We left on Thursday night to visit Adam’s mom and step-dad in central valley California. My biggest worry was Coop getting into everything because he is that type of a baby. Happily, he was so enamored with people, dogs, and new house he didn’t get into anything at all. Then he started to act like a miserable baby and we assumed he was about to get his two top teeth. He had a fever and was sleeping terribly. I’m with Arwen about teething and fevers and babies, but I couldn’t deny 1) The Fever and 2) The Almost There Teeth and 3) Poor Sleeping. So we treated the fever with Children’s Tylenol. It wasn’t our Tylenol from home, so it had Red Dye 40 in it. We’re trying to avoid Red Dye 40 for a few reasons, but I assumed it wouldn’t hurt too much for one night.
Then Coop started to get a rash. It first looked like contact allergy to something because Coop scoots oddly on the floor for his transportation needs. Then I thought it might be a reaction to the Red Dye 40. My hospital scientist step father-in-law got home from work and wanted another opinion, so he took Coop to a friend of his who is a Physicians Assistant. (I want to put an apostrophe in physicians but I don’t know whether he is an assistant to one or more doctors or if it is even applicable in this case. I’m in the car writing this post and am too lazy to look it up on my phone. You might notice I went back and put in applicable links, so maybe I’m just not giving a shit about apostrophes today.) The verdict: Coop was definitely suffering from Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease http://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/index.html , which he likely caught at a well-baby doctor appointment due to the incubation period. *insert irony of situation here*
As we left my mother-in-law’s house and prepared for the five hour drive home, my step father-in-law cautioned us to keep Coop’s diaper area dry and clean to avoid infection and yeast in the sores. I am now firmly committed to the notion that my dear step father-in-law jinxed the living fuck out of us. Halfway through the trip we stopped at McDonald’s in Gorman. I needed to pump and Adam took Egg and Chicken inside. As I was pumping, I noticed a smell. I thought to myself, “Wow. Is that what McDonald’s smells like these days?” The smell continued to grow, a combination of regular McDonald’s food smell and some notes of really bad tummy smell. I finished pumping, made a bottle for Coop, and opened the rear car door.
Now, Coop had been fussing this whole time but he was hungry and had been fussy for days. He wasn’t crying, just vocally telling me “I’m feeling cranky and I want you to fix this problem please.” I was not prepared for “the problem” to be diarrhea. Diarrhea which was no longer contained in his diaper, but smeared in his car seat, on his leg, on his hand, arm, etc. It was very bad. I picked Coop up and gingerly held him in the optimal way to avoid poop getting on me or the car.
As I held him around the waist it was sliding down his leg off his foot onto the ground. We were parked in the very first parking spot closest to the door. This door was to the only McDonald’s in the area and a very common rest stop for travelers driving through the grapevine. I’m holding a squalling baby while poop plops onto the ground and Adam is flitting around me in the “Holy fuck I want to help but ARGH what do I do?!” way a helpful person does when they are overwhelmed but not an asshole. An asshole runs away, if you’re wondering. Adam took the task of cleaning out the car seat while I cleaned the baby.
I wanted to get Coop into the restroom where I could lock myself into a stall with a baby changing table for twenty minutes while decontaminating him. But I couldn’t exactly stroll through the restaurant while poop hit the floor at quick intervals. I grabbed the diaper bag, walked up to a trash can and used disposable wipes to get everything that threatened to drip out and made a quick pass on his leg and foot. It was very bad. Then I mustered my courage and hustled through the restaurant without looking at anyone and locked myself in the open PRAISE BABY JEEBUS baby changing table stall.
I put down the mat which is normally used to keep stranger cooties off your precious snowflake baby. In this case I was trying to avoid spreading Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease to every baby in southern California. There was a moment where I wished I could just cut Coop’s romper off of him. Alas, I had no scissors and it was a brand new outfit Essie bought him for his birthday. So I stripped him down and started to clean. I’m not even going to describe to you what happened when I pulled the romper up over Coop’s head. You’re welcome.
Once I finished wiping his whole body and the changing mat down I realized the California Baby Diaper Area Wash was in the diaper bag. I owe Jonna many thanks for recommending this product, although when she first mentioned it I was confused. I saw “Diaper Wash” and assumed it was soap to wash diapers, and she doesn’t use cloth diapers*. No, it was diaper AREA wash dumbass. I suppose California Baby Genital Area Wash doesn’t sound as marketable. It is much like the spray used for cleaning up babies with cloth wipes. I used a clean prefold diaper to wipe off the spray and cleaned Coop again from top to bottom. He finally seemed clean, but the rash caused by Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease was much worse in his diaper area than it had been three hours previously. Poor baby, I felt so bad for him.
When I got to the sinks to wash my hands and Coop’s, a nice young woman grabbed Coop’s hand. My first thought was “Are you seriously grabbing my baby’s hand right after you go to the bathroom and BEFORE you wash your hands?” My second thought was “I’m glad you’re washing your hands right now because my baby just had Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease all over the outside of his body.” We got outside and Coop’s car seat looked good as new. I’ll be cleaning it with vinegar tomorrow. I put down a clean prefold in case of another poop attack and got Coop into his seat. I gave him the freshly pumped milk and for the next few minutes, he was content to fill up all the places he had emptied. I can’t wait to get home.
*In case you are wondering, there are a few parenting choices which I believe fall under the “No Big Deal” umbrella. One of these is cloth diapering. I’m pro cloth diapers, but don’t care if you’re not.
**I have no affliation with any of the products or places I have mentioned. No one paid me for any of this, and I’m not sure I could even put a dollar amount on the poop incident.