Worse even than this. Really.
It was the end of my work day. Three of the four children had left, the last one just stepping off my porch. I walk into the kitchen, where the last child, Poppy, is looking at a book. I say something to her, then turn to walk out to the living room …
and something’s spilled on the floor by the dining table. Huh. Odd that I didn’t notice it when I walked through from the front door. Is it tea? It looks sort of like tea, but I haven’t had any tea for a few hours, and my mug is in the sink, empty. I take another step to have a look, and then I see there are more spots a foot or so away, and more, and more … all over the dining room, all over the living room all in the front hall…
And as I step carefully between the spots and puddles, I note the stink, and comprehension dawns.
Worse. Diarrhea. Liquid diarrhea.
And it is ALL.OVER.MY.HOUSE.
It wasn’t there when I walked through the living room and dining room a mere two minutes ago. Two minutes ago I had a normal home. A reasonably tidy one, in fact, the tots and I having done the end-of-day pick-up only a few minutes prior.
Aren’t I HAPPY I’m so methodical about this? Making them tidy with me, instead of waiting till they’re gone? Otherwise the puzzle and trucks and cloth dolls that were strewn all over the floor only minutes ago would now be speckled with poo. Oh, no. “Poo” is much too ladylike and delicate a word.
This is shit, folks. Cups of it. Tossed with reckless abandon all over my home.
It’s got to be a dog. Indie walks up, looking very worried. Emma told me later that it was my horrified, “Was that YOU?!?!?” that brought her up from her bedroom in the basement. Indie looks worried, but that’s kind of a default look for Indie. Indie also looks guilty, but Indie is one of those guilt-ridden dogs. We scold Daisy for something, Daisy says “But I’m so CUTE, mom!!!” (or, in a surly mood, it’s more “What’s YOUR fking problem??”). Indie hears us scold Daisy, and says, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Please don’t hate me!”
A quick glace at her butt end confirms it. It wasn’t Indie.
Of course it wasn’t Indie. If Indie had diarrhea, she would try frantically to get out and then, if no one heard her pitiful cries, she’d let fly in the front hall on the tiles, as close to the outside as she could get, desperate with the aforementioned guilt. That is what Indie would do.
What Indie would NOT do is run through the house in a blind panic, trying to escape her asshole. Because that, I gradually realize, is what has happened. Daisy has had explosive diarrhea, and frightened by the violence, has raced around my home, propelled by her butt end like a deflating balloon, spewing not air, but shit.
Poor scared puppy.
Stupid rotten dog.
So it’s Daisy. But where is she? Oh, lord. There are footprints going upstairs. Wet ones. Wet-with-shit footprints. Upstairs where [cue foreboding music] the bedrooms are.
She didn’t go into my dressing room — THANK GOD!!! (My recently renovated, I’m-so-proud-of-it dressing room.) The door of my son’s room is shut, has been all day. No mess in the bathroom. Of course. Even a panicked dog wouldn’t go into the “Room Where Baths Happen” voluntarily.
I follow the footprints. Daisy comes dancing toward me, feathery tail wagging, so happy to see me!!! Well, feathery except for the bit closest to her butt, which is hanging in wet, poop-bedraggled strands from her tail. Gah! Don’t wag that thing! She comes toward me from my bedroom. Where she had been on the bed. Dispensing largesse. Liberally.
Oh, my duvet cover! You poor thing!
(Also? Thank GOD we hadn’t yet put the down-filled duvet into it. Really. I’ll take what small mercies I can find at this point.)
I’m not grossed out, exactly. I think ‘shocked wonderment’ describes it best. Two floors, three rooms, two hallways, a set of stairs, all of them speckled with shit. In less than two minutes. I mean that literally. In less than 120 seconds, this idiot dog has anointed my entire home with dots, dollops, speckles and puddles of watery pale brown excrement.
IN LESS THAN TWO MINUTES!!! Far less. Probably more like 25 or 30 seconds. I am not kidding. It’s … astounding.
Daisy bounds toward me. Now that her explosive diarrhea is over, now that her bum has stopped exploding, she feels SO! MUCH! BETTER!
“Phew! Thank goodness that’s over, huh, mummy??” is clearly her thought. “I feel so much better now!!” And I scratch her fuzzy head. Because, you know, she’s cute. And she was scared. And I love her.
But OH MY GOD!!!!
The PooP BomB was tied up out front, her sodden hind end on display for the neighbours to see. I didn’t care. I had more urgent concerns than my neighbour’s squeamishness.
First thing I did was cancel my 6:30 interview. Yes. To make things absolutely perfect, I had an interview scheduled for an hour hence. We’d get it clean by then — maybe? — but would we clear out the stench? HA! And when would I make dinner?
Besides, after facing down this horror, I was pretty sure I’d just want to recline delicately on my chaise lounge with a chilled glass of white wine. Or, better? My fainting couch. First time in my life I’ve ever considered owning a fainting couch, but if there was a time for one, this would be it, no?
And then I get to work. Emma pitches right in. I don’t even have to ask. (Remember Emma? My youngest, now 20? She hasn’t shown up so much lately because she’s in university now, 3rd year nursing. A busy girl!)
“Thank you for helping out!” I say to her, as we each don surgical gloves and grab a roll of paper towels. (Yes, I have a large box of surgical gloves in my home. A necessary piece of equipment when one has longish fingernails and changes poopy diapers for a living.)
“No problem. I’ve seen much worse than this!!” she says. “From humans. Patients with C-diff? Their stuff is just this consistency, and stinks 10 times worse.”
Wow. My kid pitches in — voluntarily!! — to clean up an entire shit-spattered house. Voluntarily, and cheerfully!! Seriously. We didn’t quite manage to whistle while we worked, but we did laugh. Quite a lot. Horrified laughter, dark laughter, but laughter. I tell you: Nursing school is really paying off!
It took us half an hour. Way better than I’d feared.
I started the washing machine and threw in the first load of my bedding. If it can’t handle hot water, bleach, and the heavy-duty cycle, TOO BAD!
We wiped up all the shit with paper towels — some had spattered onto the baseboards, people, the baseboards! We swept the entire house. And then, while I bathed the rotten shitty so-happy-to-see-me dog — OUTSIDE, thankssomuch, that animal is not coming anywhere near my bathroom! — Emma mopped every single floor with a bleach solution.
On the bright side? My floors are probably cleaner, and certainly less germy, than they’ve been in a long time. Possibly ever. Though all the windows have been thrown open, the house still smells of bleach. Which is far, far better than what it smelled of an hour ago!
My interview will be tomorrow at 6:15. Daisy, clean and dry, is in her crate, where she will stay, apart from walks, until she produces a normal poo. She had water for dinner. Tomorrow she will eat white rice. She will not like it. Not the crate, not the rice. TOO BAD.
We humans will have pizza for dinner. I’m not up to food prep right now.
Phew. We did it!
Hand me that wine, will you?