I love having a big family! Big families teach self-sufficiency and team work.
Last night in Target I heft Evan up on my shoulders as he giggles maliciously. Seconds later the smell hits me. That familiar smell of a runny diaper filled to capacity with sludge. Microseconds later he is off my shoulders and being held in that non-loving pose at the end of my outstretched arms using only my finger tips as if carrying hazardous waste all too aware that squeezing the diaper could make John Belushi’s zit seem tame.
I pass Noah playing demos in the video games. I speed past aisle after aisle knowing I could easily be walking right past Cathy and crew. Then I see a cute little Amy peek out. I alert Cathy that I must go to the car and she deftly produces "equipment" from her purse.
Wordlessly I grab the diaper and wipes and rush to the nearest restroom. One thing parenting has taught me is that stores abound with hidden restrooms. Some are singles; some are family; some are "employee only"; but if do not have children, these secret water closets are invisible to you! In Target, I was nearest the rear one located in toys. The men’s room is a single shooter graciously outfitted with a changing table with a broken safety belt. Not having the belt means one hand holds the baby, while another hand handles the wipes, another hand keeps the baby’s hands from helping, another hand removes the diaper, another hand guards the clothes from sliplage and overflow, two hands bag and seal the toxic waste, and two hands put the new diaper on the baby.
I plop Evan on the table and open the diaper. Huggies should be proud! Evan immediately goes for the flip and almost simultaneously throws in the helping hands. I am off to a bad start and recognizing I misjugded the diaper threat level I know I need reinforcements. Evan at this point is in full scream and sending a text message sos is out of the question. I dial Cathy’s number and put the phone down as I attempt to salvage the situation. Assuming I went to voicemail. I slap the phone shut, hit redial, and return to mud wrestling. Moments later, a 4 year old girl opens the men’s room door. Then a 13 year old girl opens it slight further. My reinforcements have arrived!
Suffice it to say that with Evan now outnumbered we won the battle with minimal damange. All hands, including Amy, pulled their weight. The 13 year old deserves a purple heart for casually stepping into the men’s room. From Cathy’s perspective, when the phone rang she could hear the baby screaming in stereo and knew to deploy the more mobile of reinforcements. Good choice on the special ops!