Fair warning: this post is about getting pooped on by a baby. If you’re eating right now, maybe revisit this post later.
Okay, so I was finishing a post about time management, but then the below happened, and I had no choice but to scrap my kinda boring time management post and write about this instead.
As I type this, I’m en route to St. Louis with Sarah, Baby Kate, and our fearless hound Loki.
About five minutes after we left the driveway, Kate started to fuss. Five minutes later, she was crying pretty hard. “She probably needs to be changed,” Sarah said, and so we took the next exit and eased into a gas station parking lot.
We’d gotten on the road around 7:30 PM—later than we’d planned. With a 3.5 hour drive ahead of us, we were in no mood to dawdle.
Instead of taking her inside the gas station to use the changing table in the bathroom, we decided to save time by changing Kate in the backseat.
Now, I don’t know how much you know about aviation disasters, but here’s a fun fact: when investigators analyze the black box cockpit recordings recovered from the wreckage of doomed flights, one of the things they determine is the exact point at which the crash could no longer be averted.
Sarah took Kate out of her carseat and laid her on a plastic changing pad in the backseat. What happened next is kind of a blur.
I remember Sarah saying “Eeeewwwwwwwwwwww,” then “It’s all over my hands!” Indeed it was.
From the driver’s seat, I reached into the diaper bag and handed Sarah a clean diaper and a handful of wipes. Like the unfortunate soldier in a war movie who gets killed during the opening credits, this diaper made the ultimate sacrifice almost immediately.
I handed Sarah two clean diapers, and Kate soiled these in about 5 seconds each.
By now, it was clear we had an emergency on our hands. Kate had diarrhea and was screaming bloody murder, Sarah’s hands and lap were covered in liquid baby poop, and I was in the back seat with them trying to help while avoiding getting diarrhea on my shirt.
Have you ever cleaned up baby diarrhea? Well, I hadn’t. I have now. The whole disaster took twenty minutes and was traumatic for all involved (even Loki). If we’d taken Kate inside and changed her diaper in the bathroom, we would have been merging back onto the freeway in less than ten minutes.
You may draw your own lesson from this story, dear reader, but I’m sticking to a simple classic:
If you don’t have time to do it well, when will you have time to do it over?