You know when you're a kid and you're playing a game -
You know that feeling when you get to base and your heart is racing and you're filled with glee that you made it!
That's the feeling I had tonight when we got home from Alena's band concert.
I'll admit -
I was a little leery when we left home.
Justin was working late,
I'd had to wake Tessa up from her mere 20 minute nap, which led to her crying about her shoes, and her dress, and her nose, and her toe,
and had her bouncing up and down while she wailed that she "Didn't WANT me to do her haaaaaaaaair like THAT!"
I had settled on feeding the kids McDonald's, and I had already wrestled internally over the mental pictures I have of the "pink goop" of chicken nuggets.
I've read about it online.
But, hey, pink goop was all that was between me and the concert, so pink goop it was.
This place has toys.
I stressed over every wayward crumb as the girls mowed through their meals because Justin had just vacuumed the van and Lord knew
that was all I needed was to listen to him harp on THAT again.
We pulled up to the school, and when I opened the van door it was like a 10 foot neon sign blinked "The Greens are Here!"
as fast food litter literally billowed out into the parking lot from an untimely gust of wind.
I almost wouldn't have even chased it because of the state I was in, but we were in Sebastopol - The Earth Lover's Mecca -
so I chased.
I don't need the scorn of hippies.
Not that I'm scared of them.
My icy stare could crumble their aura in moments, but I just don't NEED IT.
Thankfully I had found a parking space right up front.
At the time, I thought it a cheery twist of fate.
I would later know it would be the one bright spot to my evening.
My easy exit.
I took the girls inside and we settled in for what was sure to be a good show.
Jr. High band and Jr. High choir.
Like the Milk and Honey of Canaan.
The concert started off pretty well.
Paige was a little animated.
And by little, I mean NOT a little.
Yelling "HI!" to everyone.
Shouting "AMO! AMO! AMO! LA LA LA!" as loud as she could to the choir.
(Something that made Alena laugh from the band section because she knew that that was her putting in her "request" for them to sing the theme song from Elmo.)
She's like the Elmo Nazi.
All in all, it was pretty normal fare.
I bribed her silence with leftover cold fries, which I inconspicuously snuck from my diaper bag as to not alert the Sebastopolians of my trans fat purchase.
I handed her my phone.
I pointed out Alena.
She jabbered loudly.
Then she was silent.
Now I can enjoy the music.
Well....At least enjoy that my beautiful daughter is performing....
The seventh grade band ended and the crowd clapped, and for the first time in the evening, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Paige didn't join in.
I wonder why......
Then I looked.
She's making The Face.
The "Hey......Something's going on in my Nether Region" face.
Then, as if she had planned the timing,
the crowd went silent in anticipation of the next concert segment and in that precise moment,
she grunted so loud that three rows behind me heard.
But that wasn't all.
In the silence of that room full of parents recording their children, and now, most likely, the sounds of my one year old -
She let out a sound that mothers the world over recognize.
The sound of really REALLY filling one's pants.
Not half heartedly.
I'm pretty sure I heard a gasp.
Another song had started.
The people next to us had picked up their little girl and moved up four rows.
Chloe leaned over to me with that typical Chloe face of distress and said,
"Mama. Somebody farted."
That's your sister.
I waited as long as I could wait as the smell wafted around the gym.
I wouldn't have been surprised if someone pulled the fire alarm at that moment.
People were already looking. Probably wondering when I was going to DO something about it.
I caught Alena's eye and mouthed, "I have to go change her diaper. She pooped."
To which she mouthed back, "HURRY."
Her group was up next.
I had as long as it was going to take for the choir to sing some inappropriate pop song or another with exactly zero emotion.
And of course we made a scene getting up.
I had to gather things and buckle things and whisper to Chloe and Tessa about the plan.
In order to get out of the gym, we had to walk in our hillbilly, fast food crumbed, smelling like the dump on a hot day caravan right in front of all the bleachers.
People we knew were loudly whispering, "Bye, Guys!" "Bye!" "See you guys later! Thanks for coming!" to get our attention,
and I was like,
"We're not leav.......Oh NEVERMIND."
When we opened the doors to the outside, it was dark, and I wheeled Paige over to a bench, knowing that there wouldn't be a changing table in the Jr. High bathroom.
I mean, teen pregnancy isn't THAT scary yet, is it?
