The disaster, which many are already calling "the worst in recent history," started around 11:42 a.m. after an uneventful morning of typical babyhood activity. The infant in question, one Madelaine Elimae, was nursing on her mother's lap when the mother (identified only by the alias "Neb") reports "suddenly feeling something warm- disturbingly, really warm- on my lap. But I hadn't heard the typical pooping noises so didn't think much of it for a couple of minutes. Then when I looked, I saw it... it was horrible, just horrible."
Neb reports that a lake of raw liquid sewage had formed on her flannal pajama pants [ironically, near the scene of where a couple of chocolate chips had accidently gotten ground in last night], and that specks of poop were visible on the upholstered computer desk chair. When the baby was taken to the changing table for triage assessment, it was determined that amazingly, only 10% of the total fecal matter was actually contained IN the child's diaper- the rest was on her clothing, Neb's clothing, the furniture... and now the changing table cover.
Neb immediately took steps to remedy the situation.
"My first instinct was to call my mom, but I'd left the internet running so that option was out. Then I thought about waking up my husband, but I knew he was tired, so I decided to pull myself together and act like the 'Grown-Up Person'/Mother I really am."
Neb first evacuated the changing table of items like clothes and toys that were in the wake of the disaster, trying to minimize collateral damage. She then removed the baby's diaper and clothing, working layer by layer and using several boxes of baby wipes to remove as much of the gruesome material as possible.
"In every rescue operation of this kind, there's inevitably a crisis once the clothing is off and the diaper is opened: how to get the poop off the baby's BACK without then setting her back down into the puddle of poop formed on the changing table?"
Neb's solution in this particular case was to prop the baby up, clean her back with wipes, and then lay the child naked on the floor while drawing a bath and taking the risk that there would be no further elimination activity for the next couple of minutes. "It's a horrible risk to take," she said, "but it's the only way to make progress in the recovery efforts."
While experts praise Neb's calm, efficient response to the crisis, they also suggest that she is the one responsible for its occurrence in the first place. Says Wipsey McPamper'em, Chief of the National Diaper Leak Management Organization, "It's really the mother's poor diapering skills that are to blame for disasters of this kind. We usually see a much higher level of Diapering Competence in mothers of four-month-olds; this situation is just really an anomaly."
Friends who know the family well state that the father, known to some as "Nate," has much more normal diapering abilities, but that nearly every diaper Neb puts on results in what one neighbor described as "a poop inferno." "She just laughs it off," the unnamed source said. "She uses lots of Oxy-Clean and Shout Advanced Formula Stain Remover, and says that those get all the stains out of the baby's clothing."
But McPamper'em says that employing these kinds of strategies is a poor substitute for addressing the root problem: Maternal Diapering Incompetence, or, the more PC term, "Dysdiaperia." "Clearly the individual in this instance needs a lot of assistance in the form of Diapering Re-education. I mean, come on- she felt something REALLY WARM and didn't even react immediately to try to contain the spread of fluid? Any more experienced mother would recognize that poop can be so liquified that it DOESN'T make any noise coming out- and that in fact, these are some of the most deadly incidents."
Officials say that the soiled articles were collected in numerous grocery bags, awaiting to be sprayed down and laundered, but that the upholstered chair could only be spot-cleaned. Meanwhile, those displaced and left without clothes because of the incident received assistance from the American Red Cross in the form of warm showers/baths and clean clothing. Household Scheduling Management officials estimated that the total time spent cleaning up the disaster was close to a staggering half hour.
As for Neb, she says she's recovering from the incident with "...a lot of humor. Also some decaffeinated coffee with non-alchoholic Vanilla Rum creamer."
Baby Madelaine, just minutes before The Incident.