(I've had writer's block for more than a week, so this might finally be the first of several completed pieces I post over the next few hours.)
I agreed to give a friend a ride to Baltimore on Friday. He offered to take the train to my neighborhood, which would save me an unnecessary trip into downtown and would help to expedite our departure from the city. All I needed to do was to get ready and wait for his call.
Which I did, but of course as soon as I got myself showered and dressed, I received a strange call from a doctor's office about another friend. She's listed me as one of her emergency contacts, so I had to check in with her to make sure that everything was okay. Minor delay, but I kept things moving. At the appointed meeting time when I expected to hear from my other friend, there was nothing, so I decided to get a few additional things ready for our departure (the kid was coming along for the ride). Because the Hub was working from home I assumed that he could help...and he did help the Toddlersaurus into her fleece while I ran around to get everything else done.
In the meantime, my friend arrives at the station. The mailman is extending holiday greetings and noting how much the kid looks just like me. The Hub isn't wearing any shoes so I have to pack the kid and all of our extraneous stuff into the car. I am now 20 minutes late (of course, he was 20 minutes late first, but that is a minor point). He needs to be in Baltimore in 20 minutes. It takes that long to reach the Parkway. At some point during our ride, I detect a faint odor, but there is nothing I can do about it until we reached our destination.
Another friend calls while we are en route, and knowing that she will need something, I let her call go to voicemail. I deliver my mercurial friend to his appointment 45 minutes late. Just as we pull up to the front door, there is an ominous, yet familiar sound that vibrates the entire car from the back seat. Both of us turn to look at the Toddlersaurus in acknowledgement.
Busy Black Women plan ahead. So there is a change of clothes, extra diapers and wipes, and a puffy winter coat all in the backseat of the car. We are at a hotel, and I find a convenient parking spot in the adjacent alley. But I misjudge the severity of the situation and leave everything but an extra pair of pants and an extra diaper in the car. And to make matters worse, I also leave my ginormous Mom bag behind, so all I carry inside with me is the diaper clutch.
The concierge directs us to the Ladies Room and as soon as we got inside, it is clear that I am ill-prepared. The kid is covered in shit. She is essentially baptized in shit that has permeated three layers of clothing. Shit that didn't even smell, but still, torso to toes SHIT. And while you might think it was lucky that I brought in that extra pair of pants and that extra diaper, well that it was dumb luck since the wipes in her diaper clutch WERE FROZEN! And did I mention that she shit through THREE LAYERS of clothing down to her socks?
Busy Black Women are crisis managers, so with all of my backup supplies in the car; with my friend in the next room full of strangers presiding over a wedding rehearsal that started an hour late; and with a naked kid half covered in shit, I concoct a plan. There are plenty of paper towels on the counter and the water from the sink isn't too cold. The wipes thaw enough under the running water from the faucet for me to wipe the shit from her sensitive areas. She is wearing a clean diaper, a pair of clean pants, and a fleece that can suffice for a quick trip back to the car to deposit the shitty clothes and swap out for the clean extras and another pack of wipes. And we can do this before the car gets ticketed and/or towed (private lot) in fifteen minutes, tops...
Make that 20 minutes after the hotel maid, a couple of guests, and the concierge all poke their heads into the bathroom to inquire about the Toddlersaurus' inconsolable cries. After she refuses to let me open her diaper for a more thorough cleaning. After she collapses to the restroom floor in an unbuttoned onesie, refusing to put on any additional clothes. So I did what any other Busy Black Woman would do in this situation--I drag her half-dressed screaming ass out of the hotel. Damn if I get ticketed/towed because this child insists that she doesn't need to wear anything other than her fleece, an unbuttoned onesie, and a pair of $5 yoga pants from J.C. Penny's in below-freezing weather in fucking Baltimore!
Of course back in the car, Princess Poopsie is all calm while eating
her snacks and listening to her Daniel Tiger music. So I
return the call of the friend who had called and texted and called me
during the bathroom ordeal. She has texted a request for my assistance
with something for next week. Then my Dad calls to check in and to make
his weekly request that I move heaven and earth, when I find the time.
And since I always get turned around when trying to leave Baltimore, I'm hoping that another long drive will put the kid to sleep. It
doesn't until four hours later.
Moral to the story:
I agree to do shit, but other shit comes up. Shit intervenes and causes
delays. Messy shit permeates everything. Shit is complicated,
unexpected, and inevitable. Shit never goes according to plan. Shit