Posts Tagged ‘poop’

We got nearly 2 feet of snow between the 29th and 30th of this month, which is October in case you’ve become disoriented. It’s funny that I never dreamed of a white Halloween. Never really thought about it before. And to be honest, it’s beautiful.

In the beginning...

The snow is of the heavy, wet variety and it’s piled on the trees and every surface in thick, white pillows. The problem is that it’s October and the trees weren’t quite ready for those pillows. With their leaves still on, the poor trees are bending, bowing and breaking under the weight of the snow.

Broken trees = broken power lines = no power anywhere near me = no heat, no running water, no coffee.

This is still early on. Around 4PM on Saturday.

We did try to make the most of the situation though and had a great time playing in the snow as it fell.

Superman-Jack-O-Lantern-Snowman, naturally

Then night fell on us and with it a few trees, several branches and any hopes I had of sleeping. I made several middle of the night rounds with my flashlight in my freezing house checking on the trees outside. At 2AM I got T out of bed to help me shake off a tree that was resting on our back deck. A few good shakes and it sprang back up, only to lean against L’s window.

Morning came, and with it two extremely excited kids and a few extremely tired adults. Did I mention the no coffee thing? Also, there might have been some hot buttered rum the day before and a fair amount of red wine. (Hey, we had to keep warm!) We had our work cut out for us.

My nerves were fried and I was too frazzled, tired, and busy to take the pictures I should have. Like the picture of the huge old tree that fell down at some point in stealthy silence, about 6 feet from our house. Had the tree’s trajectory been a degree or two different, L’s room would have been crushed. I did take a couple on my phone though.

Back deck, sheltered from snowfall, in the morning

Pumpkin-Head Snowman after we unburied him in the morning

Holy Sh!t

I did learn some things though. Like just about anything, the crappy stuff related to an October snowstorm can be broken down to a top 5 list. So, here I give you:

The Top 5 Craptastic Things Caused by an October Snowstorm:

5. One is not prepared and has not yet removed the snow blower from its storage space under the back deck. It took lots and lots and lots of shoveling to get to that thing.

4. One is not prepared and has to dig out winter clothes from their storage place in the dark basement, by flashlight, helped by super-excited-to-play-in-the-snow-and-bonkers-wildly-excited-to-be-in-the-cold-dark-basement-with-flashlights kids.

3. No electricity means it’s dark. Very dark. Darkness and flashlights at bedtime with small children causes exceptional hyperness, excitement and fear.

2. No heat. It’s cold. Turns out our fireplace is purely decorative and supplies no heat to the house whatsoever. Last I checked on Sunday afternoon it was 55 and dropping inside.

1. The worst thing about it by far was the lack of running water. We have our own well, so no power = no water = no flushing, no washing. That expansive dinner we made on Saturday before the power went out? Hello piles of dirty dishes, bowls, pots and pans that can’t be washed. Those giant poops that my kids make? Still in the toilets waiting for a flush. YUCK!

By late afternoon on Sunday we had enough. We packed ourselves up and escaped to my parents’ house a couple of hours away. Our power is due to be restored at 11:45PM on Thursday, November 3rd. Until then we’ll stay here where it’s warm. On Friday, I will have to face a house full of old dirty dishes, a fridge full of rotten food, and those toilets.

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Motherhood is a multifaceted job – much like a gemstone that you hold in your hand turning in the light watching the angles and corners and surfaces glimmer and shine different, unexpected ways, only with more poop. As a mom I’m both hero and villain. I’m playmate and disciplinarian, teacher and student, and a bunch of other less glamorous things like chef, maid, coffee-chugger, insomniac, bathroom coach, and budding alcoholic. I have more roles than I can list because new ones arise every day. Am I an expert nail cutter, splinter-getter-outer? I am now. And, as a feather in my lovely mom-cap, as one last sexy thing I do, I plunge toilets. Often.

