A Poo of Mass Proportions

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

After staying up until after midnight packing, we had to be up at 3:00 a.m. for our 6:00 a.m. flight. It was not pretty. In my opinion, 3:00 a.m. never is. Still, we learned our lesson from the dreaded missed-flight-incident of May 2011 and gave ourselves plenty of time.

The flight to Baltimore was super short, and we arrived without incident. We had a 3.5-hour layover, so we settled in for the long haul. After walking the (small) terminal a bit and spending some time playing with Nora on the floor, we were tired and it was time to relax. You know, as much as one can relax in an airport.

Michael took Nora for a stroll to lull her to sleep, and I stretched out across some chairs to rest my eyes. Apparently I kinda-sorta dozed off, and by the time Michael came back with a sleeping Nora, we both looked like this:

I'll tell you: It wasn't a bad way to spend a good chunk of a layover.

Anyway, the three hours passed like no big deal, and soon it was time to board our flight to Cancun. Still drowsy from the early-morning wake-up call, Nora promptly fell asleep shortly after take off, and proceeded to sleep the majority of the three-hour flight.

Uneventful, I say. It was nice.

But then things changed.

In short, things got... gross. (That's your warning right there. You can't say I didn't tell you.)

About 10 minutes before we landed, Nora started making her tell-tale "poop face." (Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time with babies and small children know exactly what I'm talking about.) Michael and I exchanged a few little laughs and I commented how it was perfect timing, because we were going to be off the plane shortly and could change her diaper at the airport. We have yet to change a diaper in an airplane bathroom, which is nice, because I still cannot picture how that would work logistically.

Nora was sitting on Michael's lap at the time, and he confirmed that he could feel movement in the diaper. Alrighty then.

A few minutes later, for reasons I am unsure of, Michael suspected that perhaps Nora's diaper wasn't doing its job. Its job being containing the poo, of course. So, he casually lifted her up off of his lap to take a peek AND OH MY GOD ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

Michael's lap was COVERED in shit. COVERED. We're not talking about a little leakage here. We are talking a 100% FAILURE on the part of the diaper.

Panic ensued. Because we were trapped. We had a guy sitting in the aisle seat next to us. The seat belt light was on and we were unable to get out of our seats due to the fact that we were, well, landing.

As Michael held Nora about six inches off of his lap, unsure what to do next, I did the only thing I could think of--I grabbed the case of baby wipes, thinking maybe I could "grab" the poo off of Michael's shorts. I tried that, and well... I'll just say that there was a whole lot of smearing going on. "Grabbing" was not working for this particular variety of poo.

It was hopeless.

About 20 poopy baby wipes later (which I stuffed into the ever-handy barf bag located in the seat pocket), Michael was really no cleaner than he had been to start. But at least he didn't have semi-solid waste sitting on his shorts anymore. Just the aforementioned smears, which of course, smelled like... well... shit.

Meanwhile, we had landed, and were making our way to the gate. The guy next to us, God bless him, was in good spirits, despite his senses being assaulted. He kindly empathized, telling us that his daughter (who is now 17) had once crapped down the back of his neck as he carried her on his shoulders. That made us feel a little bit better, but we still felt sorry for the dude. He cracked a joke to Michael, saying "I hope you have another pair of shorts!"

Um, yeah. That's the thing. We did not have another pair of shorts. Not on us, anyway. Contrary to every other time we have traveled, we checked all of our baggage, except for a backpack. Because space in the backpack was limited, we had included an extra outfit for Nora, but had not packed extra clothes for ourselves. We broke our own rule, and it had come back to bite us in the ass.

You see, Michael was not going to be able to change his shorts until after we picked up our bags at baggage claim. If you have ever traveled internationally, you know that baggage claim is on the OTHER SIDE of immigration. This adventure was not going to be over anytime soon.

After I had "cleaned" the poop off of Michael's lap, there was still Nora to attend to. She still had poo oozing out the legs of her diaper, and needed a wardrobe change herself. To avoid exposing the people around us to further foul sights and smells, we sat tight as every.single.soul deplaned before us, despite the fact that we were seated pretty close to the front of the plane. Thankfully, Nora was cooperative as we held her perfectly still--Michael with her upper body, me with her legs.

