Today started out well. We got up and got the car packed and were on the road by 9:45am heading from Scott's parents' house in Northern Virginia to our home in North Carolina. Pre-kid, this was a 4.5 hr trip. And in fact, on the way up there on Christmas Eve night:
a) there was absolutely no traffic,
b) James slept the WHOLE way,
c) and we made it there in 4.5 hrs.
We couldn't even make that great of a travel time when I was pregnant. I was either early pregnancy (stopping to throw up!) or late pregnancy (stopping to pee!). I digress...
9:45 am: on the road! Rainy day ahead. Yuck.
11:45 am: time to stop. James is ready to eat, and so are we. Executive decision was made to dine at the fine Cracker Barrel establishment. Quick service. Bathroom with a changing table. Seems easy enough. I fixed James a bottle and fed him while we waited for our food. It became quickly apparent while James was eating that he was "multitasking". (read: pooping AND eating) The smell was....notable. After he was done eating, I put him back in his car seat just to get away from the noxious fumes. Scott and I both inhaled our food. Given the sexist country we live in, there was no baby changing station in the men's bathroom. Soooo... I got the pleasure of changing the nasty diaper. I grabbed the package of wipes, a diaper and the changing pad out of the diaper bag. I gathered the stinky child from the car seat and headed off to bathroom. Scott went to pay our check.
Of note: As a NICU nurse, I change diapers for a living.
Back to our story.
I laid my precious, sweet, innocent little boy on the changing pad on the changing table. I was afraid of what I was about to unearth in his diaper. The next several minutes of my life can only be described as comical, disgusting, and amateur-parentish. The poop was EVERYWHERE. His pants and long-sleeve onesie were covered in poop. The top layer long-sleeve shirt seemed to be okay. As I opened the pandora's-box-of-a-diaper, I was very glad I had an almost-full package of wipes. There was a lot, lot, lot of wiping involved. I had just about gotten all the poop off of the precious, sweet, innocent little boy when I noticed there was a sizeable amount of poop on the changing pad, which kept smearing onto him, thus restarting the wiping process. Good grief. At that point I was really sad this was a women's bathroom and Scott couldn't come in and help me.
Side note: extended periods of time (more than three seconds) of baby boy diaper-free-ness is NOT a good idea. I know this, but there was so.much.poop. Just before I was ready to re-diaper him, he peed. Everywhere. I managed to throw a couple of wipes on top of him to reduce the damage, but he'd already soaked his socks and doused the changing pad/table. I almost cried. I was really and truly fighting a losing battle. I turned to one of the ladies washing her hands at the nearby sink and asked her if she wouldn't mind letting my husband know it was going to be several minutes before we'd be done. She laughed and agreed to pass along my maydaymaydaymayday message. I couldn't quite figure out how to proceed. He was laying in pee. The changing pad was soaked. I didn't want to lay my naked baby on the bare counter. I did the best I could to wipe up the pee and cover up all the volatile areas quickly with a diaper. Another helpful lady in the bathroom volunteered to update my husband about our little crisis.
Oh, I almost forgot: Because James had just eaten, his belly was nice and full. As I kept him folded in half with his feet in front of his face while the extensive wiping took place, he spewed out portions of his lunch. This insured there wasn't a dry spot on his changing pad. At. all. Nice.
I put back on the long sleeve t-shirt he was wearing. I threw all the dirty clothes and changing pad into a heap, picked up my not-so-innocent child and finally left the bathroom. The bathroom that my child single-handedly stunk up.
Scott was waiting for us near the bathroom. I had poop/pee/spit up soaked materials in one hand and a pants-less baby in the other. Scott told me he kept having random women come up to him and tell him how cute his baby was and that we'd be out in a few minutes. I was trying to laugh at the situation, but mostly felt exasperated. I felt like Jeff Foxworthy redneck joke material. You might be a redneck if... It's December and you have your baby in a diaper and long sleeve shirt...
Scott procured us a bag from the Cracker Barrel store lady for the soiled items. I carried James wrapped in a blanket to the car.
Once in the quickly-heating-up car, we found some more pants and socks in James' bag. We got him redressed, situated in his car seat, and hit the road. We made one more stop at Starbucks before getting back on the highway. I don't know exactly how long I was in that bathroom with James. What I do know is that we got off the highway at 11:45. We got back on it at 1:15 pm.
Between the traffic and the rain, our progress was slow. We didn't get into town until 4:15pm. We managed to cram a 4.5 hour trip into 6.5 hours. AWESOME.
Except for the Cracker Barrel scene, James was fantastic. He slept off and on the whole time. He didn't fuss at all. Maybe he knew he was treading on thin ice and figured he better behave....