Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Warning: Do not read this post if you are faint of stomach or are easily offended by descriptions of unpleasant potty substances.

As a mom, you get your share of the good, the bad and the ugly. Especially the ugly. The kind of ugly that you never had really even entered your head before you became a mom. Being the oldest girl in a family of six children, I was well-prepared for many aspects of motherhood, such as cooking and basic housekeeping. But I was thoroughly and completely unprepared for the intimate, close-up acquaintance with poop. Yes, I had changed my fair share of messy diapers. I even had nicknames for different types of messy diapers, such as "pebble beach" or "soft-serve ice cream dispenser." But my mother shielded me from cleaning any of the truly disastrous diaper disasters.

And so I was left to be initiated to one of motherhood's most lovely experiences on my own: what to do about poop. They have parenting manuals that tell you (or at least try to tell you) how to feed, bathe and diaper your child. But I have yet to find a manual that tells you how to clean up a diaper blow-out that goes all the way up to the child's shoulders. Or what to do when you are changing a messy diaper and the baby has a brown explosion that lands on stuff across the room (not a frequent occurrence, but seems to happen at least once per child). I guess the manuals leave that stuff alone because there really is no happy way to clean it up (and if you're reading it already, it's too late to decide to not have children). You do your best and then replace the carpet when your kids are grown.

Different people have different hang-ups. Some people cannot tolerate vomit. I'm not a fan of throw-up, but I just really hate poop. I'm not talking about plug-your-nose diaper changes. I mean when it gets out of the confines of the diaper and INVADES your space. I don't really consider myself germ-phobic, but how do you properly sanitize clothing/carpet/shoes or whatever it is that  the brown stuff decides to attack? (Speaking of which, what did the pioneers do about dirty diapers and poopy blow-outs on the plains? I don't even want to know. I would have made a horrible pioneer.)

I guess I just have poop on my mind right now. Jackson had diarrhea last week and it is just one of those experiences that can turn a patient, loving person into a raving lunatic. How a child can manage to have brown stuff get down their pant legs and onto the carpet so many times in a few days is beyond me. Maybe the Lysol company is trying to boost their sales and so they have tainted the world's fruit snack supply with laxatives. If so, it's working.

The worst is gone now and we have retreated from having to wear footed sleepers 24/7 as a safety measure. But almost every single morning Jackson wakes up drenched or poopy- like poop that is outside of the confines of his diaper poopy. This is while he is wearing those special overnight diapers that are supposed to hold more in. We have stopped giving him liquids after dinner and it is still a problem. This morning he woke up at 6:30 (this is after I purposely didn't let him take a nap yesterday so he would sleep longer, no night-time milk and while he was wearing a high-absorbency overnight diaper), drenched. Washing Jackson's sheets is becoming a treasured morning ritual.

I know it will pass. (Yes, it will pass. I promise it will pass.) Someday I will look back at this time and laugh and have fond memories of this. Right? Or maybe we have a blessed thing called selective memory that has a "bypass poop" function and I won't remember this until my daughter calls me to ask what on earth you can do to sanitize carpet that has been invaded by the dreaded brown stuff and why her children's diapers won't just do their job already.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Oh, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. We are so there right now. Everyone assures me that I will miss this period of my life. It makes me wonder if those people have ever had children or if my children are especially gifted at the art of trouble. I'm sure that you must be right, or memories will be filled with hand-made ornaments and sticky kisses and we will forget the poop.