Good Day, Sunshine

My eyes fluttered open at the sounds of someone in my bed. Someone moving, flopping around and pulling at the covers, then settling and quietly sucking on the two middle fingers of her right hand.

“Good morning, Katie Bird,” I mumbled.

“Wook, Mom,” she said, throwing back the duvet, “I got my wiener out.”

“That’s not a wiener, Kate. Boys have wieners…”

“It not a jay-jay. I tell you, I got a wiener, Mom!” She yelled, and with that declaration, she backed that thing up and nearly parked it on my face.

“See? I tell you! Dis a butt crack,” she instructed, using her index finger to illustrate her point, “And dis a wiener. Silly,” she said, gazing at me through her legs. Even in her upside down position, I could tell from her furrowed brows that she was shocked at my level of ignorance.

I recoiled and attempted to recall the date of Kate’s last bath. It was on Monday.

“You need a bath, Kate. Your wiener stinks.”

“Step off. STEP.OFF!” she hollered. “I want you to *weave now.”

“This is my bed.”

“I wanna watch *Clipbird,” she said.

I sighed, threw back the duvet and rolled out of bed because sometimes it is, in fact, much easier to leave than it is to hang around and wage battle with Kate. As I walked toward the bathroom, she hurled one last insult at me. Evidently the worst, most threatening thing a pre-preschooler can come up with.

“I gonna poop on your bed. I a doggie you know.”

Motherhood is so glamorous.


More February Madness and Some Photographic Evidence

Despite the Great Plague of 2012 aka Hell Month, I decided to attack potty training with a vengeance. Maybe it was extreme fatigue after a week-long battle with barf…

Whatever it was that led to my visions of potty training grandeur, it was wrong. Just. So. Wrong.

In the end, on one of the rare days in February that didn’t include stomach bile, I decided that I was done with diapers. You heard me, I was finito. Caput. No mas diapers.

I remember it well. It was Friday. The Friday following a pukey all-nighter. (And sadly, not the kind of pukey all-nighters I enjoyed in my early twenties.)  No, this was viral and the only booze involved were those fancy cocktails I was perusing on Pinterest while my children hurled beside me in the dark hours of night.

I started that Friday by waging battle with my eyelids. I nearly resorted to prying them open and, because of my extreme fatigue, I decided that everyone was staying home. School was not an option. Mostly because I don’t believe in sharing germs (too late) and also because I was riding a roller coaster of fear. One moment I was joyous that I had seemingly escaped the bug and the next I was poised to sprint toward a bathroom. The slightest gurgle in my gastrointestinal region filled me with dread and threw me into a  certifiably neurotic cycle of waiting. Waiting for the puke to come. Obsessing over gas bubbles and appropriate levels of saliva production.

After approximately six hours of stopping in my tracks to declare, “Oh, this is it. I’m going to throw up,” Dave began calling me Fred Sanford, clutching at his heart and saying, “This is the big one!” (Yes, I just dated my husband with a reference to Sanford and Son. He’s so damn old, y’all.)

Since I had nothing much to do but for 27 loads of smelly laundry, it occurred to me that it was the perfect day to break Kate’s will. Yes, the Friday following a mass vomiting was suddenly the most opportune time to fight the good fight. I was certain I’d conquer her inconvenient and disgusting choice of poo receptacle.

Perhaps the hallucinations from extreme fatigue placed these grandiose plans at my feet. I didn’t care. I went with it. I embraced my sleepless state and rode the wave toward visions of a diaper-free household.

I made her take her diaper off, kindly ridiculing her about nearly being three. Then I gently taunted her with declarations that all the other girls are doing it. I issued horrifying warnings about preschool being unattainable for pants poopers. Finally, I reminded her that poo-poo beans are positively scrumptious and, with that thought planted in her head, Kate dropped trou.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t totally on board with the plan. Not at all. She was pissed off and put out that I’d dare to suggest such a foul thing as defecating in a potty. So much so, that she stripped naked in protest and proceeded to made herself look as pitiful as possible.

So I couldn’t resist taking a series of photos. You know, for future ammunition because it has become quite clear to David and I that our years with Kate are not going to be easy ones. As a result, I shall endeavor to accumulate an arsenal of mortifying photographs and videotapes to be used at a future date. But only if completely necessary. Say, for that weird boyfriend we’re going to hate but that Kate dates simply to piss us off. I’ll show him the horrors of toddler Kate and hopefully scare him off.

However, since my blog stats indicate that preverts abound, I will not post any full-frontals of my baby girl on the can. (Take that creepy people who arrive at No. 7 with searches like “mom wiped my bum.”)

For the record, Kate did not poop in the potty and late Friday evening, my cocky proclamations of health were squelched by my gurgling gastrointestinal tract.


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Poo-Poo Beans

I’m tired. Not just physically tired but mentally. I am unofficially mentally exhausted.

People like Demi Moore can afford to check their mentally exhausted yet freakishly toned and surgically enhanced bodies into posh facilities to rest. They can melt down in private or under the care of a well- trained psychiatrist. One who is able to decipher the frozen expressions of those unable to move their botulinum toxin-filled faces.

The rich and famous check themselves into retreats in Malibu to examine their feelings, kick their habits, and lament about their man-child’s infidelities. Call me cynical but I imagine there are some massage treatments and gourmet meals included in the package. Someone makes the bed, cleans the can, and washes the dishes too.

Well around here we take a nap when we’re exhausted. Then we wake up, suck it up and confront that which exhausts us. For me the culprit is poo.

I am tired of poo. It’s been seven years. Seven straight years of tending to the fecal waste of other human beings.