Indoor plumbing was not made with L in mind. His small body produces surprisingly unflushable waste. And to exacerbate the unflushable situation further, he apparently cannot learn the appropriate amount of toilet paper one needs. Although he frequently throws his dirty toilet paper in the garbage, (Oh, yeah, I’m also dirty toilet paper garbage digger. I’m so hot.)  he does sometimes remember to dispose of these enormous bunches of paper in the toilet.

We all watch the toilet flush murmuring “please, please, please” under our collective breaths.

Usually I catch it in time before an actual overflow. I can plunge while holding that ball thing up in the back while defensively body checking small curious people out of the way. Sometimes I’m too late. Then I’m standing in a growing puddle of horror, while plunging, and screaming for small curious people to go far far away.

I hate this job.

This job, and so many others like it, is what it means to be a grown-up. As a kid I really wanted to be a grown-up. I had romantic ideas of doing whatever I wanted (ha!) whenever I wanted (haha!) and staying up late (hahaha!). I thought I’d wear fabulous clothes (snort!) and lead and exciting life (sob!). Had I known that being a grown-up actually entailed so much toilet plunging and other people’s body parts and fluids then I might have relished my childhood a little more. I might have enjoyed my irresponsibility, the fact that the buck never stopped here.

What are your responsibilities that let you know you’ve finally arrived at adulthood?
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I am no good at potty training. I lose patience. I can’t stand the constant need to visit every gross bathroom everywhere. I hate reading books to a non-productive potty sitter who really just wants to get to the toilet paper and wash her hands. I hate faking enthusiasm at non-accomplishments like peeing on the floor or sitting on the potty and doing nothing.

This is why I’ve been ignoring S’s readiness. She tells me when she’s wet. She tells me before she poops. She loves to sit on her potty. She brings me the board books about going potty. She puts on L’s underpants. Considering that this child of mine knows about 5 words (hyperbole), I think she’s communicating pretty effectively.

So, today I made a half-assed attempt. It was a rainy day with just S and me at home together. I have a giant bag of hand-me-down underpants from my twin nieces. (Is that weird? I can’t decide if it’s gross or not.) So, on a lark, I put a pair on S. I said to her, “Now tell mommy if you have to pee.” About one second later she pointed to her crotch and said “pop, pop.” Used to just inventing what I think she’s trying to tell me I replied, “That’s right, you have underpants on. Just tell mommy when you have to pee.” Again with the crotch pointing and the “pop, pop.” Again with the “That’s right, just let me know when you have to pee.”

Naturally, she was letting me know that she had to pee. Since I completely missed her obvious signals she peed on the carpet. Ugh. Back into a diaper and off to Target to buy training pants which a friend recommended. These are basically a hybrid of underpants and cloth diapers. Back at home I put her in two pair. No more pee on the carpet.

We had umpteen cups of apple juice and spend most of the day switching between the potty seat on the toilet and her little potty. Training pants up, training pants down, a few naked baby runs. Still no actual potty action. She did manage to wet 4 pairs of training pants.

I know that in the grand scheme of potty training this was a just fine first day. The problem isn’t that she’s not getting it or anything like that. The problem is that I’m done. I still have not managed to get her to produce a drop of pee in any potty and I’m ready to throw in the towel and be totally exasperated with her. I know that this makes me a total a-hole, but it is what it is.

I have to find some potty zen. Remember awhile back when I got all zenned out? I need to do that again. Pee on the carpet? Who cares, Man. As long as we all love each other…

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When do I get to not be involved in my kids’, er, elimination? I want to not know and not care when or if they’ve pooped. I want it to be their problem. I’m sick of wrestling, reminding, wiping, reading to etc. I’m so sick of it all.

S is at the squirm stage. Think spooked greased pig amped up on red bull. But she’s still the easy one.

L has poop issues. He withholds, which is the most frustrating, annoying, infuriating, maddening thing in the world. I never could have guessed that another person’s bowel movements could have such an effect on me. Never in a million years.

