March 20, 2006

Gag me with a diaper

First, let me say that I have a horrible sense of smell. I never knew this would come in handy until I started changing diapers. Just by the look of things, I can tell just how lucky I am to not be blown over by the odoriferous eminations coming from each Huggies. In fact, I have yet to be totally repulsed by anything I’ve seen to date. Granted, we haven’t introduced the kids to meats or even exotic vegetables yet but, so far so good.

Until this morning.

TheMonk has a stomach virus and he vomited enough times yesterday where the advice nurse had me take him to the local Children’s Hospital to get him checked out. He was finally able to keep down some pedialyte and that became his source of nourishment for the rest of the night. This morning, a much-improved TheMonk was hungry and ready for some breast milk. He nursed ravenously and everything was good. Until I picked him up to move him to another room.

The odor hit me like a sledgehammer. The stench was so bad I thought I saw fumes rising from his little butt.

He smiled at me and I tried to smile back but it’s hard to smile and gag at the same time. Proving my love for my son yet once more, I maneuvered him to the diaper-changing table and was resigned to changing the diaper myself (Andrea, the lucky woman, was in the shower). Holding my breath, I carefully peeled away the diaper. A cloud of viscous odor rose up towards the heavens. The paint on the wall beside us started to peel. My eyes started to water. I looked over at TheMonk and, oblivious to the smell, was cooing away softly. I then glanced down at the diaper and was shocked at what I saw. It was bright, flourescent-red!* MY GOD, IT’S TOXIC WASTE! OH MAN, OH MAN, OH MAN. Lord, please help me in my time of need.

I quickly grabbed a handful of baby wipes and started wiping furiously, hoping to end the nasal assault as quickly as possible. Once I no longer saw any red, I wrapped up the diaper and threw it into the diaper bin and closed the lid with a bang. I glanced over at TheMonk once again as I panted from exertion and a lack of oxygen. The hairs lining my nose were now curled and slightly tinged. I wiped away the tears from my eyes and finished dressing TheMonk.

I have tried to resume my day. I have tried to pretend like my life is the same. But, in truth, my life will never be the same – not knowing that there is a smell out there as bad as that. For the rest of the day, all I have smelled is that odor. It clings to me like a bad first-date. I keep washing my hands, face, hair, and THE SMELL JUST WON’T GO AWAY. It won’t. Right now, I write this and you are secondary as the smell permeates my mind and, I’m sure, is currently eating away at my brain. Please…


*It turns out he had a burst capillary that caused his poop to go red. Everything is okay now.


  1. I hate to say this but you know I am a devotee of reality therapy…”the worst is yet to come”. When this happens again, and it will, a little lemon juice on the hands and under the noise works well.

    Comment by Grandmother — March 20, 2006 @ 5:47 pm


    Sickness that comes complete with spurting butt fluids is the one time in life where I allow us to use disposable diapers–the smell is that bad. Something about the combo of bacteria and the rush of the body to force it our that makes it all just one big super-stink nightmare.

    I personally rue the day any child ever starts eating solid food at all. If it wouldn’t stunt,deprive and/or malnourish them, I would not start solids until they were potty trained.

    Hope your little guy gets better soon. :) Tea-tree oil will zap the smell and the germs, and sticking your nose in a bag of coffee will help too.

    Comment by Dana — March 20, 2006 @ 5:58 pm

  3. Enjoy it while you can. Believe it or not, one day you’ll look back and yearn to do it all over again. :-)

    Hope the little guy is feeling better!

    Comment by Attila The Mom — March 21, 2006 @ 9:21 am

  4. Yes, as a parent of breastfed babies, you are definitely in the best days. Wait till they start eating more solids.

    Breastmilk baby poo is not at all like the vile smells you get from formula baby poo. And solid foods will rock your world.

    Comment by Kim Wells — March 21, 2006 @ 11:02 am

  5. I dunno… My oldest is twenty and my youngest is twelve, and I don’t think I’ve ever yearned to do *that* again…

    Matches work wonder with stenches. Burn one or two in the room right after a foul one. It takes away a lot of the reek – something about it burning up the methane. Just after you blow out the match, take a good whiff of the match. It may be psychological, it may be because the acrid match smoke brings tears to your eyes, but it seems to somehow cleanse my palate, nasally-speaking.

    Though I think now I’ll try that lemon juice trick, too. Because you can never be too careful.

    Comment by Mary — March 21, 2006 @ 11:11 am

  6. EEEWWWWW, I am so not hungry anymore. I hope he’s doing better. I was going to give you the lemon advice, but someone already did. Also when you go home, if the house still smells at all, sautee some garlic and oil for a few minutes. It will clear out the odor.

    Comment by Melissa — March 21, 2006 @ 11:58 am

  7. The Munchkin always had BAD diarrhea after a stomach bug. That’s when I was with Dana – I broke out the disposables. We usually open windows (when possible – not when it’s 30 degrees out) and spray Lysol, then run away if the poop is toxic – and with a two-year-old who eats normal meals, it’s bad.

    Get better soon, JT!

    Comment by Deanna — March 21, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  8. We once had tripe rotavirus. Our twins plus our olders all three projectile vomitting and pooping out yellow death, the likes of which I have never seen outside of a science fiction movie.
    I swear I could smell it for days.
    You have my sympathy.

    Comment by Gidge — March 21, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

  9. Yesterday all five of my kids were projectile vomitting and having extremely sticky diahrea. My advice… do the lemon juice thing, have some nice smelling candles to burn afterwards, and get ready for Bri to have the same virus in a few days. Hopefully, she won’t get it or have any awful smelling diaper, but as far as I’ve noticed with my kids… they share sickness. One gets sick and it usually goes through our house within the next two weeks. Oh, and I’ve had to change a burst capillary diaper once too. It is kind of un-nerving, isn’t it? That color is so weird.

    Comment by Julie — March 23, 2006 @ 11:35 am

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