We are one week and two days into the Epic Shitfest of 2017, the endless party where the twins have produced a wet, loose, greenish poop for _every_single_diaper_change since last Wednesday, all day and all night.
We’ve googled furiously and flipped through all of our baby books to try to understand what might be happening or “when to worry” — so far it seems like we are still in that endless horizon of bizarre things that can safely come and go in the life in an infant. Which is to say, we are not alarmed yet, just really really tired of cleaning up shit and fairly certain there is a thin layer of this watery goodness coating every surface of our house, certainly the entire bathroom and all of the clothes that we have worn in the past week. Also the inside of our noses, because no matter how far I travel from the babies, the smell of their poop stays with me.
I woke up at 5am today to find myself in bed with Rowan. She immediately started squirming uncomfortably, but because it was early and because the house was quiet — presumably Darry was still asleep somewhere with Mairead — I got up and tried to rock her back down for a bit longer. It was hopeless. She was hellbent on waking up so she could fill her diaper with another enormous crap. There was an impressive spillover on this one and pretty soon the back of her onesie was filled with shit too, and I knew it was time to give up on more sleep and bring her downstairs for a change and maybe some breastmilk.
Just as I got to the living room, where Darry was sleeping on the couch with Mairead, Serafina started moaning for me to come get her. I handed Rowan to Darry, which woke up Mairead, and went back upstairs. I told Serafina it was too early to wake up (she whined but obliged to sleep more) and then returned to the living room. Then Darry went upstairs alone to try to get a little rest and I moved into the playroom with the babies to clean up another round of diapers and start the day with the birds once again.
The twins wear cloth diapers, just like Serafina did. That fact is rather irrelevant when you’re in the midst of a shitfest, except that we’ve had to do more frequent rounds of our diaper laundry. Just as we avoid disposable diapers, we also avoid disposable wipes. So most of the cleanup during Shitfest, and indeed all of the time when the babies poop, has taken place in the bathroom sink.
Thankfully these babies are very flexible and don’t mind when we fold their legs up, turn on the taps, and awkwardly dip their ass and vulva under the running water and slough off the stubborn chunks of poop with our bare hands. Meanwhile they’re reaching out for whatever they can grab: toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, hair clips. Some of these items have been casualties of Shitfest, getting tossed under the tap by a baby at the precise moment that poop is being washed down the drain. Some of these items have been quietly rinsed off and returned to their spot on the edge of the sink like nothing ever happened.
This past week the babies have also had some severe diaper rash, a delightful side effect of so much diarrhea, and we’ve had to bring in the big guns (desitin, another thing we generally avoid). But you don’t want to put desitin on until a baby’s bottom is completely dry, so I let Rowie air dry in the playroom, butt-naked, and decided it was a good time for me to download some new audio books.
I was browsing the titles available under a general “buddhism” search, because now seems like a good time for me to explore a spiritual practice, when Rowan squatted and released another puddle of poop directly on the playroom floor. I grabbed a towel and mopped it up seconds before Mairead crawled up to the puddle for a little exploration. I have lost track of the number of times this has happened in the last week while one or both of the babies has been air drying, diaper free, in an effort to resolve this rash.
An hour later, I’d cleaned up three baby shits, tidied the mess I made while cleaning those up. Serafina woke up at 6am, I called Darry down to take care of the babies while I tended to her and soon we were all making breakfast.
I went to open the sliding door in our kitchen to breathe in some fresher air and stepped in something wet on my way. I didn’t think of it until Darry stepped in the same something wet a few minutes later and wondered out loud what it could be. What was it Darry had said when I handed a baby to her first thing this morning? Oh yeah, that she had just heard the cat puking somewhere. Guess we found it.