Monday, February 11, 2008

Hitting the fan

It's The Boy here, Yummy Mummy has handed over the reins of her blog to me for a one-off special guest appearance. So don't expect anything similar to the thoughtful, touching and poignant posts of recent days - this is pure, hard-hitting reality.

We have just had the Chinese New Year holidays, and we spent the 4-day break enjoying a very quiet Hong Kong. The local residents either jet off to warmer climes or visit family and friends, but either way the streets are quiet and most of the shops are shut. On Sunday we got up, organised and out the flat in record time, getting into Central at the crack of 11am, ready to hit the shops for a couple of hours before the next feed was due. Of course Eve had other ideas, so decided that after just one shop - Lane Crawford, where I chanted subliminal messages to a blissfully unaware and sleeping Eve about designer goods being a waste of money, and where we also failed to find the birthday presents we were looking for - that in fact she was going to wake up and demand to be fed there and then. We found a Starbucks - damn, and after that crafty subliminal work we immediately go for overpriced, low-value goods - and settled down with a decaf hazelnut latte skinny grande (I always get confused halfway through my order and am never sure of the right order of the various items I need, grande skinny decaf hazlenut latte?) and a hot chocolate. Eve settled down under some form of magical yellow tent apparatus that allows YM to breastfeed her in privacy in public, and I sat back in a comfy chair to soak up the gentle jazz that was playing and watch the world go by, amused every now and then by one of Eve's legs kicking out contentedly from beneath the yellow tent-structure. Halfway through the feed Eve needs changing, and unfortunately YM had to do the honours as there was no changing station in the gents. Naturally there wasn't in the ladies either, so the operation was accomplished on the floor of the public toilet - classy, our daughter.

Back to feeding under the yellow-canopy, and cue almost immediate squirting sounds again down below from Eve. As her digestive system is changing at the moment she is actually not creating poo, sorry, pooing, very frequently, but when she does poo, she really does and you have to change her pretty sharpish. But as she is a talented girl she is quite happy feeding, pooing and vomiting all at the same time, so we let her continue slurping away for a bit. I was still enjoying the ambiance, but then YM finally emerged from the yellow sheet/tent-thing with a griamce and handed her to me, "you change her". No problem, and with that the modern Dad grabbed her under one arm and strolled to the gents.

I popped her down on the top next to the sink - Eve might like rolling around on the floor of a public loo but it doesn't grab me - and got the bits and bobs you need for the operation out of the baby bag. I started to get her undressed - she started screaming - and realised that the poo was more than impressive, it was catastrophic. It had soaked through her nappy, her underwear all-in-one suit thing, and her baby rompersuit thing (I admit I need to get up to date with my baby fashion terminology). And of course by implication onto the travel changing mat, but miraculously not onto me. No problem for the modern Dad as we had a change of clothes in the bag. The first issue was that there was nowhere else to put her other than the now-poo-covered changing mat, hmmm. So I partially undressed her and began to clean up the poo, a sort of watery, green/yellow mush, and quickly started to run out of baby wipes. I moved onto the emergency paper towel, then tissues, and was still not making much headway. I mean, there was a lot of poo. I got her out of her clothes and onto the mat, where she slid around in her own faeces for a bit while I struggled to clean her, the mat, pack her soiled clothes into a vacuum-sealed-double-nappy-bag (I decided there and then we would burn them when we got home), and I then ran out of all cleaning material. "Hold this Eve", and she clung resolutely to the soap dispenser while I dashed across the toliets to get more paper towel. I got back before she bounced onto the tiled floor and continued the mopping up operation - I finally got the nappy off - oh my god - and discovered that the poo was halfway up her stomach, all the way up her back and had somehow got into her hair. She then put her feet down in it so was truly covered from top to toe.

Hmmm, the modern Dad didn't sign up to this. Holding Eve under one arm I cleaned the mat, then cleaned her in mid-air, one-handed, rinsed out her hair, cleaned the mat again, cleaned her feet, legs, stomach, bottom, back, hair again. Arms, hands, and me too by this stage, of course. Have I mentioned she was screaming? I put her down on the mat to put a nappy on, and of course she weed everywhere. On me, her, the mat. Right. Pick her up one-handed, clean the mat again, the baby again, me, her hair again - the wee didn't go anywhere near that but only 5 minutes previously it did have lots of poo in it so you can't blame me - put her back down on the mat. Breathe slowly, breathe, calm. Grin crazily at the other users of the gents. Nappy on, yes, we are nearly there! "Eve, you can let go of the soap dispenser now". But she wouldn't, so we had a mini-battle before I could get the rest of her clothes on. Throw away the mound of soiled tissues, wipes, paper towel, pack the baby bag, pop the baby under one arm again, stagger out somewhat traumatised and nowhere near as nonchalent as before, back into the now-surreal Starbucks. Hand Eve back to a manically giggling Mum (overtired, anyone?), and resolve to invent the leakproof nappy. We had been out shopping for about 3 hours and all I had done was clean up sh*t!


Mummy said...

I wet myself reading this. Which means that I now need to change my clothes, rinse out my hair, and grab a soap dispenser as if my life depended on it.

LottieP said...

After reading this comical, albeit extraordinarily graphic, account may I propose that The Boy be granted further guest appearances? Or perhaps he should be writing his own blog, with suitably descriptive title - Don't Worry, Be Nappy.

Sabina said...

I am reading this in the office and laughing out loud. My team think their boss has truly lost the plot... Thank you for putting so succintly in to words (especially from the male perspective) what all new parents experience at least once in their baby's lifetime. Absolutely priceless.

Mummy said...

The Boy has been lording the popularity of his entry over me for a couple of days now...

I feel used!


LottieP said...

Aw. It was a funny diversion, but it's what you are writing that we come back for. And The Boy shouldn't be too smug: the novelty of reading about a man cleaning up shit would soon wear off.