Pooper Scooper

March 7, 2009

“Just take this in there and scoop the poop out of the diaper with the spoon provided.”

“Excuse me?” I said utterly bewildered with newness to daddy-hood.

Maybe I should back up a little bit. I know that I’m still very new to this being a parent thing, hell, our daughter is three months old but what this day held in store for me I didn’t sign up for when I agreed to impregnate my wife.

Earlier this morning my wife and I took our daughter to the doctors. I’ve never been a fan of doctors (what man really is?) but I like our daughter’s pediatrician.

“Hey guys, what’s going on today?” Dr. Sloan asked. As doctors do.

“Well,” my wife took control of the situation. As wives do. “Her poops have been smelling like ammonia for the past two days and we’re concerned.”

When she says “we’re concerned” she really means “she’s concerned”. I’m more old school and kept saying, “Whatever she’s got she’ll shit it out.”

“Does she have a fever?” Dr. Sloan asked.

“No.” My wife answered.

“How about a loss of appetite?”

“No.”

“Has she been fussy?”

“Nope.”

This is where I wanted to say, “See, for once, I’m right.” But as always, I wasn’t.

“Well, I’m going to write you a prescription.”

“For what?” I thought to myself. Didn’t my wife just say that our kids fine other than her poop smelling like ammonia? Well, it turns out that you need a prescription to have specialist examine your child’s stool sample. Only in America.

Scribbling on her note pad she said, “When she has her next stool sample, keep the diaper and take it to this address.” She tore the paper from her doctor notepad and handed it to us.

So I did as I was instructed. The next time baby pooped, I put the evidence into a gallon sized zip lock bag and took it to the laboratory. While signing in they place a large sandwich size zip lock bag in front of me. On it, in huge black bold capital letters read the word “BIOHAZARD”.

“Here you go.” I said, while attempting to hand them my zip lock bag full of soiled diaper.

“Ha, ha, ha…no Mr. Lassen. You have to transfer the sample from the diaper into a plastic cup. Just take this in there and scoop the poop out of the diaper with the spoon provided.”

“Excuse me?” I said utterly bewildered with newness to daddy-hood.

“Here are some plastic gloves for you. Bathrooms right there to your left.”

I felt dirty.

I thought to myself, “Let me get this straight. You want me to go and scrape the poop out of my daughter’s hour’s old dirty diaper with a spoon and put it in a plastic cup?” I know times are tough in this current economy but who knew that the first to be let go from laboratories were the “dirty diaper shit scrapers.”

“Make sure to get as much as you can. I find that it’s sometimes better to use the cup itself to scoop up the sample rather then use the spoon.”

I rolled up my sleeves, looked them all in the eyes, “That sounded like a challenge. And I accept you challenge.” I grabbed my bags and made my way to the bathroom. I strategically placed all the items in front of me in order of their use from left to right. First up, the green plastic gloves, so that the shit sample doesn’t get contaminated. It’s odd when the priority is to not get shit on your hands for the shits sake. “Shit getting contaminated.” It just made me laugh. All of us men are really 12 year old boys at heart and I’m no exception. Juvenile moment over, back to work.

I struggled slipping the tiny green glove over my big paw that I call a left hand.

“RRRRIIIIIPPPPPPP!”

Fuck.

I popped my head out of the bathroom door. “Excuse me. Can I get another glove?”

They all laughed and I was handed another green glove.

Maybe it’ll go on easier if I place it on my hand as far as it go, blow into it and it’ll inflate it?

“POP!”

Nope.

Before I could open the bathroom door to ask for yet, another green glove, there was a knock at the door.

“Occupied.” I said prying the broken glove off my hand.

“Mr. Lassen, it sounded to us out here like you are in need of another glove.”

I opened the door and the nice man laughing handed me another green glove.

After some careful struggling, I got the gloves on.

The smell that wafted out of the zip lock bag with the grubby diaper when I un-zipped it was… well, it was not pleasant. And I grew up on a farm, so I know “unpleasant” smells. It didn’t help any that it had a few hours to ferment. I placed the plastic cup down, unscrew the cap and place it on a paper towel. I was not about to get shit all over the place except for in the cup or on my nifty green gloves. I unwrapped the spoon from its wrapper.

