A Sensory Experience
November 5, 2007

We were two minutes late for church on Sunday morning. Sure we had an extra hour to get ready on account of daylight savings, but I'm quite sure the world would have tilted off its regular axis if we had been on time.

As Jared was unstrapping James from his carseat, he poked his head over the car's roofrack and asked, "Amy, what's all over his shirt and pants?"

I came around and took a look, but to be quite honest, I wasn't sure exactly what the crusty, white residue was--it certainly wasn't there when I dressed him fifteen minutes earlier.

"Banana" I said. It was probably banana. Or snot. Either way, it wasn't coming off with a baby wipe.

As we ran toward the church building, Jared turned to me and said, "Amy, I'm kind of embarrassed, James looks terrible. Should we take him home to change?" Jared wasn't acting even a hint over dramatic, James looked totally gross.

I agreed with Jared. I wanted to change James's outfit, too. But in true Lawson fashion, our laundry pile was almost touching the ceiling, so we didn't have much to change him into. It would have been either the Richard Simmons costume, a snowsuit, or a Nike basketball uniform--none of which are entirely appropriate for Sunday services.

We walked quickly into the chapel during the opening hymn, avoiding eye contact with every single member of the congregation, and settled into the third row from the front. James likes to keep himself occupied by flipping through the hymnal, so I wasn't surprised when I saw him pick it up. I was, however, surprised to hear the sound of paper rustling and ripping and James pleading for my help.

I looked down, and there was my child, freaking out because his sticky little fingers were stuck to Jared's favorite hymn: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.

As I began to unstick his hand, Jared gave me a disapproving look, scooted up next to me and whispered, "Amy. Why's he so sticky? When's the last time this kid had a bath?!"

I thought for a moment. "Tuesday," I replied.

"Tuesday?! You're disgusting."

I was offended, so I was like, "No, YOU'RE disgusting."

As it turns out, neither one of us is the truly disgusting member of the Lawson family--that honor very clearly belongs to James. Because thirty seconds later, we were greeted with a super nasty, recognizable smell...toddler poop.

James always denies his poops. Seriously, this kid could have a load in his pants the size of Las Vegas and he'll never own up to it. So instead of wasting my breath and asking about the treasure, I peeked into his pants.

No poop. Just a raging toot! I could hardly believe it.

Of course my husband failed to agree with my report and had to assess the situation for himself. He scooped James into his lap, pulled the diaper away from his back, and just as Jared inserted his nose, James let one rip.

It was loud, and it was nasty. You could literally hear the people sitting around us let out an expressive OHHHH! when it happened--you know, the same kind of OHHHH! you used to let out when your favorite contestant on Double Dare lost his balance and fell into the pool of jello. It's sort of like surprise, disgust and delight all wrapped into one.

And then, right on cue, James began to rightfully deny the existence of a poop. With great vigor.


At that point, we could bear no further humiliation, and had to remove our child from the chapel. Our loud, smelly, dirty, sticky child. And I bet, if we had licked him, he would have tasted kind of sour, too.

When we were safely in the hall, Jared didn't stop. He continued walking right to the men's bathroom where he proceeded to bathe James with hand soap and papertowels. When they finally emerged, about fifteen minutes later, Jared was looking pretty worn out, but still managed to wear a very satisfied looking smile.

"Well, you look proud" I said.

"I am" he replied. "I'm no longer embarrassed to be this kid's father."

I, on the other hand, am not quite over it just yet. Next Tuesday's bath can't come soon enough.


jahowie said...

OMG!!! I'm laughing my a$$ off here!!!

Anonymous said...

I think I just pulled something while trying NOT to laugh out loud. Thanks for making my day (again)!

Melinda said...

Oh, Amy, you've got me laughing so hard! Unfortunately we have some of those types of embarrassing times in church, too, so I totally know where you're coming from.

P.O.M. said...

Oh my gosh. It really does seem that alot of embarassing things happen in church. Why is that? The silence, the hyper-alert congregation?

Doug said...

Holy (lack of?) crap Amy. That was some good stuff, ohh my aching side!

Cathy said...

If that post doesn't win you the Funniest Blog Award, then the thing is obviously rigged. I tried to read some of the other entries and I did not even crack a smile.

In my world, poopy diaper humor always wins over dry political humor!!

chattypatra said...

What are you babbling about, Amy? I didn't notice ANY of this! Then again, I was in the back doing my simultaneous interpretation gig, so I might have been slightly distracted at the time. Hee.

Did you ever figure out what the sticky stuff was?

amberbeemiller said...

I am laughing sooo hard. I take three kids to church - BY MYSELF and I needed to know that there are people out there with more humiliating church stories than me.

Topher said...

Dude, you totally should have dressed James in his Richard Simmons costume for nursery. Two hours is a long time for a nursery leader, and having a fabulous superstar in there would have made the stale animal cracker treats taste just a little bit better for the other kids. We go to a ward where tortilla chips serve as the nursery snack of choice.

One idea: maybe your husband should share his bum crack deoderant technique with James. Just a thought, but since you put that info out there...

Marc and Megan said...

ROFL! That was hilarious to read! I can't imagine how hard it would be to sit through the rest of the meeting with a straight face! :)

Anonymous said...


Too bad I was on the front row! I never even saw you guys come in late, much less witness the drama.


Grandma said...

You could make him a necklace out of car air fresheners....or you could give my grandson a bath.)

Michemily said...

Holy cow, my roommate who is home right now must be wondering what in the world is going on in here. Ha ha ha! Thanks for the uplift, I guess I've realized I can't do it without you!

Michemily said...

P.S. This reminds me of the never-forgotten story that my sister Amy (bankheadadventures) barfed into my Dad's mouth when she was a baby.