We have a new plan. It involves a “treasure chest” full of small toys and rewards that he earns by not putting up a fight when it’s time to go. He is so excited about the treasure chest. He talks about the treasure chest. He constantly wants to check on the treasure chest. And yet, he has so far not earned any treasure. His aversion to pooping is stronger than his desire for new matchbox cars, batman tattoos and lollipops.

My job is to pretend I don’t care. If I take the power out of it all, it won’t be a power struggle, right? I can’t do it. I do care. It bothers me to see him squirm because he can barely hold it in any longer. And yet he holds it. It bothers me that he can’t eat his meals because he has to poop so badly. It bothers me that he’s awake in his room until 9 or 10 at night because he can’t fall asleep because he is holding in what really just wants to come out.

This new plan is plan number high-number. This has been going on since his 1.5-year-old sister was born. I can’t stand it. I know that one day when he’s a teenager with teenage problems I may wish for these smaller problems of a small child. Well, people tell me that anyway. But right now this feels like a big problem. L’s poop or lack thereof shapes my days. When he’s gone he’s a happy, cooperative child. When he hasn’t he’s grumpy, contrary and looking for a fight.

His poop, my pain in the ass.


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Cat Killer?

I know that this blog is supposed to be all about motherhood and parenting and my kids, and this entry isn’t at all about any of that. But it’s my blog and I can do what I want to. Right now, my big problem is my cat.

I’ve written about her before. My sad, anxiety ridden cat. My cat who has ruined our carpeting, several throw blankets, baby blankets and playmats and recently 2 pieces of my sectional couch. My cat who for the last year, has been peeing (and sometimes pooping) all over my house. It’s been a year, a year, of this and I’ve had enough.

Prozac was meant to be the last chance. Now even that has failed and I’m faced with a really hard choice: put her to sleep or keep her, knowing that she will continue to pee on things until at some point in the future things get so bad that I’ll be faced with this choice again. Adoption isn’t an option. She’s a 15-year-old, indoor cat who pees inappropriately. Taking her to a no-kill shelter isn’t a good option either as I feel like it’s not a kindness to her. She’d be so unhappy, and unhappiness is her big problem. Sequestering her isn’t an option either. We’ve done that and it only made things worse.

Am I really capable of packing my cat into her carrier, bringing her to the vet and having them kill her? Because she pees?? I wish this was more black and white. I wish she was sick, in pain, suffering. I wish I wasn’t the grown up here and that this problem could just go over my head to the person who is really in charge.

Right now she’s on my lap. This sucks. I thought I was going to be putting her down today, but I can’t. If I’m going to do it at all, it will have to wait for Friday when I have some time with no kids so I can take care of it. Am I a very bad person to consider this? Am I going to be wracked with guilt for the rest of my life if I do it?

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(Today is day 3 of the Back to Blogging challenge at SITS (sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances) and the assignment is to share a post with a title we particularly like. So I’m reposting this one from way back when (April 7, 2010 – OK I know it’s not really way back). I don’t know why I like the title so much. I guess I just think it’s funny to replace the word “car” with “baby” in this common phrase. And, it’s really something I was excited about, and I called it “new baby smell” back then, when I was excited and still didn’t know the real truth…)

New Baby Smell was something I had heard about – one of those unbearably pleasurable things that I hadn’t yet experienced, like new car smell (since I always had used cars). But this time I was going to get the real deal. My baby would be new!

Before my son was born, swept up in the romance of the about-to-be, I would sometimes bury my nose in his tiny new clothes and blankets, which of course had been pre-washed in the special, super gentle, baby detergent. I inhaled the aromas of all the  baby oils, lotions and soaps, all organic naturally. I imagined New Baby Smell to be a wonderful fusion of these soft sweet things combined with some special fragrance that my baby would emit from his pores and his sweet baby breath. I was in for a surprise.