“What the fuck is this?”

It was a tongue depressor not a spoon.

“Great. Just great.”

While I was standing there in my tight green gloves, scraping shit out of my daughter’s soiled diaper with a tongue depressor I thought to myself, “Now, I know and have known many people with kids, and I have NEVER heard of anyone else EVER having to do this. This is the type of things parents don’t tell people thinking about having kids because if they did, those people would get a hamster instead.”

I came out of the bathroom, mission accomplished.

“Thank you Mr. Lassen.”

“Oh no, thank you for this experience.”

“Ummm, Mr. Lassen?”

“Yes.” I said proudly, expecting him to complement me on my immaculate shit scraping skills. I was wrong.

“This may not be enough. Did you get as much as you could?”

“There wasn’t much to get.”

He reached behind the counter and handed me another plastic zip lock bag with the word, “BIOHAZARD!” written on it. Inside it was a set of green plastic gloves, a plastic cup and a “spoon”.

“We may need you to collect more samples if this isn’t enough to perform all the test. We’ll call and let you know.”

“And that’s one call I’ll be looking forward to. Thank you kind sir.”

“Have a good weekend Mr. Lassen.”

“You to.” It’ll be best if I don’t have to treasure hunting in my daughter’s diaper anymore.

Oh, the things we parents do for our kids. I’m just finding out and I have a feeling that this is only the beginning.

I AM a Purple Dino Type

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A Father’s Love Has No Boundries…Or Does It?

May 5, 2008

I hate being late to work.

I may have up to four parties in one day but to the clients it’s their ONLY party of the day. I’ve made it a habit to treat every party I work as if it’s the only one I have that day. Some don’t appreciate my thoughtfulness and still feel the need to bitch. On this particular day I was running fifteen minutes late.

At least I wasn’t a Purple Dino. I was dressed as my clown character, “Sleepi,” so it was nice that I could arrive, park, get to work, and not have to worry about changing and being even later than I already was. Did I mention that I hate being late?

I parked at the first space I found; oddly, it was closer to the house than one would think considering that there was a party going on. “Maybe a lot of the guests are late and the client won’t mind, or even notice, that I’m late? Excellent!”

As I got closer to the house I could see a bunch of kids behind a chain link fence playing and running around in the front yard. They all looked to be older kids, from seven to thirteen-years-old.

“Strange,” I thought to myself, “The party is for a two-year-old girl named Kim, and from what I could tell she was the only one in her age range.”

As I got closer, one of the older kids saw me approaching and pointed me out to the birthday girl.

“Look Kimmy! It’s a clown!”

She was petrified.

Kimmy hid behind one of the older kids, not even peering around him to gawk at me curiously. I prepared myself mentally for what looked to be the beginnings of a very looooooooong two-hour gig. What kind of kid doesn’t like clown?

I opened the gate and let myself in. I started to open my mouth to introduce myself but was stopped by a car racing down the street honking its horn. It drove slightly over the curb and stopped right next to house. Inside the lime green convertible Cadillac were three men covered in tattoos and wearing the same brand of dark sunglasses. If I had to guess, I would say they were around twenty-years-old.

“Hey clown! Come over here.” The guy in the back seat yelled over to me as if I were way down the street and not just five feet to the side of him. To emphasize his need to speak to me he motioned to me with his hand to come over.

I thought maybe they wanted directions so I went over to the fence to explain to them that I wasn’t from around here.

“No man, come here.” The guy in the passenger seat said and pointed down next to the passenger side door.

Isn’t this how some bad news stories start? “Clown abducted. News at eleven.”

I went over to the car anyway. What can I say? I like to live life on the edge. Like my cousin James always says, “If you’re not living life dangerously, you’re not living.”

“Hey clown dude. I’m Kimmie’s fatha’. Where da’ udder clowns at?”

“There are no other clowns. Just me,” I informed him.

The guy in the front passenger seat chimed in.

“How’s it goin’ so far?”

“I just got here like a minute ago. Kimmie’s afraid of me.”

