It's late morning and time to give Emerson a bath. I sit her down on the bathroom floor and get all her supplies ready—wash cloths, cotton balls, lotion, hair brush, shampoo and body wash—all while singing our usual song: It's time to take a bath, take a bath, take a bath. It's time to take a bath, take a bath, take a bath. Emerson squeals with delight as she watches me fill her tub and sing. This girl loves her baths. And soaking mama with splashes. And drinking soapy water. Bath time is the best.
As the tub fills I take Em into her room to change her diaper. I unlatch the diaper and then wait for the inevitable flow of pee I know she's going to unleash once diaperless. She always does this. Is it the cold breeze on her lady parts? Is it the freedom from a life shackled in binding diapers? I don't know. But, I caught her in the act this time. Haha!
I take Emerson back to the bathroom and plop her into the tub. I look down at the water and it begins to turn yellow immediately. Not twenty seconds in and she already peed in the tub. Obviously, this happens all the time. She's a baby. It's not a big deal, but personally I can't stand the thought of bathing my child in her own urine, so I always empty the tub and fill it back up. I pull Emerson out and put her on the floor while I put some fresh water in the tub. Nobody likes being wet and cold, but Emerson never seems to mind when I do this because I turn the heat in the bathroom way up when I bathe her and have her towel ready so she's nice and snug.
I put Emerson back in the tub. She pees again. Twice in a row? Hmmm. This has never happened. I feel horrible pulling her out of the tub again, especially since she's playing and having a great time. She's slightly displeased, but sits quietly waiting on her towel. Okay, now we're going to have a bath. Or, so I think.
Again, I put Emerson in the tub. I look down and see something I've never seen before. At first I think she's peeing again because the water is turning yellow between her legs. But, then. An explosion. It looks like a boat propeller is being started under the water. Particles are flying left and right. I'm being further initiated into parenthood. I've been dreading this moment, knowing it would happen eventually. I soon realize that Emerson is pooping in the tub and because she's a breastfed baby, her poops are basically liquid, which means there is no containing it. The entire tub is filled with brownish yellow water with random bits of who knows what floating every which way.
I stay calm for my child on a daily basis, especially when freaking out might cause some sort of complex for her. But nope. I can't do it right now. My baby is sitting in a sewage tank. To her, of course, she's just in the bath tub so she continues on with her bath time activities. Number one is kicking her legs as hard as she can, which normally means she playfully splashes the heck out of mama while mama giggles at her cuteness. In this instance, however, she is splashing poop all over me. And I just showered. I open my mouth in a gasp of horror, and she splashes poopy water….into. my. mouth. I start to scream. I cannot help myself. Emerson looks at me like I'm crazy and proceeds to put her hands in her mouth, rub poop into her eyes, and drink the bath water. I scream even louder. I'm completely losing my sh#t. I'm sweating on account of the heater being cranked all the way up. I want to take Emerson out of the tub to stop all the poop eating and poop splashing, but SHE'S COVERED IN POOP. HOW DO I GET HER OUT WITHOUT TOUCHING MORE POOP? I cannot figure out a plan of attack. This is when I call for Alex. Thank God for Thanksgiving vacation, because, otherwise, I'd be dealing with this one on my own.
At this point, Emerson starts wailing. She can handle a lot of things, but watching mama freak out is not one of them, especially when she knows she is causing the upset. Alex comes upstairs and rescues a red, screaming Emerson from the poopy tub and attempts to calm her...without touching her. Emerson poops some more on her towel. I go into panic mode and start spraying every cleaning spray I can find in the tub, scrubbing furiously and cursing the fact that I buy non-toxic products. I need some chemicals up in this biatch STAT. And listening to poor, cold, wet Emerson cry is making me even crazier than I already am.
After a good scrub down, I figure the tub is clean enough for another bath so I put my baby back into some warm water.
I'm just cursing at this point. Cursing and shaking from the stress of every surface and person in the bathroom being poopified. I mean, my hands are literally shaking. And Emerson is melting down as I pull her from the tub for the fourth time. I scrub the tub once more wondering why this initiation into parenthood must be so thorough and unfair. I actually would have preferred a solid, formed poop floating in the tub over what is basically diarrhea being splattered in my face, and Emerson's face, and coating the sides of the bath tub. The fact that I'm even having this conversation in my head about wishing for solid, formed poop is just upsetting, but that's what it comes down to in parenthood. There are so many gross or less than ideal encounters on a daily basis, so which would you prefer? Which is easier to clean up? Which can be contained to a smaller area? Which poses less health risk/disease potential/injury? Yes, I'll take the solid poop, please.
I finally get Emerson into a (somewhat) clean tub and quickly wash her before any further excrement decides to leave her body. I have beads of sweat trickling down my face and cleavage, my hair looks like I just journeyed through a rain forest on account of all the humidity in the bathroom from hot water and a hot heater, my face is bright red and frazzled. Emerson looks a bit traumatized and can't bring herself to splash or play in the water. She just sits there as I silently soap her up and rinse her off. She cries as I attempt to dry her and put her lotion on.
I spend ten minutes snuggling and nursing Em, and then hand her off to Alex as I inform him that I'm going to need a solid half hour, alone, in the bathroom to decontaminate and recover mentally. Alex retorts, "what would you have done if I was at work and you had to deal with this all by yourself?" I'm nearing a panic attack just trying to imagine it. I say nothing and close the bathroom door, defeated.
Later, I google "what can happen if my baby drinks bath water that she pooped in."
This is our life.