When My Team Cleaned Up A Big Mess


As I walked to bed, a familiar odor greeted me at the top of the stairs.

Oh no. This is gonna be a rough one, I thought to myself. It got stronger as I walked toward my two-year-old daughter’s crib and lifted her to the changing table. (Not to brag, but I’ve actually done this before without waking her up, so I was hopeful for a similar experience this time.)

Then I realized her sleeper was unzipped. Looks like she’s been tugging at her diaper, I suspected.

A little light always makes this easier, I thought. So, I reached for the flashlight. It was then that I realized she wasn’t going to sleep through this one.

There was poop everywhere. Her stomach, her legs, her sleeper—it was bad. She had followed the rule of not taking her diaper off, but instead removed as much poop as possible.

Oh no, her hands! I realized as I moved the flashlight above her head to uncover brown fingers. This was not a wet wipe kind of diaper change—time for reinforcements.

“Babe, I’m gonna need your help up here,” I called down the stairs.

While I filled the tub, he inspected the crib—something I hadn’t even thought of! I thought to myself, this just keeps getting worse. Everything was covered in poop: books, stuffed animals, sheets, pillows, everything! Did I mention that my daughter hoards stuff in her crib? Poop. On. Everything. My husband laughed, tried not to gag, and cleaned it all up.

As all of this was happening, the strangest thought went through my head: I am so happy. I realized I was smiling as my husband and I franticly cleaned poop. This was a real milestone for me.

You see, a couple years ago I would have been raging in frustration. And all of it would have been directed at my husband. I would have found this mess all over my daughter and it would have been his fault.

How could that be his fault? You might ask. I don’t know, but in my mind, it would have been. Maybe he should have helped me put her to bed or maybe he should have dealt with ALL of it once I found it. I mean, had been with the kids all day. Honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered what I came up with because I can guarantee you that it would have been ridiculous and unfair.

I smiled during this chaos because over these past couple years I finally had learned that my husband was on my side, and that the best way to deal with that kind of mess was teamwork! That night, I chose to skip the blame game. My husband got to be my hero for dealing with the crib without complaining—aside from the dramatic acknowledgment of the ripe smell we were enjoying together. And it became one of those moments that made us feel like we were doing this “marriage” thing pretty well. We laughed that night while we cleaned, we laughed later as we got ready for bed, and we laugh every time we tell the story now.

Our daughter got her bath (which was really more of a shower/bath because sitting in poopy water doesn’t get anyone clean). My husband took her crib load down to the laundry room, I scrubbed the wood of the crib with sanitizer, and as I finally rocked her back to sleep I kept smiling for my little family-team.


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