As much as people describe little babies as “gifts from the Lord,” I don’t know if Jonah has been hipped to that rap, man. He doesn’t understand words like purity or piety. He just does whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Unfortunately for me, Jonah hasn’t begun the time-honored practice of the church face.
For the uninitiated, the “church face” is the frozen smile that often accompanies those people who, just fifteen minutes before they walked into the sanctuary, were screaming at the children, “Jesus doesn’t like it when we fight!!!”
Or they were screaming at the traffic, “Get out of the way or I will begin a quick regiment of road rage!”
Or, they were screaming at their spouse, “If you’re not out here in thirty seconds, I am driving to church without you! I don’t care if you are scheduled to preach!”
Jonah doesn’t understand these church practices.
To be honest, the only time I used the word “holy” around Jonah has been in response to something unholy that his little body has created.
Sunday works as the elementary children’s associate in our church. Her job consists mainly of keeping tabs on workers, getting supplies together and providing leadership in the children’s ministry, under the guidance of the children’s minister. I say all this to say that Sunday leaves the house early on Sunday mornings to get things ready for the services, leaving Jonah and me alone to get ready.
If you’re worried about Jonah having to go to church in some form of undress (or distress) don’t get nervous. J-dawg and I get to church before the service is over, most Sundays. There was one Sunday, however, that I thought I would have to convert to Judaism, so I could have an excuse for staying home.
If you recall, Jonah has a reputation for blowouts. On one particularly lovely Sunday morning, I woke him up, the birds were singing, the angels were hovering around his bed and I thought he looked almost perfect. I fed him, changed him, and put him back in his bed so that I could shower. I was going to change him before we left, so that his pukes and such could be saved for the nasty onesie he wore overnight. Thus, when I came back to put him in his cute outfit his mother picked out, the aforementioned birds and angels were still doing their thing and I thought, “I am the superDad of the month.”
I changed him and then, it happened. The most awful noise I have ever heard came from his small gastrointestinal system and he looked up at me as if to say, “I did a boom-boom in my britches. I think it’s your turn to clean it up.”OR, he could have been saying. “Clean me up. I’m the one with all the nice clothes, nice bed, nice room. I don’t even know why I’m staying with you guys.”
OR, he could have been saying. “Is that my hand? I have such nice hands. Why do I smack myself so much?”
At any rate, the “blowout” had reared its ugly head, with devastating results. As I proceeded to wipe him, I realized—and so did Jonah—that he wasn’t quite finished.
Question: What’s worse than a diaper full of poop?
Answer: A hand full of poop.
I felt like those monkeys in the zoo who continuously carry a steaming handful around, just in case. If he were a little older—say, by about ten years—I would have handed it back to him to deal with. As he was only a month and a half old, I was the man. If you know anything about poop, it doesn’t quite come out in one lump. It more splatters than thuds, so I had to change my clothes as well as Jonah’s.
It was so bad, that I had to bathe him before I could take him to church. As I was bathing him, I felt a warmth on my chest that I had never felt before. I looked down and realized that Jonah was peeing on me.
He looked at me as if to say, “two for two. Not bad.”
Or, he could have been saying, “I really don’t want to go to church today. I’d rather stay here and eat in the supine position.”
Or he could have been saying. “Daddy smells like stinky AND tinkle.”
Finally, I got him all ready and dressed and to the church and somebody with a professional church face came up to me and asked, “How’s fatherhood treating you?” While I lost my grip on my church face and said, “It’s pretty crappy sometimes.”