Jack loves his mama’s milk, and I am delighted to provide it to him.
He was exclusively breastfed until just about six months and, for those that don’t know, the poop that comes out of an exclusively breastfed baby is actually not too bad, as poop goes. Kind of yeasty smelling, yellow, runny, washes away, wipes off.
At six months, we started him on little bits of food — some yoghurt, some banana, a little avacado. A cheerio or two. He still mostly drinks milk, but his range and volume of solids has increased. And things have changed.
Oh my, have they ever changed!
First, he stopped pooping as often. He was a once-a-day guy until about seven months. Then it was every few days. Then he started pooping every four-five, sometimes six days.
Poor Steve seemed to get the bad luck of the draw in the diaper changing regard (even though I almost never engineered it to be his turn when the poop finally came), and confess that I resented his shouts of horror and begging for help when he was diaper changing. I confess that I rarely helped him, and if I did it was with much resentment. “Drama queen” I would mutter to myself. “Princess.” I was really very ungracious. It really didn’t seem that bad, even though he has been telling me that for the past few weeks, the poop has been taking on a most unpleasant texture and odour.
“Whatever you say, Steve. It’s only poop.”
You may see where this is going.
Today my choice was diaper change (which I knew was poopy) or litter box (also a known poop entity). As I abhor changing the litter box, and my sense of social justice finally reared it’s ugly head, I opted for the diaper.
What a terrible mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake.
The first indication something was wrong was the smell. My darling little baby boy smelled… funny. Bad, somehow. Actually kind of gross. He hadn’t smelled so bad since his cord stump turned into a putrid swamp of zombie-ness before it fell off.
Then I took his pants off.
The green streak up his leg wasn’t completely unexpected since he hadn’t pooped in two days, even given our awesome cloth diapers, but the smell had intensified. Badly. In preparation, I got two wipes out of the container (I generally pride myself on using one wipe per change) and had them handy. Then I unvelcro’d the top of the diaper. Jack reached for his penis with both hands.
Within a nanosecond, I had re-velcroed the diaper.
“STEVE!!!!!!!!” I screamed into the baby monitor. “STEEEEEEEEVE!!! I neeeeed you! HELP!”
My husband ran up the stairs, laughing. “Hold his arms,” I told him. “Stat.” Steve grabbed Jack’s arms, weak with laughter. “I told you they were bad.” “Shut up and hold his arms.”
I wiped the leg first. Then I opened the diaper.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have never seen anything like it. It was a greyish green putty, smeared in a layer about a centimetre thick all over his penis, testes, buttocks and diaper. It had *chunks* in it. I’m pretty sure I saw peas, watermelon and zucchini. The image is burned into my retina. And the smell. Oh my goodness, the SMELL.
Have you ever attended a country fair sadly undersupplied in the porta-potty department? Where large, large men with unhealthy colons have voided their bodies of too many corn dogs and Those Little Doughnuts? And it’s hot? Very, very hot? And the overused porta-potties are in the middle of the sunniest part of a blacktop parking lot?
It was like that. Only all over my baby’s bum. And it was cold and windy outside.
I looked at this abomination of diaper-ness, and I looked at my two puny wetwipes. I looked back at the abomination, and grabbed a prefold from the shelf. I started taking big swipes at the bum, and grabbed another prefold. Worse yet, I couldn’t even put the used diapers anywhere, since I needed one hand to hold Jack’s legs up and out of the detritus and other to wipe.
In all this, my husband was still laughing. Whenever he had breath to speak, he would gasp out something that sounded like “I told you so.”
Unfortunately, all the laughing got Jack right riled up — he thought the situation was HI-larious — so he squirmed and wriggled and twisted his little bum and thighs ALL OVER the dirty diaper. As fast as I wiped him clean, he rolled his bum, back and legs back through the mess.
Did I mention
the peanut gallery Steve was still laughing? Yeah.
Finally I got the worst of it up (which is to say there was now just a film of disgusting smelly poop instead of a spackle of disgusting smelly poop), and, with two premium-sized prefolds AND my two sad little wet wipes now covered in that toxic waste, I told Steve to just hold Jack on the change table and I ran to run the bath.
One double-dose of bubble bath and two very wrinkled baby feet later, I was pretty confident he’s clean. I do, however, still feel like scrubbing my hands with the barbeque brush and I may have to bleach the bath (to say nothing of my sinuses. And my eyes.). I haven’t even considered what to do with the diaper (tongs and a bonfire comes to mind), and Steve (who mercifully stopped laughing) tells me this is the new normal.
Normal? This? And he potty learns WHEN? What did you say? WHEN?
The heck with starting solids at six months, I’m not giving him another solid until he’s THREE YEARS.
So, to all lovely mothers just champing at the bit to feed your little angel his or her first mouthful of sweet potato at six months and two minutes old — don’t. Just don’t. For the love of little apples, wait as LONG AS YOU CAN before introducing solids. I recommend middle school at the earliest.