I love babies. Not necessarily newborns because they are always red-faced and cry all the time. I like babies when they are about 6 or 8 months old. By then they are fun to play with; they make funny noises, do tricks, laugh, and wave their arms and stuff. You can play those stupid-ass games with them like peek-a-boo and they just laugh like a retard at the circus.
My niece is 9 months old and she and I have kind of started to bond. Now that she is getting a little older, I really enjoy babysitting her. I had that opportunity on Friday night. My son and I baby sat her while my brother and sister-in-law went to a wedding rehearsal-dinner of a friend.
About 6:00pm, my brother-in-law, sister-in law and niece show up at the house. He looks like some sort suburban sherpa, packing a play pen, high chair, car seat, numerous toys, a personal DVD player and a diaper bag packed with enough provisions to care for every baby in Parker County. She is carrying the baby, a blanket, and a friggin gym bag full of noise making Fisher-Price toys and no telling what else. They dump all of the baby paraphernalia next to the kitchen table, and then whip out the paperwork. They had a Medical Treatment Authorization Form, a brief medical history of the child that also included all pertinent doctors’ telephone numbers, and another sheet of paper detailing the baby’s eating schedule, feeding instructions, sleeping schedule and a phone number for every one of their living relatives in case of emergency.
“I didn’t realize that ya’ll were going away to Europe… I’ll do my best to send her to a good college…What's up with all this shit?” I asked.
They informed me that they just wanted me to have everything that I might need to take care of the baby. To ease their anxiety, I reminded them that I had raised three children without any of them developing scurvy. I then told them that we were planning to have a relaxing evening of handgun target practice while drinking beer as we lounged by the pool; nothing to worry about at all, we would be fine.
After all of the instructions were covered and the baby was positioned in the high chair so that she could watch a “Baby Einstein” DVD, the wedding-goers made their escape and finally slipped out the front door.
I got up and went over to the table to see what my precious little niece was doing. She was staring attentively at the little DVD player, apparently watching the show. What the hell? Babies don’t watch TV at this age, where was Baby Einstein when my kids were this age? She was really watching the TV… un-believable… As long as she was content, I figured it would be a good time to eat myself a big-ass bowl of Blue Bell.
I made a combo platter of Natural Vanilla Bean and Milk Chocolate. As I was putting the ice cream back into the freezer, the baby got pissed off and started hollering. I looked to see what she was yelling about; she was leaning out of the chair, arms outstretched, reaching for the ice cream and cursing me in some kind of angry baby gibberish. Being the baby-whisperer that I am, I knew just what to do to stop that crying.
I got two spoons out of the drawer, one for me and one for her. I pulled up a chair along side of her and we dug into the Jethro Bodine sized bowl of ice cream. She got more of it on her little face and her dress than she did in her mouth, but she was having fun. She loves her some ice cream!
After finishing the ice cream I had to clean her up. I first took her dress off and then wiped her face with a wet rag. Rather than dress her again, I left her clad only in her diaper so she could be free. I carried her over to the sofa so that she could sit with my son and I to watch some real TV.
There we sat, the three of us, watching a ballgame on Fox Southwest. As we watched the game, I was thinking to myself about what an easy baby she is to take care of. She doesn’t cry much, she sleeps through the night and she eats normal food now. Babysitting her is a walk in the park.
After watching some of the game, Jacob and I decided it was time for dinner. Rather than cook anything, we opted to load the baby in the truck and go to Sonic. I had Jacob hold the baby while I got the car seat strapped in, then loaded and buckled up my niece, still clad only in a diaper. Jake rode in the back seat so he could entertain the baby as we made the 15 minute trip to town. By the time we got there, she was kind of fussy and was not real happy about being strapped in the chair. I ordered her a grilled cheese kids meal and got the boy and I some double-meat man-burgers. By the time they brought us our order, the baby was fully pissed-off, crying, and was ready to eat.
I instructed my son to start feeding her some french fries. She sucked those bad boys down faster than an Ethiopian eating a bowl of oatmeal. Soon they had finished the fries and moved on to the main course, the grilled cheese sandwich. Jacob started tearing off little pieces of it and feeding them to her. Eventually, he gave her half of the sandwich so she could suck and chew on it herself.
