I watched a Louis CK bit recently where he said something to the effect of: I wish someone had told me that parenting was really about cleaning shit out a tiny vagina several times a day.
As soon as you think about it, the diaper part, it makes sense, but no one really tells you that your primary job in the first 3 years is really Poop Management.
I am now in a difficult phase of my career as a poop manager: the potty training phase. The real problem with this phase is that you are fooled over and over into thinking they have a handle on their various functions enough to at least warn you when something mighty is about to happen. You get lulled into this post diaper bliss that is altogther illusion. You drop your guard. And your diaper bag.
For the last week, the girl was not sticking to her regular poop-right-after-dinner routine. I didn’t think about it much, these things have a way of straightening themselves out whether I fret about them or no, but we were also taking a short jaunt down to the Bay Area for a peer’s birthday party. The girl decided to wear a newly acquired magenta dress (she was adamant that we not refer to it as pink) and I made the mistake of adding tights to her little ensemble.
Half way through the party, while I was making a last vain attempt to get her to eat something resembling nutrition before the cake came out, she announced that she had to go. So I trucked her out to the bathroom and put her on the training potty our hosts had made handy. She then produced a couple hollow sounds not unlike beans in a tupperware. The contents of the potty resembled some little, hard crumbs of corn and beet, neither of which the girl had eaten in the last few days. It looked like brown gravel, more like rabbit droppings I noticed, but decided again not to think too much about it, I was just grateful something was coming out the other end.
So we went through the flushing and the struggle of readjusting tights and the hand washing and made our way back out to the party. The song was sung, the cake was cut, the frosting was smeared all over most available surfaces, apologies were made. The party was winding down when the girl suddenly howled from the play area that passes as a backyard in San Francisco: “Pooooop!” I could see from the way she was standing with her knees bowed and bent that this was not a pre-event announcement.
I scooped her up and returned to the bathroom. Oh my. I think is what i said, I really hope that is what I said.
Well, the tights and the big girl panties were, uh, transformed, and since I had no provisions I had to peel off the offending layers and, well now what?
“Whoa, das a man size poop,” she said employing one of my often used tactics to make light of a disgusting situation as i did my best to shake some of it off into the toilet. I spent a good half a roll of toilet paper. Kicking myself, I decided to go upstairs with a naked-from-the-waist-down child to find a bag to put the mess in, conceding, despite the several sangrias I consumed, that leaving soiled underwear in someone’s wastebasket was not good manners. Even if it had a lid. I learned that lesson the hard way when I was in kindergarten.
But our hosts were the fastidious San Francisco types who have not a single plastic bag in their abode. So I settled for a paper bag, folded tightly with every intention of dumping it on the way out. Of course, in the hubub of leaving, saying good bye to a dozen people, I absently tucked the thing into my purse. I dropped it into the car and promptly forgot about it and It immediately blended in with all the other useless shit that invades my car.
Not recognizing it as a parcel of mass destruction until I got home, I opened it with total curiosity.
I almost fainted, let me put it that way. Bummer about those tights too.
You think there are no surprises after you witness your infant’s first bout of diarrhea. But no. The gifts keep coming.
When she is 15, I will still be following her around with wipes and a change. Much to her abject humiliation.