Sticky Fingers

I have a series of unfinished posts. Realistically, none of them will see publication, because a grumpy little klaxon keeps sounding 20 minutes into my twice-daily coffee breaks. (A grumpy little klaxon who was, incidentally, due to be born this day last year. Ummm. Didn’t do so well on that…)

There was the post about taking Harry to his first stock sale. In precis: Harry cried, John nearly cried at the cost but bought two new rams anyway, Harry cried some more, a huge ram escaped and butted our good friend Phil smack in the midriff, Harry cried, and we came home.

And there was the post about the family (Harry, Ann, John and Tebbit) haircut. Hubby, Tebbit and I were all looking distinctly shaggy, whilst a friend of mine had remarked that Harry was, alarmingly, beginning a small mullet. I am Chief Groom in HFF household, so I wielded the clippers on John first, Tebbit second, and finally, the scissors on a sleeping Harry.


note how Kanga has stopped for a double-take at the delicious tickly baby curls,

and after:

I then took myself off to the hairdresser, having saved ourselves £10 at the barbers, £30 at the pet salon (pet salon! My God!), and £8 for a child’s haircut (£8!). I promptly blew the net fiscal advantage by booking a massage, but no need to tell Hubby, m’kay?

And there was the post about the Bloody Weather, but I’ve binned that one for being far too repetitive. There’s only so many times I can bend your ear about how goddamnfuckinghorrible this summer has been. But I will tell you that the patch of sloping scrub we cheerfully call a garden has been so sodden that the lawn tractor couldn’t manage the gradient for a month. The grass has enjoyed all the rain enormously,

and regrettably grew so luxuriant weed infested and tall that, when John did eventually cut it on Saturday afternoon, my dear little pet garden sheep were unable to catch his eye in time

and fell bloody victim to his blatant inattention.

And then there’s the post about the turd.

I think I may tell you that one anyway, despite coming hard on the heels of a suppository post. Those of a delicate constitution, do come back another time you’re reading the wrong blog, bless you.

Harry’s bedroom, Saturday morning, 8am: Harry was bouncy and bright, playing enthusiastically among his legion of toys, and, as he often is for 10 minutes or so, minus a nappy. I was slumped sleepily in the rocking chair, watching him with half an eye, and trying to work up the energy for Downstairs and Coffee. Situation normal. Right up until the point where Harry let out an unexpected and unscheduled grunt of concentration. I went from inertia to maximum propulsion at eye-watering speed, and streaked toward the nappy stacker like a very chubby, dressing-gown-clad bullet, but alas! far too late. As I watched in fascinated horror, a solid five-inch turd erupted out of his bottom like a firework, and thudded heavily onto the cream carpet.

Now, let us consider the situation. A naked, busily-cruising, rapidly-crawling infant. A cream carpet. A large turd. Distinct smearing-and-rubbing-into-carpet possibilities. A farmer’s wife who has been liberally coated with sufficient types of shit in her life to know very well that poo comes off hands an awful lot easier than carpet. Decision time.

I snatched it away, instants before a questing, curious fat baby-fist smacked down onto the – phew! – virtually unmarked carpet. I manoevred the offending object onto one palm and headed towards the door. And stopped. You see, in shuffling it gingerly into one hand, I had managed to get the fingers of my other hand… sticky. One end of this mammoth offering was substantially softer in texture to the other, and the heat of my hand had rapidly… how shall we say? compromised the structural integrity of the item. So! Picture, if you will, me, standing with a turd balanced precariously on one upturned hand, horribly sticky fingers on the other hand, having come to a halt in front of the child gate. The tall child gate, that you can’t actually step over unless you are John Cleese. The child gate with the particularly cunning handle.

I was reminded suddenly of a friend of ours, who once, whilst staying in a mate’s bedroom, was sick at very short notice into his own cupped hands. Jubilant at containing the entire amount, he turned to head for the toilet, only to find that the door to the bedroom, with its very round knob, was firmly shut…

Wiggling that gate open without A) dropping the turd, B) smearing the handle or C) letting our exceedingly nosy child get in on the act, was a challenge. My dressing gown, regrettably, did not survive pristine. But I opened it, and Harry and I headed for the bathroom just along the corridor. I had just divested myself of the ghastly article into the toilet, and was about to commence hand-washing, when the sound of a mobile baby caught my ear and I saw that Harry had departed back into the corridor. There is not yet a gate at the top of the stairs so I revved after him at high speed, but as I turned the corner into the straight it became apparent that road conditions had suddenly become extremely hazardous.

