It’s always around. Someone is always touching it, smelling like it, wanting to look at it, talking about it, telling you that the dinner you made looks like it…
Poop. It’s everywhere.
Growing up, my family was incredibly immature and tactless (if not shamefully hilarious) in the area of bathroom habits and bodily functions. So when I met my husband, there was no hope. We were friends before anything romantic developed, and he witnessed his fair share of burps and…things. Ten years into our marriage and I am only slightly embarrassed and ashamed by my behavior. Ah, the days of our youth. He didn’t get scared off, so maybe it wasn’t quite as bad as I like to remember.
Despite my “everybody poops” upbringing, I am still shocked daily as to just how much there is and how much it gets discussed. I don’t feel like I was fairly warned before becoming a mother. No one told me just how much poop there would really be or how much I would change because of it. I remember my grandmother once telling me the key to a long-lasting marriage was to never discuss politics or bathroom matters with your husband. I don’t know where on earth she got this philosophy, since she has two kids and inevitably HAD to discuss diapers and such with my grandfather at some point. They were divorced long before I was born, though, so this may not be the best advice to heed.
Why are our children so obsessed with poop? You would think that it was some sort of sacrificial love offering, the way they bring it you in their hands proudly, diaper discarded somewhere yet to be found. Does it help us bond with our children? Is it some hormonal act of nurturing, like sniffing our new babies, that helps us not kill them later in life when they’re old enough to know better than to hide their poop? Do they not think we have anything better to do than wonder who pooped and where?
I’ll admit that while my kids are small, poop can be validating. I choose to exclusively breastfeed, and one of the benefits is that my babies rarely if ever get constipated. So, with each sweet and sour smelling, mustard yellow diaper comes the whisper of, “Good job mom! Everything in here is working just like it’s supposed to!” It’s like the time I got my first A in college. You feel proud! “Hey, I made that happen!” I can’t be the only one, ya’ll. You know you’ve gotten excited about poop at sometime throughout your life as a parent. Don’t pretend you didn’t gleam with just a hint of pride the last time your pediatrician asked about Little Johnny’s bathroom habits and you got to proudly exclaim that he goes twice a day like clockwork. Pat yourself on the back.
Then of course there are the times you swell with pride not because of your little’s bathroom habits, but because you realize, “I made the right choice in you as my life’s partner”! Take my word for it: it WILL be because of poop at least once. Or multiple times, if you’re as lucky as me.
For instance, there was the time…
-Our first baby (K1) was about 10 months old and ate “rabbit dropping” like poop out of his diaper. My husband saved the day by doing a very professional looking “scoop and swoop” with one finger through K1’s mouth while I stood horrified and gagging.
-I had just put on our brand new bedspread and hubby brought K1 in from the bathtub and stood him up on our bed. He squatted and started pooping, and my dear, dear husband cupped his hands and caught it, waiting with surprising amount patience and a face of complete disgust while he finished the deed.
-Our daughter took off her diaper in the hall as she was about to get in the bath and pooped all over the floor. She stood there crying, poop running down her leg and a giant turd sitting on her toes, while all five of her brothers stood round in disgust and amazement. I was four months pregnant and would have likely vomited had my husband not been there to clean that up. It also proved to be a great source of amusement as he pulled the removeable shower head down and essentially water boarded her in an attempt to get her clean. He IS a fireman, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he would “hose” her off. *My dearly beloved insists that I include the fact that once he was finished and moved to the hallway to clean up said poop, I pulled down the showerhead and sprayed him with it while giggling, causing an even bigger “poop soup” mess for him to clean up. This might be true.
Like I said: I made the right choice in him as my life’s partner.
As parents, we are on a never-ending carousel of poop. I’m sure at some point they get old enough to hop off and worry about these things on their own, but guys, I don’t know that I’m completely convinced. Almost nine years of poop filled days has me leery. I’m untrusting of my children and their bowels, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
And so as it stands: Parenthood equals poop. ‘Nuff said.