This Wasn't What I Ordered

By Jen Mann - 7:37 AM



Although all four of my children are now (FINALLY) toilet-trained, we didn’t arrive at this Everest of excretory management without some seriously shitty experiences. I never knew that motherhood would force me to tackle situations I would’ve shunned on a Fear Factor-type show even if they PAID ME to do them. I should add Waste Management to my LinkedIn profile. Anyways, whenever the filthy word “blowout” comes up, one situation from my diaper-changing days in particular comes to mind.

After dealing with the various explosions of four kids, that's quite a feat. I thought I had seen it all in the way of poopsplosions; a veteran mom of babies that couldn’t be affected by whatever they put out, gave off, or threw up. One hot afternoon, in the middle of July, I handled the most massive, disgusting diaper blowout of my life.

Epic intensity. Code Brown. Code Double Brown. Everywhere. 

With all four kids screaming because of the stench and mess, I had to perform emergency damage control/clean-up in the Chik-Fil-A parking lot, barefoot. Why was I barefoot you ask? Because I THOUGHT I was just going to go through the drive-thru quickly to get lunch for my Herd of kids.
I was wrong.

It began when I asked my oldest son, age five at the time, who sits next to the baby in the car, if he smelled something bad. Based on the smell wafting up from the backseat, I suspected that baby girl had a "bad diaper". After sniffing carefully, he reacts by gagging violently, and INSISTS that I pull over and do SOMETHING. "Mama! Her seat is COATED in poop! It's flowing out like lava! It's getting on me! HELP!!!!" he shrieked.

Dreading the mess that awaited me, I quickly pulled into a parking spot in the Chik-Fil-A lot, and jumped out of the car to open her door to assess the damage. My son wasn't exaggerating! The nastiness was all over her legs and dripping down the sides of her seat.

To intensify the disgusting drama at hand, my wild child kept shaking a toy that's saturated in her filth and showered everyone else in the car. The scene looked like a kitchen mixer had gone berserk in a bowl of brownie batter... Only this was NOT brownie batter. This was an explosion of nasty, acrid poop. Her excited toy-swinging flung the nastiness into the back row as well, which caused my four year old son and my almost three-year old daughter to go berserk all while the baby giggled and continued to wildly kick her feet. These poor passengers in the Suburban of Filth were snugly strapped into their car seats and couldn’t even dodge the shrapnel flying towards them. Yikes. 
Before I could decide what to do first, my oldest daughter interrupted my strategy formation by screaming that the flying poo was landing on her ponytail. It was like she would have been fine with it landing anywhere else on her. "NOT ON MY HAIR!!!! NO POO ON MY HAIR!! My ponytail is clean! NOOOOOO!" She wildly waved her arms like she was trying to hail a cab while trying to block the splatters, and looked like the cab had slung mud on her instead. There was no cab to rescue any of us

In his contribution to the cacophony, my younger son assaulted my ears by whining about the stench, screaming that his eyes are burning OFF and yelling that his hair would never smell the same again. That went on until he got a reaction by threatening to put the poo on his sister, which sent her into hysterics each time he said it. Having just been potty-trained herself, the Princess had developed an intense aversion to anything poop related. I've found that most kids are just fine with their own filth, but if another kid makes a stink, they react like the Wicked Witch getting drenched. The car was in complete and total chaos filled with screaming and yelling, reminiscent of a prison riot or one of the lower layers of Hell in Dante's <em>Inferno</em>. Wails of horror, anger, and agony are hit me in the face as they streamed out the opened car doors, causing other restaurant patrons to stop and look at us. They probably thought I was doing something terrible to my kids, but if they had been brave enough to venture over there, they'd see that I, the MOM, was the one under attack.

As the madness in the car overwhelmed my shell shocked senses, I stared in wonder at my obliviously happy baby (honestly, she probably felt relieved after expelling that hideousness from her body) while I tried decide how to handle the disgusting matter at hand. When I tried to extract the poo-monster from her poo-covered car seat, causing the smell to intensify. Kind of like being slapped in the face with a fish. Then I placed her down on MY seat in the car, removed her clothing, scrubbed her clean with wipes, replaced the diaper that had been blown to smithereens, THEN covered her filthy car seat with various receiving blankets, towels, McDonald's napkins and anything else I could find in my car to prevent her from being re-soiled. It's at times like these that I am thankful for my cluttered car. Having so many resources makes me feel like the MacGyver of Motherhood. Next I carefully removed the soiled baby toy (which had links attached to it, which thereby increased it's slingability) from the Danger Zone of her eight-month-old hands and stowed in a discarded Target bag for a good Lysoling. 

Oh WHATEVER! Who am I kidding!? I hurled that nasty thing in the garbage with all of the other things that had been violated in the diarrhea fallout. After the securing waste spill site, and wishing I had a HAZMAT suit, I climbed back into the driver's seat with burning, blistered feet and the smell of excrement stuck in my nose. I kept thinking that I would have to burn my clothes and soak in a bleach bath to erase the stench that had attached itself to me. Despite the horror I had just faced, I started to laugh. Things could’ve been so much worse than the ordeal I just faced. In my heart, I know that I will be laughing about this in the future, and that this won't be the last disgusting incident that I will encounter in motherhood, and I will still continue to love them.  After turning up the radio to drown out the continued outrage in the backseat, I drove away. Smelly but laughing. And grateful for the Scotch waiting at home.


Jessica Azar writes while raising four stair-step kids, known affectionately as The Herd, with her husband and college sweetheart in her Alabama hometown. She blogs at Herd Management and humorously details the adventures and mishaps of being a homeschooling, work-at-home-mom. She also happens to like running and Single Malt Scotch a whole lot. Jessica co-edited a mental health anthology entitled Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor, and has had essays published in humor anthologies like Clash of the CouplesJessica is a POPSUGAR Select Blogger, a NickMom Ambassador, and does marketing work for various prominent brands. Her published work can be read on POPSUGAR, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, NickMom.Com, and more.

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