The other night my family and I went out to eat at one of our favorite summer restaurants. It’s nicer than casual, but still has highchairs, and there are plenty of children around during the early dinner hours. The place was already packed, and while we weren’t sitting exactly elbow to elbow with the neighboring table, we were certainly close enough to stare at their food with second thoughts on whether we should have ordered THAT instead.
My eager-eater Zinnia was sitting next to me at the end of the table in her high chair, scarfing down cheerios and snacks until our food arrives, and everyone was mostly behaving (shocking). I was even able to enjoy a cocktail, finally relaxing for summer vacation a little bit. Z then decides she is going to poop and my husband, Justin, looks at me and says “Oh shoot, I forgot to tell you that I gave you the last diaper when we changed her last. We don’t have any left in the car.” Okay, fine, not ideal, but that’s not the end of the world, little Z’s butt may be a little raw by the time we get home, but she won’t have to sit in it for too long.
Our food arrives, and as a nice ocean breeze comes in from the open doors out to the deck around us, I get a strong whiff of… poop. I said to my family “oh boy, I think I better go scour the car for an extra diaper, the whole restaurant does not need to smell that.” My husband jokes that she probably blew out her diaper. My brother then leans over to look into the high chair, and leans back and casually says “there is a giant pile of poop in the high chair.” He says it calmly, mostly straight faced, no panic (my brother is 30, single, with no kids, so I was impressed with his non-panicked announcement on the fact there was a giant pile of excrement sitting in the high chair next to his knee.)
Me: Haha, you’re kidding.
Me: What? Really?
Sure enough, I lean over and right between Zinnia’s chubby legs is a huge pile of poop, last night’s black beans and all. I barely had time to register and make a plan for resolution when Z ALSO noticed the giant pile of poop and goes to stick her fingers in it. (I will take two seconds here to say that I am wearing white jeans, a new shirt, and my mother’s thin open front sweater, since I forgot my own and the ocean breeze was chilly.) I scoop up Z, mortified that we are in a crowded restaurant and there is a giant pile of poop within feet of someone else’s dinner. I tell my husband that he is in charge of dealing with the highchair, and I head out towards to door, weaving through the packed tables.
I am trying not to draw attention to the squirming one year old that I am awkwardly holding as I can see that there is poop all down her bare legs and I was trying to avoid getting it all over my clothes. I get half way to the car and realize that I don’t have my car keys, so I have to turn around and weave back through the tables to grab my purse, still hoping no one notices the mess I am carrying around.
I open the trunk to my car- my go to changing table, and realize my double stroller is folded in the back, taking up all the space I need to change her- AND it’s too heavy for me to grab and drag out of the trunk with one hand. I opt for the front passenger seat. I put the changing pad down, and lower Zinnia to the pad. She is at the stage in life where any diaper changes are a challenge, let alone slightly upside down, in the front seat of a hot car, with poop clumps all over her legs- and now on my white jeans and mom’s sweater sleeve. She was trying to sit up, roll over, arch her back- you name it. I get her diaper off and there is not a single drop of poop IN her diaper- that takes some serious talent. I was frantically trying to wipe down all of her body parts so she didn’t get poop all over the inside of the car while wishing I had thought to snag a cloth dinner napkin to use as a diaper, to at least get us home with little Z’s lady parts adequately covered. At this point Justin appeared. He had taken the highchair outside, cleaned it out with cleaner and found a dumpster to dispose of everything. While Justin watched Z, I rummaged through some things in the car and managed to find a size 5 diaper! Mind you- Z wears a size 4, which means this size 5 had been hanging out in my car somewhere since my oldest last wore diapers- over five months ago…. Guess I need to do a better job cleaning out my car. But alas! The lack of car cleaning at least got me a clean dry diaper to wrap little Z in. Problem solved. Pooptastrophe resolved. Mission complete.
I cleaned myself up, headed back into the restaurant with Z to wash my hands. By the time I got back to the table everyone else had finished their meals. I downed my drink, and scarfed my meal before we hustled everyone to the car to head home. Just another average parenting day!