Warning: Not for the faint of heart. Please skip this post if you are at all squeamish.
We'd all been grumpy that morning. Nick had been up since about 2:00 am, unable to sleep. Cora woke me up at 5:00 am, ready to roll. The evening before, we'd stopped at a Best Western oasis about two hours before we had planned on stopping, after a long hot day with few breaks. So we were not very excited to be starting the next leg of our drive, now to be even longer than planned.
Sipping our Starbucks, we were about 10 minutes into our trip, when Nick started yelling.
"Oh my God! What is that smell?"
Joking, he asked if it was me.
I, of course, thought he was being dramatic, probably since he'd been up for so long. I told him it was probably just cows. And I rolled my eyes.
But we didn't see any cows. Just rolling hills in the morning light, with some little specks on the horizon that could have been cows. Inconclusive.
Nick started investigating. He checked his breath, not sure whether he brushed his teeth before getting in the car. Nope. He smelled our coffees, wondering if Starbucks had produced a skunky blend that day. Nope, not there. With a stuffy nose, he thought maybe his nose was playing tricks on him.
He then asked me if it was Cora. "No way," I said. "That smells like cows."
He adjusted the vents to recirculate the air, hoping any smell from outside would go away. We thought that maybe it was getting better.
"Oh my God! I can't stand it," he moaned, minutes later. "It has to be Cora!"
A few minutes later, we decided to check on Cora. Worried about the magnitude of the smell, I started to get a little concerned, since I had put her into the car in only a dress and diaper. I was hoping that if the odor was coming from her, we wouldn't be dealing with much of a blow-out.
We couldn't see into the backseat since Cora's new carseat position would allow only the DVD player or the mirror and of course we chose Signing Time, so we really had no clue about what could be transpiring.
We took the next exit and pulled into a Shell station. Nick got out of the car first and opened Cora's door.
He immediately started yelling. Then laughing. And yelling again, this time telling me to get the camera.
When I peaked in the backseat, unsure of exactly what I would see, I was completely unprepared for the sight of my girlie looking back at me.
There she was, sitting there happily, sucking on her foot.
COVERED. IN. POOP.
Literally head to toe. Hair, face, mouth, arms, hands, fingers, dress, legs, feet, in between her toes. It was obvious that she had been channeling her inner artiste. She'd managed to showcase her finger-painting skills all over Daddy's bag, over the back of the seat, the seat-belts, and of course, all over herself.
We sat there open mouthed, no clue where to begin.
Armed with a beach towel and wipes we began the clean-up, pulling her out of the car, after wading through massive amounts smashed into the buckle. We started with her head, mouth and hands. Scrubbed her eyebrows and her hair. Scrubbed in and behind her ears.
It was about that time that Nick got an eyeful of a woman leaving the gas pumps and watched as she took in the scene. He said it was like she'd just learned she was on "Candid Camera." Jaw dropped, mouth in a perfect "O", eyes wide. Horrified.
It took a pretty efficient 20 minutes and 2 containers of wipes to clean her up enough to continue on the trip. I will never forget the image of looking over at Nick and Cora (while I was cleaning the back of the car), and seeing her on her stomach on a towel, with Nick pouring the contents of his water bottle over her hair, scrubbing her white little skin pink.
Even though it was ridiculous, I found myself laughing throughout the rest of the day. Even when we discovered not too long afterward that we had gone about 45 minutes off course and had to backtrack another 45 minutes to get to I-5. The rest of the drive was long. And hot.
We're finally home now. At last. It may take a little while to finish the deep clean and sanitize all the laundry, but we made it. Now I just wish I could sanitize my memories.
I totally debated about whether to post the picture. It's probably horribly inappropriate. I'm sure there are people who would thank me for not posting it. And in truth, it doesn't even remotely do justice to the actual scale of this poop. I compromised by posting a link to the photo.
So for those of you that actually want to see the photo, be warned.
CLICK HERE for photo.
And just be glad that you can't actually see the toes that were in her mouth.