To cut a long story short… Harry hadn’t finished. By quite a margin. After surreptiously evacuating another supersize brown Mr Whippy onto the carpet, he had obviously taken off at record speed, being so very much lighter now.

Let us consider the situation again. A naked, busily-cruising, rapidly-crawling shit-smeared infant, at the top of the stairs. A red carpet. A large trail of turd. Distinct smearing-and-rubbing-into-carpet reality. A farmer’s wife who has been liberally coated with sufficient types of shit in her life to know very well that poo comes off hands an awful lot easier than carpet, so it’s rather bad luck that there is now quite so much of it on both.

I picked my poo-encrusted child up with my very crappy hands, and plonked him into the empty bathtub. I washed my hands. Twice. I also washed my feet, because, yes, I’d stepped in it. I removed my dressing gown. I tiptoed gingerly around the piles of poo to reach a phone, and dialled Hubby. Summoning instructions were barked. I collapsed on the toilet seat in mental exhaustion and watched Child playing merrily with his bathtoys in dry-dock for 5 minutes, before Hubby arrived home and commenced bathing. He generally recoils in horror from any possibility of human faecal contamination (a farmer!), but on this occasion he could see very well that there was a far worse job on offer.

I took this after I had scraped up the piles and had a cursory wipe with kitchen paper.

The baby books don’t talk about stuff like this.


18 Responses

  1. I honestly don’t know what to say – you had me in hysterics to start and then you made me feel sick… people without children should never ever know these things!

  2. The baby books sure don’t, eh? 🙂

    Remind me to line the floors of my house with newspapers when the terrible two get mobile!


  3. Oh, holy christ that was funny. I had to delurk as I literally have tears of laughter rolling down my face.

    Just wait ’til he’s old enough to remove his own diaper and start “fingerpainting.” Invest in those carpet cleaners now, folks!

  4. my husband, thinking it was all about saving the integrity of the carpet, caught it once right in the palm of his hand just as it exploded out the backside – and all I could do was laugh. For minutes, he waited for me to help him… eventually he gave up and did his own problem-solving because I was looking for a camera.
    I’m an awful wife. I know it.

  5. P.S.
    I still really like mullets. Is that wrong?

  6. Oh hee. I am really sorry, but I lolled, and then I said to my husband, “I guess my day could have been worse.” What I truly think, though, is that we all have days like that and hearing about someone else’s (especially when the someone else has such an excellent sense of humor about it) makes it easier to take one’s own in stride. (I was going to say “lightens the load” but then I thought again.) Thank you for sharing your pain and making me laugh on a day when I really needed it.

  7. The best part was the fact that you took a picture, highlighted the offending areas and then posted it for the innernets to see for themselves. Thank you. That just made my day.

  8. I too have appreciated not just the story but the carefully highlighted photographs. This is marvellous stuff and has caused much phlegmatic snorting and hacking this end which is not very pretty at all.

  9. Well, if you don’t laugh about it…those photos are priceless. Hope you’ve had the nice man with the steam cleaner in and things are calmer on the pooping front.

  10. Ahahahaha! That is awesome! I laughed so. hard! It’s not just the story but the way you tell it, photo illustrations and all. It is for this exact reason that my SIL and I talked yesterday about how much we love your blog.

  11. So bloody funny.
    I hope you had a damn good laugh when all was said and done. I’m sorry you had, well, a really shitty job to do, but at least he went. Wish my little one would be so productive.

  12. PS I looked at the diagram on the enema box we have here at home and the child is smiling. *shudder*

  13. One of my top-ten parenting rules is: Fall on the grenade. It is much easier and cheaper to wash skin and clothing than it is to clean carpet and upholstery.

  14. TRULY brilliant stagecraft. Reminds me of Arlo Guthrie’s “twenty-seven eight-by-ten
    colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
    of each one.”

    Although Harry just doesn’t look large enough to contain all that poop.

  15. Ah yes, shit-smeared carpet. The next trip on your journey will be the small child playing in shit, an experience we have had three times in the past six months. Much as I enjoyed your precise diagram, I must plead that we do not see photos of a poo-covered Harry when he moves on to this stage.

    Also, the mullet…my kid rocks it, and you know what? I’m ok with that.

  16. […] Um.  I don’t think any blog has done that.  She’s given me insights into motherhood and rural life, some of which I’d rather not have had… […]

  17. […] at 16 months old today, Harry is not yet in a position to lambast me for putting photos of his runaway dumps on the internet. He will no doubt hold me accountable for these numerous breaches of his […]

  18. […] have told you – with photos – about the time I picked up Harry’s turd in my bare […]

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