Today’s prompt: Write about spending time with a baby or child under the age of two. The challenge: if you’re a parent, do not talk about your own child.
My little cousin Day (not his full name) was born when I was 13. He was the first baby I’d spent a considerable amount of time with. Babies are cool to me. Always have been. Chubby. Happy. Mostly easy to please (feed them, keep them dry and happy).
I had been caring for Day under the supervision of his mom and grandma for awhile at this point when I was asked to stay with him, alone, while his grandma (my Auntie E) went to a dinner – just a few hours. Everyone was a phone call away – his mom, my Auntie, my dad. No big deal.
I’d fed Day some green peas and bananas for dinner that night. To this day, as a grown up, I openly admit that I love baby food bananas. He was happy but a little messy when he was finally full. I put him on the floor to play while I cleaned up. So far so good.
But as everyone who has ever spent time with a baby knows – what goes in, must come out. Diaper change time. I’d done this before quite a bit so I was prepared. I gathered the supplied – diaper, bum cream, wipes. I was good to go. Prepared for anything that was in that stinky diaper. Does anyone else feel awkward seeing babies’ genitalia – less with girls for me – but you’re all up in their privates, at 13, it was uncomfortable.
I undressed him to perform the task. Sticky tabs pulled free, slowly pulling back the diaper in case he was going to pee (I’d been hit before) and to my horror – there was bright green poop all over the place. Having seen my own poop for as long as I could remember, bright green just didn’t seem like a healthy, normal poop to me. I panicked. I cleaned him and put on a fresh diaper – Day was as happy as ever – maybe the illness wasn’t making him feel horrible yet…I frantically called his mother. I didn’t want her to think I’d done something to make this happen…
“G, I don’t want you to panic but Day, I don’t think he’s feeling well.”
“Does he have a fever, throwing up….?”
“Uhhh…no. Maybe a stomach thing…I just changed his diaper and his poop was a bright green.”
“Let me guess, you fed him peas?”
“Yeah. How did you…”
“He’s a baby. If it goes in one colour, it will come out that colour. It’s nothing to worry about.”
“Oh. I wish someone had told me that.”
“Well now you know.”
One of the many lessons Day taught me about babies and toddlers and kids as he was growing up. All I can say is why didn’t someone warn me?