Thursday, March 28, 2013

A poop story

This past Saturday, your wonderful Auntie Kat took me out to get our nails did (I am SO abusing the fact that she is from New Jersey to actually feel good about how my dry, crappy hands look), then joined us for a glorious adventure to a local taco joint (where you devoured something like three servings' worth of puffs, refused to keep one of your shoes on, but were otherwise a genuinely delightful dining companion) and to get ice cream at our favorite soft serve place. It was a really nice day, and you seemed to very much enjoy both the new scenery and the attention almost as much as your Dad and I enjoyed pretending that we were normal adults who ever left the house to do normal adult things. Kat, knowing she had some kind of a head cold thing, made a valiant effort to keep her boogery self to her self, to a point of refusing the massive snuggle-hugs you like to give her. Your virtually non-existant immune system, however, didn't stand a chance, and by midday on Sunday, you were oozing snot and generally wilting.

Now, I feel it is worth celebrating the fact that - aside from actually dying twice, nearly dying those other two times, and needing your heart replaced - you have not been sick once in your fourteen months of life. Not even the sniffles. There have been diaper rashes, yes, and you've been prophylactically treated for all sorts of nasty shit with all sorts of nasty drugs, but you have not actually gotten sick. I've spent months psyching myself out about what would actually happen when you did. Would even the tiniest hint of a head cold send you into the hospital with pneumonia-like symptoms? If your fever topped 100.9, would our next 24 to 48 hours be spent screaming in a local ER that just won't provide the quality of care we've grown accustomed to you getting in Boston? If you caught one of the 24-hour stomach bugs that so regularly sweep through my school, would we end up at the Cardiac ICU pumping saline and your anti-rejection drugs through an IV that you would use all your non-vomiting energy to attempt to pull out? Bottom line: would we end up taking a helicopter ride, whether we wanted it or not?

Nope. Your first non-ER, non-lethal illness has gone down like pretty much any other kid's. On Sunday, you were kind of stuffy and listless. This continued into the night, and you were basically just uncomfortable after hours of lying down with your poor little head filling with boogers. All that day, night, and into Monday, your face was a constant stream of clear, thick snot. Your Dad and I began almost competitively leaping to put a cupped hand under your chin every time you sneezed to catch the literal handful of boogers that goobed out of your nose...because we do that any case, it was clear by that evening that something had to be done.

I decided to be proactive and try out some of the at-home remedies that so many of our crunchy hippie friends (both on and off the internet) have recommended. I got you a tub of Baby Rub (which sounds far naughtier than I think the good folks at Vicks intended), made sure we were stocked up on juice and apple sauce, and ran the shower for ten minutes to get the bathroom nice and steamy before plopping you into the tub. You seemed squirmy in that classically Hudson pre-pooping way, but I figured it was just congestion making you antsy. I made a critical misjudgment.

Bath time has become a very happy, fun time. You love splashing - and I mean LOVE it - and we've collected a really excellent collection of toys that you chew on, toss out of reach then scramble to reclaim, and generally use to get tub water anywhere it shouldn't be. I will admit, too, that I get profound pleasure from giving you silly hair with bubbles. That night, I plopped you into the tub, gave you an array of favorite toys to play with, and sat back to watch you smiling, giggling, and generally being happier than you had been all day. Your Dad took ten minutes to sit down on the couch and check his email, and I sat on the bathroom floor by the tub to bask in your happy smile. With no warning whatsoever, your face squished up in that way that it only can when you are straining for a poop, and the tub slowly filled with horribly yellowy chunks. I yelled, "NOOOOO!" and your Dad started laughing from the other room.

His laughter, however, was short-lived. I summoned him for an assist, as you were bawling in that half-assed way that tells me you're really just annoyed, but you COULD be upset enough to cry if we don't fix whatever is wrong, and you had started angrily splashing about in your own feces. I plopped you, poo-covered, wet, naked, and now extremely happy and high-energy, on a clean towel in the middle of the floor. You immediately decided that what you wanted most in the world was either a hug from Dad, or to stick your face on the extremely hot space heater that I had been blasting to get the bathroom extra steamy. I frantically scooped watery poop down the drain, silently damning our landlords for not anticipating our needs and installing an extra-wide drainage pipe, while your Dad failed somewhat spectacularly to shift your attention to something less fatal or unpleasant. The tub finally emptied, I hurriedly scraped it as clean as I could, and I filled it with just enough clean water to scrub you down.

Hudson, I must inform you at this point that I did a fairly half-assed job cleaning you off. Your Dad and I were both grumbling and moaning about the fact that we - and most of our bathroom - were basically covered in some amount of your poop, so I figured it only barely mattered that you probably still had a vague patina of the same. It was late enough, and you were wound up enough, that the evening was basically lost at this point. I somewhat lazily tried to feed you some dinner, changed your diaper, crawled into bed for a snuggle, was forced by you to read the same three books aloud at least three times each, and then turned off the light. As you sweetly nuzzled your face into my chest, snortling with echoing congestion, one beautiful, fat arm clasped around my neck, I got the slightest whiff - under the intoxicating cloud of baby soap and your still-lovely smelling skin - of poop.

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