Sophia and I are driving over the Ben Franklin Bridge, back from Narberth where we picked up my ailing laptop, rocking out to a Southern rendition of “On Top of Spaghetti.”
The sun is beating down on the car, and Sophie is joyfully dissembling her carseat. She’s pulled the sun shade down in front of her so I can no longer see her face in my jerry-rigged system of mirrors.
“Pee-eew. Do you smell that, Sophie,” I ask, rhetorically. “Mustardy. Kind of like your baby-poo….” I glance up at the mirror. With horror, my eye lingers over the image that bounces back at me.
One foot, covered in greenish yellow poop is suspended in midair. I am reminded of the first image I saw of her during her high-level ultrasound. One perfect formed tibia, tarsels, and metatarsels, glowing white. I swooned at that foot. And now, I am swooning again—but for completely different reasons.
I am at a choice point. I can either get really really stressed about this, or I can save it up as an anecdote I’ll write about later in my blog.
I go with the latter.
One thought keeps haunting me. If that’s what her foot looks like, what about the rest of her? But I will have to wait until I get home to find this out.
We arrive, 15 minutes later. I stop the car and pause, steeling myself. Step out of the air conditioning into the thick heat of the day. Open the back door. She turns to me, her face already breaking into a smile. Her legs kicking with glee. Shit smeared across her forehead.
It was everywhere. Covering her hands. Down her legs. Staining her outfit. Ground into every crevice of the car seat. I could only hope that she hadn’t sucked her thumb in the last fifteen minutes. Striving to maintain my good humor, I carried her and the carseat into the house.
It’s difficult to know where to start with a poop-covered baby. I weighed my options. The thought of sticking her in the sink grossed me out, after all, that’s where I rinse our fruits and vegetables. I’d have to do a surface clean and then stick her in her tub. I’m embarrassed to say how many wipes I used. In fact, I won’t.
But, eventually Sophia was smelling fresh, the carseat was spotless, and I had washed my hands enough times (out out damned spot) to finally feel like I wasn’t going to play a critical role in a local e. choli outbreak.
Like all things, the incident quickly transformed from reality to memory.