Not unlike most stories, mine begins on an average day. It’s Tuesday. I drop my toddler off at preschool while my one-year-old twins are supervised by a trusted adult. Little can prepare me for what’s in store upon my return…
I have entered my home. Is it the apocalypse? No, it’s the poopocalypse.
It’s mindblowing and an assault to my senses. Said adult supervision is frantically, to no avail, cleaning the floor. Is that my floor? Then I scan to the twins. What the….??!! Covered. In poop. Everywhere. Evan, it seems, was the culprit. A blowout.
Well, I’m not even sure blowout accurately represents what has happened here. It’s more of an explosion from the bottom region. I mean, it’s in his hair, nose, eyes and mouth. I am horrified.
Thankfully, Kellen seems to have sustained minor damages: hands, legs, clothes. In the 2.6 seconds it took me to assess the situation, I am now whisking Evan into my arms and ordering the other adult in the room to grab Kellen, to vacate the war zone, to sit with him, and under no circumstances (said with that look and tone that all mamas master) can any portion of his body touch any surface, period. As I’m tracking
As I’m tracking poop steps up the stairs and into the bathroom, I shed the first layer of filth into a pile on the landing. Evan clings onto my chest as I prepare the bath. I set him down and turn the handheld sprayer on him. Level one decontamination, complete. Now that the outer layer has been reduced, I soap him up. Rinse. Repeat. FIVE TIMES. Level two decontamination, complete. Next, it’s removal of fecal matter from nose and ears (á la cotton swabs) with surgical precision. Level three decontamination, complete. Smell check.
There is, it turns out, a number of washings required to remove the smell poop from your kid’s hair. That number is 6.
Evan is done. I diaper him upstairs and return to the other adult and perform a switcheroo. Time to address the other victim of the day, Kellen. The same process is repeated. Operation Clean Child completed. The adult is ordered to wash up and is quarantined to the master suite with the twins while I tackle ground zero, the playroom.
It’s at this moment that I truly understand the extent of the damage. It’s so much worse than I feared.
I compose myself. I call the pediatrician. Is there some sort of protocol for me to follow? Do they need to be seen? Antibiotics? The crap was in their eyes, nose, and mouth after all–surely I’m to do something. (As it turns out, this is not all that uncommon. And, no, you don’t do anything. Just watch to make sure eyes don’t turn red or get goopy and that kids feel okay for the next few days) Game plan time. What to tackle first? The floor. This requires me to clear every single toy from the floor (and play mat) and any others elsewhere that may have been hit by the poop bomb.
It seems that in the undetermined amount of time the twins were left unsupervised nearly every single toy had been touched by a sh*tty little hand.
This is not a joke. SO. MANY. TOYS. Including a ball pit, filled with poopy-printed balls. I chucked all affected toys into the ball pit and tossed the whole thing over the crap slathered kiddie gate into the other room to be dealt with later. How should I begin to clean this floor? Towels. Scrub brush. Floor cleaner. Lysol. Steam mop. My beautiful laminate required three soaks, scrub, and wipe rounds-on hands and knees to get the layers of ick off. Next, there was a two-phase decontamination process: Lysol, dry; steam mop, dry. Repeat. FOUR times. Same was done for the play mat.
Now it was time to assess tertiary damages: walls, furniture, doors, etc. There was hardly a surface that hadn’t been touched. All in all, I had to scrub poopy-prints off of 2 couches, aforementioned kiddie gate, glass sliding door, hallway door, small wall console and fireplace surround, not to mention the footprints myself and the other adult made throughout the house during Operation Clean Child. Somehow, miraculously, my ivory herringbone chair was unscathed!
It’s now time to revisit the toys. I filtered out all those which would be damaged by being soaked and those that were really caked with crap. Next, I filled the bathtub with scalding hot water, a bit of baby shampoo, and two (full) bottles of hydrogen peroxide. Next, I dumped those in there, stirred and left to soak. I completed the toy cleaning the following day, which included a toothbrush, cotton swabs and copious amounts of patience. Truly, it’s amazing what little nooks and crevices tiny fingers seem to reach. In all, it took me roughly 18 hours of cleaning, 1 bottle of floor cleaner, 4 cans of Lysol, and a whole lot of composure because, well, let’s just say I was not happy.
This post is sort of an exercise in catharsis, my feeble attempt to ameliorate my rage and bring some levity to the situation. To say that this was a crappy experience is not just a play on words. It was awful. Hopefully, by sharing this I have been able to make you laugh at my misery.