As loyal readers will know, Chuck is inching closer and closer to delivery day – that is, the arrival of an heir or heiress. It has been an exciting time thus far and as the due date approaches, Chuck and Mrs Long have been taking many of the necessary steps in preparation. Purchasing clothing and equipment, restructuring the household – you know, all the fun stuff. But what’s been the most worrying part of the whole process is those occasions where Chuck and Mrs Long sit down and weigh up the experience both have had with infants. Most people have friends or family members who’ve had kids and get experience or exposure by association. Not Chuck and Mrs Long. Any of Mrs Long’s friends with children live in other states and Chuck, well Chuck doesn’t really have any friends, let alone friends with spawn.
Ok, Chuck does have one or two friends and even a couple with children and it is these people that have given the Chuck the upper hand in one key area – changing a nappy. The tally in this field reads Chuck 1, Mrs Long 0. Unfortunately, Chuck’s nappy changing experience has not filled him with vast amounts of skill and expertise. In fact, it may have actually scarred Chuck. Let Chuck recount the experience in its entire stench filled detail.
A number of years ago Chuck had the opportunity to return to the United States to pay a visit to a former employer and mentor (Barry for the story’s sake). Chuck had learned many life lessons from this man and the trip was an opportunity to repay the teachings with a small token - dinner. Chuck was insistent that it was on his coin and once the offer was accepted it was decided that the wife (lets call her Missy) would take the opportunity to get dressed up. This necessitated a haircut. With Barry at work, Missy posed a relatively simple question to Chuck; “Can you watch the kids?”
Now Chuck’s not too bad at all with children and thought nothing of keeping an eye on them for 90 minutes or so. It’s important for a quick scouting report on the 3 offspring in question. There was a 7-year-old boy – totally low maintenance. A 4-year-old with fire in her eye and an 18-month-old little girl. Missy instructed Chuck on a few finer points such as don’t let them play with fire and assured him that the only problem he may face was the baby wetting herself which in itself wasn’t too much of a problem because the 4-year-old was well versed in changing nappies.
How hard could it be?
Chuck was regretting that thought the minute Missy pulled out of the drive way as the 4-year-old fell and ate a mouth full of gravel while attempting to run and wave her mother off. Chuck quickly swung into action, first making sure that all teeth were present and accounted for and then soothing the situation with comforting words and probably more importantly the offer of chocolate.
With enough carnage taking place outside, Chuck decided to take the action indoors. These children were on a carefully measured dosage of television so Chuck capitalised on this by throwing on the box, which had the effect of immediately neutralising the 7-year-old, who morphed into one of those kids who locks onto the TV and who’s attention cannot be broken while a picture is being transmitted. One kid covered, two to entertain. The afternoon progressed well with Chuck playing the role of ringmaster and keeping the two girls entertained.
About 50 minutes into the experience, Chuck’s highly tuned nose began picking up the pungent smell of faeces. Every instinct in Chuck’s brain screamed that he should pull a CSI move, find some Vicks Vapourub and smear it under his nose, thus neutralising the smell. The baby made her way towards Chuck and the smell became overpowering. Chuck looked at his watch and determined that both he and the baby could surely tough out the next 40 minutes or so until Missy got home. Chuck then imagined himself sitting in his own shit and decided that he couldn’t allow another person to do the same.
Chuck enlisted the 4-year-old who dutifully went off and returned with a box of baby wipes and a new nappy.
Chuck prepared the materials and positioned the baby.
In hindsight, things always look so much clearer and make more sense but at the time Chuck thought nothing about having the baby’s head at his knees and the offending area at the furthest point away from Chuck. The ramifications of this decision have scarred Chuck for life.
Anyway, Chuck asked the 4-year-old to play the roll of surgery assistant and made the first incision to remove the soiled nappy. Almost as soon as the nappy was opened the stench overpowered Chuck and the vomit reflex kicked in. At the same time Chuck was struck with the uncomfortable realisation that he now had his friend and mentor’s naked little girl in front of him. While this would not have caused Barry any concern whatsoever, for some reason Chuck was overcome by a sense of awkwardness. Chuck worried if he had overstepped the mark here?
So while fighting off the urge to barf, Chuck was also grappling with a crisis of confidence over his decision to power ahead with this move. The shit, the nausea and the fragile state of Chuck’s mind actually caused Chuck to start giggling. At the same time the 4-year-old (holding her nose) began to giggle too. This led to Chuck laugh hysterically, which of course led to tears rolling down Chuck’s cheeks. The tears caused the child to ask “are you ok Uncy Chuck?”
By this stage Chuck could barely breath but knew that he had to press on. Grabbing a baby wipe Chuck began the heinous task of wiping away the foul smelling baby poo. Once again, hindsight is a wonderful thing. The fact that the baby’s head was at Chuck’s knees meant that the only wiping technique Chuck could use was bottom to belly button. This fact will become important in a few short paragraphs time.
No matter how many times Chuck wiped, the tissues continued to be caked with shit. It was like a bottomless pot of baby turd. As the pile of baby wipes began to resemble a small mountain the cordless phone rang. Still laughing uncontrollably with hands caked in baby poop, Chuck answered the phone. It was Missy checking in. Chuck’s only words were “get home now” before hanging up the phone.
Once again, thinking back on that, Chuck can only imagine what a parent would think when confronted with a barely breathing babysitter imploring them to get home ASAP.
Anyway, after a couple more wipes the shit fountain had subsided. Chuck asked the 4-year-old to go in for a closer look to see her sister was cleaned up and ready to be re-clothed. She leapt into action. In what can only be described as a testament to Gods creation, she grabbed her sister’s ankles and snapped her legs down and apart so that she was in a hard core split position. It was like she was a chicken carcass being prepared for stuffing. The 4-year-old then lowered her head and stared directly into the infant’s nether regions. After a split second, she recoiled and with a look of wonderment said to Chuck, “Uncy Chuck, there’s a hole in her ‘gina!”
Of course this stunning revelation sent Chuck into another fit of wild, hysterical laughter, which rendered him useless for another 2 minutes. Chuck managed to collect himself and asked the 4-year-old, who was now shaken herself, if the area was clear of poop. Pulling herself together, she snapped the legs down again and steeled herself for another look. She peered intently into her sister’s undercarriage and after a lengthy look sat back and in the most serious tone ever uttered by one so young exclaimed, “Uncy Chuck, there’s poop in the giiiiiina!”
Chuck was by now a shattered man. Grabbing baby wipe number 53, he passed it over with the strict instructions to gently get the remainder. She showed deft touch and removed the offending faeces with minimal effort. Wanting the nightmare to be over, Chuck hastily slapped on another disposable nappy, dumped the entire pile of baby wipes into the trash and poured an entire bottle of bleach over his hands to remove any excess crap.
Chuck had just sat down when the door exploded open as if Missy had kicked it in (which is fairly understandable considering what Chuck had given her to work with over the phone). She was clearly expecting blood or broken bones but was instead met with 3 happy children (the 7-year-old did not move during the entire episode) and one slightly frazzled Chuck.
By the time Chuck had finished recounting the tale, Missy was on the floor howling in laughter.
The key lessons from all of this?
- Never underestimate how hard you can make even the simplest of tasks.
- Never try to change a nappy with the arse away from you.
- Never wipe up.
- Never stop marvelling at how flexible infants are (as evidenced by the snap splits the 18 month old performed – with the help of her sister).
- Never think you can block out the smell of faecal matter.
The good news for Chuck from all this? It couldn’t get much worse……..please tell Chuck it couldn’t get much worse.