Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Big Messes at the Museum

If you don't like hearing stories about dealing with bodily functions (i.e. being a parent), then this one isn't for you!

We have friends visiting from out-of-town, so yesterday, Tom took the day off work and we all went to the museum - five adults and seven kids under age four. 

Linus and I managed to sneak off on our own for a bit to look at a new exhibit I wanted to see in the art museum while the older two stayed with Tom and our friends in the natural history portion.  By the time I caught up with them, Stella was already done.  She was screaming her head off, and not willing to do anything.  Tom and I decided to split off from the group for a bit and take the kids to the children's area where there are fun things they're allowed to touch and hold, hoping she would calm down.

Soon after sitting down in there, Linus got to work making an enormous diaper, and soon began crying himself.  Because I hate carrying diaper bags around, I usually bring only the bare necessities: one diaper apiece and a small pack of wipes.  I could tell Linus was ready for his one allotted diaper, and maybe Stella was too, so I started looking around for a good place to change them.  Normally, I would just find a handy bench or corner and change the baby there, but the docents at the museum have eagle-eyes and do not let you pull stuff like that.  Plus, it was going to be a stinky one, and I knew I might need access to a sink.

I asked the docent in the children's room where the nearest bathroom was, and he told me to go down the hall and down the stairs....hmm, that wasn't going to work out well with the stroller.  Stella had started screaming again, and by this point, we had literally cleared out the room.  The only person left was the young male docent, awkwardly eying the family with the two screaming children, unsure what he could do to help.

I took Linus out of the Ergo carrier - which I left hanging off my waist - so I could bounce him around more effectively and try to calm him down.  Between his cries and my huge exaggerated bounces, I was attempting to explain to Tom - who couldn't understand me well because he was holding the screaming toddler - that we needed to go find a bathroom and get the kids' diapers changed.

And then: the explosion happened.  Linus finished up that diaper he'd been working on in one tremendous blowout.  Baby poop was all over the place.  It was covering my hands, my shirt, and absolutely dripping down the inside of the Ergo.  It probably got on the floor too.  I don't even know.  I just said, "We have to go NOW!" and took off, catching just a glimpse of the docent's shocked and fearful gape.

We all hurried to the elevator, but it wasn't arriving fast enough.  "I'll take the stairs with Linus!" I said.  "Meet me outside the bathroom!" I followed the signs for the bathroom as I ran down the stairs - they took me down several floors.  When I finally got inside, there wasn't even a baby-changing station.  But at least there was a little table I could work on.  Women and their daughters kept coming in and out, and it was making me more flustered.  As they squeezed around me standing there at the table, they all took a peek to see the disgusting mess I was working with.

Linus had to be totally stripped down.  His onesie and diaper went into a plastic bag I'd brought, and I cleaned him up with some the rest of the pack of wipes and put his one clean diaper on.  I didn't have a spare outfit for him.  Sorry, baby.  I was anxious to start scrubbing down my shirt and the Ergo, but I was afraid to leave Linus alone on the little table since there was nothing to strap him down with.  And now when I could have used them as baby-holders, there were no other women coming into the bathroom.  I couldn't put him on the floor since it was gross and wet and, you know, he was basically naked.

"Where the heck is Tom?" I wondered.  I was standing there covered in poo, holding Linus on the table, waiting to hear Tom's voice in the hall.  I pulled out my phone (carefully, since it was in the front pocket of the very soiled Ergo), and tried to call him.  No reception in the bathroom.  Sigh.  I unclipped the Ergo from my waist, threw it into a sink, picked up Linus, and went into the hallway, hoping no one would recognize what the yellow stuff all over my shirt was.

I tried calling Tom again.  He answered. Through the poor reception, echoing marble halls on my end, and shrieking toddler on his end, we attempted a conversation that went more or less like this, "WHERE ARE YOU?!"  "WHERE ARE YOU?!"  "I'M OUTSIDE THE BATHROOM, I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU!" "I'M OUTSIDE THE BATHROOM, I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU!"

Tom had found a different bathroom somewhere - a "family restroom" which I really wish I had found in the first place, since his presence would have greatly simplified cleanup - and was waiting for me outside of it.  I explained where I was so he could come help.  He showed up a few minutes later with the older kids - Stella still screaming in his arms - and took Linus in his other, so I could go back in and unsuccessfully attempt to get the yellow stains off everything.

To make the day just a little more gross, a short while later, I noticed a suspicious-looking brown stain on the shoulder of Tom's shirt where Stella had been sitting - in a dress - a little earlier.   She got her own diaper change shortly after.

Crazy people that we are, we ended up staying at the museum another couple hours.  We put some food into Stella which calmed her down considerably (Tom claims she gets her "hanger" = hungry+angry from me).  Poor Linus was put back, naked except for a diaper, into a damp but dry-paper-towel-lined Ergo to be carried around for the rest of the afternoon.

Heh, it worked out.


In the same vein....last night while we were praying the Rosary, Stella went over and grabbed the seat off her potty (no, she's not anywhere near being potty trained!  Mommy was overly-optimistic about being able to reduce the number of diapers she changes each day) and placed it on Tom's head like a hat.  Everyone else stayed focused and prayerful, but mature person that I am, I snickered about it for a good while.