Kate will turn three in February and so far Kate has shown no real interest in using the potty. She has gone through weeks where she successfully tinkles/wee-wees/pees/pee-pees (or whatever fun word I can think of to inspire her) on the potty. Then she decides that she’s over it, craps in her training pants and demands that we “wipe her butt.”

I’ll admit that I haven’t really pushed the subject lately. She’ll go when she’s ready right? After all, I highly doubt she’ll be crapping her pants at the junior prom. And if she is, who’s the freak? Not me.

One of the joys of having three children is that by the third, you’ve stopped comparing your child’s development to other kids. When competitive mommies ask, “Is she potty trained yet?” I nonchalantly say, “Nope, she’s still crapping her pants.” (I don’t really say it like that…or maybe I do.) Then I quietly enjoy the looks of confusion, horror, and pity that come my way. It’s usually newbies who get caught up in the whole “Junior crawled/walked/spoke/pooped at 2 months” rigamarole. Who the hell has time for that business?

Well, yesterday morning Kate conned me. She actually listened to my half-hearted instruction to go sit on the potty then minutes later, nonchalantly entered the room and announced that she’d pooped. Gwen and I stared at one another in stunned silence. Then we ran to look.

And there it was. A little nugget in the Baby Bjorn.

We danced and clapped and wooped it up and then I said, “What kind of present do you want, Kate?”

“I want poo-poo beans.” (That’s Kate-speak for M&M’s.)

After dropping Gwen off at preschool, I drove my tiniest child to the grocery store to buy those poo-poo beans. I also figured I’d get a little shopping done while I was at it. Halfway through the shop Kate asked, “Is dere a bafroom in dis store?”

“Yes, do you have to go?”

“Yes, but I go at home.”

So I cut the shop short, picked up a bag of poo-poo beans at the register and high-tailed it out of there so Kate could crap in the comfort of her own home.

In the car she happily popped poo-poo beans into her mouth after hollering out the color of each one. She laughed and sang and kicked her little feet. Oh, we had such fun!

Then she got home, decided to hide in her room and proceeded to poop in her pants. She conned me. She threw me that little nugget with the  sole intent of procuring a bag of poo-poo beans. Go ahead and doubt me, but I’m onto her game. She’s diabolical.

This morning I saw a clip on the news about Demi checking into a facility and immediately thought of myself. Mostly because I’m selfish like that. With my head still cradled in my pillow, I imagined the news anchor telling my version of the exhaustion tale…

Kelli, the world-famous mother of the foul-mouthed toddler, Kate, has checked herself into a rehab facility citing poo exhaustion. Sources say that Kelli has recently been seen popping poo-poo beans and chasing them with pinot grigio. Her publicist denies the reports.


Inhale deeply. What do you smell? I’ll bet your house smells pretty, like flowers and sunshine. Well, I smell poo.

I’m sitting here at my kitchen island with the scent of poo gently wafting to my nose, carried on the slight breeze that follows in Kate’s wake as she trots past with Stella in hot pursuit. I can only assume that to Stella, the contents of that diaper must smell like the ambrosia of the Gods. I’m glad that someone enjoys it, but I’m so tired of walking through my house and smelling poo. If you have children, you probably know what I mean. You’re walking along, maybe skipping down the stairs on your way to the kitchen to raid the fridge and WHAMO! You walk through the cloud of darkness.

July 22, 2004 was the first day that we changed a diaper belonging to our offspring. Technically, it was Dave who did the changing in the first 24 hours. Not by choice. I was busy being immobile and riding a (delicious) morphine high following that picnic called Joe’s birth. I’ll save that tale for another time. Back to today’s delightful subject of poo…

July 22, 2004 was the first day that we embarked on our illustrious diaper-changing career. Having given birth to three children in two year intervals means that we have been wiping someone’s rear-end for roughly 6 years, 6 months and 21 days. That’s a lot of poo.

Kate will be two in exactly ten days. She has begun announcing the evacuation of her bowels by simultaneously squatting, pointing to her bottom and announcing, “Poo poo” in a quiet whisper while the stench of it hovers around her in a noxious cloud. I haven’t figured out what the whispering is about, but her tiny face proudly bears the smile of a child who is thrilled to make the announcement. Maybe on some level she understands that she has passed that milestone on the long road of diapers, the one that says, ‘Sitting in Your Own Poo is Unpleasant’.

Like countless toddlers that have come before her, she has begun hiding when it’s time to go, choosing to a quiet spot in the corner or under a table. Lately, she has begun to find us immediately upon completion and, through a series of complicated maneuvers and nose-wrinkled “eeeews”, demands to be changed RIGHT NOW. She has handed me a diaper and laid herself down in front of me expectantly, while jabbering in some unknown language. If I’m translating her words properly, I think she’s saying something to the effect of, ‘Well, what the devil are you waiting for? Change me, you silly woman!’

She hasn’t quite grasped the purpose of the potty, nor does she understand what the hubbub is about when she sits on it. She simply enjoys the captive audience of happy family members who applaud the fact that she can park her butt on the potty. In fact, whenever she feels that the household is a bit tense, she runs to fetch the potty in an attempt to lighten things up. Maybe those birth order theories are true. Don’t they say that the youngest is the clown of the family and strives to make everyone laugh? Well, Kate uses her potty as a comedic prop.

What’s the point of this poo post? Well, I’ve come to realize that my last baby is almost done being a baby. As thrilled as I am that the end of diapers is on our horizon, I’m sad. I’m going to miss the diapers, the bottle, the crib, the senseless jabber. Joe can read now, Gwen makes her own sandwiches and soon Kate will be using the potty. For the past six years, 6 months and 21 days I’ve had a baby. What’s next? I’m not entirely sure, but I won’t be smelling poo!

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