As an introduction to who I am, I thought I would share a story with you from an outing with my mom. For all you single people – you’re welcome, here is some free birth control!
My mom called me up two weeks ago and asked if I wanted to meet her at the public library with the kids. Timing is always crucial, so we carefully planned out the exact time to meet based on a very intricate formula – Wake up time + snacks – energy released = Nap time. I put down the phone and began my 45 minute prep to leave the house. Get Jackson a quick snack, change his clothes, change Claire’s diaper, feed Claire, take Jackson to the bathroom, pack my bag, make some tea, get Claire in her snowsuit, help Jackson clean up a few toys, get Jackson’s coat and shoes on, grab a quick (very late) breakfast for myself, Jackson and the bag in the car, Claire in the car, and oh yes, don’t forget the tea.
Thankfully, the library is only a few minutes from our house, so even though we rushed out of the house at the time when I had told my mom I would be at the library, we arrived almost on time. As we were leaving the house, I could hear Claire’s stomach rumbling, but I thought, “Well, we are already late and she might not be ‘finished.’ I’ll deal with it later” I got to the library, grabbed both the kids and went inside to meet my mom. We camped out in the children’s section, playing blocks and talking. Claire’s stomach kept rumbling and rumbling and then…OH MY, a noise that no little lady should be making! We could smell the after-effects of that noise through the cloth diaper, jammies AND snow suit.. My mom was holding Claire – warm lap, eyes watering – and begged me to take her back (you know something is wrong when Nana doesn’t want to hold the baby!). And I would take my darling, precious, putrid little baby to the bathroom, but, oh right, I decided to be all ‘loosey goosey’ mom on the fly and left the diaper bag in the car. So now, I am running through the library to the car and back upstairs…all the while reminiscing about working at the library during high school. Ahhhh….when times were as complicated as shelving books and coming home to a little math homework. I make my way upstairs and there’s no need to wonder where mom and the kids are, as I see the green vapour leading the way. I took Claire to the bathroom, thankfully a private room for us to enjoy the magic of changing a diaper in public all to ourselves.
As I undressed her, I realized that even a sturdy cloth diaper couldn’t hold the mess this sweet little girl had produced. I’m scared. So, here I am, trying to balance Claire on the change table, diaper bag on the floor, snow suit off, finding new jammies, getting out the wipes…all the while trying to not to pass out from the rancid smell. I mean, seriously, what DID she eat?! Oh shoot…what did I eat?? Claire is thoroughly enjoying the whole experience. She is totally calm, happy, kicking and squirming like it’s the greatest day of her life. Really though, who wouldn’t be happy to have something that vile and wretched leave their body?! Claire has this adorable habit of kicking and shooting herself backwards when you are trying to get a diaper on her, and this was no different. I pull back her diaper, and with the mess now exposed, I could barely see through the tears welling up in my eyes. So now, I am trying to find a place to put the dirty diaper, balance her on the change table, make sure she doesn’t land her foot right in the soupy mess, get the new diaper ready…and Jackson comes waltzing into the bathroom. Thankfully, it was like a sewage treatment plant in there, so he gave a quick hi and bye and took off. As I get back to my 15th wipe, Claire lets out a burst of excitement and in one fell swoop, she kicks her dirty diaper off the table onto the floor….upside down…on top of the small grate on the floor of all things. As I am staring at the diaper, realizing that I am essentially cleaning the entire bathroom at this point, Claire (still happy as ever) pees everywhere! The change table is all wet…pee is dripping off the table and now I am frantically grabbing paper towels to clean that up as I try not to step in the poop and diaper that is on the floor…. Oh, and yes, Claire is STILL not cleaned up.
Gut check time. Do I quickly clean Claire up and just totally abandon the bathroom (and slap a hazardous waste sign on the door on the way out)? Okay, pull it together, Katie. I am finally making progress with Claire – her ankles are now clean, her legs are clean, all her rolls are clean, the pee is cleaned up….I think I’m finished! Good thing, too, because I’m almost out of wipes. Claire is dressed, I get my bag packed up and I am ready to re-join Jackson and my mom for playtime. Just kidding. With my hand on Claire on the table, I grab paper towels and begin to scrub the grate on the floor that has not been cleaned for about 10 years. I hadn’t even paid attention to what I was doing with the dirty wipes as I flew through this diaper experience. I look around and I had thrown a few in the toilet, the rest in the garbage. Okay, whew, I will just flush the toilet and FINALLY get out of here. Just kidding again. With Claire still on the table, the floor finally clean and my eyes still watering from the smell….the toilet clogs and begins to fill up. A complete moment of panic as I weigh out what’s worse – admitting to the librarian that I flooded the bathroom, or reaching in and grabbing those wipes. After all I had been through that morning so far, dirty toilet water was really no worse than any of the rest…as unfortunate as that is to say.
I joined my mom and Jackson in the play area…frazzled, hot, sweaty, smelling like literal crap, and a happy, smiling baby in tow. The only downside to cloth diapers is carrying around a hot mess for the remainder of your time out of the house. I am all for saving the environment and saving money, but carrying around poop is a definite downside. I give Claire to my mom, and back to the bathroom to wash out her jammies. The smell hits me and almost knocks me over, but I push my way through the gas vapours, wash the jammies, wash my hands for about 20 minutes and say goodbye to the library bathroom.
When I finally balance myself on a tiny kid’s chair and get a breath of clean air, I am so glad that my tumbler full of tea is there waiting for me! Without tea, that whole experience might have been a total bust. 🙂