Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm NOT Obsessed With Poop

I am not obsessed with poop. I’m not. I can understand that you might think that I am, based on how much I talk about it. But, I’m REALLY not obsessed with poop. It’s just that when you have two children under the age of four, poop seems to dominate your life.

Buzz will be two years old in a little over a month. He has yet to set foot on the “Potty Train.” (When Roni was little, she thought the “Potty Train” was an actual train, with an engine, caboose and all. Since then, we refer to the Potty Train as if it were a locomotive taking us to a destination.) Buzz is still squarely in the diaper-wearing demographic. As such, the state of his poopiness is always on our minds.

Before I became a dad, I never sniffed anyone's butt in public. (In private, either.) Now, I do it on a regular basis. It doesn't matter where I am, I'll just pick the boy up and put my nose against his bum. (I'm sure people in restaurants are always thrilled when they see me do this.)

Of course, sometimes the "sniff test" isn't sufficient. Sometimes it's poots, but sometimes it's just toots. So, the next step is the "finger test." This involves reaching a finger or thumb over the edge of the diaper, and then pulling the diaper away from the bum so I can see if there is any poop in there. This is usually effective, but it's not without peril. More than once I've put my finger or thumb over the edge of the diaper, only to find that the poop was right up to the edge. Nothing is quite as fun as a finger full of poop. (Note: that there is what you call sarcasm.)

(Mind you, I'm not putting my finger down into the diaper, just far enough to pull the diaper out so I can look. But, sometimes that's enough.)

It's rare, but there are times when the "sniff test" takes precedent over the "finger test." Sometimes I can look down the back of the diaper and not see any poop, even though I can smell it. It seems to be contrary to the laws of physics, but every once in a while the poop sneaks up the front of the diaper. There's no easy test for finding this gravity-defying poop. And there's no easy way to clean it up, either. The "front poop" is the bane of my existence.

Once the poop is found, it is then time to change the diaper. When changing Buzz's diaper, I've found that it is helpful to have a "Toy of Distraction." When I take his diaper off, his first instinct is to reach for his little fire hose. (Just to be clear, that's a euphemism for his penis.) I don't want him to grab his little fire hose because it is either covered in poop or in the direct vicinity of the poop. I don't want him to get poop on his fingers. (Because who knows where those fingers have been. Or where they are going.) Thus, it helps to have a "Toy of Distraction."

Before taking off his diaper, I give him a toy; something to keep his hands busy. For the past few months the designated "Toy of Distraction" has been a Happy Meal robot that he particularly enjoys. The "Toy of Distraction" is essential for keeping his hands away from his little fire hose and away from the poop. (It's good when a Happy Meal toy will work for this purpose, because there's not a lot invested in it. If it happens to get poopified, it can easily be discarded and replaced.)

The most troublesome time for checking on the poop is first thing in the morning. They make special "overnight" diapers to help try to contain the night-time flow. They try, but they aren't always successful. Poop-throughs are the worst. I can usually tell as soon as I open his bedroom door in the morning. The smell can be overwhelming. (It's times like these when The Wife is glad she has a limited sense of smell.) (Also, whenever I fart.) (Which is often.)

The first thing I do when I get Buzz out of bed in the morning is check the backside of his pajamas for wet spots that could be possible poop-throughs. Of course, there was the one day when I checked his backside, saw it was dry, then picked him up and held him against me. (Even worse than the "Front Poop" is: the "Front Poop-Through!") It's never a good day when you get baby poop on your own shirt. It just isn't.

The poop-through is ten times worse than a regular diaper change. There's poop everywhere, possibly including, but not limited to: the diaper, the bum, the little fire hose, the back, the belly, the legs (sometimes all the way down to the toes), the pajamas, the bedsheets, the blankets, and the night-time teddy bear toy. And if it's not already everywhere, there's a good chance I'm going to accidently spread it around some more by touching, with the boy or the pajamas, things that were previously poop-free. It's unfortunate there isn't a hose in his room.

And, all this has just been about dealing with Buzz's poop. Even though she knows how to potty, Roni (almost four years old) has some poop issues, too.

She has taken to counting her poops. "Look, daddy, I have three poops!" This becomes a bit more troublesome when she has diarrhea. The other day she literally said, "Daddy, I have so many poops I can't count them all!" That's always a sentence a father wants to hear from his little princess.

She knows how to potty, but she sometimes doesn't know how to properly use the toilet paper. We're having a hard time getting her to understand that the bum is the last thing she should wipe, and that once you wipe your bum you should not touch any other body part with the toilet paper.

And then there is the issue of public restroom etiquette. A few weeks ago at church, Roni told her momma that she needed to go potty. So, The Wife took her to the restroom. Roni does not yet understand that in a public restroom, conversation should be kept to a minimum. When she would hear someone else enter the bathroom she would say things like, "Mommy, is that person going poopy or just peepee?" "Mommy, is that person going to wash their hands?" And, "Mommy, I have five poopies!"

Just because Roni's Potty Train has reached its destination doesn't mean this train trip is over.

So, I can see where, listening to me talk or reading this column, it might seem that I am obsessed with poop. I'm really not. I'm really, really not! (At this point, I'm not sure if I'm trying to convince you or if I'm trying to convince myself.) (Oh, poop.)

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