Lighting up even the darkest of rooms

Yesterday Rosie and I went to one of those giant craft stores that is filled with impossibly small objects for you to glue or otherwise affix onto the decorative project of your choice.  Frankly, the thought of doing crafts gives me hives.  I mean, if someone held a gun to my head and said “Make a springtime wreath out of this ribbon, pipe cleaners and fake pinecones OR SLEEP WITH THE FISHES” I would happily employ my creative side to fancy up a front door, but otherwise?  Meh.  But craft stores, while hyperventilation-inducing, are also cheap.  And I had my mind set on hanging letters spelling out Rosie’s name over her bed – letters I thought I could easily purchase on Etsy, or as I like to call it,  Only, holy hell, painted wooden letters were going for anywhere from $10 to $20 a pop there. So after briefly considering renaming Rosie “Xi” or “Ed”, I decided that for $1.99 each I could make my own damn letters, thankyouverymuch.

I was perusing the paint aisle picking out colors when I heard a familiar PHBBBBBBBBTTTTTT…TUT…TUT………..TUT and before I could get the words “ALERT CRAFTY SHOPPERS, DEFCON 1” out of my mouth, Rosie’s huge grin confirmed that the deed was already done.  I am not normally one to react in any kind of big way to Code Browns, but being in this specific location was bringing back a particularly unforgettable event involving a tiny chubby Noah, a baby carrier, and a white shirt of L’s that was never white ever again.  With that memory fresh in my mind I dropped the acrylics and beelined it to the bathroom.

The bathroom in this place is way back in the bowels (HAR DEE HAR) of the store in a room with no heat or air and requires a code to enter.  In other words it’s probably the very last place you would ever want to take your three month old baby to change her diaper, right up there next to a prison bathroom or maybe a boy’s dorm bathroom.  It gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.  But Rosie has made it clear since she was straight out of the chute that she has a Daily Diaper Blowout Quota, and she does not intend to come up short, nosiree.  So I gingerly laid her down on the changing station, having piled every removable garment from my body under her as protection against the V. Questionable Stains upon it and began the disrobing procedure.

Of course, there was poop, and more poop and even more poop, and so I cleaned her the best I could while balancing dirty wipes on the edge of the changing station that clearly had four times as many germs on it as the wipes did and I kept dropping things on the floor and cursing the fact that I’d have to then take a blowtorch to them and I was struggling with the shmillion snaps that had to be resnapped and was trying not to gag from the fumes of the stall next door and finally, dear God, finally she was clothed and dry and (relatively) untainted and I had repacked the gear back into the bag and dumped out the entire bottle of Purell on my hands and onto her head and then I picked her up…

and she laughed.

That girl laughed right out loud right there in that cesspool of a bathroom with the cockroaches and the flies and the stink and the filth.  She looked at me straight in the face and without any tickling or nuzzling or belly prodding she opened up to a huge toothless grin and she laughed.

And I stood there for a full five minutes longer in the dank smelly recesses of that craft store restroom and I held my girl high above the markered stall walls and I gazed up at her in the glow of the buzzing fluorescent lights above and I laughed.

And together we laughed and we laughed and we laughed and we laughed.


1 Trenches of Mommyhood { 02.03.09 at 9:22 am }


2 Gramps { 02.03.09 at 11:17 am }

Reminds me of another three-month-old girl who also lit up rooms (and my life) long ago.

3 Allen { 02.03.09 at 11:36 am }

Jason and I were in said craft warehouse this weekend and I was starting to do the pee-pee dance. Being familiar with that restroom (isn’t the code 12345?) I decided to get in the car, drive across the street (i.e. 17 parking lots and ‘intersections’ with traffic lights pointing askew and no lines on the asphalt) to go to Publix to use their bathroom. Let me tell you, Publix more than just shopping a pleasure.

4 Carol { 02.03.09 at 8:54 pm }

Magical, Rosie’s first laugh…thanks for sharing!

5 Shayleen { 02.04.09 at 9:36 pm }


6 Julie @ the calm before the stork { 02.06.09 at 12:08 am }

such filth, such beauty.


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