Of course I still find babies enthralling. How could you not? It is their stinky diapers I could do without.
As you may recall, I recently encountered a toddler with a full load while waiting on line at the donut shop. I was forced to withstand the suffocating stench for what seemed like hours while someone at the counter tried to decide whether glazed or powdered donuts had more calories. Stinky diaper boy’s mom was oblivious to the situation, her nose probably rendered impotent by the cumulative effect of four children under the age of three still in diapers. This is not to say I was unsympathetic to her situation. I just would have been appreciative if she could have been a bit more sympathetic to mine and that of the other 15 people waiting on line who looked like they were going to pass out from the smell.
I escaped that ordeal mostly unscathed, with only just a few nasal hairs singed, just in time to catch a flight to Florida for the weekend. About mid-way through the flight, I realized I needed to use the bathroom, but since the flight was only two hours long, I decided to wait until we de-planed and I could use a real bathroom, rather than one that was barely big enough to contain my knees when I sat down, and sounded like I was going to get sucked into the stratosphere when I flushed.
I knew even before I rounded the corner of the airport bathroom that there was an exploding baby inside. The smell wafted out like landfill during a heatwave in august. Unfortunately, I was in no position to go on a bathroom hunt. Even though there was a line for the bathroom, I suspected it would be faster to wait rather than wander through the airport to find another bathroom.
This was good in theory. However, the reality was,
a) the line, for some reason, did not seem to be moving and
b) the poopy baby on the changing table seemed to be stuck in the “on” position.
Apparently this baby was still in the process of doing his thing when his mama went to change his diaper. While I applauded her efforts to nip this doody diaper in the bud, she was clearly waging a losing battle in trying to clean and contain the ongoing mess. She went through three diapers in the time I was standing there and he was still going.
In the meantime, the smell was growing exponentially and I was pretty sure there was only about 60 seconds left before the stench reached a level that would necessitate the evacuation of the entire airport.
Fortunately for me, I finally got to the front of the line and dashed into an open stall while there was still a layer of clean air left to inhale in the bathroom.
When I came out, I gave her a sympathetic glance.
“Sorry,” she said. “It’s not easy to travel with a baby.”
“I know. I’ve been there!” I responded.
She nodded. “Any advice?”
“Yes,” I smiled. “Next time make a stop at the Duty Free.”