Thursday, August 09, 2012

A POO STORY (or, "The Joys of Being a Grandma")

It was August of last year that my husband and I were at the home improvement store with our two-year-old granddaughter. She had suffered a bout of diarrhea the past few days but we thought she was on the road to recovery, so we didn’t think too much about it when we set off on our little shopping trip. We were enjoying walking around with her, letting her explore the merchandise, when suddenly we heard, “SQUIRRRRRTTTTT!” I thought, “Oh no. And I didn’t bring a diaper or wipes!” So I took her into the larger handicapped stall, pulled down the changing pad, hoisted her up onto it, and inspected the damage. It was pretty bad. Luckily the toilet paper was within reach, so I held onto her with my left hand while grabbing wads of toilet tissue with my right hand, wiping her bottom and flinging the whole gooey mess across the room into the toilet. As is common with store toilet tissue, it was very thin and I had to keep pulling and pulling to get enough, and even then, it melted into nothingness as soon as it hit moisture. The diaper was still pretty soggy but I did the best I could. Then I folded up a huge wad of toilet paper, put it over her butt, re-fastened the diaper, flushed the toilet, washed my hands, and we continued shopping. I told Grandpa of our ordeal. It was so comical we had to laugh. Of course I cleaned her up better when we got home.

Cut to July 2012, less than a year later, and my husband and I are in the same home improvement store with our now fully potty-trained granddaughter and her 8-month old brother. I had been assured that Grandson’s bowel movements were already taken care of that morning and that there would be no need for the diaper bag. I did, however, have an emergency diaper I always keep in the car. I had learned that much. Well imagine our surprise when we smelled that old familiar aroma wafting out of his little behind. “Oh no,” I said. “I have a diaper this time, but no wipes!” We got the diaper and headed toward the bathroom.

“Why don’t YOU change him?” I said to Grandpa. “He’s a boy, you’re a boy; you can go into the boy’s bathroom!”

“I’M not changing him,” Grandpa replied. “YOU do it!”

Sigh. Okay. So I carried heavy 20+ pound Grandson into the stall, pulled down the changing pad and inspected the damage. I was hoping it would be a nicely-formed chunk, but no, it was all gooey and green and even up his back. I unfolded the new diaper and put it at his feet. Then I held his legs up in the air with my left hand while pulling out wads of the usual totally inadequate toilet paper with my right hand, wiping his little butt and depositing it in the dirty diaper. I couldn’t help but remember last year’s episode. At least there was no poo-flinging this time. I did, however, have to make sure Baby Boy didn’t spray me (or himself or the wall). He was also wiggling and fussing, uncomfortable that Grandma was tightly holding his legs up in the air so long, and I had to try and keep his hands away from his behind and his feet out of the used diaper.

After wiping as best I could, I quickly put the clean diaper on his residue-laden butt before he decided to make wee-wee, hoisted him up and carried him to the sink. I laid him down on the counter to wash my hands and noticed that there was some stain on his leg. There were no paper towels, and I couldn’t just leave him lying at the sink, so I had to carry him to the nearest stall and grab more toilet paper, carry him back to the sink, wet the toilet paper and wipe his leg and then carry him to the waste basket to throw it out. I repeated this several times, soon breaking a sweat. I then stuffed a wad of tissue under the elastic that looked like there was a stain on it. He laid there looking up at me and grinning. I could just hear him thinking, “This is fun, Grandma!” I grinned back at his cute, beaming little face.

Then I rinsed my hands and wanted to dry them but there were only those hand-blowers and I didn’t want to have to hold this heavy baby while using it, and also I was afraid the noise might scare him, so I just picked him up with my wet fingers and lugged him back out to the cart and continued shopping. I told Grandpa all about our adventure, and again, it was so comical we had to laugh. When we arrived home, I handed him to Mommy and advised her to hose him down.

Moral of the story: Always bring a diaper AND wipes. Always. And no matter what happens, remember how fun it is to be a grandma. I love it, poo and all.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


Okay, guys: You’re enjoying a relaxing dinner in a restaurant with a nice young lady, when you start making marriage plans, talking about the children you’ll have together, introduce her to your parents who appear out of nowhere, and take a photo of everyone together for the next Christmas card—and it’s only your first date. Is this a good thing or not? If you’re stumped, here is the video for you!

