+++ WARNING +++ GRAPHIC PARENTING POST +++
Tom is usually very ambivalent about having his nappy changed. He is at that age where he assuming ownership rights over his nappy and its contents. His objections to a “bum change” (as it is termed) are usually expressed in the single assertion: “Mine!” A gentle tussle will then ensue as the old nappy is wrested away from his nether regions and a fresh one applied.
This morning, however, he marched into the bedroom at “getting up time” (can’t fault him on that) and insisted: “Poo. Poo.” This, for those of you who don’t speak Toddler, means “There is a horrible poo clinging to my buttocks like a limpet, please remove it forthwith.”
The horrible brown stain on his romper suit warned us that all was not right in the nappy universe and we had better go to “condition red” immediately. Envisioning a nappy leakage of Chernobyl proportions I headed for the nappy supplies – clean nappy, nappy sacks, baby wipes, etc – conveniently stored in the boy’s bedroom only to find the entire room was covered in a blanket of snow.
Well. Not snow exactly. But the contents of two packets of baby wipes. They were everywhere. Moist, soft and ready to use. All four hundred of them. We’re guessing that Tom, feeling distinctly uncomfortable in his southern hemisphere, had decided to try a bit of self help and had possibly tried to clean his own bum through his romper suit and his jim-jams. It was always going to be Mission Impossible, bless him.
So grabbing a few wipes from the drifts around me I set about peeling Tom out of his clothes. It wasn’t pretty. In fact I probably reacted like a battlefield doctor when faced with something extraordinarily horrific. The humble instruments I had to hand were just not going to do the job.
There was only one thing for it. An emergency splish-splash-splosh (or “bath” as it is known in common parlance).
The boy was summarily dunked and sluiced. The unclean bandages of his jim-jams flung into the washing machine. The gravy-filled nappy bagged up and dropped into the bin destined for the nearest landfill.
All this took merely ten minutes. A fact which, quite frankly, amazes me. When faced with bad situations, I guess the mind goes into overdrive. Time seems to slow down. The body exhibits a dexterity that has the exactness of clockwork. The wife and I work together like the parts of a well oiled AK-47. No jamming, even in hot conditions.
Before Tom knew it he was clean, presentable, dressed and having a long toke on a tumbler of milk. He looked slightly dazed. Shocked even.
I’m glad to say he had fully recovered within 15 minutes. The paras could stand down.
I, on the other hand, have gone into delayed shock. Battle fatigue. Post traumatic stress disorder.
It’s the only reason I can come up with to explain why I just can’t face eating chocolate this morning.