Ah, the weather is warming up a little, the evenings are gradually getting lighter and festival season is upon us once again. We are holding ShitFest in our house. I didn’t even realise I’d got a ticket, and I really should have brought some wellies, but ShitFest it is.
B is teething. Not his first tooth to appear, as the bottom two popped through without too much fuss, followed by a top one – but not one of the front pair. Oh no, not my son, that would be far too predictable. He got one just to the right of the front pair, giving him quite a special look. With the whole tongue-poking-out-for-minutes-at-a-time thing he has going on, he looked quite the window licker. And now he has three coming at once, both the front two and the one beside it. I think he’s trying to play Connect 4 with his teeth and four in a row is not far off.
But with three coming together, the teething effects are in full swing. His cheeks could light up a house in a power cut, or fry a couple of chipolatas, or probably both. This, I can deal with. A squirt of Calpol and they usually turn down to a light simmer. But the poo. Oh my god, the poo.
M went to check on him one evening, and returned downstairs looking a little shocked. So I went up, and as I opened the bedroom door the wall of smell hit me. I had an involuntary facial chemical peel right there on the spot. Holy shit, I have never smelt anything so evil. So perhaps not Holy Shit at all. It was like Beelzebub’s bile with a dressing of mustard and blue cheese that had been left to go rancid in a particularly sunny spot before a liberal shake of Eau de Vomit was added. As I approached the cot I did ponder if a) we had any wallpaper that needed stripping, because one wave of that malevolent nappy and it would have fallen to the floor in immediate surrender and b) did we have a chemical protection suit to hand that I could slip into before pulling back those nappy tabs. I should invite the Met round to practise their dirty bomb drills, they will be hard pressed to face anything quite this grim.
It was a double-hander, changing that nappy. You know you are in deep trouble when you pick your baby up and you can just see a little bit of poo poking out the neck of his sleep suit. We rolled and tucked, rolled and tucked his body suit, trying to extricate B from the shit cocoon he had created for himself. Precious few centimetres of his skin had not been smeared with the liquid, yellow poo. Both M and I would turn away, gulp a lungful of fresh air, before turning back to continue the clean-up operation and eventually he was naked, wiped clean and ready to be re-dressed. We opened windows. We fanned the door back and forth, but that bloody stench still lingered. An hour later, I was still smelling it as I walked around, nervously checking my top for poo smears and washing my hands for the fifth time.
Apparently, ShitFest goes on for quite a few days. I plonk B on the floor to play with some toys, and then there will be a sudden stillness. Oh Christ, here it comes again. I race to pick him up, but it is too late, I can’t reach him in time. Out comes a fresh torrent of teething-induced bum-juice, shot at high velocity through the small gap at the back of his bum crack where his bottom is not pressing on the floor. I pick him up, but it is too late. A yellow stain is blossoming on his vest above the nappy line and creeping up his back, and it is time for yet another strip-down.
I have to admit, I am a bit bored of ShitFest now. It’s getting a bit repetitive and the headline act stinks. I have run out of Vanish spray, clean vests and the will to live. I am just longing to open up a nappy and see a nice solid, brown pat of baby poo nestling there. Now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d utter.