My dignity is saved by my crazy gypsy skirt

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.

Psalm 127

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.


  1. Thank you! I realize this post is quite old, but I hadn’t seen it before just now. Our Heavenly Father knows what we need and just now I needed this. Now, to stop staying up too late only to labor in vain, and to go to bed.

  2. simple mama says:

    I think we need a picture of said dress!?! Just a thought.

  3. Oh that brings back memories! When our oldest was a baby (nearly 20 years ago!) he had a blow out like this in a Kmart – we were shopping innocently, my husband and I looking at something, and we heard this noise – like a bubbling volcano…sigh….what a mess! The telling of it has brought much more laughter over the years than the experience did at the time!

    Thanks for the laugh!

  4. Patricia Forster says:

    I just had to laugh sorry. Don’t have kids but have changed diapers and cleaned up puke.

    At a time like that you see the benefits of a big family.


  5. Wow.

    What really struck me though, is how sweetly your daughter handled poop on her dress…by tugging your sleeve. I can tell you, no child of mine would have done that. You would have heard screeching.

  6. Ohhh! We’ve had our experience like that, after which I vowed I would never use a disposable diaper again unless forced (which, at the time our blowout occured was a forced useage anyway because we had no water).

    After our wonderful experience, I was talking with a more experienced cloth diapering mother, and she said that even if you’re putting a disposable on the baby, you can always throw the cloth diaper cover over, which will prevent the major blowout leaks. Just in case you’re interested, because it works!

  7. you mean i am not the only one who has outings like this? lol lol lol

  8. Oh!!! You handled it MUCH MUCH better than I would have! Thank you for this teaching lesson 😉

  9. Meredith_in_Aus says:

    Oh, Kim! You sure DO have some stories! This one was a classic. And we call them blowouts too.

    I went out last Thursday night. When I got home and went to feed the baby, I commented to my husband that he had changed Joey’s (baby’s) clothes. I asked if Joey had pooped. My dh looks at me and said, “Pooped? He didn’t just poop, he blew his dacks off!” You should have seen the state of his rocker…

    Glad I was out for that one. Tee hee.

    Kimberley is so right, motherhood does deal a lot with bodily fluids.

    In Him

    BTW, I hope to have as much poise as you someday.

  10. Oh my word.

    I wanna be like you when I grow up. I think I would have waited in the car.


  11. My husband and I used to call that a “Code Brown.” btw, “Code Red” is blood, “Code Green” is puke, “Code Black” is when we’re out of coffee. We have our priorities. Ha!

  12. I just want you to know that I laughed so hard I cried!
    I have just one right now and another on the way but I also came from a large Catholic family, so I know how things seem to have the worst timing….
    Thank you for posting this, I was having a down day and you truly put things in perspective….not to mention gave me a good laugh….GOD BLESS YOU!

  13. You poor thing!

    As for the cloth/disposable issue—my children had “blowouts” like you described all the time with the disposables, but I can’t recall it happening even one time when they were in cloth.
    That alone sells me on the idea of doing cloth again! lol!
    Jill J

  14. I do love the way you tell stories… the detail, the insight, the suspence, the HUMOR. Kind of gross, but you could tell a story about an ant crossing the street and make it interesting.

  15. How apropriate the sermon being about a full quiver when there were a total of 17 of you in two families attending!

    Blowouts are horrible things indeed! Each one of my kids has had that happen on more than one occasion! Im so sorry she was on your lap when it happened. 🙁

  16. YIKES! I’ve been meaning to pack a change of clothes for my husband and I to just leave in our car, and your post has inspired me to actually do it!

    I can’t believe the amount of goo a baby can produce in just a span of 10 minutes. They are goo machines.

  17. My sister and I used to refer to those as “blow outs”. For those who want to blame it on cloth or disposable – it can (and does!) happen in either. We each had the pleasure of one child who was particularly prone to them. Her first, my second. OH, the stories!! Thanks for the laugh. Sorry it was as your expense. 🙂

  18. My husband and I are debating…

    Was she in cloth or disposable diapers?

    • Rachel,
      I am SO glad to be able to answer that we’re using disposable diapers for this trip! If it had happened in cloth, I would be having serious second thoughts about cloth right now!

  19. OH, this sounds TOO …. typical!!

    Except you handled it much better than I would have. The frantic tugging at husband’s sleeve would have been where our reactions parted. Mine would have been to continue tugging, with absolutely no idea of what to do next.

    I need me a gypsy skirt. Do they make gypsy pews?

  20. I can relate. I spent last night with our two youngest boys (2 and 10 months) taking turns puking into a bowl. Actually at times they were both using the bowl at the same time.

    Your story certainly tops mine however. While I did have to change clothes, I did all that in the privacy of my own home AND I had something to change into.

    Motherhood is often about dealing with bodily fluids.


  21. ouch

    That does not sound enjoyable


  1. […] joked about.  Something he has never done to me before in his very short life.  Something akin to this, but (thank God) on a smaller scale. That's ok.  He was just doing his bit to make sure I had […]

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