Amateur filmmaker David Mills has put together a “survival guide” that will answer these and many other questions about the world of dating. I recently stumbled across this video on YouTube and thought I’d watch a couple of minutes just to see what it was like, but ended up viewing the entire 30 minute production, smiling and chuckling away.

The video actually is geared toward members of his church, but it could apply to anyone. And it’s just plain fun to watch whether you’re single or an old married lady like me! Entitled “YSA: Survival Guide to Dating”, the comedic short film guides a group of friends as they learn “what not to do and what not to say to girls.” YSA stands for Young Single Adults, a group in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or “Mormons”). I’m a convert to the Mormon Church and so during my dating years I was not around any young, awkward LDS boys like those depicted in this video. I went about finding a husband the old-fashioned way: picked a guy I liked at college, went after him and got hitched before he knew what hit him. (Well actually it wasn’t quite that simple.)

For David, the idea for the film came after he was divorced and found himself back in the singles ward, or congregation.

“I felt out of place,” he said. “So I decided to combine my passion for film-making and my situation of dating again and make a movie about dating.”

To get ideas and insight, he passed out surveys to church members on what girls want on first dates, with questions about favorite activities and places to eat.

“I even had summit meetings with various girls to talk about problems with dating,” he said.

David, who has a bachelor’s degree in film from the University of Las Vegas, collaborated on the production with his older brother Brian. Together they make up the filmmaking duo “The Brothers Mills” which is their YouTube user name. They have completed three short films together about dating, and have several side projects as well.

“Making movies is my passion,” said David, who was born and raised in Las Vegas. “I can honestly say the movie turned out better than I had hoped. The cast did an amazing job and most had never acted before.”

The cast was comprised of people from his ward and one other singles ward. It took several months to complete due to problems ranging from scheduling conflicts to audio mishaps, not to mention David’s broken toe which halted production for three weeks.

“So we had several setbacks, and there were times when I didn’t think this would ever get made,” he said.

The production starts out with a group of guys gathered around the TV screen, coffee table littered with chips and other snacks while they are intently involved in a video game. Someone mentions that they can’t believe one of their friends missed this because he was out with a girl.

“Who needs dates when you have video games?” says one young man. “Like there’s anyone to even date,” says another. Cut to a scene showing a group of lonely young women spending the evening date-less. Then we’re back to the boys when suddenly a loud, stern, boot-camp drill sergeant guy dressed in full camouflage appears out of nowhere and the group is off the couch, standing at attention.

“On your feet, maggots!” he bellows with his in-your-face attitude. “Play time’s over! Is this the best this ward has to offer? No wonder there’s so many single women in this ward! You losers couldn’t hit the ground if you fell out of an airplane! It’s time to start DATING!”

And date they do, with some much-needed support. One young man stands at the front door waiting for the young lady to appear. “Ring the doorbell, MORON!” shouts the man in camouflage, who only the clueless guy can see. So he rings the doorbell. She answers. “Compliment her! NOW!” The young man tells the girl that she has nice shoes. And so their romantic evening begins.

“One of the main goals of the movie was to point out problems with dating, so that we (guys and girls) can fix the problem,” David explains. “For example, some people might be unaware of how annoying it is when your date is on their phone.”

Indeed, the film demonstrates that making your date your priority is a must. We see one couple dining at a restaurant when the guy takes a text message and is very upset about something that happened to someone.

“Is that a good friend of yours?” she asks, concerned.

“It’s worse! He’s on my fantasy football team! He’s my top scorer!” he replies, whipping out his computer to “change the lineup” of his game.

Another dating no-no is to avoid faking an interest just so your date will like you. (“Wow, I can’t believe we both like crocheting!”)

Throughout the movie we see more entertaining and often surrealistic skits and scenarios where the guys learn how to dress, where to take their date, how to improve their confidence without being overbearing, and how to avoid being what might be considered “creepy”. We even get to hear a couple sing a duet professing their feelings for one another.

“Guys and girls have the same goal of getting married, but often it feels like not only are we not on the same page, but not even in the same book,” David says. “I hope that the movie was successful. I hope that people realize that they might have bad dating habits that they need to change.”

Click here to watch The Survival Guide to Dating. You might also enjoy the short trailer or teaser, which is a parody of those classic 1950’s PSA videos. Trust me, even if you’re not in the dating scene, you’ll like it. So just do it, moron! NOW!