So before I begin this post about my first day on the job I must warn you that it is going to be quite vulgar and graphic at times--crude but not sophomoric. It might turn your stomach like the sight of a woman with thick, bushy mutton chops on her face and a square jaw line with a prominent "it is a boil or is it a mole?" growing out of her chin, making it look like she absorbed only 98% of her unborn twin in utero. Don't get me wrong, the post will at best be humorous but there is the risk that it will turn your stomach. Again, like the woman who looks like this gentleman:
So, if you're down for the ride that spans the past thirteen hours, by all means--hop in! I'm definitely thinking that we've had some leakage from a parallel but bizarro universe. Heather went to bed at 12:30 this morning...and slept like an angel. I fell asleep after 3:30 this morning and woke up a dozen times before finally giving up at 5:30; I was a wreck. Aside from an english muffin I just made myself, I haven't eaten a meal since yesterday around four in the afternoon. When I finally realize this around ten o'clock this morning, I also conclude that I am extremely tired. Timmy is screaming his little lungs out upstairs because he has realized that he is hungry and his hunger is more powerful than his urge to sleep. I had just fed him three ounces of milk and was in the process of preparing a second bottle for my screaming boy when my attention wavered and the bag slid out of my hand. They say you shouldn't cry over spilled milk...but breastmilk is a different ballgame; it's not exactly something you can run down to CVS and pick up. Mind you, it didn't exactly fall and spill onto the floor. No no--its downward descent was stopped by the counter. Unfortunately, instead of falling forwards towards the floor the little plastic imp decided to flop backwards, dumping its contents underneath the microwave. Which has a bunch of things on top of it and immediately adjacent to it, making it somewhat difficult to move. Did I mention that Timmy has reached a Category 4 hurricane-level at this point? Right...sorry, that's the sleep depristarvation kicking in. My apologies.
Eventually, the milk is cleaned up and the bottle is warmed and I'm facing my first doubts of whether or not I can actually do this. I go upstairs and prop my little guy up on my lap and feed him. The bottle is drained and he's passed out leaning on my chest. I am feeling better. My allergies are killing me and I sneeze a few times. I must blow my nose. I deftly remove a tissue from the box on the floor without stirring the now serenely sleeping angel and blow my nose. I decide to lay the boy down in his crib to let him get some rest. I lean in to place him on the mattress and as I pull back I see something on his face. It looks like a gigantic bloody scab just above his eyebrow. My heart stops. I touch it with my finger. It is not a scab. It is indeed gigantic and bloody. It is a renegade booger that managed to overpower the tissue guards and make a mad dash for freedom. By attaching itself symbiotically to my precious son's face. I then attempt to remove it. It is stuck. I pick at it and remove only a piece. I have a metaphysical, out-of-body experience where I see myself doing what I am doing and realize just what is happening. I am picking my booger off of my baby's face. I gag. I am back to feeling like I can't do this. I finally remove the crusted thing from his eyebrow and realize that I could've given him perhaps the first documented case of infantile projectile conjunctivitis. I decide that if it is indeed the first case of its kind and I get to provide a layman's name for it, I will call it Slingshot Pink Eye. I try to laugh. I cannot. I feel worse.
After a brief bout of quietude Timmy reawakens. I decide to start to work on the blog. I place him in his Boppy pillow on his playmat. I notice a miasma bearing a faint resemblance to the Sweet & Sour chicken offered by most Chinese Food take-out restaurants wafting up towards my nostrils. He seems content. "He has been backed up all morning...it couldn't be...that...could it?" I muse. I pick him up and smell his diaper. Again, the Sweet & Sour chicken comes to mind. I place him back down and notice the malodorous stink cloud now hovering over him. I reason that it is more pungent than poo-oriented. I conclude that it would be best, "just to take a look." I get one snap open when I see what appear to be sunspots on the boy's diaper. Time to head downstairs.
I make pleasant conversation with Timmy as I unsnap his outfit. He stares up at me with apparent indifference. In retrospect I suspect that it was actually stoic pity brought about by an acute knowledge of what awaited me. I begin to peel back the diaper and notice that his genitals are green. My heart drops again as I wonder what gangrenous malady could have befallen my sweet innocent child. Then I open the diaper all the way. And see that everything from his belly button down is covered in what appears to be pea soup.
I gag. Again. He smiles. He seems genuinely amused by this despite having never been on the receiving end. I make a mental note to provide him with such an opportunity when he's older. Maybe when he brings his first girlfriend by the house for the first time. Anyway, I've managed to remove the diaper without the use of a HAZMAT suit but now I'm faced with the task of cleaning fifty percent of my baby. I opt to quadruple-up on the wipes. This seems like a good idea until they begin to pile up and almost fall on him. I try to calculate how many uses I have left out of 276 wipes and realize that I've lost my mind (the answer would have been 69 had the container been full). My attention is now split evenly between tending to Timmy and keeping down what little contents remain in my ravaged stomach. This is good. I cannot feel bad at this point. I make an executive decision. I declare this a DSE--a Diaper State of Emergency. I remove the outfit entirely (it was attached by the sleeves but placed tenderly out of harm's way), ball up the paper towels (which had been protecting the diaper changing pad) with the soiled wipes, and proceed to take Timmy into the bathroom.
