This is a story that is partially about kid poop, so I understand if you need to go now. I won’t be offended if you move on to something else on this site like “Pretty Nail Polish Colors for Summer 2011!” or “10 Great Books for Your Eurorail Trip to Meet Mystery Men!” Those stories will be fun and light. You will learn important ways to be happier. You may even discover the secret to love in those articles, but not here. Poop is gross. Kid poop is less gross (especially when it’s your own kids) but it’s not that much less gross. Poop is poop. You’ve been warned.
On Monday morning, my wife left the house with Emmy, our 9-month-old, to pick up Zach from school and Lucy from art camp. While I’m on hiatus, we take turns taxiing the kids around (okay, she does it way more than I do) so when she left, I took the opportunity to suffer through a brutally hot DVD workout in our garage called Plyometrics. It’s a horrible jumping and squatting routine that should be punishment for murderers but after eating and drinking everything in sight for 9 months, it’s the kind of exercise I need to lose the aging dad gut. I don’t want an aging dad gut – I’m not even 40. (I’m almost 40.)
As fitness monster Tony Horton tortured me via DVD with his “squat-reach-jumps” and “rock star hops”, I felt pretty good about myself as I nearly melted in a hot garage that could easily double as a Native American sweat lodge. I don’t know how hot it has to get to hallucinate, but I saw things. I saw a pasty, oldish looking guy in a six dollar Target door mirror who looked like he ate the college version of me. I jumped and squatted to help vanquish the doughy pig in the mirror and after 58 minutes of the DVD, I prevailed. I made it through Plyometrics without passing out in a puddle of pain. At the end of it all, I felt like a warrior.
I showered, drank a chocolate(ish) health shake and grabbed my iPad to cycle through all of the various social media sites online that seem to both eat and document my life. Why not? After a vicious crushing of a tough workout, I was basically a ninja. I had earned the right to relax.
Outside, I heard the Honda Odyssey pull into our driveway. The familiar peace-shattering sound of 3 kids – or what we affectionately call “The Nickerzoo” – made its way from the minivan to our house. I heard my wife, frustrated and muttering to herself, as she approached the front door. The muttering was interrupted by the tired crying of the 9-month-old, who was slung around her hip like a baby monkey. She flung the diaper bag (which at this point, seems to contain all the contents of the earth) onto the floor of the front hallway. One kid ran past, arms covered in something yellow and sticky and the other’s face looked like she had eaten ice cream out of a firehose.
“She’s gotta go to bed,” my wife said, referring to the baby. Sunglasses still on and clearly sweating from slogging three children around in the 94 degree heat, she whisked past me as I sat on the couch.
“Okay. Need any help?” I offered, lamely.
“No,” I heard her say as she closed the door of the baby’s room.
It was a bogus offer since there wasn’t much I could do, and the tone in her voice seemed to indicate that she’s come to grips with the fact that she’s married to a lummox. The other two kids had already moved outside and were in the process of scattering all of their toys around the yard to apparently prepare our family for a featured spot on A&E’s Toy Hoarders. No problem. I’d tell my wife about my amazing workout when she was done dealing with the baby.
After fifteen minutes, my wife returned wearing a fresh shirt.
“How’d it go?” I asked her.
“Awesome,” she said. I detected sarcasm.
“Not awesome?” I asked cautiously.
“No, it was awesome. I got there late because Zach couldn’t decide whether he wanted the back seat or the middle seat when I picked him up from school. He screamed the whole way to Lucy’s art camp, which of course convinced the baby to scream the whole way to Lucy’s art camp. When we finally got there, Zach took a year to get out of his seat because he wanted to “do it himself.” While he was crawling out, I realized I forgot the baby carrier. I couldn’t put Emmy in the stroller since there’s a million stairs at that place, so I just had to carry her on my hip. Zach was running in the road, so I had to grab him before he got hit by a truck. Halfway to her class, I noticed that something stunk. I looked down and she had crapped her diaper and it had seeped out the back and bottom, all over my shirt. I couldn’t go back because we were already late, so I had to just hold her over the crap stain on my shirt so no one else would see it, even though I’m sure they could smell it. We walked up the million stairs to Lucy’s class and I’m sweating because it’s 900 degrees and I can feel the poop melting down my side. She starts squirming, which spreads hot baby crap all over my shirt and arms. They both want ice cream and they hound me until I give in, so I have to walk down the stairs to the ice cream cart and he gets a gross Spongebob thing that starts melting the second he opens it and it runs all down his arms and face. She gets some Oreo pop that instantly covers her face like a chocolate mask and I still have a baby covered in crap on my hip. We make it back to the car, she’s screaming to be changed, Zach is covered in yellow corn syrup slime and Lucy is whining because I don’t have any water for her. I tried to clean him up but I was out of wipes so I had to use his shirt, Lucy is now crying because she’s “so thirsty,” Emmy stunk the whole way home and my hands were covered with baby poop until ten minutes ago. Awesome.”
I stared at her for a moment.
“I made it through Plyometrics,” I told her.
She laughed, but not the good kind of laugh where you feel like you said something funny. It was that wife laugh that comes right before being committed to an asylum for murdering a dumbass husband.
“I’m going to Menchies to get yogurt,” she said, “see you in a week.”
“Okay,” I said.
She wins this round.