Will still isn’t feeling well, and one of the side effects of his illness is a softening of the stool. Or — to put it more bluntly — he has a major case of the runs and the shit is so wet it runs right out of his diaper and up his back. There’s nothing like sitting on the couch, smelling that familiar odor and then picking him up only to find that the entire back of his onsie is now covered in feces.
I hope there’s no one reading this who is on the fence about having kids, because sometimes I wonder if I’m scaring people away from parenthood. But I digress…
So this happened recently and I could tell by the look on MJ’s face that the “You found it, you change it” rule was in full effect. So, cursing my bad luck and my son’s ample ability to absolutely crush his bowel movements out of the park, I trudged off to the nursery to change him. I’m not good at the whole changing thing yet. MJ has it down pat. In just three flawless moves she can get Will from fully clothed to naked. I, on the other hand, fumble with snaps and buttons and in times like these, end up getting crap all over me AND him. After that, it was to the bathroom to give Will a little soak in the tub.
Once I got him in the water, I realized we were out of the bath wipes we use. They are these little cloths that come already doused with soap, so basically they’re idiot proof for people like me. MJ keeps them right out in the open, so I’ve always been able to just grab them. But this time, I couldn’t find any.
Actually, at this point I want to take a little timeout and admit something that most of you already know. I hate looking for things. So when I need something and it’s not in plain view, I do what most guys do. You would think the easiest thing to do would be to look for it, but you’d be wrong. Instead, I shout “Honey, where’s (fill in the missing item here)?” This drives my wife nuts. Usually because what I’m looking for is right next to me and I just missed it. OK, so back to the bath…
I was about to shout to MJ for the wipes but her nagging voice in my head stopped me just before I did it. In an attempt to be a good husband, I figured the wipes must be close so I began looking for them. But since Will has learned to roll in the bathtub I was only half-heartedly looking while keeping an eye on him to make sure he didn’t drown. Just then, on top of the toilet, I spotted the wipes because they were labeled “Cleansing Cloths” in tidy little packets. So I picked one up, opened it, put it in the tub and commenced with the bath.
It was only after I was drying him off that something caught my eye. The empty package was still on the floor. I picked it up and to my horror, read the following:
“Soft feminine cloth soothes & refreshes with vitamin E & aloe. Gently cleanses to help remove odor. Gynecologist tested.”
Yup, that’s right folks. I washed my son using vaginal wipes. A silent panic rose up within me. And I wasn’t worried about the fact that I may have used something with the wrong chemical balance on my son, I was simply horrified that I had used a feminine hygiene product on my strapping, masculine son. I know how crazy it is, but my first thought was “Oh my God, if he grows up to be some kind of wussy little femme it’s all my fault.” As if by washing him with a feminine cloth I had somehow transferred girly sentiments onto him and sentenced him to years of watching Lifetime and always remembering to put the toilet seat down.
I didn’t tell MJ what I had done right away. Instead I dried him off, dressed him (in a onsie that said “Tough Guy”) and immediately put in the 2001 New England Patriots Super Bowl DVD which we watched together. Like men. Men who have never dabbled with feminine products associated with that time of the month. That helped a little but you could say I still had a not-so-fresh feeling about the whole thing.
And I still haven’t found the right wipes!