Sunday, July 19, 2015

Our Little American Saboteur

Saboteur may be a bit of a strong word. After all, I don't think babies deliberately sabotage. They don't create mayhem, fright, and rip things apart for fun.

Right?

I have a story for you today. It's a good one. It's about the not-so-innocent, and how one act of bowel movement can completely change an afternoon at the mall.


By the way, this story involves poop. A crap load of it.

The only reason why this story even happened was because Taylor and I didn't have a charger for the laptop in Russia. We had bought a ridiculously expensive one at the France airport, only to realize when we got to Russia that it didn't work for the computer. Which was very, very sad. I have mixed feelings about the France airport. The hunt began to find a charger for the computer. Imagine trying to find something like that in America, only without R.C. Willey's or Walmarts, or anything technologically prepared like that around.

Not easy.

By blessed miracles,

a charger was tracked down a couple miles away from our apartment. It took quite the digging to locate it. This wasn't something to just look up on Google, kids. We had to go pioneer style. Miles of walking and praying and hoping we would find it. The prayers were answered, and we found the charger. It was also painfully expensive. Let's stop talking about how much we spent on chargers here.

While Taylor was weighing the price/quality options between cords, I suddenly caught a tickle of a really nasty smell as Arrow crawled past me. That was not a good sign. My nose doesn't work, meaning that I was born without much sense of smell. I won't know if there are cookies in the oven, unless I'm standing right over them. Likewise, I don't usually know if they've burnt until the alarm goes off.

To smell this nasty smell only meant one thing. Something bad must have happened.

Coming to Russia has done something awful to Arrow's tummy. I don't know if it's the Russian baby formula, or if it's because of the major move to a new country. (That's legitimate, by the way. When I visited Costa Rica, weird things happened to my body, as to most of the Americans with me.) In either case, her diapers have been blasting scary things. The time in this store was no exception.

During this time, I knew very little conversational Russian. That was made obvious immediately by my terrible accent, so I was given general direction with hand gestures. Arrow and I took a long walk in one direction, to the point I wondered if we had been misled. I finally saw a sign that read "WC", in English lettering. For no reason, I assumed that meant "Women and Children" and trotted off to that. I still don't know what it actually stands for, or why it's in English, but I did find a bathroom.

Only, it was a weird bathroom
The room's lighting reminded me very much of a black light dance party. Not exactly, because the whites on my clothes didn't start glowing. And no one was dancing. But everything was bathed in a blue light. It gave it a slight ethereal feeling, which is definitely not how I want to feel while in a public restroom. To add to the oddness of this room, there was also no changing table. I considered doing a change on the counter, but I didn't want to face judgment from other people. There was just one other woman there talking on her cellphone with her face to the wall, so I decided to do a quick change just laying Arrow on the bathroom stall floor.

Russia floors are dirty. Our apartment floors always have some dirt on them, even though we regularly tidy up the place. I knew that when I brought Arrow to change, but there didn't seem a better option other than to lay her on the floor. In the moment, just waiting until we got home seemed silly. 

I laid that poor baby on that dirty floor, and swept away bits of discarded toilet paper. Don't worry, it wasn't used toilet paper. I do have standards. About then, I noticed that the gap between the floor and the stall door was very high. Seriously high. It just barely covered the important stuff while someone did their business. "Hiding" in the stall to do this diaper change wasn't going to be effective unless efficiency was on our side. The woman on her phone had left, so there was some time.

You guys. Arrow had full on blown this diaper to Pluto. It was everywhere, including all up her back. How this is possible, I do not even know. There wasn't time to diagnose the probability of the situation. There was work to do. I unbuckled the diaper and got started.

That job only escalated when Arrow spontaneously kicked both her feet in the nasty mess. I snatched her legs upwards to start the wiping, but then her hand found its way to the dungeons. Then, she began to spread the mess on the concrete floor. In a panic, I maneuvered her little body off the diaper to the side, to keep those nefarious limbs from doing more damage. This was immediately regretted, because the mess on her back had already been forgotten. Now there were unmentionable things between her and the cement. I wiped her poopy hand, and attempted to clean the floor beneath her. At this point, the diaper wipe is full, so I dropped it in the dirtied diaper. I reached for another wipe only to grasp at air.

This forced me to stop, for just a few seconds, to stare at what was before me

I was in a restroom on the other side of the world that glows weird colors, and as every second passes, my child was contentedly smearing grossness onto a questionable publicly-used floor. Poop is everywhere, and the clean wipes were gone. My own hands are now dirtied with evidence of the situation.

I looked at Arrow in the eyes. She retorted back with a big, toothy smile.

Finally, finally, I just quit what I was doing. I wrapped up the old diaper, and put on a new one. I used the hanging toilet paper in the stall to wipe the floor the best I could. Unfortunately, it is the flimsy kind that breaks easily. Still, headway was made, and the incriminating traces of what once lay there were no longer. I picked up Arrow, and held her very particularly against my hip. That baby bum still wasn't clean, but I wanted to limit the damage for home. I flushed the toilet with the used paper, and open the stall doors.

Women. Women everywhere
They stood before me, in hues of blue. There were at least 7 or 8 of them. Apparently, Russian women are very quiet when they enter a bathroom. And they are very quiet when they form a long line, waiting for their turn in the stall. This only adds to that impalpable atmosphere in this restroom.

All the women were staring at me. I cursed the high gap in that bathroom stall. Instantly, I knew that Arrow's and my actions had been public. Each woman knew what had happened to the floor in that stall.

I can never return to this place.

At home, I scrubbed the crap out of my hands (literally), and gave Arrow the most cleansing bath since she's had since she's been born. We are now both happy, poop-free people. Love and songs are in the air, and cookies are in the oven. Cleanliness abounds on both our skins and all around us. 

Well, mostly. The apartment floor still has dirt.


What's your most embarrassing bathroom story?

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