Nora has this spot on the back of her head, kind of behind her ear, kind of right above her neck,that I like to smell and kiss.
It's a mom thing.
Part of it's her fine little hair tickling my nose, and part of it's that she just smells unbelievable, to me, all the time.
Well, yesterday was different.
Many mornings I offer up to my older children the opportunity to get Nora from her crib.
And then they fight over who gets to go get her.
It's because she is all warm and toasty from sleeping, and she is so glad to see you, and she wraps her little arms around your neck and squeezes while you lift her from the crib.
Usually it's accompanied by her little squeal of "Mommy!" or "Kate!" or "Larlie" or "Amrie!" or "Jula!"
Pretty irresistable, no?
Well, yesterday morning, she slept later, so everyone was gone to school by the time I heard her calling for me.
As I made my way up the stairs, I got a whif of something. Something not good.
Upon opening the door to her room, the smell hit me, like a ton of garbage, or manure. Bricks would have been a welcome alternative.
When I saw her in her crib, covered in goo, I asked "Oh, no. Did you throw up?"
(Warning: if you are at all squeamish about body fluids, you should stop reading here.)
Don't say I didn't warn you.
With closer inspection, I discovered that it was in fact, POO. EVERYWHERE.
The Child (note the change to The Child instead of my usual gushing words when referencing Nora) had in fact removed her diaper, and THEN pooped everywhere. (She's been taking off her diaper lately, but nothing prepared me for this!)
And then if pooping in her crib without her diaper were not enough, somehow she rolled in it so that it was covering the front of her nightgown and laying thickly in her hair.
Eew. Gag. Gross.
Let me just say right here, it was a good thing I wasn't pregnant or there would have been a whole new mess to deal with on top of the poo.
So I proceeded to start a bath, gently try and get the poopy nightgown off of her without smearing it on her face, and attempt to wash poo out of my darling daughter's hair.
I washed and washed and washed. After what I thought was an adequate amount of sudsing, I wrapped her in her towel, slathered her with lavendar lotion, put baby powder on her bum, and sent her to play, somewhere else.
I tackled the sheets and crib the way anyone should. I held my breath.
I wanted to close my eyes while I delivered the contents of her quilt into the depths of the toilet. But I didn't. That would have made things worse I think.
I then proceeded to throw everything else, not away if that's what you're thinking, we're in a recession people!
No, I put it all in my brand new, never been pooped in washer, set it to super cleanse, added some bleach and hoped for the best.
When it was done washing, I washed it again, just to make sure.
So at this point, everything and everyone is clean, scrubbed and scoured.
But as I go to pick up Nora, with her cute pony tails and baby blonde hair, I whif what can only be leftover poop smell on her hair, or in my nose. I couldn't tell.
So more bathing and lavendar lotion became necessary. Dang it.
So these were the thoughts that went through my head as I began adding size 2 undies to Nora's dresser drawer. Cuz a kid who takes off her diaper is probably ready for the potty. Right?
Well as I was adding the undergarments in with her socks and jammies, I decided to weed out the items that were too small.
And then, that's when it hit me. And hit me hard.
My baby, is no longer a baby. I'm contemplating potty training, getting rid of size 18-24 month clothes, and watching as she talks and plays like the big kids.
I sat down right on her floor and started to cry. And I continued to cry as I rocked and cuddled her before bed.
Not the body wracking sobs that I experienced when she got her first tooth, but melancholy tears, bittersweet tears that come as you realize that time is marching on, and you can do nothing to stop it. Nor would you if you could.
Because as much as I love my children, as much as I cherish Nora as the baby of this family, and as much as I will always miss every phase of their precious lives, poop and all, I will also cherish getting to watch them grow, and become whoever they are going to be.
And I can guarantee, it will be worth it.