Repayment for a friend
Let me begin this post by saying that I would like for you to do me a favor: Go to the fashion and modesty blog Betty Beguiles right now, subscribe to the feed, leave 10 comments saying what a fantastic site it is, make it your home page, email everyone you know and tell them to stop what they are doing and read the entire archives, and solemnly vow to read it every day for rest of your life.
Never has there been a better blog. Betty (a.k.a. Hallie Lord) pens odes to cute dresses as if from the mouths of the angels themselves; her sagacious date night tips contain such potent wisdom that the Gosselins would still be together if they’d only seen them; she shares insights into modesty that will knock you off of your chair and leave you motionless on the floor, stunned by the profundity of what you just read. If Shakespeare could read her blog he would weep bitter tears at his impotency in the face of such prose!
Now that I have said that, let me tell you about my day:
On what may seem like an unrelated topic but I assure you has an ominous connection to what I said above, yesterday I read this post by Megan at Sorta Crunchy about how her toddler pooped on the floor at the library. “Hah!” I chuckled. “What a terrible story. I’m sure glad I’m not in her shoes today!”
I was about to move on what I saw a comment from Sarah at This Heavenly Life in which she wrote:
I tried not to laugh, for fear of bringing down the wrath of the poop-fates upon myself. Oh dear.
Immediately I realized what I had done. It’s like in that movie The Ring where after you see the video you know it’s only a matter of time until freakishly terrible things start happening to you. I had laughed at another mother’s poop-related misfortune. My time was nigh.
For a while, things seemed to be fine. With our Kidsave child arriving tomorrow I was completely focused on getting everything ready for her visit; even though my husband and I had hired a professional housecleaner to help us with the basics there was still plenty of decluttering, deep cleaning and organizing to do, and I wasn’t sure how I could get it all done.
My friend Betty Beguiles told me that her husband had the day off and offered to have him watch their four young children so that she could come over by herself and help me get ready. I started to give my usual knee-jerk “No, I couldn’t possibly…” reaction, but I remembered that I’m trying to work on accepting the help that God sends me so I said a reluctant yes. “Besides,” I thought presciently, “Letting someone else help me organize my messy house will be a good lesson in humility.”
Little. Did. I. Know.
I had been cleaning my office while Betty was on her hands and knees getting some spots out of the upstairs carpet when I thought I heard some noise from the room where my two middle girls were supposed to be napping. I crept upstairs and listened at the door; all was quiet. I was about to head back downstairs when I caught a whiff of something foul. Following the parenting axiom that “If you think you might have smelled poop, YOU DID,” I decided to push the door open to take a quick glance inside the room.
I was not prepared for what I saw.
Imagine, if you will, that someone hooked up a fire hose to a septic tank and sprayed it around a room on full throttle for a moment. That gives you an idea of what awaited me when I walked into my daughters’ room. My 21-month-old has had a penchant for taking off her diaper for a long time with no serious results, so I guess I thought I could keep playing the odds until she was potty trained. Today she hit the jackpot. She had taken off a messy diaper and had evidently engaged in some Montessori-style play with its contents. It was everywhere: on the crib, on the pillow, on all the toys, ground into stuffed animal fur, smeared into the sheets and pillow — some had even fallen down onto the freshly-vacuumed carpet.
I was in shock. My daughter looked at me and giggled, happy as a pig in…well, you know. I kept starting for her crib then stopping. I didn’t know which horrific aspect of this situation to deal with first. I couldn’t open the window because of safety locks and the smell just kept getting worse. I thought I was going to throw up. Just when I’d decided that the best course of action would be to curl up in the corner and cry until my husband got home from work, Betty walked in behind me and immediately took over. She told me to wrap my daughter up in a blanket to transport her to the bathtub without getting the mess all over me. I walked zombie-style into the bathroom, wishing I had a hazmat suit as I peeled off her clothes and plopped them directly into the trash can. I sat in there for a while, cleaning my daughter in a daze as I tried not to look at the wash cloth or think of adjectives to describe the texture of the water.
Finally I got her out of the bath and dragged myself back into her room to attack the feces apocalypse that awaited me. I tried to think of something I would rather do less than this task; I came up empty. I pushed the door open, lifted my eyes to her crib, and saw that it was clean. Spotless. As if it had never happened. My friend Betty had taken a break from scrubbing my carpet on her hands and knees to clean every last smear of poop out of my child’s room.
What could a person ever do to repay that kind of generosity?
If I were rich I would have just started pressing $100 bills into her hand, perhaps signing her up for some kind of Lexus of the Month Club. But, alas, I don’t have the means to compensate her financially for her heroic waste removal services. Finally, after thinking of everything from offering to babysit her children every weekend evening for the next five years to tattooing her name on my back to show her how very serious I was when I said I appreciated what she’d done, I recalled that she is a fellow internet nerd, and I thought of something she might like: A link to her blog. So I will just come clean and tell you that the entire purpose of this 1,100-word post about poop is to tell you to go visit my friend Betty Beguile‘s blog.
Normally I try to include an image related to the subject of my post. Notice that I didn’t this time. You’re welcome.
New here? Come say hi on Twitter at @jenfulwiler!