Flip-flops and Disposable Gloves

As I was unloading the grocery haul for the week Tuesday afternoon, Colman came running into the kitchen and said, “Mama, Sarah needs you.”


My cousin, Sarah, never needs me because she’s completely capable of handling any situation, so I dropped the groceries and hurried to see what was going on. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. I half-ran into a Shit Storm. A real one.

Sarah was kneeling beside Rowan, who was shaking his leg trying to get his pants off because he’d had a huge accident. I’m not sure that’s the right word. Explosion might be a better way to describe it. There was poo-poo everywhere! If only it had been regular poo-poo, but, no, it had to be the consistency of paint. It was all over Rowan, his clothes and the bathroom floor. And Sarah said, “I’m so sorry. It’s everywhere. I don’t even know where to start.”

(My housekeeper had just left. My house had been spotless for exactly one hour.)

We both stood there staring at each other paralyzed for about three seconds and I finally snapped to it, “Go get some medical gloves.” Then to Colman, I said, “Tell Dad we need some Clorox wipes.” Sarah went to get two pair of disposable gloves and I finished carefully stripping Rowan’s clothes off and put him in the shower. Then I ran to get my flip-flops. That’s when I heard Sarah say, “Oh my gosh!” and I realized she didn’t know that this mess encompassed three rooms of the house. I’m guessing the explosion started in Rowan’s room, then he toddled through our den in search of help and ended up in the bathroom.

Kevin dropped off the Clorox wipes and quickly departed with an exasperated, “Wasn’t anybody watching him?”

Clorox wipes, helpful. Rhetorical question, completely unhelpful. For the record, this sort of thing can happen in a split second. Yes, we were watching him and doing several other things at the same time. It’s called multi-tasking.

Sarah and I quickly divvied up the three remaining Clorox wipes. Of course I was almost out even though I swear I just bought five thousand of them at Sam’s not that long ago. I guess it might have been last year.


Sarah and I made quick work of the bathroom and den because that part of the house is all travertine and it was a pretty easy clean up. Except poor Sarah kept feeling like she was going to gag, which makes me laugh because I felt like gagging, too, but I didn’t choose to go into nursing. She has one semester left until she has her Bachelor’s in Nursing, and she’s fine with all sorts of gross stuff, except smells, which cracks me up because gross stuff and humans usually go hand-in-hand with disgusting smells. I think she should probably keep a mask handy at all times. Maybe I should have her bring a few for our house.

The worst room was Rowan’s room because it was all over his big area rug. I managed to get most of the puddles cleaned up, then hauled the rug outside and sprayed it off with the water hose. Miraculously the poo washed right off so there weren’t any stains, but I don’t think for one minute it’s actually clean. I’m sure there’s all sorts of poo particles and E. Coli all over the fibers of that rug. I left the rug outside to dry until I could think about what to do with it.

Later that afternoon after everything had settled down, Kevin said, “Do you want me to put that rug in your car so you can take it to have it cleaned?”

Um, no. No, I don’t. I don’t want that rug anywhere near my car. So I just said, “Not right now” because avoidance might make it go away. Or maybe Kevin will put it in his car and I won’t have to think about it. I mean, it’s from Pottery Barn. How much is it going to cost to clean the thing? Maybe we should just get a new one.

I do have a couple of ideas:

1. We could burn it. This is actually my favorite scenario. I don’t want to burn it until tomorrow, though, because I have about a day left before I have to wash my hair.

2. How about we put it in the recyclable bin and see if the recyclable guys will take it?

3. If two fails and the recyclable guys leave it in front of our house with a nasty note, I say we do a drop and dash at the Tar-jay by our house.

(Not that I’ve ever done that before, but it sounds exciting and they have tons of giant dumpster bins.)

I left the house this morning with the rug still safely on the back porch where I’ve managed to avoid it all week. Then Kevin calls me while I’m on my way to work to let me know that the rug was completely dry and looks fine so he put it back in Rowan’s room.


Here’s a tip: In the case of spewage that comes from either end of a child a good starting point is always flip-flops because you don’t want to step in that and they’re easy to disinfect or throw away. And disposable gloves, if you’ve got them handy.

You’re welcome.


6 thoughts on “Flip-flops and Disposable Gloves

  1. Awesome. I think I’ll pass on the cookies u were offering for the time being. I might toss them. Tee shirt I saw on my trip:

    Lets eat gramma
    Let’s eat, gramma
    Commas save lives. F

  2. Heather, so funny , I laughed until I cried! I ‘ve cleaned up messes, too. Also gagged! The only thing you can do when it’s cleaned up is look back and laugh! Delores

  3. I have a carpet shampooing machine if you’d like to borrow. You could use bleach in the hot soapy water. But you could also get a new rug. Did you throw away the clothes??

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