggles and continues to wildly kick her feet. These poor passengers in the Suburban of Filth are strapped into their car seats snugly and can’t even dodge the shrapnel flying towards them. Talk about being in deep doo doo… Yikes.
Before I can even decide what to do first, the Princess interrupts my damage assessment by screaming that the flying poo is landing on her ponytail. It’s like she would be fine with it landing anywhere else on her. “NOT ON MY HAIR!!!! NO POO ON MY HAIR!! My ponytail is clean! NOOOOOO!” she raves while trying to block the splatters by wildly waving her arms.
In his contribution to the cacophony assaulting my ears, Sundance alternates between whining about the stench by saying that his eyes are burning OFF and that his hair will never smell the same again. Alternately he threatens to put the poo on the Princess, sending her into hysterics each time he says it. Having just been potty-trained herself, the Princess had developed an intense aversion to anything poop related. I’ve found that most kids are just fine with their own filth, but if another kid makes a stink, they react like the Wicked Witch getting drenched. The car is in complete and total chaos filled with screaming and yelling, reminiscent of a prison riot or one of the lower layers of Hell in Dante’s Inferno. Wails of horror, anger, and agony are hitting me in the face as they rush out the opened car doors, causing the restaurant patrons to stop and look at us. They probably think I’m doing something terrible to my kids, but if they were brave enough to venture over here, they’d see that I, the MOM, am the one under attack. As the madness in the car overwhelms my shell shocked senses, I stare in wonder at my obliviously happy baby (honestly, she probably felt relieved after expelling that from her body) while trying to decide how to handle the disgusting matter at hand. I begin by carefully extract LLL from her poo-covered carseat, which caused the smell to intensify. Kind of like being slapped in the face with a fish. I then place her down on MY seat in the car, remove her clothing, scrub her clean with wipes, replace the diaper that had been blown to smithereens, THEN cover her filthy car seat with various receiving blankets, towels, McDonald’s napkins and anything else I could find in my car to prevent her from being re-soiled. It’s at times like these that I feel like the MacGuyver of Motherhood and am thankful for my cluttered car. I gingerly removed the soiled baby toy (which had links attached to it and therefore increased it’s slingability) from the Danger Zone of her eight-month-old hands and stowed in a discarded Target bag for a good Lysoling.
Okay, who am I kidding!? I hastily threw that nasty thing in the garbage with all of the other easily replaceable things that had been violated in the diarrhea fallout.
After securing the site of the waste spill, I climb back into the driver’s seat with burning, blistered feet and the smell of excrement stuck in my nose. I keep thinking that I’m going to have to burn my clothes and soak in a bleach bath to eradicate the stench that’s attached itself to me. As tired and stressed out as I’m feeling, I start to laugh. Things could be so much worse than the ordeal I just faced. In my heart, I know that I will be laughing about this in the future, and that this won’t be the last disgusting incident of epic proportions that I will encounter in motherhood. No matter what they dish out, I can handle it because I love them. Needless to say, I silently long for the day that all of my children will be potty-trained, but I know better than to wish away the present, even with its struggles.
After turning up some Grateful Dead to drown out the continuing outrage in the backseat, I began to drive home. Smelly but laughing. And grateful for the Scotch waiting at home.