Thursday, December 5, 2013

It only SEEMS like I've disappeared

Between finishing out the school semester, NaNoWriMo, and a Thanksgiving trip up to visit my parents, I really don't have time to be writing this.

But here I am, anyhow.

So let me overshare with this story of toddlers and their bodily functions.

The trip from my house to my parent's house is a 15-16 hour drive, plus time to stop and take care of Silas's needs. The last two times I've made the trip, each way has been 18 hours long. Travel days are long days, is what I'm getting at.

Silas does remarkably well on the trip. He is content to listen to books all day, as long as he gets to stretch his legs every two hours or so by searching for sticks outside at rest stops. And since there are long stretches of road that aren't super well-lit, Silas also falls asleep fairly readily in the evening.

We had been driving all day, leaving my parent's house in the morning and merrily making our way back south. It was now about eight in the evening and we had finally broken through Tennessee into Alabama. We stopped to grab some dinner and to take a bathroom break.

I brought a sleepy Silas into the bathroom and looked for the changing station, which was located inside the handicapped stall at the end of the room. Cool. I got Silas onto the table and took off his diaper, which was surprisingly dry given how red his poor baby bottom was.

I thought for a moment, willing my car trip addled brain to use logic and reason. The issue at hand was that we still had over eight hours of driving to go, and I didn't want Silas screaming because of a bad diaper rash. I didn't have any diaper rash cream or baby powder on hand because I had left them up at my parent's house by accident. As anyone who has tended to a small child in diapers knows, that left the option of letting him air out for a few minutes. (Or, I guess, stopping to buy it at a drugstore, but that only seems obvious now.)

The problem came to a head when I thought to myself, "Oh well, I'll kill two birds with one stone by letting him walk around in the handicapped stall, diaper-free, for a bit."

You know how something seems so reasonable in your mind and then reality sets in? Truth be told, I've let Silas go bare-bum around our house every so often, and I could count the number of accidents he's had during those times on one hand.

This turned out to be the time that left me needing two hands to count the accidents. As soon as I set him down, Silas took note of the bathroom drain on the tile floor. He pointed at it, and then promptly peed on it. I watched in surprise and shock and then shook my head in disbelief.

"Ok," I said aloud, "Well, let's wipe that up and let the lady at the counter know that they should probably mop or something. And yeah, I guess it's good that you kind of understand that pee should, uh, go down a drain or something?"

Then Silas walked over to the door of the bathroom stall, and peed again on the floor, as if to say that he heard what I said and wanted to show me that I was incorrect. I could see why his diaper had been so dry.

You might be thinking that the smart idea here would have been to grab Silas and diaper him up before cleaning the bathroom floor. I make no excuses for myself, as I simply didn't think to do that at the time. Instead, I put Silas over on the other side of the floor and started grabbing wipes to clean up after him, putting my priority at cleaning up the symptoms rather than fixing the source.

So of course, Silas wandered over to the toilet and then peed on it too. (Had I taken him on too many walks with the dogs? Did he now think he had to leave his scent everywhere?)

Oh, hindsight.

In any case, you'll be happy to know that 1) Silas's air time did prevent diaper rash and he slept mostly peacefully for the rest of the trip and 2) I cleaned up the restroom floor as best I could and then went over to the register and told them what happened (albeit an abridged version) so they could mop up with better chemicals than wet wipes and tons of toilet paper.

A few closing thoughts - I've recently learned that pretty much everything I post online seems to be on one list or another of "things that no one wants to read about." Whoops. I thought this seemed like a funny story, but as we learned above, it's not good to trust my judgement.

I need to find a better way to get from Florida to Illinois and back again. Planes are so expensive, but the time-consuming drive is not much better. Just gotta keep holding out for portal technology, I guess.

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