On Monday, Micah's commute home took over 2 1/2 hours. Not because of traffic or some public transit malfunction or a zombie apocalypse. No, Micah took the wrong train. Twice. Yes, he was just so deep in thought as he arrived at the midtown Marta station that he got on the wrong train. He took the yellow line and made it all the way to Doraville before noticing that he was not, in fact, at the North Springs station. He then took the next available train down to the connecting station, where he began a phone call with his friend, and boarded another train, AGAIN, to Doraville.
But, this story is not about Micah. I only mention this to show that the evening was already a bit wearing.
We had already left to pick Micah up when we learned that he was not arriving at the North Springs Station as planned. Natalie screamed the entire way home and was on-and-off hysterical for the remainder of the evening. I had planned a lame dinner because it's difficult to prepare a meal around picking up Micah at 5:30, so I was irritated that I could have made something better. Angela had also been crying for most of the late afternoon because she refused to take an afternoon nap and was exhausted and cranky. So, whining baby wanting to be held all evening, toddler crying because aforepromised Daddy arrival has been postponed, me crying because aforepromised Daddy arrival has been postponed and I am now making super lame dinner while dealing with whining baby and crying toddler. On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is how irritated I get when the dishwasher got filled but not run and 10 is Oh-my-gosh-I-am-so-annoyed-with-the-world-I-must-hang-myself-immediately, my irritation levels were around an 8.7.
The time FINALLY arrived- time to get the girls bathed and ready for bed. Micah does the bath about 90% of the time. But, I had no idea when he would be home (by this point I had just learned of his second time taking the yellow line, so I didn't feel sorry enough for him to pick him up and spare him the long bus ride home from the station), so I started the bath myself. Filled the water, put the girls in, dumped in the toys. As they began playing contentedly, I pulled out the phone and thought, "Sweet! Finally some time for a little light diversion." But, as I went to open up my browser, I thought, "No, I really ought to be reading the scriptures." So, I opened up my gospel library and read about 5 verses, before Natalie proclaimed, "Look! Look at what is come-ed out of Angewa's bum!!!" I jerked my head around in alarm and, yes folks, she had pooped in the tub. Not just a nice little turdlette that could be scooped out and flushed, but a massive bomb of both solid and liquid matter, some floating, some sinking, some blending into the water, infiltrating every crevice of water in and around two children, a non-skid bath mat, and about a zillion floating bath toys.
My initial feelings: disgust, intense irritation, disbelief. My first coherent thought, "Seriously? AGAIN!?!?!?!". You see, just the night prior I had given the girls their bath to be nice and let Micah have a break. And, shortly after settling in to play, Angela had pooped in the tub that night, too. And it had been the same evil, pervasive consistency. In fact, it had taken so long to drain the water because of the random pasty, solid chunks that kept going down the drain that several times I wondered if it had become completely clogged.
I feel like I have developed some very niche expertise through these experiences, so now let me share some advice. In case you are curious, or worry that you will find yourself in a poop-bath situation, I will now outline the correct response protocol:
1.) Close and lock bathroom door. The last thing you need is a poop-covered child running all over your house.
2.) Remove child(ren) from bath and place on floor of bathroom. They will be wet and angry. Give them a towel only if you must. One objective at this point is to minimize towel usage. You will have nasty sewage towels that need to be washed immediately and at 7pm, it is waaaay too late to hope that you will be able to do TWO loads of laundry. Do NOT give them any poop-laden bath toys from the tub to entertain them. No, you must perform the following feats all while your wet child(ren) cry and whine and climb all over the place.
3.) Remove all toys/mats from tub to the sink.
4.) Clean the tub by first scooping out any large, solid matter and depositing it in toilet. Follow by draining the rest and rinsing down any remaining particles. Scrub down tub using your super-duper-antibacterial cleaner of choice. Let's be real, this is not the moment to bust out your homemade vinegar baking soda solution. Get yourself some brand name disinfectant heavy duty bathroom cleaner, I don't care if it's toxic!
5.) Wipe children down to remove poopy-bathwater remnants. Place children in clean tub and fill with warm water. Wash them with some serious soap. Fetch them something clean to play with. If they stay entertained in the tub, it gives you a moment to...
6.) Clean bathroom floor/walls/cupboards/toilet- anything that has come into contact with your poop-smeared offspring.
7.) Clean yourself. Poop toys may be blocking the sink, so it may be necessary to use a different sink. Oh, yes. You'd better believe that this process has splashed poopy water all over your jeans. Take off everything, give youself a little baby-wipe pat down in any heavily affected areas, and put on some clean clothes.
8.) Get kids out of tub. Go ahead and get them in jammies, put them to bed. Do whatever you had planned to do after bath time had this life-altering monstrosity not occurred.
Later, when you are able to return to the crime scene, OR while alternate parent is attending to the poop monsters, er, I mean, children:
9.) Clean toys. Rinse off tub mat and bath toys as much as possible. Return them to the tub. Fill with hot water and some bleach. Soak a while, then drain. Rinse toys.
10.) Clean sink thoroughly. Wash your hands in it. Sit back and take a deep breathe. Congratulations! You have survives the poopocolyse. You have nothing left to do now, except, oh yeah-
11.) Wash all towels, dish cloths and rags used to clean poop. Hot cycle. Maybe with a little bit of bleach. But, eh, that's a whole 'nother process I won't go into detail about.
In addition to the valuable knowledge above, I gained a few other insights. Monday night, I was super, duper angry and tired and irritated before the incident. After the incident, though I still felt very annoyed, some of that stress had been replaced by satisfaction. Maybe the pleasurable fulfillment of knowing that I can handle seriously, ridiculously insane situations. It's almost as if, when the stress level is just normal-high, I feel depressed by it all. But once the stress level of the situation jumps into hyperspeed, some deep, rarely touched reserves of strength (probably stored somewhere around my lower abdomen and fueled exclusively by ice cream. Or a spiritual gift of power from God. One of the two.) come out and I just punch through it like a super hero.
There is one alternative lesson I could glean from this experience. I should stop trying to be good. On night one, I was only taking over bathtime because I was trying to be nice to Micah. And the second night, I could have contained the situation much faster if I had not been reading my scriptures. So, the universe is clearly telling me that I should be mean to my husband and not read the scriptures. And I really don't want to mess with the universe. It might poop on me.
Behold the face of pure evil