Holding him securely in one hand I remove the washcloths, his towel, and the froggy thing we use to keep him warm from the rack on the back of the door. I toss these things onto the floor. It is then that the horrible realization of my predicament sinks in. I need to take Timmy's bath tub and place it into the actual tub. Only it's leaning against the wall. And it isn't light. If you're saying to yourself, "Why not put the baby down and pick up the bath then?" I won't fault you. But I couldn't.
Dramatic pause number two.
Because his tush and hindquarters were still covered in green, viscous baby fecal matter. Trust me when I tell you that Heather would have killed me if I put him down. I didn't. I managed to finagle the bath tub...into the...bath tub. Only I put it in the wrong way. "Enough is enough!" I say. I place a washcloth into the tub in the tub and then lay down Timmy upon it. Things are looking up. Then I remember that the tub is backwards. I realize that I cannot simply spin the tub around because it will not fit. I need to pick up the tub in the tub, turn it in the air, and then place it back down. Except now there's a baby inside of the tub in the tub. It is then that I realize that the baby bath doesn't really have any good handgrips. This is the point that the sweat begins to bead upon my brow. I feel like Macgyver attempting to disarm an atomic suitcase bomb with Castrol-soaked hands. Slowly, I lift the tub out of the tub. I realize that my boy has gotten heavy. I realize that this is bad for my grip. The sweat beads begin to trickle. I turn the tub a little and place it down. Lift, turn, replace. Lift, turn, replace. Finally, we have touchdown: the eagle has landed.
I wash the necessary regions and dry Timmy off. We return upstairs and rest. I'm not sure who is more exhausted by the trauma. I place him in his crib and I lay down on the chaise. Shortly thereafter he begins to freak out again. "No...it can't be..." I say to myself. I check the diaper. We're good. I decide to put the empty bottle to his mouth to gauge his eating interest; he transforms into a piranha. I make him another four ounces of milk. I spill none this time. I am proud. I realize on my way back upstairs that Timmy had been constipated and that the fecal apocalypse I just survived came right after the first breastmilk he consumed today. I shrug and head up to my hungry child. I feed him another four full ounces. He is falling asleep and I want to get back to writing the blog. I do not want to lay him down in his crib because he might spit up. "Why not put him in the swing?" I think to myself...because I couldn't think it to anyone else?
I put him in the swing. He is now both upright and asleep. I decide not to turn the swing on. One of the first times we put him in it we left him in it a little too long...and perhaps he had a little too much fun. (It took us a full day to clean off the fabric; we might've opted simply to burn the outfit...it was beyond saving. I'm kidding--Heather is a cleaning Macgyver and I'm sure she cleaned the shit out of that onesie. Hold your applause for that one folks--I'm getting punchy!)
So shortly after I put him in the swing (which is still stationary) I hear what I perceive to be an innocuous sound. It could've been Timmy passing gas but it might've just been him adjusting himself in the seat. I turn back to the blog and type up until the words "disarming an atomic suitcase with..." I pause for a moment to think of what predicament Macgyver would be facing with the bomb and that's when I smell it. This time the odor creeping up my nostrils is unmistakable. I turn around and take a full whiff of it in the face. Mind you this stench has traveled across the room. I'm in the loft area of the house. We're talking twenty feet across the room. Against the general direction of the air currents. The bouquet makes my eyes water. I know that I have not a moment to spare.
I take a deep breath and unclip the safety harness on the swing. I expect the worst. We're in the clear. I usher Timmy downstairs and place him on the changing pad. This time I grab extra paper towels in advance. I undo the fabric fasteners on the diaper and pop open the hood. It's bad. It's really bad. In fact it's the same situation again. Except it's not exactly the same. This time it's mustard yellow instead of pea soup green. And there are what appear to be seeds protruding from the goop. Nobody ever stops to tell you about the seeds. The boy has consumed nothing but formula and breastmilk for his entire post-womb existence and yet there are seeds in his mustard poop.
I will end here by offering a moment of foreshadowing that I experienced this morning. As Heather and I were going over last minute details before she left she pointed to a box of diapers in the corner of the room. She said, "If you need them, there are more Level 2 diapers there." Then she looked down at the open package of diapers on the table, which held something like ten at the time, and she said, "But if you need more than that then I feel bad for you!" She chuckles. I cringe and feel a cold breeze rush up my back. Needless to say I had a bad feeling...and as it stands since 1:13 p.m. I am down to four of those diapers. Still a few more hours to go...and Timmy will surely rise to feed again...it's a race against time--MACGYVER STYLE BABY!