Today we visited my parents’ church for the first time. We arrived early – a trick we need to perform more often – and occupied the back two rows. Dad is working out of town, so with Mom and my 5 youngest sibs we made 17 heads in all.
A few minutes into the sermon, Bethany was sitting contentedly in my lap and I became vaguely aware of an odor. Just as it wafted up from my subconscious into my conscious mind, I felt Rachael tugging frantically at my sleeve.
cue horror music: zeet! zeet! zeet!
I looked down and saw. poop. everywhere. It was flowing in streams, even. Like lava descending from a volcano.
It had spurted up and out of the back of Bethany’s diaper, coursing down the ample folds of my skirt and across the upholstered surface of the pew in which I sat. It was touching Rachael’s dress in two places, which explained her frantic tugging on my sleeve. I was sitting in a poop puddle. I was a poop puddle. It wasn’t pretty.
I stared in quiet horror for a few long moments, assessing my options, then I leaned over and tugged frantically at hubby’s sleeve.
Long story short: My 16yo sister took Rachael to the bathroom to rinse the hem of her dress. Deanna took Bethany to the bathroom to strip her down and rinse her everything. Hubby brought me a handful of paper towels while I tried not to move too much, and another sister brought more damp ones. I wiped, scrubbed, and sponged the pew as well as I could, then grabbed the whole mess and sprinted for the bathroom, trying to look cool, calm and casual.
In the bathroom I had another long, thoughtful moment, then I took off my skirt. With one eye on the door, I rinsed it out in the sink. Glad I decided to wear a slip this morning, though it didn’t seem strictly necessary at the time. When my skirt was as clean as it was going to get, I briefly eyed the iron the floor. Why was there an iron on the restroom floor? Did God prompt somebody to put it there for me so I could iron my skirt dry? I decided not. Wearing dry clothes was not really a priority at the moment. I felt it was more important just to be wearing clothes. I rolled the wet skirt in a baby blanket, gave a quick twist, and put it back on. Hurray for crazy gypsy skirts that hide details like the fact that your clothes are sopping wet. I like to believe that it also hid the poop I was wearing a few minutes earlier.
The rest was easy. I smiled at the lady in the hallway (if she only knew!), and eased open the door of the sanctuary. Slipped back into my seat just in time for communion. I had missed the last half of the sermon, but I heard enough before the incident to know what it was about. I’ll just close with the scripture text that it was based upon. I think you’ll see why.
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to [a] those he loves.
3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.