I use “Worst Day Ever” somewhat facetiously. No one’s life was threatened, nothing was permanently destroyed, nothing required expensive repairs. Nothing happened that couldn’t be solved by disinfectant spray, paper towels, spot remover, leather cleaner, floor cleaner, steam cleaner, old towels, two baths, two loads of laundry, a closet auger, and a good night’s sleep. You see what I mean about the worst day ever.
Tuesday morning. I had a big pile of baby clothes out on the living room rug, gradually sorting them for a friend who is expecting twins. Remember that sweet, pristine pile of onesies and footie pjs; it comes back into the story later. As usual, I put Callum and Ronan into their cribs with some books and toys while I went to shower. As usual, Ronan disrobed and peed all over his sheet. It was pretty drenched. He did not want to get dressed right away, so I wiped him down and let him run around au naturel while I changed the sheets, found him some clean clothes and put together a snack. I figured he had peed so much in his crib that he wouldn’t have any more for the next 10 minutes. Crucial error #1: I forgot that he hadn’t yet had his morning bowel movement. I was in the kitchen filling his snack cup with pretzels and raisins when he called for my help. “Mom! Hard!” He was standing next to a giant pile of poop with one poop-slicked foot in the air that he was afraid to put back down on the ground. Callum was leaning interestedly over the pile.
“DON’T TOUCH. DON’T MOVE.” There was poop on the laminate flooring and the rug. Crucial error #2: I decided the most important thing to do was to clean up most of the poop before the boys got into it and then give Ronan a bath. I used a nearby cloth diaper to wipe down the poopy foot and scoop up most of the mess. I got out a disinfectant and a carpet spot cleaner to finish up. Then I went back to the kitchen to put away the cleaners and text my friend that I couldn’t meet her at the park in 10 minutes as we’d planned, due to POOP EMERGENCY. Callum wandered in, a hand and a foot caked with feces and more smeared on his pajamas. Oh crap! Literally! Where did that come from?
I picked up Callum by the cleanest parts and went back to the living room, where I saw Ronan standing in the middle of the baby clothes, a few more little fragrant piles of poop gracing the tiny, adorable T-shirts at his feet. He was smeared, too. GAH! I stripped Callum and plopped him in the empty tub; raced back for Ronan; turned on the water but left the plug open; raced back for the cloth diaper and the pile of poopy baby clothes. I let the boys splash around and rinse off while I was dunking and shaking everything in the toilet. The boys decided the water was too hot (it wasn’t) and started swinging their legs over the side of the tub to escape. They were VERY interested in my toilet activities. I had to act fast. I flushed the toilet, dropped the diaper I was rinsing, and turned to do a double body-block on the boys. It was a truly awesome feat, in which I managed to wrestle two wet, athletic, poop-flecked boys back into the tub without touching them with my toilet-water hands or getting more poop on myself. The boys were just as amazed as I was. I agreed to make the water cooler and plug the tub if they would just stay in there.
Now, where was that nasty diaper? Not on the toilet, not on the floor, not on the counter. Uh-oh. Test flush. Yup. I’d flushed it. Couldn’t see it to pull it out, even. Double crap! Make that triple crap– Ronan had taken yet another dump in the tub. How backed up could that boy’s intestine be? Surely he had emptied it by now? Drain, scoop, rinse, refill. Now what? um, plunger? I plunged the toilet and immediately realized that I was only making the situation worse. I had lost count of my number of crucial errors. The boys were shivering. I sudsed them up and rinsed them and dressed them, with Ronan only escaping once to play with the plunger. They had fun examining the steam cleaner as I dragged it in and filled it and cleaned the rug. Callum only got the bottle of carpet cleaner off the counter once while I was emptying the waste tank into the sink. End of disasters for one day. We could all laugh about it now, HA HA! I cheerfully regaled the line of parents waiting outside the preschool room with my tale of woe. But no. There was more to come.
We all made it basically clean and sane to bedtime. I was out in the laundry room digging through the clean laundry for pjs. We never seem to have enough pjs. The boys, Callum in particular, have gotten very picky about their sleeping attire and everything must match and fit just so, so it took awhile to assemble two acceptable sets. Also, I was texting my sister about the poop, my daily attempt at multi-tasking. Crucial error number one million. When I got inside, Callum was leaning against the couch nonchalantly drinking a bottle of sesame oil. Next to him was a nearly-empty 48oz bottle of canola oil, lid off, tipped on its side. It had been nearly full five minutes ago. The leather couch gleamed in the light of the torchiere, a puddle of golden oil running over the sides of the cushion down into every crevice and onto the floor. Surprise! Guess who was finally tall enough to reach the shelf of liquids in the pantry!
I grabbed the two bottles and started doing one of those horrible hysterical hyena laughs. Where was Dr. G? Why hadn’t he been supervising? He was busy examining and comforting Ronan, who had somehow sprained his foot while practicing jumping up and down on the carpet in his bedroom. Flat, unobstructed, cushiony floor; jumps that barely clear the ground; how could it have happened? No idea. But Ronan couldn’t put any weight on the foot and kept muttering “Hurts, hurts.” Dr. G. was absorbed in trying to decide if he should take him to Urgent Care or wait and see how it was in the morning. He decided it was a sprained toe, and that he should just carry Ronan around until he could be put to bed for the night. Poor possum!
Meanwhile I handed Callum some paper towels and told him to clean himself up, already! I took the rest of the roll and started soaking up the pool on the couch. No matter how much I soaked and scrubbed, the leather just stayed slimy and shiny. I tried to think of it as extra conditioning. I threw an old towel over the oily cushions and another old towel underneath where it was leaking through. Dr. G and I put all the kids to bed, Callum’s slightly oily hands notwithstanding. I told him it was just like lotion. He liked that idea. Then I got out all the appropriate cleaners and wiped and scrubbed while Dr. G. went out to Home Depot for some kind of snake or auger for the toilet. I jammed that thing as far as it would go and twisted it around some. Pop! The diaper came out. Hooray! The internet had been ominously intimating that I would have to take off the whole toilet to get it out. That would mean a call of shame to a plumber. In college I was once ridiculed by a plumber because I tried to dispose of hot candle-making wax by dumping it down the sink. Since then I’ve been afraid of plumbers. Clean the tub, clean the toilet, look with glum defeat at the full laundry basket of oily clothes, quit. The worst. day. ever. And now I have stayed up too late. Crucial error number one million and one. Thank God there will never be another day exactly like this one.
ADDENDUM, Wednesday morning: Ronan is still limping a little but is getting progressively better as the morning wears on. I’m taking him to the doc this morning just to make sure.