“Okay,” my wife proclaimed, performing a one-woman evacuation of my son’s bedroom. “I’m not going to freak out, but there’s poop on the wall.”
I was proud of her–assuming, of course, that there was, in fact, poop on the wall–because she is our marriage’s sanitation enthusiast. In The Land Before Twinfants, our dwelling was cleaned regularly and often due to her impeccable attention to decontaminatory detail, a gene I never inherited. As a former fraternity house resident, I tend not to recognize that a household item or surface requires cleaning until I trip over a dust bunny attempting to hand me a rent check, as he has recently decided that if he’s going to stick around this long, it is only fair for him to kick in some money.
Rarely is one presented with such a stellar conversation starter as “There is poop on the wall.” I was riveted–I had so many questions. But first, I needed to make sure I heard her correctly, and so, with eyes alight in anticipation, I inquired, “There’s poop on the wall?”
“Yes. There is poop. On the wall.” Okay, so this was no joke. There was. In fact. Poop. On the wall. But where?
“Yes. In there.”
I waited for further elaboration–a story to be told for generations, one of hope, valor, and a spattering of brown–but to no avail. The Twins were in the playroom with me, so they could not have flung it. Did my wife have an incredibly unfortunate Diaper-Genie-liner-changing mishap? Did our dog finally take her jealousy of the Twins WAY too far? Did we have a Poop Ninja in the house? My bosom cried out for answers. “Why is there poop on the wall?”
Shivering in disgust, my wife replied, “I don’t know, but can you handle that?”
While my wife usually spearheads our cleaning efforts, there are certain tasks reserved especially for yours truly. For instance, when a need to rectify messes of the septic persuasion arises, It is expected that I report for duty (heh-heh) since she is not all that into handling such fecal matters. After all, it’s my responsibility as the man of the house to be the Resident Poop Spatter Expert.
I was on the case.
Unsheathing my forensics kit (a pack of baby wipes), I ducked under the police tape and surveyed the crime scene while questioning the eyewitness, who stood reluctantly in the doorway. “Now, where exactly is this poop on the wall?”
The eyewitness pointed in horror at a darkened region of a baseboard usually covered by a mountain of Costco-purchased Huggies, our repository for clean, incoming diapers–NOT soiled ones. “Over there. I’ll go watch the kids.”
“Fear not, citizen!” I bellowed heroically. “Whoever did this is going to pay.”
The substance was brown in color and concentrated in a 3.5-inch-diametric region. I applied a wipe to dust for prints, calling in an oral report to my superior. “It’s hard and dry. Looks like it’s been here for a while.”
Shining a blacklight on the area to search for additional debris, I wondered aloud, “But how did it get here? Up and over The Diaper Pile and down to the baseboard?”
“I don’t know. Is it gone yet?”
Removing the substance and depositing it in the Diaper Genie to be sent to the Waste Management Crime Lab, I pondered the possible causes for this Pollock-inspired baseboard.
I took a few steps back and tried that thing Adrian Monk does with his hands when he’s thinking.
There was no sign of foul play on the diaper-changing table, but that meant nothing. I’m fully aware of the alligator-wrestling performed there daily, as the Twins have discovered they are able to actually protest diaper changes with leg-flails and the whipping back and forth of hair. We’ve become proficient at cleaning up after the diaper is finally on and the child is finally clothed.
Wait a minute–cleaning up…
Often, when changing a diaper containing a fresh number two pencil, Twinfant motion “gets the lead out” onto nearby surfaces–the table itself, the changing-mat cover, the clean diaper intended to replace the dirty one, etc. In an effort to prevent the spread, we remove the offending objects from kicking range, as sometimes they are kicked onto the floor.
If one were to follow the trajectory of a hypothetically-kicked, soiled diaper, one would discover that the quarantined baseboard is in the heart of the region of impact.
It is entirely possible that:
- if a projectile stink-bomb were launched from the changing table and landed in that very spot; and
- if a stay-at-home father were to be especially in a rush to tend to the not-being-changed twin who surely had not had enough attention during the last two minutes due to alligator wrestling…
…the stay-at-home dad may have hurriedly picked up the projectile without checking to see if, well, it had gotten poop on the wall.
I threw a fist in the air, grinning ear-to-ear, just as the ghost of Freddie Mercury materialized to belt out the chorus of “We Are the Champions.” I had cracked the case!
Gathering my forensics kit, I exited the crime scene victoriously and joined the remainder of my family in the play room.
My wife spoke first. “Is it gone?”
“All taken care of. It can’t hurt you now.”
She thought for a moment, then added, “How the hell is there poop on the wall?”
I shrugged. “I have no idea.”
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If not, don’t be surprised if you find poop on the wall.