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05/29/2005

Keep your powder dry and your wipes wet

Most of you will laugh that I even bother to post about this.

Yesterday we were taking Charlie for a ride -- ostensibly to the cheese-and-chocolate outlet by way of the gas station that for no good reason appears to charge 20 cents a gallon less than anywhere else in the state. He's been a bit fussy since getting stabbed three times in the leg for his six-month birthday, and we thought it might calm him. (As a science geek, I also pointed out that if he started crying really loud we could just run the car up to mach 1 and outrun the soundwaves.)

Of course, halfway through the trip Charlie went from twisting his head around to look forward at me with big appealing eyes to calling out for attention to calling out rather more urgently for food. No problem, we just waited him out for a few miles and pulled into the first available parking lot, at a disused carwash, and I got the bottle out of his carefully prestocked bag. He fit neatly across my lap as he ate, only occasionally kicking his carseat or thumping his head against the passenger door.

Cue one gastrocolic reflex. Also no problem -- the bag has long been stocked with diapers -- in his current size yet -- and moist wipes. Which were after a month or so of no in-car events about as moist as a civil-defense cracker from 1955.

We are gifted improvisers, and Charlie did just fine being changed and mostly cleaned under the shelter of a liftgate and an open carwash booth. Whoever empties the dumpster at the apartments across the way, my thanks and apologies.

So now we know to rotate our stock of moist wipes, and all the more-experienced folks out there are shaking their heads at the exponentially more messy hijinks that await us. But every day we do something new with Charlie without utterly screwing up I like to imagine at least a tiny glow of accomplishment, and that was yesterday's.

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