In the meantime, I told Michael, "I'm sacrificing my Hooter Hider!" (a.k.a. nursing cover) and laid it across his lap so he'd have a clean surface on which to lay Nora. Once everyone was officially off the plane, we stripped Nora of her clothes and disgusting diaper, got the new one on her, and bolted as fast as we could.

In other words, we were the classy people entering the Cancun airport with our baby in nothing but a diaper.

Once in the airport, I threw Nora's extra outfit on her while Michael secured the Hooter Hider (I'm not being cute; that's what it's called!) to the front of him like an apron. The PINK, very girly Hooter Hider. We had to mask the poop somehow! So, Michael walked through the Cancun airport and through a looooong immigration line, looking like this:
At least we were laughing about it. Though, it should be noted that although the Hooter Hider did a good job at masking the sight of the poop, it could not mask the smell. Holy Lord.

We wound our way through the immigration line, every once in a while catching a fresh whiff of poo. It wasn't pretty, people.

In any case, I apologize to anyone and everyone who may have been in the Cancun airport immigration area around 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. No, someone had not stepped in dog shit. There was not a smelly bathroom nearby.

It was my husband. Because of my daughter.

Well played, travel gods. Well played.

(And lesson learned, by the way. You better believe we will have an extra pair of shorts in our backpack on the way home!)


Erin July 4, 2011 at 10:46 PM  

Oh, wow. I couldn't help but laugh at that story! How horrifying!

Vanessa July 5, 2011 at 2:30 AM  

How awful! I can tell you: my husband would not be smiling for photos if that had happened to us! I admire your sense of humour! ;)

basebell6 July 5, 2011 at 11:10 AM  

OMG at least you...

1) went to cancun (waaay too scared to travel with my monster of a child after an incident going to canada)


2) have stories to tell for DECADES


3) have that pic of your hubby wearing a hooter hider. HILARIOUS!

Megan July 5, 2011 at 3:30 PM  

Michael is a great sport. I mean, what was his option, but still. I will say that changing a baby in the plane restroom is a comedy of errors - avoid it as long as you can (except of course in the face of future poo-splosions).

Helen July 5, 2011 at 4:01 PM  

Hysterical! We flew home from Orlando a week ago, and half way through the flight my toddler vomited all over me. The ever helpful Jetblue flight attendant's first question after I called him over? 'Oh, is it on the seat?' Meanwhile my hands were dripping with vomit. Thankfully, I had a second set of clothes for the toddler. For me, not so much. Ooops. Lesson learned!

Lauren July 5, 2011 at 4:15 PM  

Your poor hubby! On the upside, at least you have a story to embarrass Nora with for the next several decades...

Amy July 5, 2011 at 7:51 PM  

OMG. I can't even imagine what my husband would have done in this situation! Nora will appreciate this when she's older!

Anonymous,  July 5, 2011 at 8:08 PM  

I'm glad you could laugh about it, and that your seatmate was agreeable. I love Nora's face in the picture with Michael. It's like, "Whaaaat?"

Kimberley July 5, 2011 at 11:31 PM  

thanks for the laugh!!! i'm sorry it's at your expense. :) what a nightmare! i would be freaking out as to what to do!!! sounds like you handles it well!! :)

Mrs. Lopez July 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM  

OMG! What a story! At least years from now you will have a very funny story to tell!

Heather July 6, 2011 at 10:35 PM  

I'm glad others are as amused by it as we are! Gross, yes... but funny. Poor Nora will never live this one down. :)

Michael was most definitely a good sport about it. We tried to make light of it, given that there was nothing we could do at the time!

Pamela July 8, 2011 at 1:54 PM  

God bless Michael's sense of humour. That was just awful but also, sorry to say it, funny. Poor Nora as a teen when she brings friends to daddy lol.

nc July 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

Gah! Hilarious/terrible story! A good reminder about being more prepared than you think you need to be...

You guys have done such a great job traveling with Nora- I'd love to see a post on your tips for traveling with a baby- flying and driving. We're taking our first flight with our baby in October-- she'll be 6 months old, and it will be a long trip: From upstate New York to Portland, OR.


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