Jerk And Clean
My ex-wife and I were perfectly compatible... so much so I married and divorced her twice. But we WERE compatible when it came to the diverse set of material that can exit an infant. You see, I couldn't do shit and snot, and she couldn't do puke -- so, our pact was that she took the S's and I took the P's (she graciously let me have wet diapers).
A few months after our daughter was born, she apparently got a better offer and moved out. I had my kids on the weekends; at the time they were three years and seven months old.
One Saturday morning, I was having a great time, enjoying the kids, snapping a few photos; and they had been having a good time, too. Suddenly I saw my seven-month-old daughter's face change to the satisfied look of a toddler having just relieved herself.
"Did you make a pee pee?" I said. She smiled and nodded. So I laid her on the floor, unsnapped her little outfit, and stuck a finger in to make sure. (How one's sanitation standards changes with babies!) Sure enough, she was wet.
I had learned that diaper changes went best when accompanied by some sort of distraction or entertainment, so I was making funny faces and noises as I untaped the Pampers. Getting to the climax of my performance, I grabbed her ankles and lifted her little butt off the floor; and at exactly the right moment, I yanked the diaper from her behind as if I was a magician whisking off a tablecloth while leaving untouched a full set of the expensive china.
My daughter must have been enjoying the performance, because she had the cutest smile etched on her face. It's still etched in my mind!
But what happened next sent me into tachypsychia. Tachypsychia is a condition that people go into when something traumatic happens -- you may have experienced it during a car accident. In my world, time went into slow motion:
What was concealed in the diaper was a smooth, brown, nearly perfectly round baby turd. It resembled a piece of clay that someone had rolled on a table to make a ball -- only it was brown and about three full inches in diameter. Like a sand wedge in the hands of a PGA pro, my tablecloth trick had imparted a substantial spin on the brown baseball; and the upward wrist action I had used to pull the diaper off imparted further a substantial vertical force vector. In this temporally-retarded environment, the turdball gained altitude slowly, spinning swiftly as it levitated. Without missing a complete revolution, I had time to glance at my daughter and see her satisfied smile. It resembled one of those super-slow-mo shots of a long three pointer from behind the glass at an NBA game, or a long field goal gently tumbling through space on its epic journey between the goal posts.
The turdball was amazing. It looked as if it had been intentionally rolled and polished. It was a near-perfect sphere; the small defects simply provided reference points for me to count the slow-motion revolutions. As if taunting me, it rose to eye height (I was squatting on my knees), did a complete revolution, and then began descending.
I was caught up, apparently -- hypnotized by this spinning brown orb. I didn't notice that its descent would put it directly on the back of my hand. The effect of warm, firm babyshit hitting the back of my hand had an instant and substantial effect on my reverie: I was going to puke RIGHT NOW!
Fortunately, I was just a step or two from the front door. With an especially adept move, I used the door handle both to steady my shaking knees and fling the door open as if making a grand entrance to a Broadway show. Completing my grand entrance, I took two giant steps onto the stage of my front lawn, collapsed to my knees, and launched into projectile vomiting. What an entrance!
Now, I had to clean up what remained.
It was like the scene from K19: Widowmaker in which the sailors dash in and out of the reactor room, gasping for a breath, all the while knowing they were doomed. I would dash outside for a huge cleansing breath and then back in for more work on containment. The worst part was my daughter not only enjoyed this show, but she giggled throughout.
I soon had the mess cleaned up -- it wasn't bad, given the consistency of the shitball -- and I continued on with the Saturday. But this event had affected me -- I was strengthened, as if by battle. I was not scarred -- I was fortified. I had put my irrational, childlike fear behind me. My nerve had suddenly steeled when it came to changing diapers (even the green, runny ones!) and conducting other shit patrol duties. Never again would shit get the better of me!
In fact, I recently bought a puppy -- empty nest syndrome, I guess. I discovered the hard way that it's a very, very bad idea to give a four-month-old puppy a choice T-bone with a half-inch of meat and fat still clinging to it. Even after two children, I had never seen anything like this. Honestly, how can a fourteen pound dog shit eighteen pounds of diarrhea... and stream it three feet?!?
But after four hours of scrubbing, vacuuming, washing, and laundering, I had not gagged a single time!
-- Shittin' and Grinnin'