Thursday, October 7, 2010

Poop. Lots and lots of Poop.

First, an admission: I took a big, fat nap this morning. I’m exhausted.  Hubby has been out of town for the past two nights, and I never sleep well when he’s gone.  I have this irrational fear that someone’s going to need me in the middle of the night and I’m not going to hear him, although this has NEVER happened.  Mommies have special Mommy Hearing, I swear.  I rarely used baby monitors because I just figured if my baby needed me, I’d know it.  My mind tends to reel as I’m trying to fall asleep, and it just gets worse when Hubby’s gone.  Add to that the fact that Small woke up five times on Monday night and three times last night.  Hubby usually goes in and gives him his pacifier and he falls right back to sleep, but if I go in, he thinks it’s Schnack Time.

Adding to my exhaustion is the fact that, for some reason, I thought it was a good idea to take all three kids grocery shopping last night.  Do you think Michelle Duggar takes all 19 kids with her when she runs to the Safeway?  I doubt it.  She’d end up with 19 different flavors of Pop-Tarts, because lord knows they each have to pick out their own or else “it’s not fair.”  (That woman’s hoo-ha must be like a log flume by now.)  Good times.  I actually had another mommy at the store call me a “good woman” when she saw me maneuvering the grocery cart with the car on the front as if it were a Greyhound Bus in Aisle 7.  As I’m sure you know, mommies can be very snarky towards one another, (*see previous comment regarding Michelle Duggar’s log flume,) so to have a fellow soldier acknowledge my grocery-getting plight was like earning a Congressional Medal of Honor.  She probably called me a dumb*ss under her breath, but still. . . .

I got home from the bus stop this morning and Small and I settled in to watch last night’s Parenthood.  When he was ready for his morning nap, I decided I was too.  And I don’t mean the lay-on-the-couch-with-the-remote kind of nap or the fall-asleep-with-the-book-on-my-chest-just-like-they-do-in-the-movies kind of nap (because that has never happened to me either.  Once I start going cross-eyed and the words look drunk, it’s time to call it a night.)  Oh no . . . I did it right.  I took my *ss back to bed, got under the covers, got out my little eye mask, and set the alarm so I wouldn’t be late to pick Medium up at the bus stop.  Judge me if you will, but I know, and you know, and I know that you know you’d do the same damn thing if you could. 

Medium’s behavior was less-than-stellar today.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to “make” him behave, but you know that old adage – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him pick up the Tinker Toys if he really doesn’t want to.  I’ve read all the parenting books and I’ve tried all the strategies.  He is my “spirited” child, and he has good and bad days just like the rest of us.  Today was a bad day.  I know that a lot of times he starts misbehaving when I’m not giving him my undivided attention, which was a big problem when Small was first born.  And sometimes I’m so desperate for some adult conversation (with other adults, not about “adult” subjects. . . wink, wink,) that I’ll check email or Facebook (Mommy’s crack) while he’s otherwise occupied and he’ll start misbehaving.  But today was not one of those days.  We made a messy Halloween gingerbread house, I read him books, we worked on writing the alphabet, and I downloaded and cut out a template of a Texas Longhorn.  Seriously, I brought my A-game. 

And yet he had THREE temper tantrums.  

I have explained to him that he is five-and-a-half years old and that normally children have temper tantrums because they are so young that they can’t express themselves otherwise and they vent their frustration through tantrums.  He can express himself, so I’ve tried to teach him to breathe deeply, count to ten, ask for help, and all the other bullsh*t methods we’re supposed to teach our kids.  Sometimes our best efforts just don’t work.  Timeout #1 happened when he could not draw a proper Texas Longhorn – it kept coming out too smiley and not at all menacing.  Not good.  Timeout #2 happened when the brown marker was dried up, probably because one of my little geniuses put a dried-out marker back into the bin with the other, fully-functioning markers.  Timeout #3 was a doozy.  While sitting in The Timeout Chair, he started kicking and making snide comments, such as:

“Oh!  I see!  I’m just supposed to SIT HERE??”


