Everything you are about to read was told to me first-hand.
Names and locations have been changed to protect the… well, I guess you’d have to say guilty parties. Or party. You can’t blame a toddler for what her daddy does.
Either way, nothing in this story involves me.
* * *
On October 10th, 2014 year of our Lord, the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa, held their 102nd Homecoming Festival. As the father of a two-year-old, a visit parade route was in order. My daughter “Hillary” loves parades, and the University Homecoming throws one of the better ones you get in such a provincial state. It might not have all the bells and whistles the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day offering does, but it’s better than many of the local ones we’ve attended.
(Case in point: one was nothing but local yokels driving their own cars. Not the most exciting way to spend an hour.)
My family—wife, daughter, son, and yours truly—arrived in Iowa City as the parade was about to start. We picked a nice spot from which to view everything and started to settle in…
…when I noticed a stink emitting from Hilly’s bottom.
She had pooped.
No worries; I was surrounded by many University buildings, which means I was surrounded by many warm, clean, well-lit bathrooms. There would be no changing a diaper in the cold air of a Friday night in October for this fella.
I scooped up Hilly, grabbed what I thought was a changing pad with diapers and wipes in its pouch, and made my way to the closest building.
Arriving at the front door, I made an unfortunate discovery. The University, in all their smarts, decided they didn’t want hoards of parade-goers befouling their bathrooms, and had locked up tight.
A wise move, I thought. But I also wondered if they were smart enough to lock down the elevators.
I walked into the parking garage, pushed a button for the elevator, and once it arrived took it up into the building proper. Nice work, University employees. You locked your front door but left the window wide open.
Now safely inside the warm building, I set out to find a bathroom with a changing table. This turned out to be a task akin to finding a husky kid who hates candy. Universities are places of higher learning, run by people with the highest and most expensive of degrees. They know that kids these days are having babies in high school, not college. Why put changing tables in University bathrooms when anyone with a kid isn’t furthering their education anyway?
Well, that F.U. in my face, I picked a nice sofa to lay Hilly down across. Cushy = nice for a toddler’s back. No need to put her on the cold tile of a bathroom floor.
I peeled her diaper back to find not only had Hilly pooped, she had really pooped, and had done so a while ago. It was everywhere, and it was dry and caked on. Time to get to work using the handy-dandy wipes…
…I thought I had brought.
Nope, the pouch I grabbed contained a diaper, but no wipes.
OK, what to do?
I decided I would call the Mrs.—who was just outside watching the parade go by—and do my best to prevent Hilly from making a mess until Mommy arrived with armaments. So, putting one hand on my squirming toddler, I used the other to make my call.
“Hi,” I hurried as she answered. “I need you to bring me a new diaper and some wipes, quick!”
Instead of springing into action, a barrage of questions was flung my way. “What? Why? I don’t understand. You have a diaper. Why do you need another?”
“I don’t have wipes. I need to… Hilly!”
As toddlers are wont to do, I noticed my daughter was attempting to dig in her poop. I chastised myself silently for not putting the new diaper on before calling in reinforcements.
Meanwhile, my wife continued her interrogation into my ear: “But I don’t even know where you are. Why do you need wipes? I thought you brought them.”
“I’m in the building right next to you,” I responded. “Just come to the closest doors. I need a diaper and wipes, now.”
But now was too late.
Hillary had already squirmed off her diaper and was now contorting in joy on the sofa.
The cloth sofa.
The “boy, I sure do absorb anything placed on me” cloth sofa.
Multiple poop stains were clearly visible.
“Hilly, no!” I commanded, not really telling her anything specific, like “Sit down,” or “Don’t squirm.”
Hilly stood up; poop was really getting everywhere.
“I just need you to bring a diaper and wipes to the front door of your building,” I pleaded into the phone again.
“But I don’t know where you are,” my wife told me. “Upstairs or downstairs?”
“Upstairs,” I sighed.
It was a lost cause.
Now poop was strewn across the sofa, embedded in its fibers like an ISIS cell in an Iraqi city.
I gave up.
Hilly was allowed to squirm, stand, and move about to her heart’s desire. There would be no mitigating this disaster.
Eventually my better half showed up with the needed items, and I cleaned Hilly’s bottom the best I could. I took a wipe to the sofa, but all I managed to do was rub the poop deeper into the fibers.
I gave a last, resigned look at the devastation, and then disappeared like Keyser Söze.
I felt sorry for the janitor who would find the mess, but I blame the University overall. Bathrooms with no changing areas, and environmentally-friendly air dryers only? Sorry, folks. No paper towels = no ability to clean up spills.
And my baby’s butt > your precious sofa.