Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Tale of the Tai Po Poo-plosion (not for the squeamish)

The afternoon started off quite normally. Lauren and I enjoyed a late lunch of Chinese cuisine after a busy morning shopping with Tirzah in tow. We needed groceries for tea, so we wandered into the local supermarket Park-n-Shop above the Tai Po train station. As the stroller was needed for our day's shopping purchases, Tirzah was happily ensconced in the shopping trolley. Suddenly a foul odour floated back towards me from the direction of my darling child. Hoping it was only a bad case of wind, I reluctantly cast my eyes in the direction of her nappy. It was a poo, all right. And the reason that I knew without a doubt it was the real deal was because I could see it erupting from the back of her nappy like lava from a volcano. It was the dreaded poo-plosion.

Dealing with a full nappy is nothing new to this mother of three. However, on this particular day I had used up all my spare nappies and even worse I had no change of clothes with me. I was also due to pick up the kids from school in ten minutes. While I was contemplating my options, Tirzah's poo had become smeared all along the inside of the shopping trolley. Lauren was absolutely no help in the matter either, laughing hysterically as I tried in vain to scoop poo back into the overflowing nappy WITH MY BARE HANDS. She managed to stop cackling long enough to hand me some nappy wipes and tell me she would meet me at school after I had cleaned up her niece and myself.

I whizzed along to the baby care aisle to choose a new packet of nappies, then rushed through the checkout with my purchase trying not to engage in any conversational pleasantries with the checkout lady so as not to offend any store customers with the pong coming from our general direction. "To the parents room", I thought. But then we we hit the escalators.

There was no earthly way to get the shopping trolley down the escalator, and absolutely no lift in sight. I had to haul poo-up-her-back Tirzah out of the trolley and leave the cart there, smelly deposit and all. I smooshed the new packet of nappies against her backside to try to hide the ugly sight from passers-by. Then Tirzah and I bolted for the toilets. The baby change table proved quite elusive and I briefly contemplated changing Tirzah on the floor in a dark corridor before we finally struck gold in another ladies restroom. I totally stripped Tirzah and used about three hundred and seven nappy wipes to clean her from head to toe, plus everything else that the poo had touched, including her shoes and my handbag. (Yuck!) Needless to say, the toilet attendant was not impressed with the way we funkified her domain. She held the door open the entire time we were cleaning up to try in vain to air out the room, muttering occasionally under her breath about foreigners and their malodorous children.

Well, eventually Tirzah emerged clean with a new nappy. However, with no change of clothes we were forced to walk back through the shopping centre, train station, and along the road to Keegan's school in a near-nude state. I wouldn't have minded if it were Western Australia in the middle of summer. Aussies are happy for any excuse to wear as little as possible. However, here in Hong Kong the people are much more prude (pruder?). Tirzah attracts a lot of attention as it is, but when the people saw all that chubby white flesh on view we drew stares by the thousand. The adults nudged each other and giggled quietly behind their hands, but the local school children we passed pointed unabashedly and shouted in laughter at the spectacle. We caused quite a scene.

When we eventually slunk red-faced into the carpark at Keegan's school, I decided we needed a new plan of action. I could not take Tirzah home on the public bus in just a nappy; we were at risk of causing a major cultural faux pas. One of Keegan's classmates has a little sister around the same age as Tirzah, so I bravely asked her mother if she might have some spare clothes with her. She didn't have any toddler clothes, but one of the Dads kindly offered us a clean t-shirt from the boot of his car. Lauren and I couldn't help but laugh at Tirzah as she did a happy little Ewok dance in a shirt that was miles too big, and I snapped this photo to remember the afternoon's adventure.

And the moral of this story, dear readers, is two-fold: Never leave home without a change of clothes for your child. And if you happen to visit our particular Park-n-Shop in Tai Po, I'd give the shopping carts a miss if I were you; there's a certain trolley that will never be the same again.


  1. Ah, so well written Renee - you had me in stitches! What an experience - one you're not likely to forget, (even if you want to!)

  2. Oh Renee!!!!!!!!!! AAAAGGGGGHHH!I have been cracking up!!! You poor thing though!! Love the photo of Tirzah!!!

  3. You made me laugh so much- a good start to our Monday morning!! Hope you are all well and well done Tirzah for knowing so many signs. Adam has 'finished' and 'please' at the moment.
    Miss you guys xxxxxthe Hunts xxxxxx

  4. Bwahahahaha! *wipes tears from eyes*

    Oh dear. I've been in similar situations. It's always more amusing in hindsight, isn't it?