Monday, July 25, 2011


When I was younger, I had assumed that, at a certain point in my life, I would be old enough and wise enough to no longer do stupid shit. This theory turns out to have been entirely unfounded. I still am, and always will be, the same person that I always was; the stupid shit is hard-wired in, and will never go away.

This morning, feeling a surge of can-do energy after many weeks of lying around listlessly on the couch watching the entire nine-season run of The X Files with my newborn baby, I decided to take self and baby to Red Rooster for coffee, muffin, and work. The baby usually sleeps long and hard in the morning, so it stood to reason that I would have a good chunk of good writing time, and be able to accomplish a good chunk of good things. (First warning sign that things will go poorly: a reasonable, well-founded expectation that things will go well.)

The first problem was the bus fare. There was only $1.15 on my card, and I did not have enough change to make up the difference. So I got off the bus, losing the $1.15, and took a taxi, for which I had to pay the $7 minimum fare, far too much for a fifteen-block hop.

Once at Red Rooster, I settled in with coffee, muffin, and computer, geared up for what I hoped would be at least an hour of productive writing work. No more than ten minutes had passed, though, when I became aware of a strange vibrating sensation in my midsection, right around where the baby was sleeping in the sling. I patted my torso and baby confusedly, thinking that my cell phone had somehow gotten into the sling with the baby. As I slid my hand over the baby's bottom, however, I realized that the vibration was not my phone ringing, but rather my baby taking an enormous, gassy shit. By the time he finally finished vibrating with this chart-topping shit, it was clear that he was sitting in a veritable lake of poop, and, as might be expected, he began to squirm and fuss. It was at that moment that I realized that I had forgotten to bring a diaper. In fact, upon examination, the diaper bag - and I was, for once, carrying an actual diaper bag - turned out to contain absolutely nothing for the baby at all. No wipes, no burp cloth that could double as a diaper in a pinch, no wetbag, no nothing. I had left the house carrying only the things that I needed for a nice long coffee-muffin-writing session.

I hoped, briefly, that the baby might be bounced and nursed back to sleep despite the poop lake, but after a few minutes of escalating volume, it became clear that nothing would do but a fresh diaper. So I put my computer back in the diaper bag, paid my bill, put myself and my now howling baby in a taxi, and went back home. About half and hour after I got home, it occurred to me that I could have simply hopped across the street to CVS and bought a pack of disposable diapers, but by then it was too late. I had spend nearly $20 on an entirely abortive outing, and I was back on the couch with my baby, who was now fussing determinedly, the poop episode apparently having caused a short circuit in his morning sleep routine. I put on The X Files, starting back at the first season again, and nursed the baby. Eventually, we both fell asleep.