Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Funeral woes


This is son #2. Ethan. This picture reminds me of a story my brother told of his son Micah covered in flour. On one hand, Micah is a little chocolate colored boy trying to go white, and on the other hand mine is a little vanilla colored boy trying to go brown. Oh, the irony!

As you may have guessed, this photo was taken a good five years ago. I managed to get my scanner working for me and not against me, so I've started putting old pictures onto the computer. I wanted a baby picture of Ethan because of the story that follows. As a disclaimer, I want to remind you that this took place when Ethan was a baby and my memory may not recall details exactly as they happened. Anyone who got an email from me after the "incident" may have a slightly different version, and if you have an issue with me, well, you know where I live.

First, I need to set the scene for this tale. We had traveled to Manitoba for a funeral of Luke's uncle. Caleb was two and Ethan was one or so (there goes my memory already!). Luke's uncle was a man who was well known in his community, so the funeral was held in a big hall with those wood stacking chairs brought in. Being family, we were near the front and anxiously waiting for the service to begin. Ethan was still taking a bottle and I had the dried formula in his diaper bag. I reached into the bag for a toy and, wouldn't you know it, the canister lid had fallen off somehow and filled the diaper bag with a thick coat of white powder. With much rolling of eyes and gnashing of teeth, I made my way to the bathroom in the back corner of the hall, Ethan in tow, so that I could clean out the bag and change a diaper at the same time. I strode purposefully but on tiptoe (high heels + gym floor + quiet somber funeral = bad) into the bathroom and set the bag down on the counter. I put Ethan on the floor to walk around. It's hard for those little ones to sit for too long and I thought any energy he expended would be a positive influence on the rest of the service. I emptied the bag and had put the toys in the sink to wash them when I heard a "sploosh" in the background. Not exactly comforting in a public washroom with a baby on the prowl. I whirled and faced a closed stall door. Locked. With the E-machine (that's Ethan, for the uninitiated) still inside. What could he possibly have thrown in the toilet, how much did it cost, and how the heck will I get it out, I wondered to myself. Taking off my shoes, I got down on the floor and crawled under the door in my best black skirt. Ethan was there grinning at his mommy who was playing such a fun game. I know I unlocked the door, but as to whether I retrieved the toy from the bowels of the toilet, I can't remember. I must have blocked that part from my mind. Suffice it to say that I was feeling slightly flustered.

Ethan wandered out of the stall and was sternly forbidden to go anywhere near any of the others, though he did try once or twice. Thankfully, there was a radiator in the room that managed to hold his attention. Unfortunately, it had a full-length mirror precariously perched on top. As I turned back to the now white diaper bag, Ethan reached the aforementioned mirror and proceeded to touch it. I later learned that the crash had been heard throughout the hall. (I just want to interject a note here - what kind of idiot places a mirror on top of a rounded radiator without attaching it whatsoever to the wall? Can anybody tell me?) Speechless and shocked, I quickly grabbed the little troublemaker off the floor and set him on the counter. Being brought up the way I was, I started the clean-up almost immediately. I left Ethan on the counter (I know, not a good idea, but really, was the floor any safer?) and picked up the larger pieces. And the medium pieces. And the small pieces. By hand. With no broom, no vacuum, no help. The tiny shards that I couldn't pick up, I swept up with a damp paper towel. Thank goodness Ethan was happy in the sink. It took me quite a while to get it all under control. I was not impressed.

After all was said and done, I finally got around to that diaper bag. I cleaned it all up to the best of my ability, got it organized, and repacked. I picked up Ethan who was still in the sink, and felt ... something. Something squishy. Oozing out of his pants and onto my arm. Without a change table in sight. I placed him back in the sink, washed myself, and got around to stripping him. The only clothes I had brought to change him into were still fairly dusty from the spilled formula powder, not to mention the diapers. When all was said and done, my baby was clean and dressed and smelled like powdered milk. I exited the bathroom just in time to hear the last song being sung and the last prayer being prayed.

1 comment:

Faith & Mark said...

I have to say, that's the way I remember hearing the story before, Carmen. It's unbelieveable, really when you think about it. But those details stick in your mind like it was yesterday, because I can barely recall a week ago. Sometimes a person just wants to rush through the story to shorten it, but - how can you? There's so much to tell!

Thanks for the reflection! (And by the way, the E-machine's 7 years aren't up yet HA HA HA HA!)

- Mark