“Meet us up round da’ corner,” Kim’s dad said.

Once again, isn’t this how some bad news stories start? “Clown abducted. The stupid bastard went around the corner. News at eleven.”

So I followed them around the corner. I’m a sucker for anything out of the ordinary.

The dad was out of the car by the time I caught up with them. The better to grab me I guess.

“Yo, check dis’ out. I told da’ dude on the phone tha’ I wanted three clowns fo’ two hours.”

“I don’t know about any other clowns. My sheet shows that it’s just one clown for two hours. I don’t know what to tell you.”

“Dat’s cool. Tell ya’ wha’. You tell ya boss tha’ we all cancelled it and shit.”

“If that’s what you want…I can do the party. It’s not a problem.”

“No, no, no, check it out. I’m gonna give you dis’ here fiddy bucks. And yous gonna go back fo’ just fifteen mo’ minutes.”

“Did you already discuss this with the mom? Because I haven’t met her yet and no one told me anything.”

“I can’t do tha’ man. That bitch’s got a restraining order on me. I can’t go within one hundred yards of the house. I can’t go to my own baby’s party. Isn’t that fucked up?”

“Completely.” I agreed.

“We cool clown?”

“Yah, no problem.”

“I don’t think you understand clown. I SAID… we cool right?”

“We cool.” I said, as ‘cool’ as I could say it while being dressed as a clown and having make up on my face.

“Thanks man. Give ma’ baby anythin’ she want.”

I walked back to the house and was greeted by one of the children.

“Where da’ fuck you bean clown?”

Excuse me? When I left, these kids seemed happy to see me. While I was gone they turned into filthy mouthed little monsters. They must have abandonment issues, or else Kimmy’s not the only one whose daddy got a restraint order for Christmas. If you think about it, deep down inside don’t we all have daddy issues?

I decided to spend my fifteen minutes making balloon animals. With every passing second the children exponentially got more and more unpleasant. It was like the plague. One kid would get it and pass it on to another. Before I knew it they were all dropping the “F”-bomb on me. The two boys who started it all were the worst, AND THEY WERE EIGHT AND NINE YEARS OLD!

I’m glad I was only staying for fifteen minutes. I thought about leaving earlier but I could see Kimmy’s dad one hundred and one yards parked down the street. So that thought went right out of my head. It’s a long walk to my car. Long enough to get shot a few times.

“Ok, who’s next?”

One of my “shit starter” nine-year-old boys spoke up, “Me man. I’m next.”

“What do you want?”

“Make me a pussy, man.”

“Why do you want a pussy cat?” I asked knowing what he really meant.

“No man. I said a pussy. So I can fuck it.”

What do you say to that? “OK?” I don’t think so. I didn’t say anything and just shot him a disapproving look. Then he changed his request.

“Make me a woman.”

I tapped him on the head with a balloon and said, “Poof, you’re a woman.”

All the other kids laughed at him. The boy didn’t like that too much. One of the other boys spoke up.

“You’re my old lady, man.”

What does that even mean?

“I’m fuckin’ talkin’ to you clown.”

Am I on candid camera?

I gave them lollypops but they couldn’t care less. I was done with them. My fifteen minutes were way up. I glanced down the street and saw “Daddy” hold up a thumb to me and drive away. I kept my promise. I told them I was leaving.

One of the girls said to me, “You can’t leave until we say.”

“You’re wrong. I’m leaving NOW.”

As I was packing away my balloon pump to leave, the mother finally made an appearance.

“Where you goin’?” She asked.

“I saw Kim’s father and he told me he wanted to cancel the show.”

“That mutha’ fucka’!” She turned around and ran inside the house.

So that’s where the kids learned how to use the “F”-bomb.

The kids were all yelling obscenities at me as I was leaving. I closed the chain link fence door behind me, turned, and addressed the children. And by this point when I call them “children” I use the term loosely because it implies some sense of innocence. A quality lost on these little ones.

“By the way, you’re all a bunch of little foul mouthed brats.”

“Fuck you, clown.”

Oh, no…. Fuck you. “Have a nice day.”

I AM a Purple Dino Type.