This has been the shittiest summer ever. You guys! I'm serious! I had no idea how much food children consume nor how much poop they, in turn, produce. We are frequest grocery store shoppers, so much so that I'm pretty sure we're close to getting a free tank of gas, or at least a highly discounted rate each week. Here's what our summer days, in relation to food, look like:
7:00 am: Children wake up.
7:02 am: Kids tell me they are starving.
7:03 am: I feed them breakfast.
7:08 am: I offer drink refills and seconds.
8:15 am: They tell me they are starving.
8:20 am: They eat the breakfast I just got around to making for myself.
10:00 am: Snack
11:00 am: They eat everything out of the cooler I just packed for the beach.
12:00 pm: They tell me they are starving.
12:01-4:00 pm: At the beach, they eat everything out of our cooler and then they stalk the beach like vultures, looking, with big, sad eyes, at everyone else's food.
4:10 pm: We leave the beach and they tell me they are starving.
4:30 pm: Snack
4:40 pm: The kids tell me they are starving.
5:15 pm: Dinner. Before sitting down to eat, the kids ask me what's for dessert.
I suppose it's no surprise that, with all that's going in, stuff's got to come out. Repeatedly. And they don't even drink coffee or beer yet! Anybody whose had a baby knows about baby poop. Babies are prone to blow outs. It's impressive, actually, how it comes out of their bums and projects up their backs, down their legs and even into their hair. It comes in various textures and colors. (Good lord! Is that a blueberry right there?!)
Now, legend has it that some folks with sensitive stomachs might wear gloves and a mask. That ain't me. No siree. I was meant to be a parent because I'm like a 12 year-old boy when it comes to bodily functions. I burp. I poop and I fart. Andy knew this about me right from the start. Like any pre-teen boy, I think it's funny. Yeah, it makes me laugh. Especially when I fart at dinner, or during yoga, or right before Andy gets into bed. I could go on and on about poop-tainment but I can tell your stomach is getting queasy and you're losing respect for me.
Anyway, what makes me a good parent is my ability to deal with poop like I'm singing in the rain. I'll never forget when Char was born. The midwife placed her on my chest and I looked into her little eyes and she pooped all over me. It was love at first poop. So, like I said, it's been a very shitty summer. Seriously. Let me explain.
The bathroom at the beach is a hike up a steep hill. It's quite the jaunt for a busy swimmer who is working hard to perfect her water handstand. It's just so far and she's having so much fun that it's pretty much too late by the time she rushes out of the water, grabbing her bum, shouting, "I HAVE TO POOP!!" She gives it her all, trying to run up the hill, but me, and all other beachgoers, know exactly why it looks like she has a stick between her butt cheeks. Do I need to say that cleaning turds from a wet swimsuit is the best? No, what's the BEST is when I run back to the beach to grab wipes and I feel my kid tap my shoulder and I turn to see her pantsless with sand and crap stuck to her bare bottom.
How about poop in the bathtub! I get the tub all bubbly and warm and then something brown floats beside rubber ducky. From there, it's like a scene out of Jaws. It's all screams and arms and legs flailing as the girls clamber to get out of the tub to escape the sea monster. I come in like the hero when I remove said monster (more like a slug), disinfect the tub, refill with bubbles and lovely warm water, and dun dun, dun dun, the sequel arrives and it's all Jaws 2 up in that tub.
Char is potty training. As a potty training expert (aka lazy parent) I feel it is imperative for Char to go pantsless and she agrees. It works well she is so proud to show off her poop to Mommy and Daddy. Like after dinner on the deck, when she announces her success and points to the turd on the bottom step of the deck.
I'll admit I was a little sad yesterday morning when Caroline interrupted jog on the treadmill to announce that Char had a poop explosion in her sleep. She reported that poop was all over the crib, her clothes and even in her hair. It was hard for me to run on while Andy removed all of Char's poopy clothes and linens, bathed her and washed her hair twice. Lucky for me, my hubs knows how badly I love a good blow out and he left the crappy mattress for me to disinfect.
And finally, there's the days when both girls are berserk with bitchiness. One is stomping. The other is kicking. Both are crying. One dumps a cup of sand in my bag. The other refuses to remove her inner tube while I buckle her into her car seat. It's then, when I realize that these children are not the robotic ones I sent away for from the ad in the back of Parade Magazine, (along with the drawing of the turtle hopefully demonstrating enough natural talent to gain me admission into art school) yes, it is then, that I, yes I, lose my shit.
It's all good. Maybe not for you, if you're still reading this, but it is for me. I love my girls and all the shit that comes along with being their parent. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Like today at the post office, when the post master's nose uncomfortably sniffed and I glanced down at Char who smiled up at me and motioned back to the brown spot on the rear of her pants. We rushed to the car but took a brief moment for a stop so she could roll her shoe over a dog turd on the sidewalk (I didn't know! I was checking the time on my phone). In closing, my simple advice for soon-to-be parents: Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! Ok, gotta go, Char pooped her pants. I'm serious!