If parents were given a report card for their parenting skills I would have given myself a B+ until two days ago. I know that’s a little cocky, but I was brought down to earth again when I almost broke my son. My new grade is a D-. The only reason it’s not an F is that he’s still breathing.
We’ve had a few trying moments with the boy the past few days ( see 3AM Wake Up Call for one of them). He’s gotten in the habit of making a mess with his bodily fluids. He erupted vomit the evening after the wake up call as I was getting him ready for bed. It covered him, me, the changing table and his carpet. The topper was that he just ate chocolate pie and feta cheese, not together because a pregnant woman wouldn’t even combine those two things. He repeated the puking scenario the next night around the same time. I reacted fast enough to guide most of the chunky expulsion onto the linoleum floor. See, I was a good dad.
The next night he pooped through his onesy right before dinner. It wasn’t as bad as the middle of the night one so it was no big deal… right. We double-teamed him for the stripping and changing but my wife had to go downstairs to help our daughter with dinner so I took care of the dressing and cleanup. The diaper was loaded past maximum capacity so I got a little on my hand. This minor detail and the messy diaper almost changed our lives forever. Fortunately, I was the only one traumatized from what happened. I let our mess maker walk to the stairs while I carried the diaper in my soiled hand. This was a big mistake. I told him to wait for me at the top of the stairs as I stepped into the bathroom to throw the diaper out and wash my hands. He grunted and stood there. I turned my head for a second to grab the garbage bag and when I looked back he was gone. Moments like this seem like an eternity even though it was a split second. My heart dropped and I screamed like a little girl… twice. Then I headed down the stairs after my tumbling future ward of the court. I watched him bounce twice before he hit the landing. I think he tucked and rolled like a stunt man and he looked like he enjoyed it. We’ll never know because my screaming made him cry. There wasn’t a mark on him and he stopped crying in less than thirty seconds. I knew he was okay because he called me a pussy. At least that was the look he gave me.
After I washed the fecal matter off of my shaking hand I sat down to eat with my family and I felt shame. I failed to protect my son. I wallowed in this a little too long and my wife made a joke to lighten the mood. I didn’t respond very well to it. So much so that she didn’t talk to me again during dinner until I asked her to. At that point I knew how ridiculous I acted and I apologized. She laughed and we went on with dinner.
I was naive in thinking that my son would wait for me by the stairs, so I’ll have to chalk this one up as a lesson learned… I hope.