Our Best Poop Story

The Boy is, and always has been, an excellent pooper. It began in his NICU days when he went through 3, count them, 3 incubators because of poopsplosions. Now, to most parents, a poopsplosion means a diaper that catastrophically failed, releasing poop all ver clothes, stroller, car seat, parents, siblings, etc. Which, pardon the pun, is a pretty shitty thing to have happen and can ruin your day.

That is not what I mean by a poopsplosion. What I mean is, a diaper is off because you are changing him, and you go to wipe, and suddenly, poop is flying across the room. Or, when he was in an incubator, it was splattering all over the inside of the incubator. Generally the pooping was proceeded by a popping sound, and then BLAMMO, you’re covered in poop.

When he switched from the NICU to the less-intensive-care ward at our hospital, the nurse from the NICU handling the hand-over told his new nurse, “Watch out for this one, he’s a serious pooper.” The new nurse kind of rolled her eyes as if to say, “I deal with babies, I can handle poop.” Hahahahaha! No. Seriously, he is a pooper. The very next day, the new nurse looked at me and said, “I should have listened to that nurse. He shot poop through the tails of his crib and 4 feet across the floor. I measured it, I couldn’t believe how far it flew.”

Did you think I was exaggerating when I said poop was flying across the room? I was not.

It should surprise no one that he continued his powerful pooping when he came home. Luckily for me, the absolute most awesome poopsplosion of his career happened just after I had gone back to work full time and The Hubs was working from home (his last work day before going on FMLA leave) and watching him. He’d taken The Boy to the changing table–a beautiful one built by my parents’ neighbor, who was a high-end cabinet maker, so it’s now been pooped on by two generations of my family–and had taken off his diaper, and was wiping The Boy’s little bum, when that wonderful pop sound happened.

Now, the changing table was located by the door of The Boy’s bedroom. So, the poop shot off the end of the changing table and splattered all over the door. Mess enough. But what makes this story so awesome is that at that exact moment, our cat, Charlie, happened to be sitting between the door and the changing table.

I can only imagine what it must be like to be a cat, seeing as how I am not of the feline persuasion. But I think if I were a cat, and I was sitting in a nice sunny carpeted spot on the floor, minding my own business, and suddenly SHIT WAS RAINING DOWN ON ME FROM ABOVE, I would probably freak the fuck out and run for my life.

And that is exactly what Charlie did. He ran. And he tried to wipe the poop off himself by rubbing up against door frames and walls as he ran. And then he took cover, which also seems the prudent thing to do when it’s raining poop. And where he took cover was a place where he knew no more poop could fall on him: under our bed.

When The Hubs called to tell me about this poopsplosion of all poopsplosions, I could not stop laughing. The poor guy. His last work day pretty much ended right there, because it took the rest of the afternoon to clean THAT hot mess. And I was really, really glad to be back in the office.

So, the next time your kid has what you call a poopsplosion, just think to yourself, “At least my kid didn’t just shit on my cat.” And think of poor Charlie, who learned a valuable lesson that day: don’t go anywhere near the changing table.

“Enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast”

There are so many awesome mom bloggers out there who have written on the subject of people telling moms “enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast.” But since the word apparently hasn’t gotten out to the people who keep saying this bullshit, and they keep saying it, and since I keep talking to moms who feel guilty when they hear this, apparently there’s room in the world for another post on it. So here we go.

When a mom of younger kids hears the phrase “enjoy every moment, they grow up so fast,” it’s usually in the context of that mom expressing frustration with the challenges of raising a young child. Like, sleep deprivation, poopsplosions, tantrums, chapped nipples from nursing…the list goes on. So, the mom complains about these things, because are they fun things? No, they are crappy things. They are complain-worthy things.

So then someone else, usually someone with older kids, says, “enjoy every moment, they grow up so fast.” What?!?! Enjoy the poopsplosion? Enjoy the chapped nipples? Are you insane?

I think what the “enjoy every moment” person is trying to say is, “You think it’s bad now, wait until they’re teenagers and they talk back and try drugs and get the clap.” Yep, teenagers are hard to parent. I worked with teenagers when I worked at summer camp, and it wasn’t even remotely easy. It was HARD, and I wasn’t even their parent. Having a child who is actively rebelling against you and trying to push you out of their lives so they can be an adult? That has got to be painful, and I am not looking forward to those days.

But please stop comparing your crap to someone else’s and trying to make them feel bad because you think you have it worse. Because, the phrase “enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast” is experienced by the mom who hears it as a guilt trip. What that mom of younger kids hears is, “You are a bad person who doesn’t love her children, otherwise you’d be enjoying every moment and not complaining.” The reason she hears that is because that younger mom is living in The Cult of Perfect Motherhood, where you’re supposed to be completely dedicated to your kids. The Cult tells us that admitting motherhood is hard, and that not every moment of it makes us happy, makes us bad parents. That if we aren’t positive and happy all the time, we don’t love our children. See, this whole “enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast” thing is making The Cult stronger. Which is why the rest of us have to keep writing blogs like this, to help deprogram our readers.

Here’s another reason why it’s not helpful to say “enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast”: because telling someone how to feel is stupid and pointless. If I am feeling frustrated, and someone says to me, “Don’t be frustrated, be happy,” do I say, “Oh, be HAPPY! Yes of course, I will just stop being frustrated now that you have told me to. Thank you! All I needed was for someone to tell me how to feel, and now I feel exactly the way you told me to.” I mean, maybe I would if I was being a smart ass, but I sure as shit wouldn’t actually feel happy just because you told me to. Feelings are not rational. You can’t reason them away. And you certainly can’t order them away with a simple “enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast.”

If everything I’ve said already isn’t enough, let me put this out there: imagine a mom struggling with raising a child with special needs. Maybe, like me, their baby came early and they have to spend the first winter of their child’s life terrified of a simple cold killing their child. Or maybe they’ve learned their child has a chronic medical condition that is going to seriously impact them for the rest of their life. That mom may not look like it on the outside, but she’s probably not in the best state emotionally at that exact moment. Telling her that her enjoyment levels aren’t as high as you think they should be isn’t going to make that mom feel better. Trust me on this one.

Look, I know this is coming off as harsh. And I get that people who say “enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast” are not trying to guilt other moms. I get that. Honestly, I think it’s coming from a place of nostalgia, because we often remember the good times and the cuddles and burbly smiles, instead of the projectile vomit and the sleep deprivation. But The Cult is a powerful thing, and I wish that people who say “enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast” would look at how their words might be received. And then think some more. And then maybe say something else instead.