Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Birthday

Sometimes, it's easy to see glimpses of a person's life and erroneously assume that they have it all together. Given that I'm pretty much an open book, I doubt anyone believes that of me, but, in the spirit of humility, I thought I'd post about our birthday celebration for the youngest member of our family. Keturah Joy, affectionately known as KJ, turned two-years-old this week. It is a birthday she shares with her oldest sister, Michaela, who turned sixteen. 

My sister happened to come and visit us for the weekend, so we did what any good hosts would do and ditched her with the other kids so we could take the birthday girls out to celebrate. We had a nice dinner at TGIFridays. 

Afterward, Michaela went off to meet up with her cousin elsewhere in the mall and we took KJ for her first experience at Build-a-Bear. As we stood there, gawking at the seeming hundreds of animals to choose from, I sniffed something. I tried to ignore it, but as she held and then discarded the eighth or ninth bear, I could barely breathe for the stench. 

Knowing we could not subject the workers and other shoppers to the noxious fumes, I told Shawn I needed to change her and confidently reached for the diaper in my purse. 

It wasn't there.

No problem. We'll just run back to the kid mobile and retrieve a diaper and wipes from the emergency supply

Oh, wait. We didn't drive the kid mobile because we only had two of them with us!

Starting to panic a little, I looked to Shawn to magically pull a diaper out of his jacket or something. He didn't.

This is our SEVENTH 2-year-old and we didn't think to bring a diaper and wipes?!?

"Hmmmm. Maybe it's solid and I can just dump it in the toilet and refasten the diaper," I reasoned. "I can use paper towels for wipes." See? I can be adaptable. Clearly, this isn't my first rodeo. So we made tracks to the nearest bathroom.

I walked into the bathroom, paused a bit when I only saw hand dryers on the walls and then actually gasped when there was no paper towel dispenser, and ducked into the nearest stall to rethink my game plan. 

I couldn't exactly march her back into the sink area to the diaper changing table without a diaper. But I was loathe to lay my child on the floor of a public bathroom. Ew. 

Still hoping for a solid, I lowered her pants and peeked inside the diaper.

Definitely NOT a solid. 

Without viable options, I wrapped toilet paper around my hand and wiped the floor as best I could. Then I laid her on it and told her not to move. I unfastened her diaper and wiped as much of the smelly mess off her bum as I could with it

There was a lot of stink left on that bum, so I took toilet paper and began wiping, only the toilet paper stuck to the mess and balled up until she was now covered in tiny, smelly poop balls.

In an act of total desperation, and after flushing it a dozen or so times, I may have actually dipped some toilet paper into the toilet to wet it and scrub off the bulk of the stink. The details are fuzzy as I think I blacked out a little when I realized I had nothing with which to cover her except her little jeans. (Where in the world was my back-up maxi pad?!? And why did they only sell TAMPONS in the machine?!?

Poor kid was going commando to Build-a-Bear. 

As she sat on the commode singing her potty song, I realized that never had the words mattered more than they did at that moment: (To the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star")
Tinkle, tinkle little KJ
In the potty where it goes
If you go in your panties
It will run between your knees
Tinkle, tinkle little KJ
In the potty where it goes 
Hoping against hope that she took the song to heart, we raced back to Build-a-Bear and rushed her through the choosing of a monkey skin.

We filled the silly thing, rushed the worker through the whole rubbing the heart on every possible spot on your body to make sure you got a nice, funny, loving, kind, responsible, capable, ironic, sensible animal with good athletic abilities, skipped the bath, named the thing for her ("Jumpy"), printed off the stupid birth certificate only to get stuck in a never ending line. 

They don't have to have a speedy check out. They know they have you trapped. You are completely at their mercy. You both know you aren't going anywhere without that stuffed animal your kid so lovingly "created." Might as well sit back and scroll through facebook. They are going to take their own sweet time.

Except we were in line with a ticking time bomb. Any second now she could blow and bodily fluids could come oozing out with nothing to contain them but a pair of size 2T jeans.

I tried to distract her. We walked around and looked at all the clothing and accessories that we could've purchased for her monkey, knowing full well they'd be lost before we even got home. 

Suddenly, she gasped and her legs went wide. "Noooo!" I whispered loudly as I pushed her legs together so most of it would be absorbed by the jeans. We stood there for a minute until I let her take a tentative step forward. Strangely, her pants didn't really look wet, although there may have been a tiny drop of wet on the floor that I quickly mopped up with an old tissue from my pocket.

Huh. Maybe she was able to stop it.

Finally, they let us leave we checked out and headed for the exit. Noticing that KJ was walking a bit awkwardly, Shawn took her into a bathroom on the way out of the mall. There he found that her pants were remarkably dry...but her shoes were squishy, squeaky, and filled with pee. He threw her socks in the trash, rinsed out her little pink tennis shoes in the sink and dried them with the hand dryer, and then lined her jeans with paper towels. (Really?!? That bathroom had paper towels?!? Go figure.)

We don't appear to be getting any better at this parenting thing. Maybe practice really doesn't make perfect. But we sure do love these kids...and we're pretty good at making memories. Never-mind that they're memories nobody wants to remember...