It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Craps Their Pants

I took Friday off to spend the day with my kid. I was excited about it and promised her a fun day.

We started off the morning by heading to Michael's for a craft project with some kids from a local playgroup that we joined a few months ago. The project involved decorating a wee little totebag for Halloween (it was billed as a trick-or-treat bag but unless she plans to collect exactly one Hershey's miniature on Halloween, I don't think the bag is going to serve that purpose.) I steered A away from the permanent paints and handed her some stickers instead. She placed some pumpkins and skulls on her bag and then colored on it with a blue marker. She had a blast and seemed really proud of her creation.

After we left Michael's we headed to the mall. As we pulled out of the Michael's parking lot, A promptly ripped the stickers off her totebag and shoved them in various crevices inside the car so that I can find them next July.

I had a coupon for Build-Up-Our-Fortune-By-Buying-Our-Overpriced-Stuff . . . I mean, Build-a-Bear, so I thought we'd head there first. I told A she could choose any animal. She picked the monkey. After grabbing his empty carcass and tossing it over her arm, she actually thought we were all done and just needed to pay for the monkey. "We gotta pay for it." Instead, I guided her towards the nice lady at the stuffification machine. She filled the smiling simian with fluff and instructed A to pick out a little cloth heart for him. Then she instructed the kid to kiss the heart. A could not understand this concept for love nor money. She kissed the monkey. Then she held the heart up to the monkey's lips so that HE could kiss the heart. Finally the heart was safely lodged in the monkey's back and we moved on to the fluff wash. A had no interest in pressing the pedal which caused a blast of air to gush out of the "faucet." I had to agree it seemed pointless and was a waste of perfectly good air.

Next we headed to the computer so that we could establish a birth certificate for the monkey. I entered all the information that was requested of me by the computer. Then came time for a name. "What is his name?" I asked her. I think you'll be pretty impressed with the clever name she picked out. "Monkey," she replied. "Really, are you sure you don't want to pick a different name?' "No! Monkey!"

The world's friendliest cashier (Felix, God love him) was waiting for us at the register. "And WHAT did you NAME your monkey?" the ebullient Felix asked my kid. Then he turned and grabbed the birth certificate off the printer. "Oh, Monkey! How funny!" No doubt disappointed that we were making it out of there for under a hundred bucks, he started offering us random accessories and crap, like a bow for the monkey's ears, a crack pipe, etc.

Next stop: the food court. We got a couple of sandwiches from Subway and, because we are health nuts, some fries from A&W. It seemed easiest to sit at one of the tables made specifically for kids. I ate my sandwich with my knees in my chest while A and I embarked on some very intense negotiations regarding the fair (or, in her mind, unfair) disbursement of the fries.

Finally, we headed to the kids' play area at the end of the mall. I had promised that we'd go and so we went. The play area is sponsored by a hospital so they have weird things like a gigantic stethoscope on which the kids can climb.

I flipped through a People magazine (because I'm all about the intellectual stuff) while keeping one eye on my kid. She was having a blast, running around with the other kids and climbing on the over-sized band-aid. She was even waiting her turn!

Eventually she trotted by the bench where I was sitting. You know how cartoonists often illustrate a bad smell with those wavy lines? I could see those coming off my kid. All of the oxygen was sucked out of the air. I hooked my finger in the back of her pants and pulled the waistband outward. Oh my, it was bad. Squirt-up-the-back bad. "Pie, do you want me to change you in the car or in the bathroom?" She chose the bathroom. I put her in her stroller and wheeled her into one of those "family" bathrooms.

For the next ten minutes I used approximately 764 baby wipes in the clean-up effort. Fortunately I do still carry around a change of clothing for her. I stripped off the old outfit and momentarily thought that burning it might just be preferable to washing it. Finally she was vaguely clean. It seemed obvious that our outing was over, so I sat her back in the stroller and headed for the car. But wait, something was still very wrong. As I was strapping A in the carseat, a dollop of doo appeared out of nowhere. "What the?" Had she pooped again? What was going on? And then it dawned on me - the stroller was full of poop when I put my freshly re-dressed daughter back in it. F-ing rookie error, man! And I'm in my third season. Argh!

Back home I changed the kid into her third outfit du jour and then put her down for a nap (which she didn't take, for the record). I then spent part of my day off scrubbing poo off clothing, a carseat, and a stroller.

Some out-of-town friends arrived later that day to spend the weekend with us. A kept telling them that the monkey had crapped all the way up his back and that he needed a diaper. I figure that what comes out of her is my problem and what comes out of Monkey is her problem.

Moments before her intestines erupted


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