As I've mentioned before, Rowan's been constipated. The prune juice/rice cereal combination was helping, but I was still searching for the right combination. I went to my family for advice. My dad laughed when he answered the phone. "She must be just like you. When you were little, you wouldn't go for a week! Then when you did, you'd plug up the toilet every time. Man, if we didn't break it up, you'd clog the whole works. I couldn't believe such a big turd could come from such a little girl!!!"
My dad's wife Pam suggested giving her fruit and eliminating the rice, and my cousins suggested warm wheat bags, pear juice, and bottom burps. I went to friends, who said rice was constipating for her son, and she had success with oat cereal. Since I can only do one new food every 5 days for fear of allergies (I have tons, so I do have to be careful), I began by introducing oats on Saturday morning. Mixed with the prune juice, she ate it happily.
Saturday night we couldn't get a babysitter to attend a department party, so Dr. B invited his Solar Decathalon group and Energy Club out for a dinner to celebrate the end of a good semester. I put on my purple Sonia Rykiel skirt and a turtleneck with boots, and dressed Rowan in my current favorite of her outfits. I topped a pink, long-sleeved onesie and pink tights with a brown velvet pinafore and bloomers. She looked adorable as I strapped her in the car seat, kicking and screaming. I hoped she would be better at the restaurant.
We arrived, and Rowan calmed down as we placed her carseat in the sling. While she was content, I chose to leave her in the seat, knowing she would want to be out and held later on. Students started arriving, and appetizers and drinks were ordered. I promptly spilled spinach dip on my designer skirt. But Rowan seemed happy, the students were nice and polite and very excited about their project, and overall the evening was going very well.
I kept up a lively chatter, leaning over every few minutes to talk with Rowan, hand her a toy, or kiss her cheek. As I leaned over again, I smelled something. "Pew!" I said, smiling, as I reached down to unclick the carseat buckle. It was somewhat buried in the fabric of her skirt, and as I pulled my hand away, I noticed the brown velvet had leaked all over my hand.
Except this wasn't velvet.
"Crap." I said, "Honey, can you put the handle up? I need to change her, now. And please, get me another napkin..." I headed to the bathroom.
Great. No changing station. One sink that worked, and it was one of those motion-sensored ones, and I was wearing black, which guaranteed a bunch of frantic hand-waving in front of the little sensor. No soap, except for a few wimpy suds from the pump at the non-working sink.
And poop. Everywhere. And not just poop. This was Liqui-Poo, espresso brown. Like when you pull out the coffeemaker basket half way through the brewing process. Little chunks and all. On her dress, filling her bloomers. Swirled down her tights. Soaking the crotch of the onesie. In the cracks of the carseat buckle. Soaking the carseat liner. And even... on her pacifier. (Shudder.)
I got the changing pad out of the diaper bag, and looked at her, lying there between the two sinks, happy as a clam. I put it under her head, and grabbed a handful of paper towels to put under her butt. Four seconds later, they were soaked through, so I changed them, stuffing the used ones in the over-full trash bin.
My guardian angel must have been watching out for me, because at some point I had the foresight to include a new pack of wipes and a clean outfit for her. I stripped off her clothes as carefully as I could, dodging her poopy feet (try explaining both spinach dip and poop footprints to a dry cleaner) and throwing them into a plastic bag from a roll that I have never been so thankful to have in my bag. I rolled up the Bundle Me winter car seat liner, glad that it had caught the brunt of the mess, and cleaned the cracks of the buckle with a wipe and my fingernail. I wiped her, finding poo everywhere from her belly button to her temples. Finally, she was buck naked, lying on the counter, and happy as she could be. She charmed all the ladies that came in to pee as I wiped the crap off her forehead. I dressed her again, washed my hands repeatedly, and picked up the carseat, diaper bag and baby to head back to the dining area.
The students were laughing when I came back, and announced "Code Brown". They found it hilarious.
Me, not so much.