Monday, January 16, 2012

the poopie truth about parenting...

There's one thing that every single parent learns to deal with really's a conversation taboo until you're a's something disgusting that becomes part of your everyday ordinary life....


When your baby is born, you (normally) fall in love with that little human that made your life miserable for 9 months (seriously, no red bull or vodka or ski trips for almost a year?!) It's just so tiny and cuddly and helpless!  You want to snuggle and hold it (or lay it on the Boppy and pat it's head like a dog...hey, I wasn't used to newborns okay?)

And then they start to poop.  And I mean a LOT.  Michael and I kept a chart called 'Morgan's food in/out chart' to help us remember when her feedings and poopings were taking place.  You might laugh, but when you're a new parent and you're going on about 2 hours of sleep in the past 5 days, your memory starts to sort of turn into a couple of stoners...  'did I just eat these cheese puffs?  why am I holding an empty bag?'  'dude you totally ate them all!'  (followed by giddy laughter).

The 'food in/out' chart basically taught us that for every ounce you put in a baby, about 1/2 ounce comes back out.  It's amazing how many diapers you go through with a newborn.  Now I can slap a pull-up on my almost-3-year-old and she can wear it for half a day until it starts to sag so low I see baby buttcrack and know it's time for a dry one. 

If you were ever squeamish about poop, you get over it.  You have no choice.  You WILL get pooped on.  Everything you own has a chance of getting pooped on.  It's something that no new parent is really prepared for; you assume that diaper is going to hold it all in; you have no idea what that cute little wrinkled booty is capable of.  Here are the following situations that will, not *if*, but *will* happen to you as a parent:

The Poop Shoot - just because the diaper is full doesn't mean the kid is finished.  Sometimes when you unfold that nasty diaper and air hits that baby booty, it's like a hidden button gets pushed to alert the child 'GO GO GO NOW!' and that cute little bottom turns into a Play-Doh dispenser.  You learn to shield yourself until it's over, and then you assess and cleanup the damage.  Lesson:  never change a diaper on anything that can't be wiped down with a Lysol wipe.

The Mud Tub - every child does this at least once; they get into a warm bath, it feels so good and relaxing and then OOPS!  All of a sudden there are brown submarines floating around...or worse, a tub filled with brown water.  Morgan loved her baby tub so much that she literally pooped in it about 4 times a week for months before we had ENOUGH and decided it was time to put the little tub away and just use the big tub.  Not only do you have to clean the dirty tub, but you have to give your dirty poo water soaked baby another bath.  And make sure to take pictures to send to your friends without kids to make them dry heave.

The Blowout - Every parent's worst nightmare...because it can happen anywhere.  The Blowout happens when an amazing amount of excrement exits your tiny child and the diaper capacity is pushed beyond the normal limit.  This is usually a surprise for parents when they change a diaper and find that the clothing is sticking to their child by means of a nice brown paste.  This can happen in highchairs at a restaurant, in the carseat on a road trip, during the night while your child sleeps.  We were actually lucky in this area and only had a few incidents.  Lesson:  take a change of clothing for your child AND you to keep in the car...just in case.

Parents will quickly learn that better diapers are actually worth the money, and every child is shaped differently.  Morgan has quite the booty on her, so we have had to use diapers that will cover all that junk in her trunk. 

Parents also find that poop often comes up in simple conversation.  It doesn't matter who you are; you might think you're the most proper lady in the south, but when you have a child, you're going to end up talking about poop in one form or another, even if it's something as simple as 'I'm working on potty training'...and yes, that's a polite way of saying 'I'm teaching my kid to poop like a grownup.'

Potting training...ugh.

My almost-3-year-old has not been the most cooperative with the whole potty training thing.  I have several friends with little ones around Morgan's age, and we talk about potty training.  A lot.  One friend had her daughter potty trained by 15 months, and that's amazing.  That's like getting into med school when you're 13.  It seems the norm is to be potty trained by 2.  Before Morgan turned 2, my mom and I went shopping for a potty.  We found one at Toys-R-Us and it sat collecting dust in my bathroom for a while.  I would sit Morgan on it and she would end up wearing it on her head like a hat.  Her delayed speech issue has hendered the whole potty issue.  This past summer, her speech started coming together a little more and I kept explaining what the little potty was for and finally one day, she peed!!!  I texted everybody about mom, my sister-in-laws, my friends, the president.  I was thrilled!  It was the first step!!

yeah right.

