On Friday I picked up my daughter from the sitter and walked home. The sun had a clear shot to earth and was blazing down in all its glory. Not a cloud in sight. I pulled the sun shade over her stroller.
Now, my daughter is a little cutie. Whenever I take her out people smile and wave at her in her stroller (she waves at everyone). This happens everyday. Except today. People squinted. Eyebrows raised. Heads leaned to the side. People looked at her strange. One gentlemen in particular walked past her and immediately, the “I smell old milk” expression settled on his face.
“What the hell?”
I stopped the stroller and went around to look at her. I discovered that while we walked the two blocks home she’d pooped. Not only did she poop but she was reaching into her pamper through her little shorts, grabbing handfuls of poop, and smearing it all over herself. Doodiegate 2016. I cleaned up her hands the best I could with a blanket and ran the rest of the way to my apartment where I placed her, clothes and all, into a soapy bath.
While I’m washing the poop off my little one I couldn’t help but feel annoyed. Not with the her. She was a baby doing what babies will do. I was annoyed with the guy. And all the other people we passed. Why didn’t anyone say anything?
Did they think I was aware of the poop debacle and co-signed her rubbing herself down with feces?
Did they think they’d hurt my feelings?
Did they think someone would eventually tell me or I’d eventually notice myself so they shouldn’t help the cause?
But why let a child wallow in filth for a second longer than they have to? This event got me thinking about the bystander effect as a whole and how our society functions primarily from a self preservation standpoint rather than a communal standpoint. Would it really have hurt anyone to tell me my daughter was covered in poop? No, not at all. But they took in this scene, processed it, and somehow put it in the category as “Not my problem”.
How many other things are we leaving covered in poop? How many other issues could benefit from someone saying, “Hey, this thing you’re responsible for is covered in shit. You should fix it”?
There can’t be this many of us crammed into one place for us to go it alone. There has to be a reason why other people were able to see what was obstructed to me. I want your eyes, your ears, and your perspective in most uncreepiest way. Get involved. Because it’s the same fear of getting involved that allows the wrong people to take the lead and push the stroller along with all of us inside covered in filth.
Please tell me if my daughter, or my life, or my words, or my actions, or my laws are covered in poop and I will do the same. If we do this we offer one another something invaluable. A choice. A chance to clear the poop away before other things…the flies, the maggots of this world get to it and breed new life. At that point it becomes more than we can contain.