Nothing says “I love you” like being pooped on by your grandkid. I’m now an official member of the Claire Poop Club, a exclusive club of people who’ve been pooped on while holding and playing with the baby. They don’t make diapers strong enough for what comes out of that kid’s bum sometimes, especially now that she’s eating prunes and green beans and sweet potatoes.
It happened Tuesday just as we were about to leave Cassie’s house and go to Carlene’s for dinner. I stood up, handed over baby Claire to her mother, and Cassie said, “What’s that?” I looked down and saw a 3- by 1/2-inch rectangular yellow stain on my (white, of course) pant leg, the same thigh Claire had been bouncing on the last 15 minutes.
“It’s poop!” I said proudly.
Claire has peed and spit up on most of her family members, but up until then she’s only pooped on her daddy.
I know better than to wear white when I’m visiting Claire, but earlier I’d nicked my knee shaving and got dressed before the wound cauterized so I figured nothing the baby could do would be any worse. Poop, blood, spit up, pee – that’s why God invented Clorox.
We got to Carlene’s and Claire wasn’t done with Grammy Lynn. While Cassie ate her dinner, I held Claire and fed her a rice/bananas/apricots concoction straight up out of the jar. She must have gotten an itch on her nose because before I had a chance to wipe up the excess around her mouth, she leaned in and wiped her face all over my shirt. Then she gave me a big old grin, showing off her two little pearly whites sitting on her lower gums, and I laughed. Never mind the paper towel, I told Carlene. The food was ground into my shirt and Claire’s face was clean.
On to the floor to play. Claire likes things that tie – shoes, belts, the bottoms of Capri pants. She had me untied faster than my junior prom date. Before I could stand up, I had to tie my clothes back up so they wouldn’t fall down. She drooled on my knees, chewed my shoes, and patted my face and said “bah bah bah,” which I interpret as “I love you Grammy. You’re the coolest grandma ever.”
It was Claire’s smile, her drool, her puke and her poo that I meditated on as I strapped on my wrist splints this morning and worked through some nauseating arthritis pain (for the lowdown on my “condition,” here are the blogs: Bad Wrists and A Car Wreck and My Lunates Are Dying). I had held Claire’s 17-pound, 7-month old wiggly body too long and I was paying the price. I don’t have that balance down yet, that place of holding Claire and looking on as other people hold Claire because I shouldn’t any longer. When I’m with her, I want to hold her and kiss her neck and whisper secrets in her ear. It’s like breathing and eating. If I can’t hold her I will die. And so I must make some decisions or compromises.
Here’s my dilemma. I’m 44 years old and feel stuffed in a box when I wear my wrist splints. I can have two surgeries that will fuse my wrists stiff like a mannequin and will take me months to recover, all the while I can’t hold Claire even for a few moments. In those months, she’ll get older, less wiggly, although heavier. Do I sacrifice the time now or wait? A few days in my splints, some Advil, and my wrists are back to “normal,” at least Lynn normal. The surgery is permanent. Fused, unbendable wrists. I’ll still have arthritis and tendonitis in my elbows…..ERGH! Back and forth and back and forth my thoughts go.
In a perfect world….
Deep breath, Lynn. Time to go wash my pants. Time to apply a little Clorox to the stain and think about how Claire banged a wooden spoon on the counter and laughed as she secretly pooped out her diaper and on to my pants. What’s the right thing to do? I don’t know right now. But thanks for letting me say it out loud here.