Sometimes I have stories I want to share but can't. The endings are unfinished. I don't always want the conclusion to be, "…and then a bunch of crappy stuff happened. The end."
So I wait and see if an alternative ending presents itself.
Often, it does.
Take this story. It is the day before we leave for our cabin trip…
It is early morning and we haven't started packing yet. I walk into the family room and smell…something.
What could it be? We look for moldy dishes under the sofa. Nothing.
It does not smell like poop. It is too atrocious. Too rotten.
But when there is an unidentified stench in the vicinity of a diaper-clad baby, I automatically check. I have to.
And the toddler answers affirmatively. Excitedly.
But the diaper was clean.
Fast forward through a normal day.
It is now night. My husband is giving the boys a bath.
Actually, they get out of the tub and my husband asks me what pajamas to put them in. My husband understands that I have a very complicated system of clothing piles and suitcases going on and he doesn't want to disturb my delicate equilibrium.
So I tell him to hold on just a second until I can come figure it out.
Only I can't leave just then. I'm frozen because I'm doing math. Counting the days we'll be gone multiplied by the average times I'll have my clothes ruined and then subtracting three for optimism.
I enter the dining room and the toddler is sitting on a chair. Naked.
The stinkiest elephant diarrhea. All over the upholstered chair. And table. And him.
Oh, did I mention this was the night before our trip? On an airplane? Plus a long car ride? Winding up in a secluded cabin?
See, this is where I could have ended the story with, "And then a bunch of crappy stuff happened. The end."
But that just didn't feel right.
So we'll skip the trip story. I may actually share about that later. You know, when I remember it fondly rather than with promises to myself that I will never, ever travel again.
We've been back for a few weeks.
That pooped on chair? Still hanging out on our back patio. Uncleaned. I mean, we sort of scraped off the excess but then ran out of time to really deal with it before we left the next morning.
Did I mention that I upholstered it myself? With vintage Merimekko fabric that I scored for next to nothing? (my fellow fabric geeks are sobbing now)
So I do.
And I walk back inside where the rest of the family is playing a game.
Moments later, I'm puttering in the kitchen and the toddler walks in.
So I ask him if he pooped.
Are you kidding me? Not again. We just got over being sick. How can this possibly be happening again?
I pick him up and carry him with the "hold-the-baby-as-far-away-from-you-as-possible-because-you-know-the-poop-is-going-to-ooze-out-all-over-you" technique. I know it is going to be massive.
But when it lands, the sound is unexpected.
Perplexed, I set him down gently to inspect.
The game they were playing when I walked through? Hungry Hungry Hippos.
No, it did not occur to me.
And this is a much happier ending.
Yes, my husband even saw him shoving them in his diaper. But I didn't have a chance to consult with him on the definition of "hippos" in a diaper. We are in full on "diaper stuffer" mode here. The hidden treasure inside each diaper makes changes much more fun.