You have moments that you don't realize, during which you say to yourself, "at least it can't get any worse." This happens. You don't realize it.
Until you're wrong.
Kieran had been making the poopy stance way too often while cleaning up Legos this afternoon. First, it should be noted that he was more or less actually cleaning up Legos, at a rate of one piece per minute or so. By the time he'd be old enough to go to college, he'd have finished the task, which was about perfect as far as I was concerned. In good news, he was also singing the "clean up song" he learned at preschool, or at least the relevant lyrics: "clean up, clean up... clean up, clean up... clean up, clean up", etc.
So there's that.
Then he informs us that he needs to pee on the potty. Bully for him. This is pretty normal, but by now he's also been making that poopy stance, so a quick undies check confirms that he hasn't already done his business. Again, awesomesauce. He's been farting up a storm, so slightly mild awesomesauce, but still.
He leaves. He gets to the stairs. He lingers on the stairs. This is a thing that no parent loves, and every parent deals with. I decide to check in.
This is when he informs me that he doesn't need to pee on the potty anymore. There he stands, in his underwear, coated in his own urine and standing in a pool of it.
[sound of record scratching]
This boy is potty trained. What. The. Fuck? I inform him that there are times that I don't kill him purely out of inertia, and send him upstairs to do the rest of his business, while I get the Urine-B-Gon and go to town on the stairs, grumbling to myself.
This is when it happened. That moment. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was the "at least it can't get any worse" moment.
By now, astute readers, you are asking, "but where are your daughters, those beatific creatures who so regularly poop themselves?" That is because you are a genius, and I have the mental prowess of a lobotomized sea cucumber.
The girls have been "napping", a.k.a. sitting upstairs in their cribs and grumbling to one another. I head upstairs to check in on Kieran - he has this tendency of taking care of business and then taking care of his grandmother's entire makeup drawer - and discover that he is, in fact, taking a monster dump, the kind that looks like it hurts, and wants to talk about the sound it made when it plopped into the toilet. The girls are grumbling, and I head around the corner to make some promise about getting to them when oh. My. Gawd.
First, the smell coming out of the bathroom has nothing on this room. It smells like week-old gym socks filled with manure and set on fire. That's because Genevieve has managed to take off her diaper and is covered in something that looks like mustard gas pate and smells worse.
I admit, I scream a little. It probably sounds high-pitched and girly. I find some part of her that seems safe-ish to touch and spirit her past her defecating brother and straight into the bathtub, where I knock the big chunks off and then proceed to give her a bath on the spot. Out, towel dry, into our bedroom where there's a backup crib set up, diaper, into backup crib, get Zoe. Tub has drained, refill tub, off with diaper did you really, really think that wasn't going to end in tears? She, of course, is covered in more of the same, just compressed into the diaper area, so it's on there nice and firm.
I'm a little panicky at this point, and just start throwing toilet paper at her, hoping that some of it will stick. Which, obviously, it does.
Kieran, meanwhile, has grunted his way through it and I'm just shouting at him not to move, he's next. He rightly determines that daddy has lost his shit - maybe making out that it's because he found so much of other people's - and is maybe a half-step shy of axe murder. I see fight or flight in his eyes, but he correctly decides that flight would definitely lead to axe murder, and that's without us owning an axe. He freezes, and holds as still as a two-year-old can while I scrape the smears off of his sister with toilet paper, bathe her, drain the tub, and ready it for him.
I think I'm still a little breathless. They're presently all corralled in the spare crib, which is turning into a WWE-style brawl with the girls doing surprisingly well, but sometimes you just need to work through these things.
At least it can't get any worse.