I'm a multitasking writer/mom to multiple multi-ethnic little ones, via multiple routes to parenthood. Just call me Multimom!


on July 12, 2012

We had a hard day today. Dev was home from school because they sent him home one hour into yesterday’s schoolday with an alleged fever, and I didn’t want to deal with that again today, so it seemed easier to just stay in PJs at home.  I was (& still am), super sick, which is really the least useful of possible superpowers.  The husband was heading south for a convention this morning, but thanks to the repaving of our street, couldn’t leave till right around naptime–this was actually quite a win, since it meant he could put Dev down for nap while I took care of Lili, saving me an awful lot of putting-them-to-bed-simultaneously grief, and also make my own nap time arrive faster.

So the really bad didn’t start till after nap time. Baby woke up crying after I had actually managed to sleep, which was a plus. I fed her while Dev played quietly in his room (that’s how he always puts it: “I was playing quietly in my room”–I love it!) since he was having fun and she was clearly going to be a wreck till she had nursed. Then I went to retrieve him, and found his sheets covered in poo.  One of his hands was also coated, as was the railing of his bed.  When I went to change him (he’s been wearing Pullups for some naps and all bedtimes this past month, though he is fully daytime potty-trained), a big piece of poo fell on the floor. So much grossness!  He has always been fastidious–the kid won’t even eat cake because he doesn’t want icing on his fingers!–so I still don’t understand how this pootastrophe could have come to pass.  I was furious. I tried to stay cool, telling him simply, “You know how to poop in the potty” (he went, just a tiny bit, last week–other than that he’s been saving it for the Pullups, but at least I knew & he knew it was possible) and “Poop all over the bed is so disgusting!” I actually think I handled this ok, despite my illness-addled state, focusing on where poop belongs and that it is gross elsewhere (which I think we can all agree on), but not criticizing him or calling HIM gross.

But then, after I cleaned him up but while I was changing his sheets and scrubbing crap from side of his bed (seriously, how did this happen?!), he started merrily riding around on his Trunki, telling his busily crawling sister to “watch out” as he plowed past her. Yeah, I left her free-range on his floor while I dealt with the poopocalypse because really, I couldn’t think what else to do. I told him a couple of times to be careful, that he was the one who needed to watch out because he knows how and she doesn’t, but he kept laughingly advancing on her.  Seeing her tiny fingers dangerously close to his ride-on’s wheels, I finally lost it. I shouted something to the effect of, “If you don’t stop threatening your sister while I’m stuck cleaning up your crap, I will take that toy away FOREVER.”  Note: not okay with the use of “crap” in front of my kids, or with the unrealistic “forever” timeline on taking his Trunki, but that’s why this qualified as “losing it.” On the upside, though, it worked. He played further down the hallway (with the stairs safely gated off), and even helped direct his sister toward the safer zone of his room when she crawled determinedly after him.

And then here’s the really bright spot: after all of my complaints about the grossness of this cleanup job, he asked me to come to the bathroom with him at bedtime (he’s been big on going all by himself lately–or as he puts it, “all myself”).  He sat down and went right ahead and pooped in the potty, for the first time in a year of casual potty training plus a month of post-3-day-bootcamp potty-trainedness.  And there was much rejoicing! He was so proud, and I was so proud, and while today was likely not the last time he’ll have a #2 accident once the Pullup goes on, it was a HUGE step forward. So what felt at the time like a big parenting fail–that is, harping on the horrifyingness of the nap time poosplosion–actually, I believe, led to this breakthrough.  Neither one of us ever wanted to deal with a scene like that again, and he was ready to make sure we didn’t have to.  I would not have taken such a hard line if he hadn’t achieved a tiny bit of poopoo in the potty just last week, but now the timing was right and he was ready and it all worked out.

Which to me, is a wonderful reminder that even when I am not at my best (sick, and extra-exhausted from sickness-induced insomnia, and facing down a day and a half on my own with two lil’ ones thanks to husband’s business trip), and even when I don’t handle things exactly as I would want to in a perfect world where I got rehearsals for the crazy stuff kids throw at you, the overall environment of loving support that I’ve provided still makes great things possible for my kiddos. And even in the midst of what seems like a rough day, things can turn around in miraculous ways. Also, that I have a pretty amazing, sweet, fun and smart little guy on my hands–and his sister ain’t bad either.  Now all I need is for this cloud of sickness that has been plaguing me all week to lift, and I’ll be happy to guarantee a fabulous day tomorrow for all three of us. But short of that, I’m just hoping, as usual, for fewer low points and more high points, minimal frustration and tears and maximum joys and laughter. What more is there to hope for, after all?  Well, that, and that I will not have occasion to write or think nearly this much about poop again for quite some time.


3 responses to “Breakthrough

  1. Sharon says:

    Ugh, no one tells you about scenes like that one when discussing the joys of parenthood. It sounds like a lesson was learned from it, though.

    Hope you feel better soon. 🙂

  2. Jess says:

    What a vivid depiction of the “poopocalypse!” I am so sorry, but you made me laugh with your descriptions. I’m sure it’s sort of funny now, and not when the bed/child was totally coated in poop. I think you’re an awesome mom, and those lovely kiddos are lucky to have you. Even when you’re sick and let the “crap” fly. (I am so in trouble, I overuse “crap” all the time…)

  3. missohkay says:

    Pootastrophe – love the word, not so much the idea of cleaning it up.

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