Monday, March 16, 2015

Fecal Milestones

If you’ve ever seen human feces outside of water, you’ll know at least one of the reasons that humanity invented indoor plumbing. There’s pretty much nothing more disgusting than a steaming human turd just sitting on a dry surface somewhere, although feces in the wrong type of water—such as a bath or a pool—is equally disgusting, as I shall ultimately explain.

Years ago in a parking lot at Zion National Park in Utah, Geoff and I encountered some old dude sketching around, who asked us if we knew where a bathroom was. When he got in his car and pulled away, there was a huge pile of shit just sitting there, right next to where his car had been.

I didn’t know it back then, but these are the types of things you encounter as a parent, when you end up dealing with and handling more human excrement than you ever dreamed possible.

We all take pride in our children's milestones. But one milestone that all parents experience and that they perhaps take a bit less pride in is your kid crapping in the bathtub. You sort of see it happening—and you try to catch it in time--but you never can. It's like chasing a dream. And you can never get to it before you have to devote the next several hours to spraying your entire bathroom with Clorox and disinfecting every tub toy that the turd floated past. If you're lucky it's a single hard one, instead of diffuse diarrhea or a million little rabbit pellets.

I remember the last time Paige ever crapped outside a toilet bowl. It was before Isaac was born. She was in the bathtub, and announced that she had to poop. She crawled out of the tub, but didn’t quite make it to where she needed to be, so she squatted on the edge of the tub and dropped a huge, sticky deuce right there on the ledge. Geoff, who has a delicate gag reflex, almost puked in his own hand before we could even start to deal with the situation.

You don't picture stuff like this when you're pregnant. You don't imagine a blowout diaper full of Grey Poupon (no pun intended) that spreads shit literally all over your child's back and neck, and sprays all over a door frame and once even into your other child's face, making her cry hysterically, and rightfully so. You can't even imagine that shit is physically capable of doing the things it does.

And sadly, the bathtub poop is just one more unexpected blessing that comes with the joys of parenting.

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