I have been doing a lot of navel-gazing, and reviewing, and hand-wringing on this blog lately. It has its place and all, but I feel that it’s time to lighten things up. Which is why, today, I am talking about poop.
Before I had kids, I rarely talked about poop. I rarely even thought about poop. This is because, before I had kids, I traveled in adult circles, where it’s not considered polite conversation. I would say that it’s considered even less polite in female adult circles than male, so it really just did not come up.
Allow me to digress some and say I’m not sure what photos to publish with this post. I’m thinking random shots of nature, just to confuse people. It’s a bendy tree!
Back to the topic at hand. Now that I have two children, my life is all about poop. And not even my own poop. Unless I try to visit the bathroom by myself to do it, in which case there is much discussion about Why Mom Dared Close The Door. Although I guess that’s really only peripheral. More on point is when my kids insist on accompanying me into the bathroom and then complain because I’m, you know, using the bathroom. This isn’t rocket science, children, if you don’t want to be in the room when I’m pooping, please feel free not to be.
But I digress (again).
Here, look, it’s a trail through the woods!
Anyways, back to poop. My obsession started with my very first child, during her very first days of life. I blame the medical professionals, honestly. They asked questions like, “How often does she poop?” and, “What does her poop look like?” and, “How does it smell?” Then they recorded my answers on very official medical-type forms. Their message was clear – poop mattered, a lot. So I had better pay attention to it if I wanted to be a good mom. And I did want to be a good mom, so I examined every dirty diaper diligently, looking for signs of … something. I don’t really know.
Once I became pre-occupied with my children’s bowel movements, I discovered ample cause for alarm. The kid’s pooping schedule changes? Maybe it’s a sign that something is Terribly Wrong. The colour changes? Call the nurse hotline! I don’t want to overlook some signal in the diaper and regret it down the road. No way, no how. And don’t even get me started on the first time that your baby gets sick. Oh, the poop you will you know.
Look, it’s the Pacific Ocean!
And then, your kid starts solid foods. If you thought you were obsessed with their bowel movements before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. And then, you start toilet learning, and the hysteria kicks up another notch. Pretty soon, your kid is talking about their own poop, and you’re riveted.
You’re also cheering for the poop. Every deposit in the potty is cause for jubilation. And no one can blame you, because it’s one more step on the path to never having to change a dirty diaper again. Your excitement is contagious, and your kid clues in that this pooping thing is something special. Before you know it, they’re examining their deposits, looking for animal shapes in the potty or commenting on the impressive size. And you’re giving them a big thumbs-up, because you’ll do whatever it takes to make this experience positive, man.
Then, one day, your kid is in the bathroom with you (because, as I said, you don’t dare attempt to visit the bathroom on your own). And then they’re clapping for you. “Yay, Mama go poop in the potty! Yay, Mama!” And then they need to examine your poop, and heaven forbid you try to flush before they’re ready. And you can understand why they think this is the Done Thing, since it’s how it works for them.
I am in the thick of all this with Jacob right now. He’s approaching 2 1/2, and the potty mastery is coming along. And I? I am all about the poop, all the time. But I do see an end in sight. Hopefully it comes sooner, rather than later. Because I am ready to move on to a new topic. Like, maybe, nature photography. Or how to keep the kids from banging on the bathroom door. Either way.
Tell me I’m not the only parent whose life has become all about poop. Please. I really need to hear it!