When we reached the house, she was full, content and fast asleep. Rather than wake her up, I just un-buckled her car seat and carried the whole apparatus into the house. Still sleeping, I sat her car-seat down between the sofa and the coffee table so I could watch her while I ate. She never moved; she was sleeping hard.
I finished my burger and reclined into the prone position on the sofa for a pleasant evening of basketball and babysitting. Once again, I though about what a breeze it is keeping my niece. She just plays, eats and sleeps… It was at that point that I heard what seemed to be a baby fart.
“Did you hear that?” I asked my son. “Did that noise come out of you?”
He denied it and said that he thought it was the baby. We both laughed as we looked at the sleeping, pot-bellied flatulent baby, still sitting in the car seat.
“That’s a white trash baby, Dad...” Jacob said. “Just look at her… She’s sleeping in a car seat… in the house… with only a diaper on, she’s blowing serious chedd and she doesn’t even wake up… That's a white trash baby if there’s ever been one.”
I laughed at my son’s astute observation and congratulated him on his sharp eye for identifying WT qualities in his cousin. My attention quickly turned back to the game and to the nap that was welling up inside of me. My gut was full of double cheeseburger and I was content to lie on the sofa and relax. I was peacefully holding the remote control in one hand and my rig in the other. I thought for a fleeting instant that I might just fall asleep for a few minutes, but reality brought me back from the edge of slumber. Reality… in the form of a smell…
Shit… And not just any shit, baby shit. The ill wind hit my nostrils like a sledgehammer to the face.
“Jeeezzzzusss Christ… She’s loaded!” I proclaimed as I quickly arose from the sofa.
“No way am I changing a diaper Dad… it’s all you…” my son said as I went to get the diaper bag. “Gawd almighty, she reeks!”
“Jacob, go get some Fabreeze or some shit from under the sink.” I said “she’s funkin' up the whole living room.”
I had forgotten just how bad baby shit could smell. How could something that sweet and innocent emit a smell so wrong? I rifled through the diaper bag and found some baby wipes. I then found one of the 30 or so diapers that my in-laws had sent for the two or three hours that I was going to keep her. Then I heard her whining from across the room, as the commotion and my vocal reaction to the smell of her ass apparently woke her from her sleep.
“Dude!!!! Ohhhh man! Dad, c’mere quick!!!! Ohhhh man… dude!!!” my son yelled in a panicked tone of voice. I grabbed the whole bag and headed to see what was wrong. As I rounded the corner at the end of the sofa and looked down at my niece, I will never forget what I saw.
There was shit everywhere; she had shit on her legs, there was shit on her hands, there was even shit on her feet. She was covered in shit.
I knew what had happened; there had been a catastrophe of mammoth proportions… She was experiencing diaper seal failure and had suffered a massive blowout. I had only heard the horror stories from survivors; I had never witnessed, first hand, the overwhelming filth and incapacitating odor of a blowout. The child was covered in shit; I had never seen anything like this before. As a father of three, I have changed some pretty rank diapers in my day, but this was more than just your standard nasty-ass diaper change.
I stood dumbfounded, mouth open and eyes wide as I realized that I was going to have to deal with this situation without the help of a mother. There was no one to call, this situation could not be ignored; my son was right, this was to be “all me”. The horror in my son’s voice changed to laughter as he saw the expression on my face.
“She exploded! Dude! I’m never holding that baby again!” he laughed. It wasn't funny to me. I had to develop an Emergency Action Plan for this crisis.
I dropped the diaper bag and fearlessly moved toward the tar baby. She was crying and she was covered in shit. She appeared to be no happier about this situation than I was. Her crying and squirming to get out of the car seat only made things worse. With all the kicking and flailing, I was afraid she would sling shit off of her legs onto the furniture or carpet. The more she squirmed, the more shit oozed out of her diaper. The clock was ticking and I had to think and move fast.
I grabbed her car seat with one hand and picked it straight up, being careful not to touch any of the adjacent furniture. I felt like I was playing a game of Operation, only I had a shit-covered baby in a car seat rather than a plastic bone and a pair of tweezers. I got her out from in between the sofa and the coffee table and headed for the guest bathroom.
