Some Days Are Full Of Poop
Thank God these days are rare.
Last night, after I put my little tubaloo to bed, I remember silently congratulating myself on what a thoughtful mother I was. Aware that he had a mild cold, I gave him some Tylenol before bed. I heard him caughing in his sleep, so I made him a cup of mint tea and honey in his sippy cup. I laid it quietly next to his head in his crib, in case he woke up with a sore dry throat.
This morning, I heard him playing by himself in his crib. I also felt my own raging sore throat for the first time, so I decided to stay in bed for a while, as long as he was playing. I figured we both needed as much sleep as we could get. He started calling for me about an hour later, so I got up.
When I opened the door, the first thing that hit me was the smell of vomit. I paused, and noticed two nuggets of poop on the carpet. "MAMA!" I heard my jubilant tubaloo exclaim. He didn't sound like a child who had be vomiting. I opened the door all the way to reveal a view of my almost 2 y/o standing victoriously in his crib, covered in poop from cheeks to toes. He had removed both his sleep sack and his pajama pants on his own, and had obviously been enjoying free access to a supply of brown paint. Why it smelled like vomit I will never know. The sippy cup I had so lovingly placed in his crib the night before was the only thing he hadn't tossed out of his crib onto the floor. It was lying right next to a large brown streak on the crib sheet.
Unsure where to start, I hesitantly picked him up and put him on the changing table. I actually handed him a wipe hoping he could wipe off his hands while I worked on the diaper, but that turned out to be a terrible idea. It quickly turned into a battle over who got to wipe his bum. But since the poop on his bum was just as caked on as the poop on his legs, feet and thighs, it was clear that baby wipes weren't going to be the solution anyway. This kid needed a bath.
But there was just one thing I wanted to know first, particularly in reference to the poop on his cheeks. "Honey, did you eat any of it?" He looked at me blankly. "Did you put any poop in your mouth?" ....long pause. "Ya."
Actually, I don't know if he did or not. He tends to answer "ya" to most questions he doesn't understand these days.
Leaving his bedroom for the tub, I mentally declared his entire room a toxic no child zone. I would have to come back later to deal with the poop on the carpet and the contaminated toys on the floor. Dr. Dad had left for work early that morning, so those problems were going to have wait until I had sanitized the tubaloo and fed him breakfast.
As he sat in the tub, filling with poopy water, I pondered the fact that normally I would rush to remove him from a bathtub with poop particles floating in it. And in my moment of distraction, the tubaloo bent forward and took a drink of the water.
"No!!!" It was the first time I had scolded him. Something about him helping himself to poop water right in front of me was so much worse than doing it while I slept. "There's poop in the water. Poop can make you sick! Drink this!" And actively invited him to drink straight out of the bath spout.
It's moments like this that you realize that one of the main battles you fight as a mother is the battle to keep poop from going into your child's mouth. When you think about it, that is really one of the ultimate goals of caring for a child. What you feel at the moment when poop does go into your child's mouth is a complete sense of failure. You also realize that the idea that you can prevent poop from going into your child's mouth was really just an illusion anyway. And that's pretty humbling. Next, you feel anger that this had to happen on a day when you have a sore throat yourself, and your husband is at work. Which is particularly frustrating because witnesses who can laugh with you about these things are one of the only things that makes them tolerable.
So, as a way of making myself feel better, I think I'm going to host another contest on this site, on the theme of "Some Days Are Full Of Poop." And I want you all to tell me your worst baby poop stories. Click here for details.
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Dr. Dad = My darling husband. The Great Tubaloo, or the GT = what we like to call our son (rhymes with "tube of glue".) Note, it's a title, not a name. as in "The Great and Almighty Tubaloo who has traveled from from over the mountain to impart his wisdom!"
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