I used to watch gynecological surgeries on a daily basis. Sometimes they were in the OR, other times in the doctor’s office. Sometimes the doctors used equipment I was responsible for, on a patient… down there. Afterward, I had to make sure it was cleaned properly. Every now and again I looked down at my scrubs or shoe and saw a questionable splatter of something. Whenever that happened, I usually ended up throwing the article of clothing away. That’s the nice thing about disposable scrubs.
And yet, in the course of four years in that line of work watching surgeries and peering inside human cavities, nothing I saw, smelled or touched was as disgusting as the things I’m confronted with on a daily basis at home with an infant and a toddler.
Case study #1: We own two Diaper Genies; one for my 2.5 year old daughter’s room and the other for my infant son’s room. We find that Diaper Genies work well for keeping the room odor-free. However, you have to buy specially made, disposable inserts to hold the diapers and they are $20 for three inserts. Each insert is supposed to hold 240 diapers, but that’s a load of baby sh*t. They don’t. In practicality, they only hold about 100. As a business model, it’s pretty good. I used to sell disposable devices so I’m familiar with how it works. But for the consumer, which is now me, it kinda sucks. All of this is a non-sequitur just to explain that we stopped throwing pee-only diapers into the Diaper Genie. After a year we got smart and started throwing only #2’s into the pales. This way, we only have to empty it every two weeks or so and we save on having to buy those stupid disposable inserts.
There is an inherent drawback to this strategy. Two-week-old, fermented poop smells like a two-week-old, rotted, roadkill carcass on the side of a Texan highway in the middle of July. Yes, it really is that bad. Over time I’ve gotten rather efficient at emptying these diaper pails so as little offending odor as possible escapes into the air, and thus, my nostrils. Today I emptied both pales. As I walked them out to the trash at arm’s length one bag broke open in the driveway. I’m still retching thinking about it but thank goodness it wasn’t in the house.
Case study #2: My daughter had cereal with strawberries this morning for breakfast. Just keep that in mind.
I’ve been itching to go to Ikea for months. I haven’t had a sufficient enough cause for a trip until we decided that my daughter is finally in need of a “big girl bed.” Ikea is a 30 minute drive from my house. When you get there, the maze through the store is an awe-inspiring adventure for a fanatical organizer like myself and it can take well over an hour to properly complete. I decided that if I was going to procure any enjoyment from this trip with two kids in tow, I would have to properly sedate the toddler with handheld electronics, so before I left the house I downloaded an entire season of Max & Ruby onto my Kindle. That should do it. She saw me doing this and when we got in the car she wanted to watch Max & Ruby RIGHT NOW! Sure thing baby. Here ya go. Quiet trip.
Twenty minutes into the trip I hear her moaning from the backseat. I ask her what’s wrong and she tells me she needs to take a nap “right now.” She says she needs to go to her crib and sleep because she’s sooooo tired. My child hardly takes naps and for her to ask to go to bed when it was barely noon is cause for mental alarm bells. I looked back in the rear view mirror at the precise moment she pukes her breakfast all over herself. Turns out that watching a Kindle while riding in a car isn’t the best idea after all.
Twenty minutes later, and back in my driveway, I have a pukey toddler covered in curdled milk and stomach bile pressed to my chest. It was all I could do to hold in my breakfast. As I turn away to unlock the front door I hear, “Mommy, I just ate a strawberry.” It’s okay, I’ll wait while you throw up a little.
When I went to clean the car seat I discovered, to my HORROR, that underneath that nice, removable, washable cover, were crevices, groves and tiny spaces overflowing with putrified, cottage cheese-like curds. The smell is so thick that it sticks to my nose hairs even now. I think they are suffering from post traumatic stress.
I pulled that thing out into the driveway and began circling it with a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner in one hand and paper towels in the other. I heard that old-western showdown music in my head. After 5 minutes I just left it there and did what I always do when I don’t want to do something… called my husband at work. I generally feel better knowing that he knows what disgusting things are going on in my day at any given moment.
It’s 9:30pm and I still haven’t cleaned it. Over these hours of procrastination I’ve decided that given a choice, I’d rather stare down the barrel of a stranger’s vagina over cleaning out puked-in car seats. And furthermore, I would seriously pay a sh*t-ton of money for a set of disposable car seats right about now. Seriously.
Although no patient was ever quite as cute and willing to pay in hugs, so there’s that reward.