This morning was beyond words. Gus, my 18 month old monkey–I mean son, played like an all star for two hours in a midtown Manhattan conference room while I had a meeting. I should have known that nothing is free. As we walked into Madison Square Park playground he pooped. No big deal, Augustine poops 3x a day. I checked him, the poop was fully contained in his diaper and the diaper on his body correctly and snugly. We only had a quick play before we had to go home for his nap, so I let it be. The mistake that cost me everything.

On the highest part of the structure (literally 6 ft off the ground) he somehow wiggled out of his poopy diaper, and kicked it off his leg. It landed next to him on the elevated platform, poop side down. I saw it in slow motion falling from his little foot and sprinkling poop around as it fell. How that happened remains beyond my comprehension because his shortsie was still completely snapped and in place. But, by the time the diaper hit, Gus, of course, was running and climbing in another part of the structure and inadvertently spreading the poop that was sprinkling from his butt around the playground. Like any NYC playground, 15k other kids were also running and climbing at this play ground and the poop seemed to multiply.
So, what do I do now? Chase down my now diaper-less son who is still dripping poop from his body as he giggles and runs and climbs? Or, grab wipes and climb up the structure to try and address the mess? Or, address the moms glaring at me and yelling at their kids to get away and then ask those same moms for help? Well, the glaring removed the option of help, and Gus was already in the sprinklers. I could see that the water only made the poop run down his legs more. So, I chose to get the poop off the equipment first and deal with my wildling later.

(I’m going to skip the details of wiping up the poop from playground equipment and trying to get it out of the cracks in the floor boards because I don’t want to think about that.)

To finish, I dumped hand sanitizer all over the main areas the poop had been because flies were gathering. And then I stood guard until it was dry because it was really slippery. Meanwhile, Gus is still running like a mad man through the sprinklers, and I’m wearing a white tank top so I needed to wait out his enthusiasm or risk winning a surprise white t-shirt contest. Eventually…Gus runs out of the sprinkles after another kid’s tuck, so I snatched him and held him at arms length to preserve the remainder of my dignity and my tank. Which is when, of course, he starts panic screaming and squirming because we’re now late for his nap and he didn’t get the toy truck he wanted.

I try to change him on the ground near our stroller. Not exactly private. Gus lay there writhing and twisting and kicking and giving the smirking european family with 3 older kids eating lunch quite the show. I tried my best to hold onto an ankle and wipe him down from chest to knees and swat the domesticated flies away. Gag.

Finally he was (mostly) clean. And as I reach for a clean diaper from the heap my stroller is in (in the chaos it tipped over and spilled my computer, papers, and all his accessories), like lightning Augustine was up and running toward the sprinklers. Again. But this time in nothing but his shoes. Wang out and proud and running and screaming 🙈 and all eyes on the playground were on the previously poopy-now glowing, white walker streaking at the playground in midtown.

MORTIFIED at the continued glares and mumbles, I finally got a diaper on him (because he had to slow down to climb a set of stairs so I snuck it on him as he went). I wrestled him and the stroller out of the park and to the subway as fast as I could (leaving a winded voicemail for my husband about the incident that he saved and plays for himself on repeat when he has a rough day).

For the first time in his life, Gus rode the subway naked, which got me more than a few giggles and quizzical stares. And now! We are both taking naps; Gus with his lovie blanket and me with my lovely martini.

Before and After

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