The potty sat in the bathroom for a few more months collecting dust.  I would try to put her on it and she would take off running, either laughing or crying.  According to Freud, parents can do some serious damage during the whole potty training age, so I try not to make a big deal out of it.  All of my mommy friends with perfectly potty trained toddlers would assure me that Morgan would go 'when she's ready.'  For me, it's not a battle I want to fight.  Honestly, diapers are pretty easy, especially in public, and on road trips.  I personally hate public toilets, I can't imagine trying to help my toddler hover-pee and then pretend somebody else made the huge mess on the seat.  But as she approaches her 3rd birthday (and as I approach my due date) I feel the need to have a housebroken...I mean, potty trained child.  This summer I can't imagine buying size newborn AND size 5 diapers.

So I'm trying little tricks... I bought her a princess potty seat.  She was all excited about it at first, but then, like a typical woman, she got over it and moved on.  I started a 'sticker chart' on the fridge; every time she uses the potty, she gets a stinker to add to the chart.  It worked for a day.  I threatened to spank her booty if she didn't start to use the potty, so she shook her behind at me like 'this booty?  yeah right!'  My most recent attempt has been to move the potty into the kitchen where she has easy access and let her run around nakey for a little while each day.  This works!!  I've had several mommy friends tell me to put underwear on her because 'she will HATE being wet!' but that totally didn't work.  She peed in my floor and laughed about it like 'look mommy!  this stupid diaper didn't even work!' so then I was stuck cleaning my carpet and washing out a pair of soaked Tinkerbell undies.  So I thought to myself...what if she's nakey!  She LOVES being nakey to being with, and my husband had a firm talk with her the first night that went something like this:  'Morgan, you are nakey.  You do NOT have a diaper on.  If you pee pee, it's going to make a big mess and we will be very mad.'  Morgan looked back at him and said 'Mess?'  And he replied 'Yes, a mess,  and I will spank your booty, do you understand?'  and Morgan looked up at him with her big blue eyes and said 'okay daddy.'  and it worked!  That night we caught her running to the potty in the kitchen and using it!  Every evening for a week now, we've had 'nakey time' and she's been using the potty.  Now don't get me wrong, it's totally disusting to have a naked baby running around, sitting on the furniture, rolling around in the floor, but we are hoping that Morgan learns to start using the potty without having to be nakey....very soon.  Today she actually came running to me screaming 'pee pee!  pee pee!'  and was trying to take her clothes off, so I jumped to attention (you honestly have a 2 second time frame before they pee) and stripped the kid down and she used her potty!!  I was so excited that I went ahead and put underwear on her, explaining that Cinderella would be very sad to be peed or pooped on.  Cinderella totally got pooped on, but oh well.  I've come to the conclusion that maybe it's not such a terrible thing for her to be in diapers for the next 15 years...totally blows her chances of bringing some boy home with her.  Nobody wants to date a 16 year old poopie pants.

I refuse to be one of those parents that posts all over Facebook 'Little Henry pooped in the potty today!!!  I am such a proud mama!!!'  I can relate to the excitement of the parent.  Potty training is tough!  But honestly, not everybody on Facebook wants to know about your child's bowel functions.  It's just as exciting as reading 'ugh, everybody in my family is sick.  my kids barfed up lasagna all night long.'  --- seriously!?  I usually get stuck reading these status updates during my breakfast.  Nothing helps you digest oatmeal better than a barf story.

Honestly people...blogging about all this gross stuff is SO MUCH BETTER!


  1. Poop and vomit were everyday occurrences in our house, so I got rid of my squeamish stomach REAL quick! Great post! So glad you started this, Jaime...I never knew we thought so much alike! :)

  2. When I worked in the preschools last year (and had to do diaper duty... even though it's not in my job description, lol)... we put panties on the kid with the diaper over them... that way the child wore the yucky wet pee-panties uncomfortably (worked with most kids) while the diaper protected furniture, floors, etc.

  3. Emily wasn't potty trained until three yrs 7 months and Maddy B was 3 years and 3 months. I was watching an interview with some famous guy and he was devistated that his little girl was potty trained and wearing panties. His point was that panties are sexy and someday some boy would be intrested in his little girls panties. He said that no boy would ever be interested in pull-ups. He was ok with his little girl being potty trained but he wanted her to wear pull-up forever.