Wardrobe malfunctions

By Sara McGinley

Have you ever noticed how baby poo has an uncanny ability to expand and multiply and how that capability is exponentially truer when you’re wearing nice clothing or the child is wearing nice clothing or a lot of people are watching you?

I wasn’t aware of that law of nature until almost exactly 3 years ago when I took my then infant son to church for the first time.

He was the first clergy baby in that church in a very long time and his first visit to church was a highly anticipated event.

That day just as communion was about to start I noticed a little wetness on my arm. When I looked down to investigate I noticed that my wrist and Eliot’s side were covered in some, I’ll call it, stuff.

I raced out of church with my huge, new mommy over-stuffed diaper bag, changed him out of his cute little red outfit I’d spent hours deciding on for his first trip to church and put him in the runner up outfit (a little baseball uniform which included a hat which I didn’t put on my poor pooping baby). I raced back to church and was able to run up to the altar to be the very last person to get communion.

I felt pretty cool.

He was just a few weeks old and I’d managed to get about 15 gallons of poop off of me and him and get his clothes off of him and him back in a new diaper and new clothes and have communion.

On my way back to my seat in the 7th or 8th row of the church three people noticed that Eliot was wearing a different outfit.

Before that day I’d felt like I was living in a fish bowl.

Until that day I didn’t know the full extent of it.

I realized that I was living in a fish bowl where costume changes are noticed.

I can’t say that I thrive in the fish bowl. I mean, truly, there is a reason there are signs on the fish tanks at the pediatricians office. “Please don’t tap the glass I will make the fish sick.”

My husband and kids and I took a whole entire 2 week vacation recently.

On that vacation we were just anonymous humans fishing the lake, just another organism walking through the woods, just another tourist eating the over-priced kids hot-dog on the patio.

We were nobodies.

We were nothing of great interest to anyone.

I didn’t fully realize I was on a break from being noticed until one evening when I took my now 3 year old son out for dinner without a diaper bag or even a diaper stuck in my pocket.

During dinner he filled his pants in one of those amazing multiplying ways.

I decided we could just go in the bathroom, remove the stuff, wipe the stuff and return his pants to his little boy bottom and head back home without much trouble.

I anonymously walked off the full patio at the restaurant. Anonymously walked through the bar and anonymously walked into the bathroom.

Once in the bathroom Eliot wanted to look at stuff.

I wanted to get his pants and shoes and diaper off without laying him down on the insanely wet (yuck) public bathroom floor.

He wanted to run away during the wiping part.

I wanted to get it over with.

At one exasperating moment he ran, I grabbed and slipped everything was just enough stressed and pulled in just the right way that I ripped. Yes. Ripped. The entire front end of my pants wide open.

Don’t imagine that rip as a small tear.

It was a rip. A foot-long tear across the front of my pants.

It ran from near my waste band to pretty close to my knee.

So I was stuck with a stinky, dirty three year old without a diaper and the very front of my pants completely hanging in the breeze.

I couldn’t stay where I was. It was a one-seater with someone knocking on the door behind me.

So I just put things back together as well as I could and walked out of the bathroom and back through the patio to my husband and daughter pretending there was nothing at all smelly or exposed about us.

And no one noticed us at all. We were just another mom and her son. Just another pair with their pants on all wrong.

Sara McGinley, irreverent priest’s wife and mother of two, writes the blog subtly named, Sara McGinley. She is a lay person from Minnesota who thinks the term ‘lay person’ is unnecessarily suggestive.

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