Monday, November 12, 2007

Poop at Work

We're back--and with a very bad story, I'm afraid. The kind of story that probably is a very good example of why babies don't really belong at work. Or in civilized society at all, come to think of it.

We've been having some trouble at work recently with our website. Or maybe trouble isn't exactly the right word; we've been trying to launch a new website for the past I-don't-even-know-how-many months. And for almost the past month of that time, we've been ready to hit the "go" button any minute, so we've really been breathless with anticipation (which is pretty hard to sustain for more than a few days, let me tell you).

Anyway, to skip over a lot of details, our website developer switched our webhost this weekend, and so this morning Working Baby and I walked into the office and were greeted by frantic coworkers who couldn't send any emails.

Now, Office Mom is no tech guru--but I'm the best we have on staff, so I'm supposed to be able to fix these kinds of problems, even when I don't have a clue. So the Baby and I got settled, left a message for the website developer, and got on with the day. The Working Baby ate some grapes, looked out the window, got reacquainted with all the toys she hadn't seen all weekend. I caught up on reading some emails. And then two things happened: the developer called back, and the Working Baby climbed up on a box of books and starting squeezing one out.

We're half-assedly working on the potty training now (she's almost eighteen months old), and if we'd been at home (or if I hadn't been on the phone) I would probably have scooped her up to try to make the potty on time. But, alas, I was resetting my outgoing mail server, so there's one more diaper in the ol' landfill (I know: and right after NBC's big Green Week. Shame on me.)

If only the route to the landfill weren't so circuitous. ... Anyway, the developer needed to check on something, and I thought there would be time to do a quick diaper change.

"C'mere, stinky," I said to the Working Baby.

"Not you," I clarified to the web developer, who has been to our office many times and so knew exactly who I was talking to. (Which makes all the difference, right?)

And then I pulled down Working Baby's tights, pulled the dirty diaper out from under her, set it aside, grabbed a wipe.

"Ok, it should be good now," said the developer. "Can you send me a test message?"

"Five seconds," I said, wiping furiously and tossing the wipes into the diaper. (You see where this is going, don't you?) Unfolded the new diaper, fastened the tabs, left the baby on the floor with her new diaper on but her tights around her ankles--there's no dignity in being a baby, really there's not--turned around to the keyboard, fired off a test email.

Who says you can't do it all?

I'll tell you who says: the Working Baby, who by the time I turned back around was sitting up with a ball of poop and smeary wipes in her little hand. Which, seeing my face, she promptly dropped onto the carpet--just as the office manager (who objects to that title and shall forthwith be referred to as the administrative assistant, at least until I come up with a suitable nickname) wandered into the room and scooped the Working Baby up to pull up her tights and rearrange her skirt. Which is, of course, totally not her job, though someone a lot bitchier than I am might credibly make the case that that was the kind of assistance a certain administrator most needed at that particular moment.

Am I completely ashamed? You bet.

Did I apologize and swear on the Working Baby's life that this was the first free-range poop the office had known? I did.

Is that true? Barring a few unavoidable baby-poop explosions, it is.

Did the administrative assistant believe me? I'm pretty sure she did not.

(Though for the record, she tells a pretty hilarious potty training story of her own that involves her actually catching poop on the fly, in the front doorway of her house, while talking to a contractor. So it's not like her hands are perfectly clean...)