Apologies must go up front to my more sensitive readers: I am about to offer my second scatalogical story this week alone, but rest assured that I weighed your feelings before deciding that this tale must be told.
My infant son and I had been spending a pleasant Yom Kippur afternoon together, he resting peacefully on my side (where he could hear my heartbeat), me thinking about change, as you're supposed to do on Yom Kippur. At some point a sound made clear that one thing in my life which would need particular changing was my boy's diaper, but I waited good and long to do so, because he's developed quite a reputation for peeing whenever the diaper comes off: on the nurses who weighed him at birth and after one week, on the doctor just prior to his circumcision, and as often as possible at home.
At length, I repaired (I'm not sure I'm using that word right--but it sounds quaint and dated, which is nice and helps compensate for the subject matter) to the changing table, and commenced to effect the change. No sooner did I reach for the new diaper, however, than an explosion of yellow matter with a deli-mustard-like consistency propelled itself out of my son's body, off the end of the changing pad, then the changing table, then over a foot of carpet (raining down bits and pieces along the way) and onto the back of the open door. Thinking of nothing else, I moved post-haste to contain the damage at the end of the changing table, not thinking to cover him in the meantime, so that soon I was distracted by the sound of a stream of liquid hitting the nearby wall and thereafter turning upwards and soiling the table off the other end of the changing pad.
All told, my son's mess stretched perhaps four feet and required some seven separate wipies to deal with. I had to clean him, the pad, the table, the carpet, the door, then move the table to clean the wall. How is a father, in such circumstances, supposed to react?
I could angrily lecture my infant son on hygiene, but elected not to waste any energy doing so.
I could choose to believe that if there were a God, he would not create baby boys with such powerful digestive organs, but thought it better to leave the Almighty and his creation alone.
I could cry and cry and cry about the hard world and the soiled clothes and the realization that by the time he's toilet trained the room may never be the same.
But it was so much more fun to laugh while I cleaned him up and put him down for a rest (after his great exertions), then call my sister on the phone to share the absurdity of the story all the while thinking that yes, this is proof if there ever was such a thing: I am living the good life.
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