Friday, July 27, 2018

Dealing with the Crap of Being an Adult

Sometimes it stinks to be the adult.

As kids, we always thought adults had it easy, didn't we? They could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. They could eat what they wanted, stay up late if they wanted, and had a seemingly unlimited amount of money.

Yup, there would be no crap to deal with when we became adults!

Reality, of course, is a bit different, especially if you have kids. True, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want--as long as it's in our home after the kids are asleep and it's not so loud that it might wake them up. I can eat what I want--as long as the kids don't see, because then they'll want some, too. I can stay up late if I want--but only if I actually can stay up late, because as soon as I get the kids to bed I'm so exhausted I need to collapse. And I do have an unlimited amount of money--as long as I don't exceed the credit limit.

Compared to being a kid, being an adult is powerful. But, it's like that line from the Spider-Man comics, with great power comes great responsibility. Every once in a while that responsibility will slap you right in the face.

I'm reminded of one day when we went as a family to do some grocery shopping. We like to go shopping all together as a family because: A) the kids are too young to leave home by themselves; and 2) I'm always hopeful that I can find some new bacon-flavored food product to sneak into the cart.

On this day we pulled up to the giant warehouse store (for the sake of anonymity I'll call it "CostLo,") and The Wife and the two oldest kids got out of the mini-van while I got The Baby out of her car seat.

Immediately I could tell there was a problem. Not so much a problem as it was a stench. I told The Wife that The Baby was poopy. Being the responsible adult that I am, I figured I had better change her diaper, so I sent The Wife and the other two kids into the store. This was mostly because: 1) I was already holding The Baby, and when it comes to who changes the diaper, possession is nine-tenths of the law; and B) The Wife could do the shopping without me much better than I could do it without her. (Although that might mean we'd be going without bacon-flavored cinnamon rolls.)

Unfortunately, as soon as The Wife and kids were out of view, I discovered that this was more than just a stench; it was a poop-through! The diaper didn't do it's job in damming up the doo-doo.
Diapers, you had one job!
It's moments like this when that "responsibility" crap really slaps you in the face. Because as much as I'd like to ignore all that poop and wish that it would go away, I have to be the responsible one who actually takes care of it.

So, I got out the diaper-changing mat and placed it on the driver's seat of the van. I then put The Baby down on it. The most difficult part of dealing with a poop-through is getting The Baby's clothes off without spreading the poop. I attempted to do this, and thought I had done a good job. I got The Baby's clothes off!

Unfortunately, that's when I noticed there was some poop on her knee. And some poop on her ankle. And some poop on her shoulder. And I was no longer poop-free, either. You've all heard the term "green thumb." Well, while that would be an accurate description of my thumb at that moment, it would not have anything to do with my ability to grow and care for plants.

There was poop on the diaper-changing mat. There was poop on the driver's seat of the mini-van. And, of course, there was poop all over The Baby. While I would have liked to just scream and run away, I got out the wipes and started wiping. I wiped and wiped and wiped. And then I wiped some more. Eventually, the only poop I could find was on the diaper and pile of wipes on the floor beneath the steering wheel.

We've learned to prepare for the poop-throughs (as much as one can), so we always have a change of clothes in the diaper bag. I put a clean diaper on The Baby and got the new clothes on her. I then wadded up the old diaper and pile of wipes as best I could, using a few new wipes around the outside of the wad in the hopes of preventing accidental poop spreadage.

As I carried The Baby and the diaper wad toward the store, the looks I received were about equally split between, "Oh, look how cute that baby is!" and "Oh my gosh, is that a giant wad of poop in his hand?" I dropped the diaper wad in the garbage outside of the store and entered.

Now all I had to do was find The Wife and the other a store roughly the size of Saskatchewan. Of course, with today's modern technology the simple solution would be to pick up the cell phone and call her to find her location. Except, for some reason, cell signals can't seem to penetrate the giant metal shell of the "CostLo" store.

So, I embark on a grid by grid search of the store while carrying The Baby, which is about the same as carrying a large sack of potatoes, if that sack of potatoes had arms and continually attempted and occasionally succeeded in getting fingerprints all over your glasses. At this point the store was more like "LostCo" than "CostLo."

Finally, I was able to find The Wife and kids near the fresh fruit section toward the back of the store, and I dumped my sack of potatoes with arms into the shopping cart. No sooner had I done so than I was greeted by The Boy with, "Dad! I've got to go potty!"

I looked at The Wife and she gave me the head-nod which was co-parent language for, "No, he's not faking, he really does need to go." I immediately grab The Boy's hand and start hiking to the bathroom, which is at the front of the store, somewhere on the north end of Saskatchewan.

On the way there, The Boy tells me several times, "I've got to go potty," just in case I had forgotten where we were heading. (I hadn't.) We then had to shimmy our way behind someone who was checking out, because the only way to the restrooms was through the checkout lanes.

Finally, after our long and arduous hike we turned the corner to the restroom...only to find the doorway blocked by the janitor's cart, with a sign on it reading, "Restroom closed for cleaning. Please use the Family Restroom."

This is Utah. I'm sure Family Restrooms exist, in theory. But, in my actual experience whenever I find one I am only ever greeted by a locked door.

Surprisingly, the door to the Family Restroom opened before The Boy peed his pants, and he took care of his business. That meant we had to try to find The Wife again in the vast vastness of the "LostCo." By the time we did finally rendezvous, she had finished the shopping. (No bacon-flavored maple syrup for me this week.)

When I was a kid I liked to go shopping sometimes. I'd think things like, "If I were an adult, I'd buy that, and that, and that!"

I had no idea that when I actually became an adult I'd have to deal with so much crap.

Edited from a post originally published on 8/14/2015.

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