Don't Over-React!

March 29, 2013

Every parent has dealt with it.  It is never pleasant, it is never convenient, and it is never fun.  Your natural reaction might include mortification and aggravation, but your child won't deserve punishment.  Clothes may be ruined, plans may be changed, guests may be horrified.  Certain smug childless siblings may laugh at your misery.  One thing is sure, though - when your child overfills a diaper, you move fast!

This past weekend, we had some guests.  They were originally going to come for Easter, but changed plans at the last minute.  Since it was an Easter visit, though, we still followed through on the planned activities: Easter baskets, big breakfast and dinner, and an egg hunt.  It was shortly before the egg hunt that things got, umm, interesting.

I was explaining where we were headed, what the search are was, etc., when Kathryn (aged 22 months) pointed to her backside and said "poop, daddy."  Naturally, I told everyone else to keep getting on their coats and shoes and I would be right back.  Roughly a minute later, I told them to go on without us, as Kathryn would no longer be participating in the egg hunt.  Then I went back to deal with the catastrophic poopsplosion.

The carnage was impressive.  As the diaper overfilled, it leaked out through the bottom parts of the diaper into Kathryn's pants.  It shot out of the top (back) part of Kathryn's diaper and filled her onesie, all the way to her neck.  It soaked through the onesie and into her fleece.  When I put her down on the bed before I realized what I was dealing with, it soaked through the fleece into the blanket and sheets and, of course, the church clothes I had just changed her out of about 15 minutes before and left on the bed.  Clearly, this job would require more than the usual two wet

Having been through this with her older brothers, I was able to control my reactions a little better than I could have B.C. (Before Children). Heck, compared to some of her brothers' cases, this was almost tame (I still remember Duncan, frozen in terror, freshly potty trained, not daring to even breathe as diarrhea shot out of his pants onto my carpet last year.  Now that was horrifying.)!  Into the bathroom we went, straight into the shower.  The diaper was stuffed into one plastic bag, then another, then another.  I stashed Kathryn in the corner of the shower stall, let the nozzle hang free and let the water warm up while I undressed her as delicately as possible.  The clothes went into a large plastic tub, and cold water was added.  Cleaning Kathryn at this point was a fairly standard operation.

During this whole process, I was very careful to keep giving my little girl positive feedback, stuff like "you didn't do anything wrong, Daddy loves you," which I hope counterbalanced my occasionally sharp "get your hands away from that!" moments.  By the time the shower was finished, it had been about 40 minutes from the fateful discovery - it was nap time.  This is where I exercised some foresight.  In addition to dressing Kathryn in clothes which would be no big loss, I also laid down several protective layers on the bed to guard against further eruptions from Mount Poosuvius.

That done, little angel sleeping, it was time to check in with the children's mother.  Oh yes, she said, Kathryn had indeed thrown up that morning.  Wonderful!  Thanks for the warning!  Well, it seemed Kathryn must have a touch of the stomach bug that has been going around.  Nothing for it but to wait it out.  Finally aware, though, I was able to keep another vomiting incident (at dinnertime) to a minor clean up job instead of a major wardrobe obliterator.  Bringing the children back to their mother's house that evening, I couldn't help thinking I would rather take the sickness for my poor little girl, and at the same time being very thankful that I kept my cool and was gentle with her when she stank up my day (literally).

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Don't Over-React!

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