Today we went to Alana’s Cafe or, as the twins know it, “Breakfast Restaurant.” It’s their absolute favorite restaurant. When Mark told Julia while changing her diaper that we would be eating there she began kicking him and declared, “I’m kicking you because I’m so happy!” And at the restaurant James chanted excitedly “Pan-cakes! Pan-cakes!” as we were led to our table.
|It was also St. Patrick’s Day, in case you’re wondering about the shamrock driver’s cap.|
After eating here we always let the twins run around the courtyard and climb the stairs of the gallery next door. Soon we noticed a distinctive smell for which parents of young children are particularly well honed. I’ll let Julia explain what happened:
|“I have to go poo poo.”|
|“I’m going slow now because of poo poo.”|
|“No. Don’t smell me.”|
I should backtrack a moment to mention that James had been constipated the last few days so I’d been plying those kids full of whole grains, fruit juice, fruit, fruit, and more fruit, and of course beans (which some would say is also a fruit, albeit a magical one). My attempts to battle James’s constipation the last few days having finally been successful, we all proceeded to the fold-down trunk of our Prius, a.k.a. the Mobile Diapering Unit.
I took out the baggie of wipes and found exactly three wipes. Uh oh. I cleaned Julia up with two, leaving one for James. After wiping Julia, Mark surveyed my handiwork and said, “I’ve seen better wiping jobs.” Channeling Donald Rumsfeld, I told my backseat diaperer of a husband, “You go to war with the army you have. Not the army you wish you had."
“Listen up. I also have some thoughts on potty training.”
Now it was time to change James. James tends to produce one massive poop a day so leaving one wipe was a big gamble, especially with the earlier constipation situation. As I removed his diaper Mark rustled through the diaper bag and announced that there were no more diapers. This has never happened to me before. I searched every inch of that bag and the car and confirmed he was right, all the while cursing myself for not refilling the diaper bag. We were literally s--- out of luck.
|Always bet on black. Or brown.|
In the meantime I had finished removing James’s pants and - just my luck - he had a diaper so swollen with poop that, not to get too graphic, the last inch of each of the legholes was yellowish brown. You know how you can tell at the beach where the high tide has receded? Well, James’s legs were stained yellow almost all the way to the knee.
We considered our options. Put James’s jeans back on and go home? No, that was a ticking time bomb. Send Mark running to a grocery store? None in sight. Swap babies with someone else in the restaurant? This might have been a viable option a year ago but it seemed too late now.
If only we had a convenient pumpkin...
Mark suggested wrapping James up in the thick changing cloth like it was a cloth diaper. That seemed like the best solution. We didn’t have any way to pin it to stay together but figured it would mostly stay together after it was jammed into pants. I decided this was a better idea for Julia since we planned to have her start wearing underwear for the first time that afternoon anyway.
So I turned to Julia, pulled down her jeans and ripped off her diaper, leaving her bottomless in a parking lot. Julia kind of looked around like, “What just happened?” Then I tended to James with the one wipe and a few dried out ones Mark found on the floor. Tim Gunn’s voice echoed in my head: “Make it work.”
|“I don’t approve of the use of my words and likeness in this context. Carry on!”|
By the time I put a freshly diapered James down Julia was very upset. I put her back onto our Prius changing table and she started whining that she wanted her Mickey Mouse diaper back. Unsatisfied with our attempts to market the changing cloth as “fancy big girl underwear,” we realized we weren’t going to be able to convince her. I even started to take a pen out of my purse to draw Mickey on it. She began sobbing and I could see this was going nowhere fast.
|The only acceptable diaper|
That’s when I left Mark and the twins in the parking lot and raced inside Alana’s to beg table to table for a diaper. Thankfully, at the second table I approached, a 2-year-old’s mom took pity on me and gave me one. It was a size too small but at this point I would have made even a newborn diaper work. Julia took one look at this plain white diaper and started bawling, “I want my old diaper! I want Mickey!” I took out the stickers I keep in my Mom Bribery Kit (a.k.a. my purse) to decorate it. But Julia wasn’t having it and eventually, when it was clear the bargaining wasn’t going to work, I just put it on her and dressed her despite her cries. And kicks.
And this is why we can’t have nice things go nice places.
Another picture of playing in the courtyard:
|I have a special delivery... in my diaper|