  1. Hi! I just found your blog through the Catholic Lady's link, and I have been enjoying reading it so far-- especially as Sly is about a month older than my daughter. Reading some your earliest posts was the proverbial trip down memory lane for me!

    As was this post. I think every mom has at least one exploding diaper story. My own goes as follows. My husband, my mom, my daughter, and myself were returning to my mom's home in Maryland from a family reunion in North Carolina, and we were stuck in simply awful. bumper to bumper traffic in Virginia about an hour south of DC, when my mom (who was in the backseat with my daughter), noticed that a) L had pooped her diaper, b) it had escaped her diaper, c) L had gotten it on her hands, and d) IT WAS EVERYWHERE! Just at that moment, and grateful for this small blessing, an exit for an open rest stop had appeared. and we quickly pulled in.

    This rest stop was-- not the dirtiest I have ever been in, but definitely in the top 5. It had a diaper changing station-- placed right in the narrow opening to the ladies restroom, so that not only did everyone there get an eyeful, but to enter or exit, they all had squeeze by the two ladies desperately trying to clean a 10 month old, who was NOT the least bit interested in cooperating. We did not get it on ourselves, but it was ALL OVER her car seat, her clothes. and the back seat of the car as high up as her little legs could kick! I was blessed to have my mom there, and I cannot imagine what I would have done had I been alone, or had another small one!

    1. Oh my! Your story might be worse! Thanks for sharing. It's always amusing looking back, right? :-)

  2. Do you remember the time Michael pooped all over me while I was nursing him at Simmons Farm? Oh, good times. It will be so fun to recount these stories when they're teenagers. ;)

  3. If this is a "share your own exploding diaper story" thing, I'm all in.

    I use knitted woolen soakers as diaper covers at home only because they have an unfortunate tendency to allow major blowouts, especially in young babies. One Sunday when my third child was about 3-ish months old I accidentally forgot in the pre-Mass crazies to swap his soaker for a Thirsties cover before going to Mass. I noticed when we got there but I thought he'd probably be fine so I decided to go through Mass before changing it. During the Consecration I was in the rear of the church behind the pews so I could stand and sway the baby. There were probably about ten people in the same area. My baby started pooping. I was a little worried when I heard the first squirt but I figured it would be okay. By the third squirt I felt dampness and desperately hoped he was done. The fourth squirt sent poop down both his legs. I don't remember how many times he pooped but it seemed like he'd never be done. My shirt, the front of my skirt, my feet and shoes, and the floor in front of us were dotted with bright yellow blobs of baby poop. When it hit the floor, it made little wet plops which made sure that everyone around us was staring bug-eyed at me and my enthusiastic little pooper. At that point I was running for the vestibule, but I left a trail of poop splats behind, and of course the restroom was occupied. I didn't have the diaper bag either; it was in the pew. I finally got in the bathroom and I had to strip and sponge bathe the baby in the dirty, dimly lit bathroom in the little tiny skink. He screamed the whole time. I wiped all the poop off my clothes, but it left spots. Then came the fun of carrying the naked baby with his butt wrapped in paper towels back into church to our pew so I could get to the diaper bag and dress him. (My husband gave me quite a look when I showed up :P) Oh, and don't forget going through the back with a wad of wet paper towels to wipe up the baby poop-during Communion when there were a bunch of people milling around staring at the spots. Wouldn't you know, that was the day we planned to go to the zoo after church and had packed a picnic and everything. We usually try our best not to let kid problems cancel our plans so we went anyway, and I got to walk around with big yellow stains on my clothes. Thankfully my skirt was a busy multicolored pattern so it was not as noticeable and I was able to wear the baby in a wrap over the spots on my shirt.

    I have never since taken a baby out of the house in a soaker.

    1. Oh man, that's hilarious! I especially loved the part about carrying him back wrapped in paper towels, and wiping up the spots while people stared! I'm always afraid I'll similarly get caught in the church bathroom with a huge mess, while the diapers are left in the pew.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. That's my godson! I remember that day.

  4. There really should be a "Best Blowout Story Ever" linkup:) I've got some doozies to contribute!

    1. I know, that's exactly what I was thinking! to figure out how to set up a linkup...

  5. The worst one I can remember was Katie Rose completely covering herself and her carseat on our way to my sister's wedding in DC. Thankfully we were not on our way to the wedding itself, just to town the night before. It had been something of a long trip already, since we had an emergency shopping trip in Maryland. We were halfway to DC when we realized we hadn't brought along the garment bag with Ryan's and Anthony's clothes for the wedding! Ryan had just said something to the effect of, "At least we've made it here without further incident," when SPLAT!

    Ryan also likes to hold our babies over his shoulder and pretend to fire them off like a bazooka. Butt up, naturally.

  6. Wow...what an experience! Believe it or not, with 4 kids, I don't think I've ever had a major blow-out experience like that. I've had minor blow-outs, where the baby's clothes get dirty....and they almost always happened at home for some reason. I can only remember it happening once in public (at a park), and even then the baby's clothes were the only things to get dirty, so it wasn't a major deal