Have you ever had one of those mornings?
You know the kind.
The mornings (or afternoons) that no matter what you do, everything goes wrong.
I had one of them yesterday . . .
It started off normal enough. It was one of my non-working days so I got to stay in bed a whole thirty minutes longer than usual (gasp!).
I took E downstairs for her breakfast and made myself a cup of coffee. While waiting for my coffee to cool a little – I’m not one of those people who can risk blisters on the tongue and drink it boiling hot – I prepared E’s clothes for the day. So far so good.
E finishes off her breakfast, and as I’m lifting her out of her high chair, the foulest stench of baby shit hits my nostrils. I would liken it to the rotten remains of a mushroom omelette that had been eaten and vomited out by a cow with halitosis.
Holding back the tears I placed E down on the changing mat we keep handily hidden under the lounge sofa. Well, E was having none of that. She’d had her Weetabix (other brands available) and wanted to play with her kitchen set. I managed to strip her of her sleep suit while she stood, but could already see that the nappy was pretty much on the verge of breaking its dams. This was going to be a change mat job, no doubt about it.
Laying down E on the change mat again, I grabbed a new nappy, wipes, and bag. E used this opportunity to run for it. I should have learnt to prepare by now, but seriously, this shit stank, it was affecting my cognitive abilities. I’m running after her, praying that she won’t sit down on her bum as although the nappy was doing a sterling job, an impact like that would have dire consequences.
I catch her, and lay her down on the changing mat, again. This time I successfully take the nappy off her, wrapping it up both carefully and quickly so that I neither have to deal with the sight nor the smell of it. She uses this opportunity to make a bolt for it, but she isn’t quick enough. I stop her before she vacates the mat.
I lay her down, again, but alas, I fail to get the wipes ready, so I try to get them out of their packet at the same time as now holding a very wriggly E on the mat. I only need one hand to get the wipe, but I actually need two hands to keep E still. Her butt is caked in what can only be described as a mixture of last night’s food, and the anguish of someone who has stood on a Lego brick. E stops wriggling and I (incorrectly) attempt to get a wipe, leaving my right hand to restrain her. This one hand was not enough – she’s off!
What happened next was like a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie. Time slowed down, and I had an epiphany, that whatever was about to happen, it was already written on the walls, and I would not be able to stop it.
E dashed to the narrowest point of the room; a gap between the sofa and the TV stand, where in the corner was a coffee table. In trying to get through the gap, she rubbed poo along the bottom of the sofa. STRIKE ONE. She then sat down, satisfied that she had escaped from me – poo now being mushed into the carpet by her stinking butt. STRIKE TWO. But now she realises that she’s trapped, and actually Mummy can very easily get to her, she pulls herself up using the coffee table as a hoist, and once on her feet notices Mummy’s coffee mug – she reaches out for it and as I get to her, she pulls it onto the floor. STRIKE THREE. Fortunately the coffee was only lukewarm by this point (I don’t know why I bother making them anymore), but it went over the carpet, and into E’s change bag.
This called for some quick thinking, and carpet stain remover. It took most of my energy to not scream out a stream of expletives, but one look at E’s happy little face, and my heart melted.
I grabbed her, laid her down on the changing mat (FOR THE FIFTH TIME) and managed to wipe her bum. She was not best pleased by this turn of events. Perhaps she was hoping to keep the poo there indefinitely, who knows, but she was determined to tell me how unhappy she was.
Once I was sure her bum was clean, she made another run for it. At this point, I don’t mind. What’s done is done, and I just need to cordon off the area and clean-up. E, however, doesn’t realise she’s not being chased this time and runs head first into her little kitchen, creating the quickest growing lump in history on her forehead. Do the Guinness Book of World Records have awards for that?
So there I sat, a naked toddler crying on my lap, coffee and shit stains on the floor, more stains on the sofa, a smell that even now when I close my eyes still lingers in my nostrils, and an empty mug. It wasn’t even 9am yet.
All I wanted was a hot coffee. Was that too much to ask?
Lil Jem xxx
PS. The stains came out, and E’s head was fine.
PPS. I’m not so sure that the smell has gone.