Sunday, February 1, 2015

Everybody poops

Before my son Josh was born, my diaper changing experience was very limited. That is, I’d only changed one diaper. It belonged to my niece, Eva, and it was a doozy. Let’s just say I threw away the kitchen towel I used as a changing pad and leave it at that. 
One more kid later and my diaper tally is somewhere in the thousands. To be fair, I haven’t changed all of those diapers. My husband’s changed at least two.

So clearly I’ve won the right to tell any of my kids’ disgusting poop stories. And let me tell you – there’s been plenty. A month or so after Josh was born, he had a diaper blowout while sitting in his swing. At first, I thought it was just dirt all over his shoulders. “That’s funny. I swear I gave him a bath this morning.” But in my sleep-deprived, new mom state, I figured I was wrong. I was – but not about the bath. And as my poor child sat in his own filth, I did the first thing any sleep-deprived, new mom would do. I called my mom, then my sister and then my husband to laugh about how horrible it was.

Of course, talking about poop is almost never appropriate. “Guess what guys! I had nasty diarrhea last night. Totally left skid marks on my underwear.” Nobody needs to know that much information about their friends and co-workers.

But when you’re in the company of other parents, it’s just natural to talk about what comes, well, naturally. Or, in the case of Josh’s exploding bowel movements, also taking a picture. Gross? You bet. But it turns out, I’m not the only one.

A friend of mine – I’ll call her Jen – had a similar story. She was giving her son a bath in the tub, saw some bubbles and thought it was cute. When she called her husband at work that night, he was thrilled. (“Like a typical man, who thinks farting is hilarious,” she added.) “But then, I hit him with the kicker. His son rolled a log in the tub!” Naturally, Jen’s husband thought this was awesome, mainly because he wasn’t home to be in on the clean-up. “But he did request that I take pictures.”

Our poor children. We’re not only talking about their poop – we’re documenting it. They have no idea of the humiliation that awaits them when we pull out their baby photo albums at their high school graduation. 

Still, once you get started on the subject with other parents, you can’t stop.

I remember trying to sleep in on a Sunday morning when Josh was about 2. Josh, for the most part, was happily chattering in his crib and we were able to catch a few more minutes of sleep. Well, until he started yelling, “Owie! Owie!” When I got into his room, he was holding his hand up in the air, fingers all curled, like he’d pinched them somehow. “Did you hurt your finger? Mommy’ll kiss it and make it better.” I was only millimeters away from putting my lips on his poop-covered fingers. He went into the tub immediately. I brushed my teeth twice for good measure.

And then there’s the time that Josh peed on the dog. He just stood in the hallway and peed on Kolby. Thankfully, that didn’t involve anything other than pee. But my son “marking his territory” on the dog is just too funny.

Nothing, however, tops the story my friend Jess just told me about her son’s loose stools. One morning, her husband was changing his diaper on their bed. Everybody had just woken up, so there’s an element of drowsiness here, but even the most wide-awake dad couldn’t have predicted what was going to happen. Kory carefully pulled the dirty diaper off, swapped the new one in and was in mid-wipe when their son decided he wasn’t quite done. Poop shot all over Kory (who was only wearing boxers) and their bed. “We washed our sheets three times that day,” Jess says. “I still don’t like to use them on our bed.”

Poop stories, it seems, are the great parenting equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom or if you’re breastfeeding or you give your kid a bottle or whatever else the media’s “mommy wars” would have parents fighting about. Everybody poops. And everyone’s got a story to tell. 

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