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June 10, 2008

What I Learned From the Mighty Blowout

Diaper Not all blowouts are created equal. By definition a blowout involves poop, naturally. Pee simply cannot compete. It occasionally plays a supporting role, contributing to the overall magnitude of the blowout, but it will never have the A-List celebrity status of poop. Poop blowouts have a unique power all their own. They can stop traffic, singe eyebrows, and make grown men weep. If only we could harness the awesome power of the poop blowout we could solve the global energy crisis.

Yesterday, my three-month old son Henry had back-to-back blowouts, a two-fer. As though he was trying to outdo himself with the second round. The first episode took place in the car. We were dropping my husband off at work and planned to hit the coffee shop on way home. We were two blocks down the road when a familiar smell crept into the front seat. Upon inspection my worst fears were realized. Blowout. The car seat was nearly full. So the coffee shop idea quickly went out the window as we headed back home to clean up.

Right away I knew this was no job for wipes alone. The bathtub would need to be called in for reinforcement. I peeled Henry out of the car seat trying to keep as much of the sticky yellow stuff on him and in the car seat while I stripped off his clothes. As I tried to quickly remove his onesie I pulled the fabric covered snaps and flung tiny bits of poo all over my shirt. Really? Did I just do that? Relax, I’m sure lots of people fling poop on themselves. So I take a deep breath, stop and marvel at the awesome amount of poop generated by my 14 pound son. Am I little bit proud? Honestly, yes. I pick up the dirty diaper and try to assess its weight in my hand, adding a few pounds for the stuff left in the car seat. Well done Henry, well done.

Once I get Henry cleaned off in the bathtub and into outfit number two for the day, it’s time to tackle the car seat. Remembering what happened with the onesie snaps I delicately pull the cover off the seat frame, gently sliding the straps through so as to avoid any more flying poo. I get everything off without incident and into the washing machine. I’m left with the naked shell of the car seat - all exposed plastic and nylon straps. How on earth am I ever going to get all of this back together?  It’s barely 9am and already I’m faced with an enormous engineering challenge that would likely send anyone at NASA into a fit of crying and self-doubt. I soldier on.

Blowout number happened over lunch with my single friend who does not have children. My friend was holding Henry on her lap gushing about how she’s ready to have babies when he fills his pants. No matter how good your diapers are, they just can’t stand up to the mighty blowout. Especially the sitting-upright-on-your-single-friend’s-lap kind of blowout. Somehow, by sheer luck and perhaps divine intervention, nothing got on my friend’s pants and I actually remembered to stuff an extra onesie into the stroller.  Clearly I've paid off some sort of cosmic entity in a past life to get through blowout number two unscathed.

There are many life lessons to be learned from the mighty poop blowout – chief among them, patience and humility. Just when you thought you were ready to leave the house, blowout. Just when you thought you had enough time to stop at your favorite coffee shop for a much needed latte, blowout. Just when you thought it was safe to wear white pants, blowout. There is nothing more humbling than running through a restaurant, store, bank, salon holding your child out with poop sliding down their legs. Likewise, nothing teaches you patience better than having to stop everything and deal with a blowout. They will strike anywhere at any time and it’s up to us to be prepared with wipes, diapers, clean clothes and above all else, a good sense of humor.


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