Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Come back with whimper

I wiped two different bottoms today.


One was a large, hairy white moon that refused to bend even an inch, forcing me to shred a few wipes in my efforts to clean house.


The voice at the other end of this momentous and unyielding ass jabbered on about how it was all like a real roller coaster.


He kept calling me "Mark" and then seemed hurt when I did not respond.


I am sorry, person who I just met five minutes ago and am now performing a most personal duty upon, but that is not my name.


The other bottom was tiny, and it's owner, though just as vocal, was much less articulate than my previous customer.


Thankfully, this one did not stink.


My son is now a week old, and I am still amazed at how little he is, how gross a spectacle is his swollen red circumcision and his black and slowly drying nub of an umbilical cord.


Such a frail thing; and even before he was out, he managed to give us one good scare:


In the hospital room at night, the continuous whump of the monitored baby's heart lost its momentum, and fell off to a sporadic rattle. 


Nurses filled the room, urging and assisting my wife into new positions to try and rekindle a good pulse.


I jumped up to assist her, to do anything, and felt myself begin to weaken.


"I think I'm sick," I mumbled.


More nurses came in, two for me alone.


They brought me graham crackers and peanut butter, and a little cup of juice with a straw in it.


I sucked on my juice and wondered if we would watch the Wiggles after quiet time. 


My wife fought back panic, shifting from position to position, while the head nurse shouted orders and they all prepared for the worst.


Everything seemed terrifying and beyond our influence.


I spread peanut butter on the cracker and munched away.


"Daddy, what did you do when I almost died in Mommy's tummy?"


I pat his tiny head with those creepy soft spots where the fontanel has not got it's act together.


"Buddy, I ate some of the best damn peanut butter you ever had in your life."


He scrunches his face up critically.


"That doesn't sound very helpful...."


"Well, I'm wiping yer ass good now, aints I?"


 After a time he says, "Yeah, I guess so..." and lays his five pound, eleven ounce body back down so I can finish changing his diaper.


My new baby lets me off easy in the fecal department; my new student is less kind.


After I clean him up, he turns to me and says "hand".


There, across the tops of all his knuckles, is a bronzing of pooey.


I think of hating jobs, needing jobs, wasted degrees, the slow but unceasing skid into utter burnout, and I wish I could walk out of the stall and let someone else wipe this grown man's shit plastered hand.


But I can't, unless I want my family to compete with raccoons for the choice trimmings at the top of the neighbor's compost pile.


We cannot win that fight; they are crafty, their little hands so strong and dexterous, and they are oft rumored to keep good company with rabies.

They would enslave us.

The thought breaks my heart just enough to resolve to clean his hand.

We stand over the sink for awhile, letting the water run hot through our fingers.

"Mark?" he says.

"Mark?"

"Mark?"

I die inside.

"What?"

"My roommate's name is Punk." He begins to giggle hysterically as I lead him back to class.


43 comments:

  1. You do what you gotta do, shit and all. Congratulations to you and your family, Gween! I am truly happy for you.

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    1. Hi Kelly! You are right about that. Thank you for reading!

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  2. So many dads in the world who don't do what they gotta do. That is a nasty task, my friend. You win lots of invisible prizes. And lots of visible reeking ones.
    Yay for the new baby! Glad you are back!

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    1. Nothing like a Christmas stocking stuffed with visible reeking prizes. Thanks Heather....

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    2. This is the quote of the month:

      "You win lots of invisible prizes."

      Don't let the bastards get you down!

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  3. Congratulations on your kid, Mark.
    Sincerely,
    Debbie

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    1. Please return to me the Debbie Stick, as you obviously just used it to mock me in your most recent post.

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  4. Hurray for baby Gweenbrick! Congratulations :) I've been wondering when he would decide to pop out! What a scare in the hospital though - and thank goodness for peanut butter ;-)

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    1. Thank you Lady in Red-it was scary, but I have since learned that it is extremely common....which in no way diminishes its potential to scare.

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  5. Fantastic! Well done to your wife! and you're amazing.

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    1. Thanks Julie! though i disagree on the amazing thing

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    2. You're a really good writer who happens to wipe bottoms.
      You're a really good writer who makes an ordinary day wiping bottoms sound beautiful.

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  6. I am so glad you have your new child with you, and he already understands peanut butter. I watched PBS special on urban raccoons, they are very intelligent. I halfway predict they wiLL almost replace dogs as man's be(a)st frend in approximately 10,000 years. Your donate button stiLL doesn't work for my card, strange.

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    1. I don't know whats up with the donate button, its weird.
      The raccoons around here seem kind of nasty and spiteful, not sure if they would be my best friend

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  7. Oh how wonderful! Congratulations stranger I've never met! Here's to butt wiping and the many purposes it serves.

