From the outset I'll state that this is not for those with a weak gag reflex.
I'm made of hardy stuff when it comes to confronting sewage head-on and tackling general stenches, but the undesirable flavour of this particular episode is still triggering the back of my throat and we're a couple of days into the after action report.
So, you get the gist, I'm talking about a Poonami situation. However, I'm calling it The Crapocalypse.
I genuinely don't find the odour of baby turds offensive, in fact I quite like it. It's almost sweet to the sniff. Maybe that's weird, but there we go. So, given that I'm 11 months into child number 2, maybe it was sheer shock at the stomach churning wafts that made things more dramatic on this memorable day.
We were on our way back from a real treat of an excursion out for my girls – yep you guessed it, I took them to B&Q to buy some wood filler. To be fair A-bomb thoroughly enjoyed asking for the name and function of every single items on every single shelf. The Guvnor ate her bodyweight in sweetcorn fritters and sweet potato and did not give a flying fudgestick where we were.
Wood filler, garden refuse burner, oversized coloured play-mats and two children were bundled into the car. All of the appropriate pre-drive checks had been made before entry to the vehicle. Wees had been done for the two eldest (me included) and a thorough sniff and ALL-CLEAR had been given to the youngster. We set off on the 12-minute journey.
I was quietly smug to myself (lucky as the 2 chumps in the back wouldn't have understood) that we'd nailed a DIY material collection and had partaken in an exciting while extensive lunch (on a megastore mezzanine) during the between-nap window. We were due to arrive home for circa 1330 – perfect for the afternoon sleep session for both kids. A fine achievement, worthy of a large self-pat on the back.
Five minutes into the journey an unpleasant whiff passed under my snout. I asked A-bomb if she needed to use a lavatory. "No, I don't need a poo daddy and i didn't do a fart". I had no reason to disbelieve her. She's honest and very well trained.
I'd hoped I could put the toxic smell down to an open window and an eggy road drain or suchlike, but alas the stifling scent was sticking with us and with that, intensifying. At this stage it was inevitable that a sharty party had taken place in The Guvnor's car seat. These things happen. So be it. We'd be home in minutes to get everything cleaned up. Poor little thing.
I briefed my second-in-command that once home we would need to work fast. The baby and I would tackle the nappy situation while she was to provide entertainment to the perpetrator, who does enjoy a backflip and roll while being changed. The toddler agreed.
I parked up, unplugged both girls. Inspected the younger - Oh goodness, there had been some serious action. The evidence had made it through to the outer layer of clothing. There were three layers. Not to worry, these things happen. Also, the girl hadn't as much as raised an eyebrow, so wasn't distressed.
I raced upstairs with Turd Features and beckoned the A-bomb to follow.
"NO! I'M STAYING HERE!" she said, helpfully.
Perfect. Tantrums are pretty rare from this toddler (Praise any higher being for that) but she decided to have one at this point, when i was about to go pretty dung ho into Turdmageddon.
I had no option but to leave Child One to stamp her feet and be a brat at the bottom of the stairs. I maintained communication, to negate injuries, but had to begin stripping down Child Two.
Only once the top layer was off did I quite realise the magnitude of the situation. Brown matter was oozing underneath her vest and already my hands were wet with the faecal fallout. As expected she was desperate to down a side-roll into the polluted abyss and was annoyed that I wasn't letting her.
I needed to act fast. Too long without full muck clearance was going to end with hands in the brown stuff and the worst kind of meal. I'm talking about the 11-month-old. I wasn't hungry.
So, she was de-clothed in rapid time and her appearance at this stage – still with an indifferent expression on her face – was quite frankly unacceptable. One for the wedding slideshow.
The only thing for it was to sluice her down with the shower, while sitting in the bath. Good idea Daddy! The creature can't walk, so clearly I had to take the hit and carry her, sludge and all, to the hosing arena.
Nope! I'd forgotten to let the water out the previous night, so there was cold, stagnant water awaiting us. I did contemplate it, but a child sitting in a soup of old water, bath toys and fresh excrement was a step too far.
Luckily we have a separate shower. Perhaps this was the reason why?! For ever more I will only reside in a house with a backup shower. You never know when you'll be driving back from collecting wood fillers and...
In she went, happy as a pig in, yeh...
Almost done and I hear from the other one.
"Daddy, I've had an accident." "Pardon, darling? What's happened?" "Daddy, I've had an accident."
The shower was turned off. I carried the clean child to the top of the stairs to take a look. A-bomb looked at me sheepishly while clambering awkwardly up the stairs she'd originally refused to broach. She was doing her best John Wayne impression.
"Fiddly dee," i though to myself.
"ok, never mind! It's only an accident" I said. My head was about to implode with the thought of exactly how and when the smell was every going to leave my life.
I was still juggling the younger one while attempting to limit the damage a 2.5-year-old might do with loaded pants. It's a different prospect when a toddler, as opposed to a baby, is armed with such ammunition.
"Don't move. Stay there," I said calmly.
"I'm just going to put her to bed and I'll be back in 10 seconds...please just stand still."
"Ok, Daddy," she whispered, melting my heart.
The baby played the game. All dressed and put to bed without a fuss in under 30 seconds. She's a diamond, apart from what happened above.
I returned to the bathroom to find A-bomb not so much standing still as sitting down on her sizeable produce trying to pull her soiled pants from her legs. Streaky.
I don't think I even said anything. I simply went straight back into Poo Surgery (alternative meaning for purjury? Nah). I put my poor hands into her clothes, collected the not insignificant solid hellish ball of waste, tossed it into the toilet, took off child's clothes, tossed child into the shower and sprayed every ounce of debris into the plug hole.
And that was about it. The toddler went straight to sleep. I went in search of a dark room full of sweet summer smells, where I could cry a little bit. I didn't find one so simply began the clean up.
One additional point to add was that at the absolute mess zenith, when fingernails were most encrusted, one baby was being hosed down while the toddler was having an "accident", I got a few picture messages through on my slime-covered phone showing my darling wife drinking wine on the new work "roof terrace". I was so happy for her.
"Have another glass, it looks delicious," I thought.
The whole thing was a fairly disgusting and mind-altering experience but I'm taking the positives out of it as there were some valuable lessons to be learned.
The Crapocalypse has taught me to never, EVER be smug about anything, even when I think I'm ahead of the "timings" game and nailing life as DIY legend. I also learned that when anyone has got two or more children, even if 99 per cent of the time the logistics work and the beasts love each other, there WILL be days when everything conspires against you and you WILL end up covered in sloppy, stinking manure.
The final lesson was simply: don't take your kids to B&Q, their retribution will be worse than you can imagine.