The Motherhood Manual: Poop happens.

Maybe it’s because I took my paid vacation last week. Maybe it’s because I just haven’t felt like my posts have been very inspired lately. Maybe it’s because it’s been awhile since I’ve written about poop. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I feel a need to smack you with another poop story. First, though, we need to get ourselves in the right state of mind…

Recently my husband and I re-watched the movie, Baby Mama (Amy Poehler and Tina Fey). Very funny movie. In the movie there’s a scene where Tina Fey is with her sister who has small children. One of the little kids comes running up to Tina Fey’s sister with something brown smeared on her. Tina’s sister bends down and says, “What’s this? Poop or chocolate?” At that point she wipes it with her finger, then licks it, and looks at Tina and says…”chocolate.” Tina is horrified and asks, “What if it had been poop?!?”

Now, those of you who are parents know that poop, pooping, poop clean-up, and poop control end up consuming way more of your life than you ever expected pre-children. I remember when my children were younger, thinking… I crave the day when I will only be responsible for my own poop. I don’t want to know if anyone else pooped, when, how much, the color or consistency, or where any pooping happened for anyone but me. Frankly I’m not that interested in my poop either, but I’ll at least take responsibility for that.

I’m pretty sure before I had children that was my perspective as well. The thing is, though, when you become a parent, poop is inevitable. Poop happens. And, you have to deal with it. A lot. There is no gradual transition, no easing your way into it, or waiting until you feel comfortable with it. Nope. It’s just whammo. Poop.

Unlike the character in Baby Mama, I’ve never been one to lick any substances off my children, hoping that I knew what they were or where they came from. However, it’s possible that after reading these next few paragraphs, you may not want to shake my hand. Remember my story about the poop on the bathroom walls? Well, this next story comes from about that same period. Apparently my children were going through some sort of poop phase.

As with many of my stories, I don’t remember all the background. I’m pretty much a punch line gal. I can never remember the joke that gets you to there, but I know the punch line. Sometimes I can work my way backwards through the joke starting at the end, though. So, I’ll try that with this story. Here’s the punch line…

I extended my arm and he placed the LOG of poop in my open hand. At which point, I told my mother-in-law to hang on for just a moment, set down the phone, took a swig of my wine, and walked to the toilet holding poop that did not belong to me.

That’s the punch line. You’re probably thinking whatever led up to that doesn’t even matter, because what could possibly proceed that to make you say “oh. okay. sure, I can see how I too would have taken the poop in my bare hand”? You think that nothing would make you do that.

Well, you’re wrong and I’ll tell you what will make you do it. Having a toddler holding his own poop. Anyone who has ever had a toddler knows that a toddler holding poop is the WORST kind of toddler. You do what you have to in order to get the poop out of that kid’s hand. I know that some of you anti-germ, clean freak, “oh, I’d never do that”, Martha Stewart types think there had to be another way. There wasn’t.

My son was on the top bunk and I knew there was no way he could get down without displacing (code word for smearing, dropping, kneeling on, etc.) the poop. And no, those of you still thinking I could have donned rubber gloves or grabbed a kleenex at least… I couldn’t. Toddlers are VERY fast. If I had taken a moment to grab a tissue or even to pause and consider that option, poop would have been smeared. So, I did the only thing I could do when I heard my son call for me. I carried my glass of wine with me, continued talking to my mother-in-law on the phone, and walked into my son’s bedroom where I saw him sitting on the top bunk holding a hunk of poop out to me and saying “I have poop.” I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t waver. I just held out my hand and took the poop.

I then washed my hands, returned to my wine and the phone call with my mother-in-law and started laughing. What else can you do when something so gross and totally ridiculous as that has just happened?

Ah, motherhood. The few. The proud.

11 thoughts on “The Motherhood Manual: Poop happens.

  1. I for one have missed your stories! Thanks for a giggle early this morning. Either I totally blanked this one, haven’t heard it yet, or could have been about the time I was learning to deal with extra poop in my house , its the first I remember of the wine, phone, and poop story!!

  2. Seriously laughed out loud for a long time, thanks for the best of medicines. You are so right about toddlers, there is no time for hesitation, you gotta just deal with it in the moment of discovery.
    Funny, poop is still the one word that my now 20 and 16 year old cannot say to each other without busting up. I wish it was another word, but it is just a part of a parent’s life, even at this age. I imagine we all have a story or two, for our daughter who is getting an art major, poop was her first medium, though it isn’t resume worthy. 😉

  3. Yes, I would have taken the poop. Not sure if I’d even have bothered putting down the wine glass. 😀 And as my husband likes to point out, we have this thing called skin that protects us from the ick and all other things poopie. Don’t worry about touching the poop. You’re washable.

  4. That’s funny because I was just telling a friend that story the other day! Yes, I remember it. Isn’t there another ‘poop’ story where you couldn’t get the wine bottle uncorked? Maybe that was another experience. Have you already told the story about the toilet paper fiasco? Maybe I missed it. Sure would like to post stories of my son’s childhood, but they may never speak to me again!

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