On the morning of Joe’s medical incident, Grace had a diaper mishap. More accurately, I had a diaper mishap and Grace had a mishap involving a puddle of pee.
About the same time that the doctor suggested that Joe could be having a stroke, Grace pooped in her diaper.
This did not strike me as a problem, aside from the timing. I debated about whether to change the diaper where we were or to drive to the hospital and do it there.
It didn’t really matter because there were no diapers in the car.
Let me pause to say that I always have 4 extra diapers in the car. There are always 2 diapers in the map pocket of my seat, and there are always 2 diapers in the glove box. Usually, there are also 2 diapers in my purse and 1 or 2 in the cubby hole behind the back seat.
I am slightly neurotic about having diapers because I once got caught with a 3 month old baby and a diaper full of formula-fed poop in my doctor’s office. I opened the exam room door so that the doctor wouldn’t faint when he came in, and I inadvertently stunk up the entire office.
The poor nurses were spraying scented stuff and lighting candles til they were able to whisk me out the door.
I haven’t forgotten.
But I didn’t drive my car last weekend.
My husband, the man to whom I have vowed to be kinder because he deserves it, took Grace to his parents’ house while I was at the Type-A Mom conference. None of them would know that I’m neurotic about having extra diapers. They probably saw clean diapers in the car and used them.
No big deal.
Except that somebody used all of the diapers, and there were none to be had when I needed one.
I cleaned Grace’s hiney and pulled her pants up. I looked her in the eyes, and I explained that she wasn’t wearing a diaper.
“Gracie, you aren’t wearing a diaper. That means if you pee or poop, it’s going to go right into your pants. You don’t want to be wet all day, right?”
No, Mommy. No wet.
“So if you have to pee or poop, you’ll have to tell Mommy BEFORE you do it, okay?”
Okay, Mommy. My tell you if I pee or poop.
We hastily walked up to the ER entrance, made our way inside, and found out what was going on with Joe. I had to register him and take care of the associated paperwork. While I did that, I was thankful that Grace entertained herself quietly on the floor next to my chair.
And then she stood up.
I thought her pants were wet, so I asked if she peed.
No, Mommy. I no pee.
I asked if she was sure.
My sure, Mommy. I no pee.
I touched her pants. They were soaked. I asked how she got all wet if she hadn’t peed.
My peed, Mommy. My all wet.
We went into the bathroom so I could survey the damage. There was plenty.
2 day old shoes, soaked. Socks, soaked. Pants, t-shirt, jacket, all soaked. The only thing that stayed dry was her hair. I’m not kidding.
My husband was in the ER with a possible stroke. And my child was soaked to the skin with pee. And I had no diapers. And my mom and sister were both four hours away. And I was close to hyperventilating.
I called my dad, who offered to drive to my house, pick up some diapers, and come to the hospital. I asked him if he’d also buy her a dress some place, and he declined.
I came close to hyperventilating again, but I scooped up my soggy kid and headed for the back of the ER to find Joe.
When we found him, Grace said, Daddy! My wet! My shoes wet! My clothes wet! My wet! with hands waving in the air like I had doused her with pee.
The nurse who was taking his vital signs looked up and asked what had happened. I explained.
“Shit happens, honey,” she said. “Do you need me to get you a diaper?”
I practically leapt into the air. In less than five minutes, she returned with a diaper and hospital gowns in a variety of sizes.
Grace thought it was great. Look my dress! she commanded everyone who came by.
I’m pretty sure she was the cutest non-patient in the ER. Everyone thought so.
We spent three hours in the ER, until the cardiologist came in and made the official decision to admit Joe to the cardiac wing of the hospital. Grace, my Dad, and I sang songs, we talked, and we played games like Hide & Seek.
My Dad would say, “Where’s Gracie?”
Grace would jump out and say Here my am!, all the while giggling in a way only a 2-year-old can.
Dare I say it?
We had fun. We made do, and we’re all okay.
© 2009 – 2010, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.