This post can stand alone, but there is history behind the peeing baby. If you want to fully appreciate the history you need to read the Smithsonian posts here and here.
Returning from our recent trip to California I had to fly home with the four girls by myself. It shouldn't have been a big deal as the girls are self-sufficient these days... Except we forgot to Redbox (if you don't do this you should really check it out!) some new movies for the DVD players... And the batteries for the DVD players couldn't seem to hold a charge... I sighed to myself as I mentally transitioned from 7 hours of leisurely reading and napping as the girls slipped into a movie-induced coma... to playing 9,465,782 games of hangman.
In a fit of hangman desperation I whipped out the ubiquitous Sky Mall magazine. My kids love animals so sent them on a scavenger hunt through the magazine. They were to make a list of all the different animals they could find and whoever found the most would win a prize. The kids flipped furiously through the magazine eagerly making their lists. My kids are a little bit competitive with one another. The prospect of a prize on top of that? I figured I could get at least half an hour out of this.
I spent the next 20 minutes alternating between working on my to-do list and trying to figure out what in the heckity-heck I was going to award the winner as a "prize." I had nothin'. I was so caught up in my musings that at first I didn't even notice my 7 year-olds laughing. And then I heard it:
"naked baby... giggle, giggle... peeing... giggle, snort... whisper, whisper.... pickle... little pickle!"
As a sick feeling of deja vu flooded over me I peeked over to see what they'd found and had to choke back a groan of dismay. The giggling was getting louder. The grandmotherly woman in front of us who was so taken by my children and their impeccable manners (her words, not mine) at the beginning of the flight turned around in her seat to see what it was that had my twins doubled-over with laughter.
My spidey-senses kicked in as I realized what was about to happen, and I hastily tried to snatch the Sky Mall magazines away from the girls. I wasn't quick enough. I only got Emily's. The elderly woman was half out of her seat and fully turned around and facing us as she smiled benevolently at my girls. Before I could fully gather my wits she asked, "What's so funny you little imps?"
Abby and Emily, being identical twins, occasionally do this stereotypical tag-team thing where they talk fast and finish each other's thoughts in rapid-fire succession. It happens fast and there is literally no break in the conversation. This time it went something like this:
Abby: (holds up Sky Mall magazine page 80 to display the nearly four foot fountain of a peeing naked baby. Just like we saw at the Smithsonian)
Emily: It's a naked baby...
Abby: It's a peeing naked baby...
Emily: He's peeing in the pool!
Abby: He's peeing with his little pickle!
Emily: Little pickle, little pickle!!!
Both: giggle, snort, giggle (they're pretty slap-happy at this point)
I finally snapped out of it and silenced them, but I was a little late. My spidey-senses are getting seriously rusty. I thought spidey-senses are supposed to be ageless... The grandmotherly woman with the benevolent smile had magically transformed into an icily judgemental old biddy. As she turned away and took her seat her expression made it clear what she thought of the girls. I made eye contact with a businessman seated diagonally a row ahead of us. He winked conspiratorially and I smiled weakly in return.
And then, just as I took a few literal and figurative deep breaths and wrapped myself in my rapidly fraying dignity, a very, very bad smell, like a malfunctioning port-a-potty smell, made it's presence undeniably known on the plane. One of my other daughters (ahem, Rachel)... who was wearing headphones.... and listening to music... loud music... addressed her sister, with whom she was sitting in a row across the aisle from the twins and myself, in a booming voice and said,
"Oh, man! Hannah was that you?! Do you have gas?! That smells bad. BAD! Jeez Hannah, are you sick?!" And she would have gone on. In a very. loud. voice...
Did I mention she was LOUD? I was trying to get her attention and tell her to pipe down, but she was in a different row and oblivious to me... Apparently we need to work on voice moderation while listening to our iPods. I'm fairly certain the entire back half of the plane heard the full play-by-play of both the pickle scene as well as the stink scene.... The businessman who had been winking at me conspiratorially less than a minute ago? He shot a little of the Diet Coke he was sipping out his nose. Seriously. I really hope he didn't dirty his tie.
Oddly, the next five hours proceeded without incident.
And yet I never quite relaxed again...
NOTE: Hannah has not read this yet, but I am certain she would want you to know that she was not the source of the "odor" on the plane. We were seated near the lavatory, though. I'll leave it at that.