“Can you HEAR me?  Are you LISTENIN’? You’re just gonna ‘gnore me?  Huh?  Is that it?”

So, so charming.

The sassiness resulted in Timeout #3, which took place in his room.  I gave strict instructions, based on previous experiences, to not rip books, slam doors, or kick walls.  I told him I’d come back for him when I was ready to see him again. 

I endured about 10 consecutive minutes of “how much LONGER???”

Then, 20 minutes later, he sheepishly came out of his room and said, “I’m ready to get it together.”

I love it when the kids repeat things back to us that they’ve heard us say. . . like when Medium once said, “hello?!  Earth to Mommy . . . come IN Mommy . . . “ or Large asked Hubby during a particularly pungent diaper change, “Aww son, what’d you eat?”

Medium LOVES to do his homework.  The next 12 years are gonna rock!

Medium did pretty well for the rest of the day, although homework time was about as enjoyable as Caillou’s voice.  Surely the day would get better from here, right?  Do you recognize a rhetorical question when you read one? 

Small woke up from his nap a little earlier than I expected, but I figured he heard all the tantrum-throwing and woke up to see what all the fuss was about.  I got him out of his crib and headed back downstairs when I realized my arm felt warm where I was holding his back.  I worried that he had gotten too warm during his nap and that’s why he had woken up, but no.  That. was. NOT. it.

It was poop.  Lots and lots of poop.  So much poop that it had seeped through his diaper, his onesie, his t-shirt, his overalls, and now the sleeve of my shirt. 

Small used to poop once a day, which was manageable, but somewhere within the past few months he has stopped pooping regularly.  Instead he saves it all up for a few days and then virtually explodes.  He hadn’t pooped since Sunday night, so in retrospect, I probably should have put some safeguards in place – plastic sheeting or an industrial-grade tarp perhaps.  He’s like his daddy, who only poops at the office.  Hubby is some sort of freak of nature who “goes” regularly, but only when he’s at work, which makes a week of vacation increasingly unpleasant for him, and therefore for all of us.  (He’s going to be SO stoked that I used this forum to discuss his poop habits.)

Trust me when I say that what exploded out of Small’s body was like nothing I have ever seen before, and I have THREE sons . . . I’ve seen a lot of poop in my day. 

I was not privy to a particular episode in which Hubby fed a baby Large Pop Rocks against Mommy’s advice and had to purchase an entirely new outfit because they were in the mall food court.  That was a lesson that Hubby had to learn himself, the hard way, and I feel that the passers-by who were literally throwing napkins at him as he tried to clean the high chair would agree with my warning that giving a toddler Pop Rocks is a bad idea. 

I placed Small on the changing table and assessed the situation. How was I going to be able to get him out of his clothes without getting poop everywhere?  When I slid the overalls off, it got all over his legs.  When I slipped the t-shirt off, it got in his hair.  The onesie was plastered to his back, so I folded it under so I could get to the diaper, the contents of which were liquidy and bubbling – I kid you not.  (I was gonna say I sh*t you not, but it just seemed too trite.)  I sent Medium to the pantry for two plastic bags – one in which the clothes could make their trip to the laundry room and one for the diapers and the wipes I was using to scrub Small’s legs.  I had visions of leaving a trail on my carpet all the way up the stairs to the bath tub, so I sent Medium upstairs for supplies while I put Small in the kitchen sink.  He splashed and frolicked like it was playtime, without regard for the fact that my kitchen sink is now a biohazard. 

That's Medium sitting on my kitchen counter.  In his pajamas.  At 2:45 on a Wednesday.
Apparently Pajama Fashion Show was how he entertained himself during Timeout #3.

It’s a good thing he’s cute, because, in the words of Medium, “he’s disgustin’.”

Update: the onesie didn’t make it.  After a trip through the wash immediately following The Poopie Incident, I decided that it had met its demise. 

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