As many of you know, The Kid recently started at a new school. This can be a challenging time of trying to find a way to fit in, make friends, figure out where everything is. And I'm sure it's hard on the kids too.
One of the ways the New School helps parents make this adjustment is by putting everyone on a committee. The New School is BIG on committees. Every parent has to volunteer for at least one - it's contractual (I'm not even making that up, you're one step shy of signing a blood oath). But, it really does help you to make friends - if in no other way than that you bond over having to be part of a committee!
And I really like my committee because they're going to let me write funny things (hopefully they'll be funny...dear God, let them be funny so I don't feel like a dumb-ass at The Kid's New School). And the people on my committee, it turns out, are really great too. I met them all this morning and I couldn't be happier.
It was our first committee meeting and I had to bring the baby so I was worried it would put me on shaky ground. But everyone was really sweet about it, and they appropriately goo-ed and gaa-ed for him. And generally the baby was pretty well behaved. I gave him a streaming supply of snacks to keep him happy and quiet while we discussed our plans. Eventually, though, he tired of eating and wanted out of his stroller. It wasn't really a place he could easily be (read: not kill himself while) crawling around, but he was loudly insistent. I was willing to try in the hopes he would play quietly in one spot and let me continue on in the meeting. A foolish hope, I know... But he did it! He happily stood at a chair pushing cars around on its seat and didn't mind that I was neither engaged with, nor really paying attention to him. I was able to be a part of the conversation. I think I said some interesting things and may have gotten one or two jokes in there too. All the while he played on his own. It was like a scene from the Twilight Zone it was so unbelievable.
I liked how things were going - considering our committee also has a person from school administration on it, and school authority figures still give me the willies - that is really saying something. I believe it was somewhere around the discussion of if we should write about car pool or not, that I realized I needed to check in on The Baby because a familiar odor was starting to waft my way from regions south of his diaper-border. The usual method for confirming a loaded back side on a baby is to stick one's nose right up into the broadside of his backside and take a good sniff. This did not seem like a cool thing to do in front of a bunch of new-to-me people. So I casually pulled at the back of his diaper to see what I could see. Now, the reason this latter method is not more often used than the totally uncooth facial-assault method is because you, as the parent, run the risk of getting a little poop on you. Which I did.
I didn't panic though. This isn't my first time at the poopy diaper rodeo and the conversation happening amongst the adults was particularly engaging, so no one really noticed what was happening over at our end of the table. I quickly grabbed a wipe from my bag and de-pooped my hand. I scooped The Baby up and excused ourselves to go make a quick change. There was general jocularity over remembering that part of childhood - "no one misses that!" But I would be right back, so no big deal.
It was when I lay The Baby down in the customary diaper change position, that I realized those words were a big ass lie. My arm came out from underneath him coated in the poop that was formerly in his diaper. It had squeezed its way up and out, and was now clinging to every forearm hair of my right arm along with his pants, shirt and sweat jacket. I had not even remembered feeding him corn, but the proof was self-evident.
When I removed his shirt the poop spread all up his back and partially into his hair. When his pants came off, they landed on me and my pants. Wipe after wipe slogged away at a seemingly endless supply of it. When all was finally cleaned up he lay there in only a new diaper as every item of his clothes, save his socks, had taken a hit and were now wrapped up in the completely soiled changing pad. I washed myself and his self as best I could in a community sink and resigned to leaving the meeting early. I had my car keys in my pocket and could just email them an explanation and apologies later. That would have been the smart thing to do. After all, the boy was mostly naked.
Of course, that's not at all what I did. For one thing, while I had my keys; the diaper bag, stroller, favorite stuffed animal, snack packs and myriad other things I require to go anyplace with that child, were all still in the meeting room. For another thing, I really wanted to be a part of the committee and not have them think I was a giant flake. I quickly raided The Kid's cubby for extra clothes and brought my son back to the meeting in a rainbow tie-die t-shirt 4 sizes too big for him and pink starred jeggins that scrunched so much excess fabric at the bottoms he actually looked to be wearing leg warmers al la Jennifer Beales in "Flashdance."
He was clean though, so who cares, right? These things happen. No one seemed to notice he was in an entirely new outfit and I was back into the conversation.
The thing about poop though, is that while visually it is incredibly repelling, it's physical appearance is nothing compared to its olfactory assault. You can wipe it all off, but it's still gonna stink.
He still stinks.
I still stink. I know it.
That lady across the table just wiped her nose. Does she know it? That guy coughed. Is it because he can't breath due to the fact that I smell like a gas station bathroom? Oh god, I didn't even check my sweater! Is there actual poop on my sweater? Am I sitting here in a room of new people that I am going to try and be friends with for the next six years of my life while I have actual stinking poop on me?! I'm going to have to get a new committee. Oh no, they're going to stick me on fundraising! This is like that time that girl in 5th grade farted during assembly and then had to transfer schools...only this is worse because it's actually shit! I have to get out of here. Maybe I could get the baby to start crying and then blame an early departure on him. How bad is it to pinch your own baby?
I have next to no memory of what was discussed in the meeting during this time. I may or may not have volunteered The Husband to do something that is due next week. That's his problem. Mercifully, however, it didn't go on for much longer. Hopefully that was coincidental and not because people's eyes were starting to water. I tried to give everyone a wide berth on exiting, which was not easy given we were all going through one tiny doorway and I was pushing a poop-laden stroller out the door that got stuck on the the threshold. And I say poop-laden because of course at this point, I was convinced (probably accurately) that everything associated with us had a poop aura to it.
We got to the car and I pealed out of the school-zone driveway like Danika Patrick. It was a getaway, though I can't say if it was clean or not. I don't know how much of our poop-tasia adventure was evident to these folks. I may be the equivalent of the kid who eats paste in the corner from now on in the parent sphere. Sigh, I guess I could always home school...