The morning started off with such promise. Maddie was smiling ear to ear after her late morning nap. But two days of rigorous travel finally caught up with my little girl.
The fussy bug started gradually, but quickly picked up speed during the early afternoon. Maddie was in the shadowlands arena, she could be entertained in short spurts, but then rolled right back into complaint mode.
This is a very rare occurrence for a girl that nabbed a two-hour nap earlier in the day, but so be it. After her afternoon feeding, we decided to make a coffee run. But even in the car, Maddie’s discontent was on the rise.
As soon as we pulled up to the coffee shop, I got Maddie into her stroller and decided to walk her around the shopping center instead. For the first time all afternoon, Maddie’s mood was beginning to look up. As I wheeled her around the complex, the fresh air was giving her a much-needed boost.
However, once we actually ducked into a nearby grocery store – she started groaning and sighing in fits and starts. The fussy girl was back, but this time she had a trick waiting up her sleeve for dear old dad. As soon as we went to check out, the cashier asked if I had a frequent shopper card. As soon as I reached over to hand it to him, a tiny sock began its lazy ascent right in front of my face. It continued to soar upward before reaching its apogee and tumbling back to earth. You could follow the heads of the people in the store watching the sock like a thunderous home run that was just crushed out of the park.
This was superb entertainment for the cashier, the other shoppers in line and myself. Maddie must have worked her sock to the very tip of her toes before kicking it off and launching it high in the sky for all to enjoy.
My fellow shopper handed the offending sock to me with a huge grin on his face. As I knelt down to put the sock back on Cinderella, she was beaming with sheer delight, obviously very pleased with her efforts. No one said a word, but everyone realized that they were in the presence of greatness.
Maddie and PaPa had just finished a quick and efficient trip to the mall in Short Hills, New Jersey when things took an abrupt and alarming turn for the worst
We had been in the mall for less than 20 minutes and were already on our way to the car. I lifted Maddie out of her stroller and stopped dead in my tracks – say it ain’t so! The stroller had a long brown smelly stain that could only mean one thing – BACKDRAFT! Backdraft is the name I’ve given to the gravity-defying phenomenon that takes place when poop blows up the baby’s back instead of where it belongs into the diaper.
Much to my dismay, I turned the baby around and the evil gravy had obliterated her shirt! You cannot be serious! Now it’s decision time. At this point, the baby is still happy. Do I risk taking her home covered in the goop or do I risk a trip to the public bathroom? The last time we changed a backdraft, Maddie screamed bloody murder for several minutes. I made the only decision I could – try to clean things up and hope for the best.
One we got into the bathroom, Shakespeare came to mind: “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” It was a nightmare! To date, it’s the worst diaper disaster I have ever encountered. I honestly didn’t know where to start – there were nasty pockets of poop in too many places to count. As soon as I started cleaning up Maddie, she went nuclear, screaming at the indignity and discomfort of it all.
Now it’s a party! Poop, screaming and penetrating stares from fellow shoppers! The only thing that could possibly enhance this experience would be if my baby bag were missing a backup outfit! Yahtzee!!! No backup!
Now what? Just like in the movie Legends of the Fall, I had to wrap Maddie in a bearskin! Well actually it was my fleece jacket, but you get the picture. Now Maddie is really screaming as PaPa rushes through the mall in search of some baby clothes.
Some people are giving me encouraging or sympathetic looks while others are shooting daggers at me – Honey Badger don’t care, she’s just screaming. I rushed into Macy’s and told the clerk, “I need a onesie – Right now would be good!” I laid Maddie down at the register on my jacket and dressed her right there. I’m already doing things I never imagined and Maddie is only four and half months old. I think this parenting thing may take a little more practice.