I was fourteen years old and babysitting a toddler for a couple hours at his parents’ cabin. We had a wonderful time playing games and eating animal crackers. Right before his parents were due to return, he filled up his cloth diaper. I started to change him when I ran into a little problem: what to do with all the poop? You see, all the babies I’d previously sat for had disposable diapers. All I’d had to do was wad up the dirty diapers and toss them in the trash. I knew I couldn’t toss the cloth diaper, but I didn’t think I should put all that poop in the clothes hamper, either.
I knew the answer was right in front of me, but I had a major brain cramp. Where…did…the…poop…go? My mind froze and I panicked. The child’s parents would be arriving home any second. They must never, never know I didn’t understand this basic thing about child care, or they would laugh at me and never hire me again. After a few minutes of frantically racking my brain while the toddler ran around the kitchen, sans pants, I decided to try to think it through from another angle. “Where do we put food that we don’t want anymore?” I asked myself. “Aha! The garbage disposal!”
Feeling vaguely that it was wrong, but not knowing any other options, I emptied the diaper’s contents into the sink and, with a spoon, scooted the poop toward the drain. Feeling relieved that my ordeal was almost over, I hunted around for the garbage disposal switch. There wasn’t one; I had just clogged the drainpipe. At that instant, I had an epiphany: “The toddler’s poop goes in the toilet, you IDIOT! The same place YOUR poop goes!”
Crimson with shame at the extent of my spaciness, and mortified at what I had done, I hastily poured half a can of AJAX down the drain, and ran the water. I kept one eye on the clock, and one eye on the child as I frantically mashed down the remnants of poop that kept bobbing back up. I had just washed the spoon and scrubbed the sink for the hundredth time when the parents came home. I guiltily accepted their money and told them about our afternoon, omitting, of course, the diaper drama.
Apparently they never had any problems with their sink, because they asked me to babysit many times after that. I gladly did, being very careful from that point on to put human excrement in it’s proper receptacle.
Rachel – NH