A dad’s memoir would not be complete without a couple of good poop stories.
Diaper changing was something that I never had any experience with and wasn’t looking forward to at all. Of course, I got used to it like everybody else does, and it turned out not to be such a big deal after all…. well, most of the time. You see, Kaveh had this habit of always double pooping, so if you changed him too soon, then he just pooped again within a few minutes into his clean diaper and the fun begins again. He would also decide to poop as soon as we brought him home from daycare. I often grumbled and complained about his poor timing. “Why can’t he poop before he leaves daycare, so they can change him, and we can at least get our money’s worth?” Pooneh thought all this was because he was cute, “Awe, he just likes to poop in the comfort of home,” or “He just likes to poop in a clean diaper.” To me, however, this became quite annoying after a while since I hate doing double work. Therefore, I developed a strategy to wait about five to ten minutes after I first detected the odor so that I wouldn’t have to change him twice. Pooneh reminded me that his skin could get irritated and inflamed if I let him sit in his poop for too long, and then I’d have to be the one to apply that soothing cream or baby powder every few hours, so that strategy didn’t work out. Later on, after he was potty-trained, he would always say he had to go to the restroom just as my hot dinner was placed in front of me at a restaurant, which meant that I had to stand and wait for five minutes in the bathroom for him until he finished.
One day, Pooneh had to be at work earlier than me, so I had the duty of getting the kids ready for daycare. I was already running late for work because of my own toilet commitment but had the kids fed and dressed, their bottles ready and diaper bag restocked, and I was ready to go. I proceeded to carry Kian, who was only a few months old, into the car but smelled that familiar odor that I really didn’t have time to deal with that morning. I thought about just leaving it and having them change him at the daycare by claiming he pooped along the way, but I couldn’t bring myself to stoop so low. Besides, his butt might turn bright red by then and I’d be to blame.
I figured what’s another few minutes late, so I dropped everything and began to change him. I got him all cleaned up and placed a fresh diaper underneath. I was just about to close the diaper when I was startled by his grunt. What followed happened so fast, but I remember it as if it were in slow motion, as a stream of diarrhea shot out of his butt and straight at my face! With a quick reaction (one that I attribute to my 3 months of kung-fu training twenty years before), I held up my hand to block the incoming assault, such that my entire palm was covered and dripping with his warm, smelly diarrhea. The velocity of the impact against my palm caused a splatter effect all over him and the changing table. I looked from my hand, back to Kian, and back to my hand again in disbelief. Then it struck me that my quick actions spared me from getting any on my clothes or the Persian rug beneath me, “Oh, great!” I exclaimed in triumph. Kian was sporting a big smile, and I could swear he was laughing at me. I didn’t know where to begin at this point since it was such an unmitigated disaster but started by cleaning my gooey brown hand with baby wipes. After I got him cleaned and changed, I had to rinse off the soiled blanket, throw it in the washer, and then wash my hands. I double checked my shirt and tie to be sure nothing spattered on me, and finally made it out to the car about twenty minutes later. Now Kaveh had this strange habit of regurgitating fairly easily as a baby, especially if he leaned forward. Sure enough, as soon as I placed him into the car seat, he vomited all over his shirt and my hands. “Come on, that’s enough!” All I could do at that point was wipe it off as best I could and dropped him off at daycare with a big puke stain on his shirt. Oh well, I figured it would dry off soon enough.
We had another airplane incident on the way back from Hawaii, this time it was Kian when he was about one year old. Kian had wet himself just as we were getting seated so Pooneh went to change him. She came back with a look of consternation on her face. I asked what was wrong and she said that was the last diaper in the bag. We had just bought a new pack before we left, unfortunately I packed it in our suitcase which we checked at the gate, without thinking to restock the diaper bag. It was a five-hour flight, but we were hopeful that since we just changed him, we might be able to make it to the next airport before needing to change him again.
Naturally, it didn’t work out that way because five minutes later he pooped. We had to go around the plane to spot any mommies with babies and humbly beg one of them for a diaper. It was certainly embarrassing but also comical in a way, and luckily some obliging woman provided one for us. She got him cleaned and changed again just in time to get back in her seat for takeoff. About a half hour into the flight, we smelled exactly what we didn’t want to smell once again. We held out a brief hope that it was just a fart, but the dense smell was unmistakable and unyielding in its potency. We had a heated and tense debate about whether or not to go asking around for yet another diaper. In the end, we came up with a more subdued solution. After she cleaned him, she wrapped him up in a huge wad of paper towels from the bathroom. As an added touch, the stewardess provided her with duct tape to secure in place, which incidentally adds to the endless list of uses for this most handy of items! When she brought him back to the seat she couldn’t stop laughing. Kian was wrapped with so many paper towels that he was puffed out to twice his usual size. Thankfully, we made it the rest of the way to the airport without having another accident or a red butt. We understood without saying that either of us could have checked the diaper bag before we left, so for once I didn’t have to shoulder all of the blame for this particular blunder…and it felt pretty good.
Another funny little story is when Kian was getting potty trained. He was only two years old, but we knew he was ready the night he put on a performance for the whole family on camera and changed his diaper on his own. Sometime later, we were all seated at the dinner table when he said he had to go potty. We both smiled at him and said, “Ok, go on to the potty! You can do it!” He got up like a big boy, dropped his diaper, stood in front of the toilet, and peed without making any mess. We could see him down the hall from where we were sitting, and we congratulated him for such a good job. Then his eyes got big and said he had to go poopy too.
I said, “That’s ok, you can do it, just go right ahead.”
“Ok, Daddy” he said, then lets out a little grunt and plops a big soft pile of slop right on the bathroom floor as he’s standing there facing the toilet. I guess we should have reminded him to sit down for that part.