Apparently, he has heard the message of future scarcity loud and clear and in his chubby infant wisdom, he has developed a way to insure his future survival in the Land of Less-Than-Plenty.
Using the only powers of persuasion available to him (he cannot overcome his perpetual cuteness, after all.) - i.e. pooping - he has effectively disuaded a great number of childless friends and perhaps even the vast majority of Richmond from ever having children at all.
It all began one sunny Saturday in early March. Our family travelled to Richmond to see Dan Zanes in concert with a veritable caravan of friends in tow. Every cool person in Lowesville with kids was in attendance, I guarantee.
Willoughby, unbeknownst to us, had been setting the stage for this performance by strategically not pooping for two days previous. A fact that I noticed, but did not find remarkable because he frequently does this sort of thing. Frankly, I always believed it to be involuntary biology. Even as a tiny, breastfed baby he would only poop once a day, sometimes even skip a day.
This is why we christened his resulting overflowing diapers as "Poo-namis!". Even though David said we were going to hell for such a thing, I kept herding the children down that road because, really, when your baby lays down 47 cups of bright yellow poop in a diaper, you can do one of two things. You can lose your mind or you can just make the best of it by, in some small way, making it funny.
Needless to say, I really hadn't been paying attention to Willoughby's pooplessness. My attention had been focused much more on my recommitment to cloth diapers and my swearing off of any disposable diapering regalia, including the incredibly convenient "baby wipes". Earlier in the day, I packed up more Fuzzi Bunz than one baby really needs, 400 wash cloths and a wet bag to hold the soiled nappies and we were on our way.
During the concert, Willoughby played his first card. He pooped. But a very manageable poop. Solid, well-formed. Easy to shake off in the toilet. No problem to clean up after. After this, whatever mindspace I'd been devoting to "Poop Watch" naturally shifted to other areas like holding W's hand for this 1,000th trip up and down the stairs and yelling at my two older children.
For Willoughby is a very beautiful child and also very good natured. You really don't look at him and expect that inside plots a true Machiavellian mind bent on gerrymandering the future population of the region in which he currently resides. He does not want you moderately affluent Richmondites, lured outside by the warmth of the coming spring, to reproduce yourselves. Those of you drawn to Careytown's shops and eateries; those of you who may raise future members of the House of Delegates, Senators or perhaps even Presidents; those of you witness to the biological spectacle that took place in the street on that day, I bet you are still rethinking that whole "having kids" thing.
Because when my child shits, oh, it is a mighty thing.
First off, location. Pooping in a hard wooden highchair is a thing I can remember experiencing, but indulge yourself a moment and ponder it. Where does the poop go when your fanny is flush against a hard surface? Well, Mythbusters, it goes up the back and out the sides. Any pants-type item will disguise this migration, but upon removal, say it with me Careytown! "The Poop, she does fly!"
But once set free, it really just lies there on the sidewalk, doesn't it? Because it'd just be too convenient for the restaurant to have a changing table in the restroom and it'd have been too far-thinking for me to have brought along the aforementioned 400-plus washcloths as well. And in a pinch, any flat surface and cheap old restaurant paper towels will do, right?
A concrete bench in front of a vacant storefront (Thanks, Struggling Economy!) really isn't the best place to change a baby covered in shit and no, Sprite from the sippy cup isn't the best liquid with which to moisten cheap restaurant paper towels, either. But it was all going well-ish. I was certainly laughing.
Our friends were horrified. Score one for Willoughby. There's a couple that regardless of their future together (which we hope is long, as they are both lovely people), that I'm pretty sure W. cured of any baby mindedness. And when I needed more paper (More paper! More paper!) and had to run back into the restaurant for more cheap paper towels mid-change, Willoughby, pantsless, diaperless (but not sock- or shoeless), looked his Daddy in the eye and just pissed everywhere.
Because that's what you do when you're in Richmond on a spring day, when everyone is out shopping and enjoying the weather, and you're a year old and want to narrow down your future competition.