Two years ago I took a leave of absence from my full-time job teaching 3rd grade. No more papers to grade, administrators to impress, lessons to plan. I could—and often did—spend all day in my jammies (and by “jammies” I mean “crappy old flannel pants and spit-up-covered t-shirt because SOMEONE around here forgot to do laundry again. Oh wait, that was me.”) My commute went from 18 miles each way to a slow crawl to the coffee pot each morning. In a lot of ways, life became less hectic. But it took me just a few weeks at home with a newborn and an almost-two-year-old to realize I had left the Rat Race—and entered the Poop Race.
|Ryan Gosling pix make it ok to blog about poop.|
I knew that being a stay-at-home mom would mean that I would end up taking on most of the poop duty (heh heh, I said doody). At first I embraced my role as Head Diaperer. I spent hours and hours researching cloth diapers, and I organized all our diapering supplies in cute little baskets. I had two boys in diapers at that time—and, as it turned out, would for almost another whole year—so keeping track of diapers both clean and dirty took up a decent amount of my waking hours.
(Probably no one needs to know that I have, on occasion, dreamed about those cloth diapers at night—right?)
Anyway, fast forward two years and, yes, my kids are older, but I’m still in the thick of the Poop Race. In fact, I realized not long ago that I am the Primary Butt-Wiper for FOUR out of the six living creatures in our house (4 human, 2 feline). Do the math and you may get worried—do my hubby and I have one of THOSE relationships? No. No no no no no no no no no no. And no. But me and one of my cats apparently do, because she is either too fat or too lazy to take care of business herself and so I have been instructed by my possibly-crazy vet to go after her tushie with a baby wipe once a day.
(Um, that has actually happened maybe three times in the three months that have passed since he suggested it. It just almost never makes it to the top of my priority list, for some reason. Things I would rather do than wipe my cat’s ass: as many loads of laundry as I can possibly find in the house, scrub the kitchen sink with bleach and a toothbrush, read Goodnight Moon 3985239854798 more times—you get the picture.)
And the thing about poop in our house is that it always seems to happen in a when-it-rains-
it-pours kind of way—one enormous, awful Poop Storm. Here’s how a typical day goes: At some point, my 2-year-old informs me that he has a poopy diaper. This sets off some sort of physiological trigger in my 4-year-old, who then races for the bathroom. Before I can even finish changing William’s diaper, Matthew is yelling from the bathroom, “Mooooooommmmmyyyy!! I poooooooooped!” Translation: “I will sit here screaming about it until the neighbors call the cops or you come wipe me!” I finish up with William, and head for Matthew. As I’m finishing up with him, one of my cats saunters into the bathroom and heads for the litter box—he might as well have a freakin’ newspaper tucked under his arm! That means that within minutes I’ll be scooping HIS poop too if I don’t want all of us to live in a foul cloud of stink.
So. Much. Poop.
The good news is that we have avoided many of the more awful-sounding poop problems that parents of young kids often face. Neither of my children has so much as dabbled in the poop-as-art-on-the-wall movement, and no one poops in the tub anymore. We have so far avoided the stomach flu altogether in our house (though I probably just jinxed it, right?), and…
|Special bonus George/Ryan double treat. You're welcome.|
Crap. I can’t think of another example. I’m too caught up in worrying that writing about how we’ve never had the stomach flu means we’re now all going to get the stomach flu. And what that will mean for me in terms of cleaning and laundry and my beloved cloth diapers.
Better go. Time to stock up on Clorox wipes and Pedialyte!