One aspect of being a parent that really blew my mind was the amount of shit that was now in my life. I don’t mean baby stuff, though that was off the fucking hook. Leaving the house became like packing for week long trek in the Mounties. No, I mean shit. Massive amounts of stinky, runny and in the beginning, black tar-like goo that flooded the room with its aroma, shit. And all caught up in little vaginas and penises that always love to hide little smears of shit wherever they can. Shit. We’ve all been there. We’ve all got shit on our hands.
Hands? Actually it’s more like all over. Wipe after wipe after wipe and still a little dab ends up on your shirt, under your nail, in your hair and one time, on the corner of my mouth (I noticed in the washrooms at work.)
Now, I do have a story to tell. I’m not just talking about shit for no reason. Though it is the focus.
When Miss M was just 6 weeks old, Lady K and I decided to make use of our parental leave and drive down to see my folks in Nova Scotia. We realized we were in for a bit of a ride (we live in Toronto. It’s 22 hours straight). Our pediatrician said we were to match one hour of driving with one hour at rest. Hey, we got time.
Seven years ago, google maps and cell phones weren’t nearly what they are today. Sometimes cities weren’t quite as close as they seemed. I just knew this was going to fuck with us.
Day 3. We are on a very lonely stretch of the Trans Canada Highway. We’re all quiet. The radio is off. It’s all really quite peaceful.
And then I get punched in the face. Well, not really punched. I would have preferred that.
Shit, and a very large amount of it, had reared its ugly head. In our tiny fucking car. Immediately we start choking on the thick gas, opening the windows as fast as we can. There’s only so hard you can press a button but I drove that thing into the ground. It helped some but not nearly enough. I wiped the tears from my eyes.
“Where, the fuck, is this town?”
“It should be coming right up.”
It took a long time.
Dreaming of death, I glance in the rear view mirror and am immediately terrified at what I see.
“There is shit in her hair!”
“There is shit in her hair!”
“How in the hell does shit-“
“I don’t know! It must have crawled up her back!”
“Shit can’t crawl!!!”
“Well, this one did!!!”
And now she is playing with it.
We freak. She cries. And this fucking town is still nowhere to be seen.
Until it is. And then it was like an oasis, a paradise. They have a McDonald’s! Their bathrooms rock! We gotta get there!
We rush in like paramedics into an Emergency room with a gun shot victim. But we’re not covered in blood. Lady K storms the woman’s washroom with what seems to be a baby and a giant bag jammed with field supplies. I clean myself up and take a million deep breaths. A Quarter Pounder with cheese would be really good about now. What the fuck?!?!The fact that I could even fathom eating seemed like a miracle unto itself. As I pass the woman’s washroom, I see people running out like someone had dropped a grenade. And then I hear what seems to be the biggest battle in history. Lady K and Miss M are basically mud wrestling. Not much I can do here so I run to the food line. If I concentrate hard enough on the menu, I won’t be able to hear a thing.
I grab a nice spot by the window with large, comfy chairs. And then I wait. Eventually they come out. Lady K looks ravaged and angry as fuck. Miss M is happy as can be.
She merrily sucks on a bottle as Lady K jams fries in her mouth. I sit back and settle into my Quarter Pounder with cheese.
And again, it is quiet.
We hit the road about an hour after that. All were content with full bellies and stretched legs. We made it through. But we’ll feel that one for a while. And there will be more. So much more.
Our second child is a boy.