I am not sure where it all went wrong. But somewhere along the way our Romantic San Antonio get away strayed from the vision; where I was supposed to stroll hand in hand with Blaine beneath a canopy of twinkling river lights turned in to the reality of me crying and carrying Gwen out of a shopping mall stark naked (clarification: she was stark naked, not me). Well actually Blaine was carrying her, I was holding the bag of poop clothes.
Dear readers, this blog entry is not for the faint of heart. Rather it is for those who would like a good laugh at my expense and can handle reading about various bodily functions. . .of both the human and animal variety. I hate to write two posts in a row about the horrible things that can happen to parents, but I promise to end on a positive note. So, read on, if you dare.
Blaine's brother and his wife came to visit us from Dallas over the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and were excited to head off to San Antonio the next day. We had been planning this trip for quite a while. We had a hotel booked and our agenda filled. We drove to San Antonio without incident (unless you count having to pull off to feed the baby only after about two minutes of driving as an "incident", you'll hardly think so at the end of the entry, I assure you). We dropped off some friends at the San Antonio airport and headed to the Alamo (remember?). I should have brushed up on my history lessons before this trip because as soon as we paid our $7 for parking and got out of the car to go see the Alamo we realized that it was FREEZING. Didn't I move to the internal inferno in the South to avoid ever having to wear a coat? Well I had on my coat folks and it was still freezing. I bundled the children and we rushed through the Alamo exhibits.. . . Davey Crocket. . . blah blah. . .Texicanos. . . .Mejicans. . . . something about a big war or fight or something. Anyway, I still don't really get what happened at the Alamo, but it sure was pretty. It was just kind of humorous because I have never stood next to a palm tree and been cold at the same time. anyway, we'll have to go check that out again some other time. I guess I did walk away having learned something though. . .and that is that Davey Crockett was not fictitious (I had kind of chalked him up there with Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan), It's true. . . I saw some of his hair in an old locket.
From the Alamo we headed to the famed San Antonio River Walk. Again, stunningly beautiful! I had been forewarned that the river walk was not stroller friendly. Somehow though in the commotion before leaving, the sling got left behind and the stroller got packed, so having the stroller on the river walk was kind of a drawback. The quaint old stone bridges don't seem quite as quaint when you have to unload your kids and fold up the stroller to get over them. It was beautiful and still pretty cold, so we headed inside to eat lunch. So this is where our "poopy" adventure began. It was innocent enough. Ben just had a blowout in the restaurant. No biggie. Just log that away though, we'll come back to it later.
We ended up being done with the RiverWalk around 3PM, which put us in a real pickle because we had hoped to be there at 7PM when there was a big water parade and they were going to turn on all of the Christmas lights. We were all tired and cold (except, I am sure he would want me to point out, Blaine was not cold) and hanging out inside a mall on the busiest shopping day of the year did not sound fun. Going back to the hotel and sleeping did, but paying the $14 to park (two cars) again sounded a little crazy. We decided to go back to the hotel, despite missing the whole fiesta that was happening later in the evening. Instead we went swimming and took it easy.
We wound up going to the mall near our hotel for dinner. We got there and Blaine took off to go figure out what he was going to eat while I sat with his brother and the kids at a table. I was engaged in some great conversation when I noticed Gwen muttering something. I listened closer "I gotta go potty. I gotta go potty. I gotta go potty!". Normally she tells me in a normal voice, I figured she was just nervous being away from home. I leave Ben with his uncle and rush Gwen to the potty. I don't even think about it before I yank down her pants and pull-up and set her on the potty. That is when I noticed that the pull-up was full of. . . .liquidy #2. Not only was the pull-up full of it, but the process of "yanking it off" had meant that it was all over her pants, her shoes, her socks, the toilet, her coat, my pants, the floor and so forth. Sick. I try to compose myself while Gwen is having a freakout ( I don't blame her!). "It's okay" I tell myself and her. I search frantically through the diaper bag while holding her on the throne with the other hand. It's then that I realize we had taken out the wipes to change Ben's diaper right before leaving for the hotel. Dry toilet paper was not going to get me far in this situation. I couldn't get Gwenie off of the potty for fear that the "big D" would strike again, I couldn't clean her off because. . .. well, with what? I couldn't cry for help because no one would have ever heard me. Oh yeah, and since we were only going to be gone for half an hour I didn't think to check the diaper bag and resupply it. . . no new pull-ups either.
I finally manage to find some "moist towelettes" in my purse. Two to be precise. I did my best with those. Packaged up the "damaged goods" (pants, shoes, socks). Then tried to do some more by getting toilet paper wet and cleaning her off. It was a disaster and I finally decided that I just needed to suck it up and go. I found a little tiny blanket in the diaper bag and fashioned a make-shift loin cloth out of it and took my poor naked child out of the bathroom. I came out and my family was no where in sight. After a few minutes they found me in my distress. We hurriedly ate dinner ( I am so confident that it was the most unsanitary I have ever been and I hardly had an appetite, gross). Anyway, there is poopy experience #2. And I am so glad it ended there because it could have easily gotten much worse carrying a toddler with the big D through the mall and driving her to the hotel in a car seat with no diaper or pants on. Anyway, thank my lucky stars!
That night Blaine and his brother (Nick) went to a movie. After Nick's wife had gone to bed Ben started crying. I picked him up to feed him and. . .the power went out! In a hotel, not in a rainstorm. Just a random power outage. Okay, power outages are freaky enough when you are with your husband and you have a candle. Try being in a hotel with two children and no husband. There was absolutely no way to get light. It was so pitch dark. I just held Ben tight and didn't take my hand off of his pacifier. Can you imagine if I would have lost it? Or him??? That's how dark it was. I was sure I spotted some of those scorpions that glow in the dark moving along the side of the room. It was awful! Can you imagine if Gwen would have had to go to the bathroom? Anyway, we luckily made it through without incident and the power was back on before the boys got home from the movie.
This is getting to be too long for comfort. Let's just shorten it up here. When we got home today we found that our dogs also had the big d and let it all out in our bathroom. Our neighbor had been good enough to bring the dogs in at night and apparently they were real sick. It was awful. Really really awful. And Blaine's brother is the hero of the story because he cleaned it all up. What a guy!
So, if I had to pick one word to describe our Thanksgiving trip to San Antonio "romance" would hardly be it. Actually "poop" would be it. By the time we came home we had two grocery bags tied shut of completely poop covered clothing. We got home to a house that reeked of dog poop. It was a very stinky weekend.
Luckily though so much went wrong that it was just humorous and I know that we will never forget the trip, never. I am sorry you had to read about it, but it was just too amazingly ironic to not write about it :). Through it all though I just felt so grateful to have two wonderful kids (active as their bowels may be), and a family that I love! I am grateful to live in such a lovely, generally pretty warm, place. I am grateful that we have such a wonderful life and that we have funny experiences that we will always remember.
And, almost more importantly, I am grateful for washing machines, and Lysol. Lots and lots of Lysol.