The poop kept coming. And coming. And coming. The dam didn't hold. There was poo on the wall.
It was just an ordinary nappy change. There was no warning. I unpopped her onesie and opened her nappy – just wet. And then a mischievous smile crossed her face. A little fart. And then the poop started.
“Nailed it”, I thought. The perfectly timed nappy change – old nappy still on, ready to catch the poop as it arrives, new nappy ready to swap in once she’s done, before leaving the room with a nice clean baby.
The poop kept coming. And coming. And coming. My smugness turned to panic as I realised the old nappy was filling. A quick peek and I saw an orange reservoir building in her nappy. What to do? Swap in the new nappy now, waste a nappy and risk an uncontained explosion at the moment of the swap? Or hold tight with the old nappy, test its absorbency to the limits and hope the dam holds? I opted for the latter. The dam didn’t hold.
Poop was breaching the side of the nappy, trailing up the changing mat towards her clothes like lava. Somehow, there was poo on the wall.
Another peek inside. Still coming. By now there was a bubbling swamp in the nappy, as new waves of poop surged through the leaky container. The new nappy had by now been sacrificed, to no avail, as it collected more smears on the outside than the inside. Looking at her orange back and legs, it was clear there was only one thing for it – bath time.
I lifted baby, plus pooey smears, plus changing mat off the table and onto the floor, to collect everything we would need for an unplanned bath manoeuvre. New clothes, towels, washcloth, bathtub. I filled the tub with water and checked with the thermometer. 38.6°. Too hot. A few seconds of cooler water, and check again. 34.2°. What? How can the temperature change so much in so few seconds? The happy baby was by now kicking around on the changing mat, unperturbed by the pooey remnants still covering her thighs and feet. I eyed the thermometer with skepticism and added more warm water. 12 temperature checks later and we had the perfect bath temperature.
Maybe it’s just my imagination, but while lifting her into the bath water she looked skinnier and felt lighter than she did just minutes before. Clearly unconcerned by the ordeal, her angelic blue eyes still smiled up at me as she splashed around in the warm water. With one hand on the baby, I wiped clean the mat, unfurled the towel and bundled a now clean cherub into a towel-burrito. Trauma complete.
But before we get as far as a new nappy and fresh clothes, that mischievous smile appears again.