There is nothing clean about parenting. Even the tidiest of parents will be faced with situations that are downright dirty and horribly unpleasant.
It happened while we were driving home from New Hampshire last weekend. Slinger and I were hit with a ghastly scent. Naturally, we ruled out the 150 pound dog in the rear of the car and the child and baby in the back seat. We began questioning every other possible cause. At one point I even rolled down the window, convinced that it was rubber tires or a skunk permeating the air on the highway.
But, as always, Emily, our four-year-old, confirmed our worst fear.
"It's Charlotte, it's coming out the side of her diaper!"
An explosive diaper, while not the most pleasant thing to deal with, is certainly doable. Been there done that. We decided it would be a quick stop at the nearest rest area. Until, Emily furthered our fears and gave us a play-by-play of what else was happening.
"Oh my God, mommy, she's eating it! She's eating it!"
As luck would have it, an impressive rest stop, paired with a diner and a liquor store, was only three miles away on the side of the highway. A one-stop shop for booze, bacon and bathrooms.
Of course, it was pouring rain when we pulled into the parking lot, because what's better than a kid eating her own shit? A soaking wet kid, with shit dripping off of her and onto me. Perfect.
I took the lead and went to work unstrapping the belts that held the pooping princess into her seat. And as luck would have it, we had no wipes. So, without a wipe in sight, I just succumbed to the mess, and pulled her up and out of the carseat, held her close to me until we got under the roof of the rest area.
If you can believe we had a bigger problem, the main obstacle was laid out before us. This was a rest area on steroids and you had to go through an area that had tables and chairs that spilled outside of the diner. Because who wouldn't want to eat their breakfast in the public portion of the area, while people marched in front of them zipping their flies down on a mission to get to the bathroom fast after a long drive?Well, I was about to give these diners a moment they'd never forget.
Without making an ounce of eye contact, I did what I had to do. I held Charlotte out in front of me, facing outwards, as her glorious shit-covered paws reached out proudly before her. I walked as fast as I could to the bathroom and of course there was a line.
I knew that this moment was going down in the baby book as Charlotte's first major moment in the spotlight, as I charged ahead of the line and plopped her down on the changing table. For the first time that day, luck was on my side and there happened to be a cleaning cart right next to the changing table. It made the moment more cramped, but it was the perfect opportunity to pilfer some quality paper towels and get to work cleaning up the mess.
With a front row seat to Charlotte's "shit show," the line of bathroom-waiters looked on in disgust. I could feel their glares penetrating the back of my head as I repeatedly wet the paper towels in the sink and went to work cleaning out the creases in Charlotte's every nook and cranny.
A few minutes later, and I was greeted by Emily and Slinger outside of the bathroom, so we could do the walk of 'shit-shame' out of the rest area as a family. But, when I went down to hold Emily's hand, she refused my grip.
"Ewww I'm not touching your hand, now," she said in disgust. At least Charlotte was as happy as a pig in shit, and still loved me.
So, Charlotte is now called, "The Diaper Digger."