And that was okay, I suppose. It gave me funny stories to tell around the dinner table, and over time I learned how to somehow change his diapers without ever leaving his loaded cannon exposed and free to fire.
But Noah wasn’t content with that. I could see in his expression that he found it funny to hose down his old man. His eyes would get giant and bright and he’d develop the slightest little grin. I could also sense his frustration when I began thwarting his every attack. It was almost as if he’d scowl at me slightly when I changed him, upset that I was taking away his fun.
Then one day, my baby exploded.
I had just successfully changed his diaper. No erection. No pee in the eye. No incident whatsoever.
I scooped him off of the table and held him against me. That’s when he grunted the tiniest, cutest little grunt.
All future dads, listen up and let me save you some serious grossness in your future. If your baby grunts, set him down and run.
Babies don’t grunt. Ever. Unless, that is, they are about to push out the biggest diarrhea explosion of their young little lives.
And that’s what Noah did. After he grunted, I held him out in front of me and began laughing at the face he started making. He squinted one eye, clamped his mouth shut, looked me dead in the eyes, and grunted once more. Only this wasn’t a cute grunt. This was a man grunt.
And then he exploded.
With one powerful pop, baby diarrhea went airborne in every direction. It shot from both leg holes of his diaper, and it shot straight up his back. It shot hard, it shot hot, and it shot fast. And, I just happened to be standing in the line of fire for all of it.
It took me a minute to realize what had happened. There was poop on my neck. There was poop all over my arms and shirt. There was poop on my sweatpants.
I tried not to vomit as I held the nasty little creature who had just done something so impossibly horrid out in front of me. He was even more covered than I was, but his face was completely melted and relaxed. He was at peace and he was happy.
I wanted to start screaming in disgust, but I could only laugh. “Come quick!” I yelled to my wife who was absorbed in her daytime TV talk shows two rooms away. “Come quick and bring the camera with you! Hurry!” She came running and we both laughed harder than we had in a long time.
I learned a lesson that day. And it was a big one.
Shit happens. And sometimes really bad shit happens.
When it does, sometimes all we can do is clean it up as best we can, and have a good laugh about it.
Yes, sometimes shit is stressful and hard and maybe even life altering. Sometimes before we can have our good laugh, we need to have a good cry about it first. I assure you I cried the night I shit my pants at the Golden Corral. The stress and the anxiety of it all had gotten to me that badly.
But, that moment in time passed. The horrible present became my really funny past. And it doesn’t usually matter what happens in our lives; when enough time has passed, we can always still laugh about how ridiculous and humiliating and crazy those moments were.
Twice I was covered in explosive grossness. And I can promise you this. Sometimes the only real difference between a hilarious situation and a traumatic one is attitude.
Dan Pearce, from my book: The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man
Last Chapter: Another Pointless List of My Random Thoughts
Next up: My First (and Last) Attempt to Spank My Kid
If you would like to start from the beginning, or catch up on a missed chapter, you’ll find all the chapters I’ve published so far by clicking here.
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