You're Not Smart Because You're Thinking.

You know that your child has the ability to take off his diaper.  You know that putting him down for a nap without shorts over his diaper makes it even easier for him to take off his diaper.  You know that the one time your child takes off his diaper in his crib unsupervised there will be fecal matter involved.  You know that it can happen, and you do it anyway.  It appears that you are not too bright.  Why in the world would you do something which could so obviously turn out poorly?

Motherhood makes you less "smart."  Not only because you have opportunities to lose sleep in such large quantities that are impossible to ever re-coop, but because your mind is taking in and sifting through much more than the bottom line, pardon the pun.  You are thinking that it's over 100 degrees outside and he'd be cooler without shorts on.  You are thinking the shorts he's been wearing today are very cute, but don't seem like they'd be very comfortable to sleep in.  You are thinking he's very tired and usually plays for a few minutes and then drifts off to sleep.  You are thinking that ordinarily you would just put him in another pair of cooler, softer shorts except that you are already mentally doing laundry and packing for next week's trip and would prefer to make it a one-pair-of-shorts-per-family-member kind of day.  You are thinking he's slept like this hundreds of times before and it's never been an issue.  You are thinking how he prefers to take off disposable diapers, and today he's wearing a cloth diaper.

It's not that you don't make logical connections out of all the pertinent information.  It's that you make too many logical connections out of all the pertinent information.  "Smart" says, "Shorts are always required for nap.  Period."  But, Mommy says "Because of all of the above information, I will now engage in ill-advised, reckless behavior because it seems the most comfortable for my child and the most prudent use of laundry time" on this ill-fated t-shirt-and-diaper nap day.

And you leave the room.  And you go back into the room because of the screaming that you know means your child has his leg stuck between the crib slats.  You dislodge it, and he asks for more milk.  You bring him more milk and tell him it's time for a nap.  He screams.  You leave the room again.  He's quiet for quite some time.  Then he's talking again--not all that remarkable.  He does this many days.  Then you hear the piercing scream of limb-caught-in-crib-slats again.  You wince and wish you had the guts to put him in a big boy bed already.  You go in, and no amount of reality tv could have prepared you for what you see next.

He is, indeed, stuck between the crib slats again.  But he's standing up.  He's diaper-less, which as has been mentioned above, is not entirely surprising.  And before you see the rest, you smell it.  When your brain processes the smell it tells your lungs to sigh before you even know what you're signing about.  You just know it's not going to be good.  And your brain is right.  Your child begins motioning violently toward the other end of the crib, showing you that he pooped in his diaper, took it off, got poop everywhere, decided he should smear his pacis in it, and then try to climb out of his bed.  The climbing out part makes a lot of sense.

A second wave of realization hits you as you see that he topped it all off by tinkling all over the poop-smeared sheets and pacis.  Lovely.  You repeat your favorite motherhood phrase:  "Urine is sterile."   You are strangely relieved by the fact that the new data concerning the urine did not increase the net amount of germs in the current equation.  You thank God that you finally ignored the research stating that Caucasians under 5 are seldom if ever lactose intolerant and started your paci-dipping child on Lactaid last month.  You shudder at what could have been.

You do not have the presence of mind to take a picture for all of posterity, because every fiber of your being has the overwhelming desire to retrieve your offspring from any setting in which you find him freely intermingling with human waste.   As you immediately remove your child's shirt and gingerly carry him to the bath tub, you hear yourself saying something to him about poop belonging in the potty.   You wash and wash, but once you allow yourself an inspection-type sniff you are disappointed.  You go into turbo-cleaning mode as a sinking feeling comes over you.   You realize that every square inch of his scrubbable body has been scrubbed (or gently lathered and rinsed due to a propensity to skin irritation and eczema), but all evidence points to the fact that he must have put his defiled pacis into his mouth.  Thus the lingering smell.  "At least it was his own poop.  If you're going to mouth human waste,  best-case scenario is that it's your own.  Good call, Spencer," you think to yourself.

You're quickly and loudly hearkened back into reality because your child still thinks it's somehow in his best interest to act as if he hates baths [the same child who cannot get enough of you chasing him around the backyard with a water hose spraying him in the face], so as your mind begins searching its database for the "easiest" ways to deal with the little treat awaiting you in the nursery, your child screams and cries providing you with the perfect test as to whether you have the ability to simultaneously hold him in the bath tub and devise a hazmat disposal action-plan.  You realize that you cannot think and bathe him at the same time.

The rest is really not worth recounting.  I'm sure you can imagine what has to be done.  An hour later, your squeaky clean (on the outside) toddler is finally asleep in his crib, having only lodged his leg between the slats two additional times since nap time take two.  And to think you could have just turned the thermostat down a couple more degrees and made peace with washing a few extra pairs of shorts.  So much for getting through the day with only one pair of dirty clothes per person.


  1. Bless your sweet mommy heart! The only reason it is funny is because it was not me - but believe me, it has been me. When it was me, the only person that found it funny was Ben because he wasn't home to deal with it.

  2. Oh, Lauren-I am laughing out loud! Motherhood is full of surprises, indeed! I love the way you were able to describe this particular incident-especially the part where you cannot hold your screaming child in the tub AND think at the same time-a brain can only deal with so much! I have dealt with similar circumstances-not the same-only similar, but I am totally relating.

  3. Wow. If he was wearing a Fuzzi Bunz with snaps, I'm really impressed with his dexterity. I know that someday this will probably happen to me, and I'm praying that I can handle it with at least a bit of humor:)

  4. Thanks for making me realize my day could have been a lot worse. I guess today I'm thankful that neither of my children ended up with poop in their mouths. And some days, that's enough. :)

  5. You make me so happy! I'm sorry for your tragic experience. And I really do feel that it was tragic. But I am oh so grateful for your ability to take me there - thoughts and all! Love you!

  6. This is soooooo hilarious!!!


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