My wife has gone out of town for the weekend. This is great for her, she deserves some time for herself. I am happy to spend a Dad-only weekend with my daughters and son. I planned this weekend for my wife without reservation or concern. She left this afternoon.
My wife has officially been out of the state for 4 hours.
She needs to come home.
Let me explain: I came home from work and was hanging out in the living room with my daughters. Youngest daughter was bouncing on my leg jumping up and down. This felt like it went on forever, or at least until my thigh muscles felt like they were going to explode. I explained to her that my leg was tired (her horsie was pooped..) She seemed to accept this and trotted down the hall. I assumed she was going to the bathroom. She is being potty-trained and is doing a great job.
I pulled out my phone and began rescheduling a meeting for work on Monday. Gradually the smell of poop reached my nose. Despite what you might think, this is not normal at our house. I assumed the dog let one loose and kept on working. The smell got stronger. “Where the heck is the dang dog?” I muttered to myself. My 5-year old overheard me and said “she stinks dad.” I agreed.
After what seemed like the plausible amount of time for the odor to pass, I became concerned because it had not. I asked my 5-year old to go check on her sister. She came back and said that there was poop that looked like pee. I asked what that meant. She couldn’t articulate a proper response. “Do I need to go back there?” I asked as my stomach sank. “Yes!” was her reply. Her exuberance masking what I was about to discover.
I turned the corner into the bathroom (the smell growing ever worse as I traversed the hallway) just as the dog was making its way out of the bathroom. The dog had diarrhea all over its mouth and lips. I was disgusted and furious. “Out! Out!” I shouted at her as my finger stabbed the air in the direction of the back door. She dutifully tucked her tail between her legs, cowered close to the ground and made her way to the backyard. I would deal with her later.
My daughter was on the bathroom rug sitting on her knees with her forehead on the ground and her hands holding her temples. She didn’t have pants on. The smell was gag-inducing. I asked her if she was okay. She mumbled something incoherent (I should mention that it is probably coherent to other 3-year olds, just not to those who speak adult) I asked her if she had an accident. She nodded. I noticed she had poop on her thigh. I stepped past the toilet to start the bath.
I stepped right into a puddle of diarrhea mixed with pee. My foot slipped and my toe slammed into the cold, hard side of the bathtub. I grunted under my breath, dutifully swore in french (so the child wouldn’t understand) and sweetly smiled at my daughter. Through clenched teeth I inquired “did you also poop on the floor?” Her eyes grew to the size of saucers and welled with tears. No words came, but I had my answer.
I screamed to my 11-year old “Get me a mop!” She informed me that we didn’t have one. I noticed the bath was full of baby toys. I couldn’t put a poop-stained baby in a bathtub full of bath toys that she played with every bath time. I frantically searched for a place to put the toys. The floor wouldn’t work, it was covered with poop. It seemed the toilet was the only place that DIDN’T have poop in it. My wife would be proud to know that I resisted the urge to put the toys there. I noticed paper towels on the back of the toilet. I unrolled the entire roll of paper towels in about 8.3 seconds and covered the floor with towels. Where I could find a dry paper towel, I put toys on it.
I threw the baby in the bath, turned on the water and turned my attention to the lake of diarrhea and pee that was lurking under 2 inches of a Brawny cap sheet. I ordered the baby to the back of the bathtub and quickly washed my own stained foot. Snapping around I pushed all the paper towels to the center of the floor and threw the whole mass of towels, urine and excrement into the bathroom trash. Bingo, bango, bongo! Half the battle was won. After 20 minutes of cleaning half the tile floor in the house with Mr. Clean while on my hands on knees, I was almost in the clear.
I asked the baby where her pants were, she pointed. They were covered with diarrhea inside. I asked where her underwear were. She said upstairs. I sent my 11-year old to look upstairs. She found nothing. “Where are your underwear?!” I asked more urgently. “Upstairs.” was the only reply I could get. There are no underwear upstairs, there are no underwear downstairs. I am assuming that she wasn’t wearing any. (she has a habit of taking them off whenever we aren’t looking… she takes after her Mom) The only other option is that the dog somehow ate them.
Things have settled a little bit now. The youngest girls are playing together with baby dolls. The 11-year old is playing video games. The 16-year old disappeared upstairs about 10 minutes before “The Event” and hasn’t been heard from since. Part of me thinks she planned this. The dog is still outside. Call me crazy but if you eat poop in my house, you don’t get to live here any more. I can’t fathom letting her poopy-mouth back into my house. I chatted with the kids about the dog going to live “somewhere else” and I think they agreed. Minimal tears, some sniffles.
Although I have survived the first couple hours of my “Dad’s Only” weekend. I do not want to participate in any more of the planned or unplanned activities. I want my wife to come home. I want her to take the dog to the pound tomorrow. I want her to find out if the baby was really wearing underwear and if I need to worry about some feces-stained article of clothing turning up tomorrow afternoon. I don’t want to be Mr. Mom anymore.
Where the heck is my remote control?