    Eating peanut butter was probably the BEST thing you could do in that situation, seeing as Junior was still in vitro and all. Not like you could say "hey, no TV for a week if you don't straighten out up in there, young man".

    I'm going to guess you've named him Mumford. Correct me if I am wrong.

    All the best!

    Elpoo

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    1. I wish we had named him Mumford....darn it
      Yeah, I could exactly start yelling at him while inside my wife's stomach

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  8. I've changed many a diaper in my days. Thankfully those days are over. No I get to clean up puke and spilled milk! Yay!

    Congrats on the baby!

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    1. Hi Workingdan! Thanks-puke and spilled milk sounds delicious, like a good porridge

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  9. I've only changed cat diapers. Yeah, long story.

    Congratulations on the little bundle. He is a fighter, that one.

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  10. I'm so glad you had good peanut butter, and the guy there didn't decide to wipe the shit on you and that you had wipes, even cheap ones at your disposal. Oh yeah, and that baby..Congratulations on that. You are now officially outnumbered parents to kids.
    I understand your pain. The other day I had to assist a grown, hairy man in pulling out dingleberries from his butt. Not only that, we had to discuss it at length and the fact that I insisted that he take them out made me a mean person somehow. client-"Why won't Cindy let me keep dingleberries in my butt!" me-"I..I can't believe that I am actually having this conversation." Greenbrick-you are not alone in your bathroom stall. We are legion

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    1. Cynthia, you don't comment often, but when you do, you always manage to leave me with an image that makes me sick to my stomach and less hopeful that humanity will ever right this spaceship Earth it has so calamitously upended
      thank you

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  11. First, congratulations on your new baby! I'm so thankful everything turned out ok. Those are some stupendously scary moments. As for your job and all that it entails, you are a better man than many for sticking with it for the good of your family. Wiping poo is NOT a fun thing...ever. You must have a heart of gold. Or maybe you're a robot? Naw, I'm going with gold.

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    1. No, robot! Always pick robots when you are talking anything about me, and you will never be in error

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  12. Congratulations on your new baby! It's good to expose him to peanut butter molecules in the air early in life so he doesn't develop an allergy. You think of everything!

    P.S. I wordlessly handed my iPhone to my husband this morning. He laid there in bed and read your blog without question. He laughed like a hyena and read his favorite parts aloud. Seeing him laugh like that is my life's greatest joy. So thank you for writing this, from both of us. In our marital bed. Partially nude.

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    1. I was with you right up until you and your husband were partially nude, and then I was so happy I was not with you at all....

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  13. Congrats on the newbie! That's awful about the scare, but you handled it like...uh....Gweenbrick. Be sure to stop by Goodwill ASAP and get a little something from (virtual)Aunt Marianne.

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    1. THANK YOU! You generous beast you...I suppose I handled it the way I handle all things, by eating and not making eye contact

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  14. Congratulations Gweenie and Mrs Gweenie. Glad that baby arrived safe and healthy and that you got to experience the best damn peanut butter you've ever had in your life. :)

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    1. Thanks lily! He was a late comer, so he ended up not sharing a birthday with your Little Spawn

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  15. Enslavement by raccoons… An aspect of unemployment I never thought about… Yet another avenue inspired by your blog for my brain to wonder aimlessly down in an effort to keep on keeping on in the mundane. Thanks!
    Super huge, poop free congratulations on the safe arrival of your son!

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  16. Yay! Baby Gweenbrick made his stunning debut!! Congratulations to you and your lovely wife, who allows you to draw her fat, in a robe, with bucked teeth. (She's a way better sport than I would be. Truth.)

    I was so excited to see a new post today... it was almost like Christmas.

    And are you sure your name isn't Mark? Because you totally seem like a Mark.

    xoxo

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    1. Thank you for being such a great reader, and thanks for the email Dani! My wife is a good sport....but now that the baby is out, I better be REAL careful how I draw her from now on

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I appreciate you removing this comment, Haley...it was OBSCENE! You have a nasty, nasty potty mouth

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  18. Would the racoons make you wipe their asses? If not, maybe you could pursue some kind of indentured servitude agreement.

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    1. Not sure what they would make me do, and it is that fear of the unknown demands that makes me keep them at an arm's length

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  19. Congratulations on your new baby! :)

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  20. Congrats on the new baby! Oddly enough, this post could not have been more appropriate given the fact that the first thing I think of when it comes to babies is butt wiping... and puke. My girls have scarred me...

    Don't forget to tell Mrs. Gween how wonderful she is! :)

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  21. Congratulations on your new little one. I hope your family is adjusting well and that everyone is happy.

    Have you ever thought of writing a novel?

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  22. Congrats. I am so happy for you both! 'Ware the raccoons!

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