My baby smelled like vomit and rotten milk. All the time. This was his signature scent. Certainly there were times when his smell would change. Like immediately after a bath. If I was quick, I could smell him and get a noseful of water and baby oil before he vomited again, but I was rarely quick enough and often got a hairful, or even once an earful, of vomit while trying this risky maneuver. The only thing that really covered the vomit and rotten milk smell was his gas.

My baby did not know how to shit, you see. He’d push and clench at the same time leading to no movement but much frustration, crying, and I imagine abdominal pain. Apparently this is normal. But no one tells you that you are born not knowing how to shit. What he did know, was how to fart. The boy could clear a room. I’d be trapped, nursing him, and suddenly be enveloped in a thick death cloud of smell that I swear lingered in my hair and on my clothes. (Oh, I forgot to mention that my signature scent during the early months was also rotten milk and vomit, and sometimes, baby fart.)

Ah, yes. Nursing. This is the time I imagined I’d breathe in New Baby Smell. I thought I’d stroke the soft downy hair of my tiny baby, nuzzle my nose into his warm, soft cheek, relish in these quiet moments. Maybe I’m ungainly, or maybe it’s because L was born over 10 lbs, but I never got coordinated enough to nurse, stroke and nuzzle at the same time. Not that I’d want to. That soft downy hair I imagined was actually falling out in clumps. And the scalp underneath was covered in the thick yellow scabs of cradle cap, which is also totally normal and common but you never hear about. And of course, the warm, soft cheek was deeply fragranced with vomit and rotten milk. Oh, and the quiet moments. Yeah right! L thrashed about wildly while I tried to hold onto his massive head in one hand and steer my equally massive breast into his mouth with the other (it is easier to move your breasts than the baby’s head, by the way).

For us, nursing was not a simple thing I could quietly do while sitting around with others having polite conversation. First of all, the others usually had left the room anyway because of the aforementioned gas problem. But more importantly, to me, was that I had to be completely naked from the waist up. It was enough work for me to steer the giant head and giant breast without also having to discreetly move aside layers of clothes designed to be easy to discreetly move aside.

So, I spent the first several months of motherhood mostly alone, mostly naked, mostly in a noxious cloud of stink. New Baby Smell my ass.

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I’m sure you’ve all been wondering about and losing sleep over L’s poop issues. I was going to write this great post about how he hasn’t had any Miralax for almost 2 weeks, and he’s been going, without that much of a fight, a couple of times per day with nary a pooped-in pair of undies to be tossed! I’ve been ruminating on this great update post in my mind for the last day or two.

Then just now happened. Just now is not a good mommy moment for me. It’s bedtime. The kid has gotta go. It’s obvious. He stands like he’s gotta go; he squirms like he’s gotta go; he smells like he’s gotta go. So, I tell him it’s time to go.

“NO! I DON’T POOP ANYMORE! I WILL HOLD IT IN FOREVER!!” Out of nowhere. Suddenly tears.

Next comes me trying reason, trying kindness, trying scary-serious voice, trying wrestling and finally giving up and picking the kid up, tossing him into his bedroom while saying (yelling), “Fine! Then you can go straight to bed with no books, no PJ’s, and no brushing your teeth! Your teeth will all rot right out of your head!” Door slams.

He’s upstairs now crying, “Get me out of here!”

I am the best.mom.ever. Anyone want some advice? Come to me! I’m sooooo good at this. I can’t believe that it’s actually my job to raise this child without entirely fucking him up. Clearly, I’m not capable of this.

Hang on, here he comes….

OK, it’s now 20 minutes later. L came down fairly calm. I asked if he was ready to go and he said yes and went. Then asked, “Are you so proud of me?” I told him that I was not. That I would have been proud if he just went in the first place. Mean, I know.

Well, now he’s in bed fully evacuated at least. I suck at this job.

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