Sunday, April 08, 2007

parenting is a humbling experience

I have this thing about babies without shoes or socks. It bugs me. It's a little weird, I know. I'm fine with babies or toddlers barefoot in parks, I'm certainly okay with them barefoot at home or in your yard. When I see babies or toddlers running around Target or the grocery store barefoot, though, or running around in restaurants barefoot, it makes me cringe. Josh finds this endlessly amusing, and is quick to point out any children in the vicinity without socks, just to hear my diatribe on the subject.

This means, of course, that poor Gabriel gets very little sockless time to hang out. In fact,
we were in Florida this week and he became mesmerized by the sight of his toes while we sat outside in the sun. You see, he'd never really seen them before except during changes or baths. He is seriously toe-deprived.

Anyway, we were flying back from our visit with Josh's parents for Passover in Florida. The plane started its initial boarding, and I realized that I'd better change his diaper quickly before we got on the plane without a changing table. I rushed him into the family restroom at the Tampa airport and left Josh with the stroller and the food we'd bought for the flight. I pulled off the bottom of Gabriel's pajamas and unsnapped his diaper and started wiping quickly. I looked to my right to grab the clean diaper and realized that my hands were getting wet. Yup, he started peeing. All over me, all over himself, all over the wall and changing table, including the toy I'd handed him to entertain him during the diaper change. I pulled the dirty diaper out from under him to cover the stream of pee, and heard another horrifying sound.

He pooped. All over me, all over his clothes, and all over the changing table. I took one look at the mess, and pulled out my cell phone to tell Josh to book it over to the bathroom because I needed another pair of hands. In the meantime, the poop was spreading slowly underneath Gabe and across the table. Josh didn't answer, of course, so cursing wildly, I started the slow process of mopping up the mess.

I peeled off Gabe's socks, his onesie, his outfit, I took off the changing pad, recovered the table with paper towels, one-handed I wiped Gabe down and put him back down on the semi-clean table. I scrambled to get the clean diaper on him before he gave me another little present, and then I realized that over the loudspeaker they were announcing the final boarding call for our flight.

There I was, baby only semi-clean, clad only in a diaper, with a hand full of dirty pooped and peed on clothes, with only a diaper bag and a blanket with me, and the emergency change of clothes sitting in the basket underneath the stroller at the gate with Josh.

So I picked up my semi-clean, semi-naked baby, and wrapped the dirty clothes in a paper towel, and ran out of the bathroom and over to the gate, where they were ominously announcing over the loudspeaker that this was REALLY the last boarding call for flight 1861.

And then I boarded the plane. With my naked, dirty baby. All the way down the aisle until our seat. Wrapped in only a blanket, while several people exclaimed out loud when I walked by that my baby was naked. They couldn't smell him, so they didn't know he was also relatively unclean.

All I can say about the whole experience, is that I will never look askance at the barefoot babies again. I have learned my lesson. And a bit of humility in the process, too.

25 comments:

Meika said...

Wow...all in the name of becoming a better person, right? I was reading this with mouth hanging open, gasping in horror as I made mental notes for our upcoming far-too-many-hours-long flights home, wondering, "Will this be funny in ten years?" I bet it will be. :) Props on making it through.

Phantom Scribbler said...

This is exactly why I always made Mr. Blue handle the airport diaper changing.

Yankee T said...

Yikes. And yes, humbling is a good word for parenting.

chatty cricket said...

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I mean, not that the scenario is funny, because I would have been in tears and beyond pissed at Sweetie for not answering his cell phone, but honestly Lady never wears socks because I could never get them to stay on her tiny feet and got into the habit of life without socks. It bothers my one friend ENDLESSLY when Lady's pants hike up and her ankles are exposed to the elements. ;) BUT I would never let her walk around the grocery store without socks....eeeeew.

I think you deserve an award for not imploding on the spot during the bathroom fiasco. Or diamond earrings for Mothers' Day. Whichever.

jo(e) said...

I am laughing.

I am sure it was traumatic at the time -- I well remember those kind of incidents -- but boy does it make for a funny story.

Ninotchka said...

Oh man! I would say that I'm sorry you experienced that but really, what other way is there to learn true compassion and humility as parents than to have our children sh*t all over us. Literally and figuratively, of course.

Hilarious story!

Songbird said...

I'm laughing, too!
(But not at you, I promise, just with you.)

susan said...

That is a wonderful story!!!

Good for you for making it on the plane.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Oh, my sympathies!

Lisanne said...

Oh my gosh. What a story. I sure didn't envy you, LOL! :) Yes, I'm sure that you'll be laughing about it later. :)

Angie said...

I, too, have a baby and socks thing. You are not alone! One day this will be funny to you.

ccw said...

I also have a hang-up on the shoes and socks thing. Naked feet in public, except in the instances of park, pool, etc, drive me crazy.

I need the little ones to have a finished look.

As for your experience, one day it will be soo funny.

admin said...

Oh my word, that is horrifying stuff right there. And here I was feeling a bit of baby longing. Thanks for the cure!

Kristin said...

Oops, that last comment was from me, kristin

Genevieve said...

Oh. My. Gawd.

Perhaps you will tell this story to his prom date?

KLee said...

I agree with your no-socks and shoes thing in the public setting -- you have no idea what could be all over the floor in places, and little guys still like to put their toes in their mouths on occasion. Bleah!

Sorry about the whole airport changing disaster! I say you get mad props for making the plane, even if Gabe was mostly naked, and still slightly dirty. I'd rather board in that situation than miss the plane.

liz said...

What a great story to tell his prom date!

liz said...

Fireplace! Genevieve beat me to the punch with the prom date comment! I knew I should have read before commenting!

Jess said...

Oh, goodness. It actually sounds like you kept your wits about you when all this went down. Also, it never occured to me that babies would just spontaneously, um, go like that, but, well, duh. Of course they would.

Poor thing.

amygeekgrl said...

oh my goodess. i know it wasn't funny at the time, but i had to laugh.

yes, parenting is GREAT for teaching us humility. hee, hee, hee.

Jessica said...

Although it didn't happen in a public place, I once took a bath with my baby son only for him to shit all over both of us in the tub. I recently told this to him (at 16 years old) and all he could say was, "Eeeewww....I was in the tub with you? NAKED?!"

For the record, I had an aunt who felt the same way about babies without shoes or socks.

thebyh@yahoo.com said...

Hahahahaa!!

I had this happen with Miles. Only he was a year old and I was going to the dentist when he had a huge blow-out in his diaper. And I realized that I had no change of clothes for him. So I had to bring him in to the dentist's office with me wearing only a diaper and sandals.

And I cn't even tell you how many people there wondered outloud where his clothes were.

At least he had on shoes though ;-)

OneTiredEma said...

Diaper changing under time pressure is totally harrowing, even without the extra trauma of unexpected "deposits"--this will be funny, I promise, and in less time than you think.

But wow. I have to say, though, if I saw a naked baby boarding a plane, I'd know there was a darkly funny story somewhere.

Phoenix said...

Hi there - I just wanted to say that I am enjoying your blog and hope that you will come and visit me sometime :)

purple_kangaroo said...

Oh, boy . . . we had kind of a similar situation on a plane once, but with baby spit-up--in copious amounts, and I mean copious. And then a blowout. But both happened on the plane, and we hadn't brought enough changes of clothes in the carry-on, so baby went the rest of the trip naked.

I always had a terrible time keeping socks and shoes on my kids, too.