As we rushed across the living room and down the hall, she squirmed and leaned forward. The shit had not only leaked out at her leg-holes, it also shot up her back. Imagine what the back of a kid’s shirt looks like after riding a four-wheeler through a mud-hole all day. She had shot a diarrhea rooster-tail out of her ass. That’s what her back looked like; only she had rubbed it in to the fabric of the car seat and smeared it around. I surmised that 60% of the child’s body was covered in shit.
I got her to the bathtub and turned on the water, but how do you get her out of the seat without sticking your hand in shit? You employ the resources that are available to you by punching the release button with the legs of a Barbie Doll that was left on the side of the tub. I carefully grabbed the baby by the shoulders and started to lift her out of her seat. Peeling her out of the car seat looked like pulling apart the two pieces of bread on a peanut butter sandwich. There was almost a diarrhea vacuum holding her in place in the chair. The shit clung to her back like wet drywall mud. It was one of the foulest things I have ever seen. And the smell… Dear God, every breath that I took undoubtedly caused irreversible damage to my lungs. Short of the Union Carbide tragedy in Bopal, India, there has never been a more toxic substance released into the Earth’s atmosphere. I was gagging, my eyes were watering and I was doing my best to not add insult to injury by puking all over her.
I lowered her into the tub feet first, trying to sit her down on her butt so that I could begin the Haz Mat cleanup. As soon as her little feet hit the bottom of the tub she began to flop and twist like a fish on dry land. Not only did I risk dropping her, she was also smearing shit all over the tub. I decided that shit all over the bathtub was better than shit all over me, so I lowered her all the way in and let finger-paint to her heart’s content.
She hit the bottom of the tub and immediately began trying to roll over. Had she been coordinated enough, she could have opened and closed her legs and arms and made a shit angel on the white bathtub. I grabbed the wand from the wall and turned the valve to “Shower”. As soon as there was warm water coming from the hose, I started spraying her down. The water further infuriated her. She started crying loudly and was trying to crawl, but she kept sliding around in the shit.
There was shit, water, shit-water and baby parts sliding all around inside the tub. It was a truly disgusting sight. I hosed the Wolf Brand off of her back and ass, then tried to flip her over so I could hose off her stomach. She would have no part of that… The crying eventually morphed into mild laughter and she finally stopped trying to shake like a wet dog. I grabbed her by the shoulder and turned her on her side. It was like washing a muddy truck at the do-it-yourself car wash, I just sprayed the shit off of her undercarriage; all I was missing was the foamy brush. I had to grab her by one leg and hold her ass up to get the brownie mix off of her bonkey and taint. She had shit in between her fingers, toes and in every baby-fat fold on the lower 2/3 of her body.
When I finally got her reasonably clean, I sprayed the drain to make sure that all of the residual waste had been washed away, and then hit the lever to engage the stopper. I let the tub fill up with about 2 inches of clean water, and called for Jacob to come help. Regular bar soap would not suffice for this job; I needed to employ some industrial strength, grease cutting, anti-bacterial power.
“Hey Boy… Bring me some soap out of the kitchen.” He dutifully arrived with a big green bottle of Palmolive. I doused her body with the green soap and lathered her up. She was still pissed off from having to be hosed down, but at least she wasn’t kicking and screaming any more.
I scrubbed her down from head to toe, rinsed her off and wrapped her up in a towel. I turned to exit the bathroom when I saw my next problem; the car seat. This problem had a very simple solution; shut the bathroom door and ignore it.
I took the baby into the living room and put a diaper on her post haste. She seemed to be content and was probably worn out from the 20 minute screaming and wrestling match she and I had just finished. She began to fall asleep, so I carried her over to her play pen and laid her down. She slept until 10:15 when the wedding-goers returned home.
“Well, how was she? Did ya’ll do ok?” they asked. That asshole Jacob just started laughing again.
“Great, everything was fine. No problems… She was a perfect little angel… until the hand grenade went off in her asshole.” I replied.
My son started rolling on the floor while my sister and brother-in-law looked at me like I was insane. When they asked me what in the hell I was talking about, I directed them to the car seat in the guest bathroom and began to describe the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
“The whole kid looked like that seat. She looked like a fudgecicle minus the stick up her ass.” I told them. “As for that seat, burn it, take it outside and hose it off, throw it away, whatever you want to do with it… From here on out, it’s all you!”