I felt around for a diaper and lay her up on the bench.
I was changing her completely by feel.
Then I went to pull down her pants and it took a few seconds of, "Hey....Why are her pants foamy and wet?" to realize what had happened.
She had EXPLOSIVE diarrhea.
I'd like to pause here to ask -
What POSSIBLY could be worse than a Jr. High band concert alone with four kids at bed-time - only to answer myself -
This is when I realized it was everywhere.
On me, on her stroller seat, on her pants, it was down to her ANKLES.
And of COURSE I hadn't brought any extra clothes.
I'm notorious for that.
I'm the mother who took her newborn into the country club wrapped in an old shop towel from the back of her car because I didn't bring a change of clothes.
"I'm a real classy broad!" She said as she picked squirrel fur out of her teeth.
It's like I
So, I tossed her absolutely SOAKED in poo jeggings under the stroller and hoisted her onto my hip since the seat of her stroller was ALSO soaked with poo and went to find a trash and a sink.
I noticed some stray poo.
"Chloe? Can you reach me a wipe?"
"Why?! They're right there in my bag!"
"Because there are mosquitos out here. I saw one. It buzzed. I don't want to stick out my arm in the air. They'll land on me."
"Chloe! GET ME A WIPE!"
"But I don't like the smell. It's making my stomach hurt."
Insert open-mouthed crying.
Oh for the love of God.
I looked around for a trash to throw my bio-hazard in, which I was holding with one hand while I held Paige with the other and pushed the stroller with my abdomen;
But in true Sebastopol form - All there were were recycling cans.
Not ONE trash.
"I'm pretty sure no one wants a coffee cup made from THIS," I thought, so I put it with the pants in the undercarriage and went to find a sink.
The choir was finishing!
I needed to hurry.
I found the bathroom and grabbed the handle and
IT WAS LOCKED.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?!
I immediately started thinking of the facebook post I'd seen months ago about the minimal amount of seconds it takes for something that is on your skin to enter your blood stream and started imagining all the poo-borne illnesses I was contracting at that very moment.
The smell from the stroller was unimaginable.
Moments before Alena's group went on, the Green family re-entered the gym with blood-shot eyes, smelling rancid, and with one of us missing our pants.
I mouthed apologies and mimed out grunting and an explosion with my hands.
I could see her friends laughing and pointing at the baby in the back who was wearing only a T-shirt and a diaper.
I'd like to see them laughing if THEY had to hold a 27.7 pound toddler who smelled like death for an hour.
I'd like to see THEM smiling if they remembered, as they were doing that, that they once used to have days at the river with friends just floating by, listening to Peter Tosh, feeling the sun soak into their skin.
No bills. No full-time job. No dependents....
I snapped back into reality as my I noticed my friend Amy's son, Gavin, threading Twizzlers down through the bleachers at us
mouthing that they were for Chloe and Tessa.
"I can't." I said.
"I can't take them."
He looked confused.
I didn't have the energy to explain the virtual poo gloves I was wearing.
It was bad enough to be seen with a baby in just a T-Shirt and a diaper.
The very picture of trailer life.
Now, I was separated by bars,
being fed scraps by The Civilized.
Not until that moment did I realize that that remnant smell was because half of Paige's shirt was covered in poo as well.
The half that my hand had been on for 30 minutes as she yammered and pulled out my earrings and poked my nose ring post from the inside of my nostril.
All the other cute and clean families stared
And made eye contact with each other.
No doubt grateful that they had their life and not the life of THAT family.
I mean, did you SEE that she had a McDonald's box?....
When the concert was over, we left so fast that there was smoke.
I almost knelt down and thanked God for that close parking space.
The thought of having to hoist Paige in just her diaper up the hill, past the cemetery and to the other school where I usually have to park
with one hand, while I pushed her raunchy, sour, poo stroller with the other hand and commanded the girls to "Stay behind me" - makes me tremble even now.
On the way home
Paige was naked,
The car REEKED of poop and stale fries,
and Alena cried because her night had been tainted by it all.
I told her I was so sorry.
That I hoped she wasn't disappointed that we were her family, but God knows I wouldn't be surprised if she was.
I told her that I would have loved to hold her hand and stroke her, but, unfortunately,
my arm was covered to the elbow in her sister's poop.
Then we laughed together.
And took pictures of Paige.
And almost threw up from the smell.