Don’t go chasing waterfalls

In my search for earnings on the Karma Credit Plan, I agreed to babysit one of Susanne’s colleagues babies—a 6-week old boy who is still growing into his cheeks, which are bountiful. Now, I’ve babysat little ones before, including my sister’s girls, babies of friends, that kind of thing. So I think of myself as a capable caretaker, if nothing else.

In the morning my charge was alert and curious. He is working the phonemes currently, so when I say “oo?” to him, he will reply with the identical sound. It’s pretty groovy of babies when they’re in that phase.

This particular morning we played around with sounds, and compared hand size, which was pretty funny to him. And then in a flash, the good times were over, something had struck him as all kinds of terrible awful horrendously bad, and he was off to the races with a good cry.

I knew it wasn’t feeding time, so I figured it was diaper time. This presents an immediate conundrum when it happens. Does one rush to change the diaper, knowing there may soon be more to come, or does one wait another oh, minute or so? Certainly most people don’t like the thought that a sweet innocent child is sitting in his or her own swill. But for the sake of the planet, not to mention the baby’s bottom, rushing to change a diaper only to change it again in a few minutes, seems inadvisable.

So I looked at him and I asked him if he was done with his business. Having misplaced my Baby Screams Decoder Ring that I got in my last box of Life cereal, he replied with a hearty, “waaaaaaaahahahaha!” I took this as yes.

It is not without a certain sense of accomplishment that I held him in one arm whilst opening up the baby changing pad, found a new diaper in the bag his mother left for me, and managed to get out the wipes and creamy paste stuff all at once. Only more impressive, I imagined, would have been me also running around the room spinning plates on wooden dowels, although the scene felt about that chaotic, even without the circus sideshow. Wait a minute. I was the circus sideshow. No worries.

I put him down on the matt and he eased up on the tears-making, realizing I’d figured out what his incredibly urgent need was. Such dumb big people, the baby thought, I’m sure. They’re so slow on the uptake.

I opened up the diaper and sure enough, there was a mess to behold. For some reason unbeknownst to me, he decided to start kicking. This seemed inefficient at best to me. If he wants a clean diaper, why was he making trouble?

I lifted him half-off the matt by his ankles and proceeded to do my babysitter/chosen uncle duty of wiping him clean, attempting at the same moment to steer clear of the mess and hold him firmly enough that he couldn’t kick anything onto either of us. In this effort I was unsuccessful, but I figured I could wash up easily enough afterward. And then the unimaginable happened.

It was like an orange-green waterfall of shit. His butt still up in the air, there emerged a projection of poo such as I had never seen before. In a blink, it seemed it was everywhere. I tried to get him back on the matt quickly, but it was a hopeless task. And now I had not only to start all over, but to also change his clothes and mine.

The baby, at least, was now quite satisfied. And the stupid grown-up realized why he’d been fussing. Stupid grown-up now plans to wait a few minutes and let the baby cry before running to change the diaper. I’ll consider it a good lung work out for him.

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3 Comments on “Don’t go chasing waterfalls”

  1. Jill
    May 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Okay, well, I’ve changed quite a few diapers in my day, but I have to say, I’ve never EVER had that happen! Sounds a tad nightmarish. I am up to my ears in poop around here every day (two smallish kids, and multiple chickens, cats, and dogs) and consider myself fairly matter-of-fact about the poopiness of life. And yet, other kids’ baby poo just makes me cringy. So, good on ya’! (get it?)

  2. Alexis
    May 6, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    Ah, the poo-plosion. I know it well.

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