My nose plug has gone missing; I am certain that it has deserted. I am now six days bereft. The timing of poop attacks has been propitious, if a poop attack can ever be so described. The Empress was here over the weekend and during two of the weekday poops, so she could stand in relief for me. She has permanent deadface and can’t smell anything, so she doesn’t vomit on the baby when she changes his poopy diapers. It was close on Thursday; the boy exploded his pants as Katie was driving home for lunch, so I was able to wait it out. I did have to stand on the front porch with the door open while I watched Brinkley in his Jumperoo, bouncing and stinking in full view of Dora, Boots, and Señor Tucan. There was but one day last week when I was alone and unplugged in the jaws of the poop. I tried my painter’s mask, the one I used to screen out sawdust and dander during the Carpet Wars of 2010. It was no good, and I threw up in it a little bit. That was our first casualty.
I knew I needed to replace the nose plug this weekend if I couldn’t find it, but like a clown and a dope, I didn’t. Brinkley simply waited and smiled. I didn’t know then why he was so excited to see my stupid face all the time, but I know now. He had not lost sight of his opportunity, and when it arrived today, he took it. I set him in his Jumperoo with Dora so I could clean out the cat litterboxes, and unbeknownst to me, he was doing a bit of littering of his own—in his pants! (Is it ironic that he did his bad business while I was sorting out the cat bad business? I never know. Curse you, Alanis Morissette!) Curiously enough, the painter’s mask works fine against cat stink—the one that I didn’t throw up a little in, anyway. I scoured the house for the nose plug, to no avail. I tried one of those big metal binder clips but I couldn’t get it to stay on my nose. I did make my nose bleed a little, though—that’s casualty #2. Then I decided to duct-tape my face shut. That helped enough that I could stand to pick Brinkley up out of his Jumperoo. I got him over to the changing basin, with absolutely none of my throw yet up. I was going to live to fight another day. Then I opened him up.
It was beyond comprehension. I’m forty-five minutes out and I’m still not sure what I saw. You want to know what it feels like? Watch the first Predator movie; I’m the girl, Anna, I think her name was. It was all down his left leg. It was his left leg. He had completely bypassed the diaper, just brushing it aside like it wasn’t even there. The left leg of his outfit became the diaper—the left leg of the Steelers sleeper. That’s right, my favorite sleeper, my field marshal, the Schwerin to my Frederick, the Murat to my Napoleon. It was gone, no coming back, dead on the field. Damn. There would be no victory, but I could still avoid defeat. I had to—for the Steelers sleeper. The duct tape was holding and I was a little numb in addition, so I could work quickly with minimal retching and only intermittent gagging. I was, of course, covered in poop up to my elbows. Brinkley was screaming, but I was not sympathetic. I grabbed a burp cloth, wet it down and soaped it up in the kitchen sink. Then I ordered it into the fray, and it went forth bravely, knowing that it would be joining Marshal Steelers Sleeper in Valhalla. I was wiping Brinkley off like he was a wet football and the play clock was running down, quite appropriate considering what we had lost this day. The burp cloth went into a bag with the fallen sleeper and uncounted baby wipes, and I threw the lot down the basement stairs to the final resting place for the heroes of this foulest kind of war. Goodbye, my friend. You were too good for this world.
I put Brinkley into some inadequate sleeper that I can’t even picture now, and he could barely down three ounces of formula before he was out. The battle’s done and we kinda won, but there’ll be no victory cheer, not here. I de-ducted my face with minimal drama; fortunately, I had shaved just this morning or the damage would have been even greater. I thought I had lost my glasses to the poop bag, but I found them twenty minutes later in the office supplies drawer, alongside the binder clips/abortive nose plugs. The losses were curtailed at the end of the affair, but I have lost a shard of my warrior’s heart. I can say no more; these words are bitter and useless. My champion is gone, and he deserves a better eulogy than I can give.
Also, I need a nose plug to replace the craven deserter. If Her Majesty doesn’t requisition one for me today, I am resigning my commission tomorrow. That, or Brinkley will be spending the day on the porch with his pants full of poop.