It’s Not All Mary Poppins

I have mentioned my degree was in English, right?

I talk to the children while I change their diapers. Of course. Who doesn’t? It is pretty much the definition of “captive audience”, and besides, we often need distraction from the goopiness of the task at hand. Although, given that the tendency is to talk about the task at hand, I’m not sure that it’s really that much of a distraction.

Given, also, that the child is very often pre-verbal, you are mostly chattering for your own amusement. Well, yes, you’re interacting with the child, but you’re perfectly aware it’s a one-sided conversation. You’re not expecting conversation in return.

I kneel on the floor, I chatter. And because the child is more audience than fellow-conversant, I play with the words for my own amusement. Ya takes yer entertainment where ya finds it…
“Lily! Another poo? Goodness, child. That’s three this morning! You’re making scatalogical history, my dear. You do know that you’re supposed to consolidate your output, right? One poo, three times the size is what we’re after, not three poos one-third the volume. Three poops? A poo in triplicate! A poo trifecta.”

(Lily and I share a delighted grin, me with my silliness, she with my pleasure in my silliness.)

“It’s a flagrant waste, my love. A waste of waste, even. Consolidate your solids, baby girl. Consolidate when you eliminate. That’s the preferred method, sweetness. Not that you are particularly sweet at the moment, noisome child. Gracious, what a stench… [and suddenly I hear what I’ve just said] a noisome stench, in fact! With which you’ll drive me from my home.”

This is why the children in my care develop good vocabularies… and mayhap pick up a little Shakespeare while they’re at it. Can’t make any guarantees re: their sanity, however…

July 23, 2010 Posted by | eeewww, Mischief, potty tales | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

All pooped out

smartiesLittle Noah is totally potty trained, and the thing that tipped the scales for us was not the infamous pee-bottle, but Smarties.

Yup. Good old chocolate-y motivator in a candy-coated package. Noah was told he would get one for a pee, and two for a poo. Suddenly, using the potty was very, very interesting!!

After a week of success, Noah was told that he would only get Smarties for poops. No more Smarties for pees.

He took it well, really. Because really, this would cut his Smartie intake by about 90%. A toddler with the will to pee can drink a LOT of water, and make many, many, many pees in day. But poo? Well, there’s only so much a body can poo.

Or so you’d think.

“I haffa poo, Mary!”
“Away you go to the potty, then.”

And yes, there in the bowl is a decent little arc.

“Good man!”
“I get Smarties now?”
“Yes, you do.”
“Not when a pee?”
“No, no Smarties for a pee. Just for poo.”
“Tank you.”

“Mary, I got to poo!”
“You do? You already did one this morning, but if you have to go, away you go.”

There is substantially more wait time and effort for this one, but, after a minute or so, there in the potty lies another reeking rainbow. Smaller than the last one of only an hour before, but definitely a poo. Wonder what he had for dinner last night?

“Mary, I got to poo!”
“Again? Are you sure?”
“Uh-huh. I got to poo.”
“All right, little man. Do your best.”

He sits. And he waits. And he sits. His face is an intensity of concentration, stern and fixed. He waits some more…

“Mary! I did a poo!”
THIS I have to see.

And there, in the bowl… a smidge, a dot, an iota of shit.

He has managed to squeeze out, by sheerest force of toddler will, the requisite excrement.

Smarties are one helluva motivator, I tell you.

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Noah, potty tales | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

You can’t judge a book by its cover

stinkyTwo little diapered butts toddle by. The stench is eye-watering.

“Noah, do you have a poo?” Noah is not 100% accurate, but he’s pretty good. No harm in streamlining the investigative process.


stinky“Okay, Tank, let’s have a look at you, then.” I do the oh-so-familiar yoink at the rear waistband and have a gander past those pink cheeks to the depths beyond. The second I pull the waistband back, I’m further assaulted by stench. This is the source, all right. Gah.

I tug four or five baby wipes from the box. Normally I get one or two, but, if the stench is anything to go by, this one’s going to be a multiple-wipe event.

And there, nestled in the diaper, lays one marble of poo. Okay, maybe a smallish walnut, but no more. A smallish walnut that flips off the diaper into the toilet, and requires but a quickish swipe at his butt with a single wipe to clean him. I stuffed the other four or five wipes back in the box.

rosesI should know by now that you can’t go by the smell. I’ve opened many a diaper expecting nothing more than wet, and been confronted by a gallon of oozing goo. And this reverse? Teeny amount, discharging 100x its volume in toxic fumes? That would be Zoe.

Sweetest little thing you’d ever want to see, a small-boned delicate black-eyed waif of a girl. Soft-spoken, too, a tiny, hesitant voice… an temperament, too. She was one of those kids I actually had to teach to say “No!” and “Mine!” (Really. They do exist. “Use your strong voice, Zoe. He won’t stop until you speak up for yourself. Strong voice.”)

All that mildness was utterly forsaken in the realm of poop. Lordy, that child was potent. Never seen smelled anything like it.

stinkyWe were in a playgroup once, a large, concrete-walled room with some twenty other children and assorted caregivers and parents. Half-a-dozen of us caught the whiff at the same time, and began the Hunting of the Poo.

It was Zoe, of course. And when I opened the diaper and the other adults saw the single tiny marble therein, lo, there was Great Marvelling.

stinkySeems Tank is another such as Zoe. Thank goodness they only seem to come along once every ten years…

On the upside, I guess I’ll be saving on baby wipes.

September 15, 2009 Posted by | eeewww, individuality | , | 5 Comments

Adding to the mythos

1144994_floral___The fumes in the room are eye-watering. I dispense with the foulness under Noah’s small bottom as quickly as possible while the crowds gather.

“He gots a giant poo!” Timmy is impressed, even exultant.
“Who does?” Anna races to see. “Nissa?”
“No. Noah.” Timmy is reproving. “Nissa doesn’t poo. She is a girl.”

My husband’s voice, deadpan, from the adjacent room: “No. Girls don’t poo. They don’t fart or sweat, either.”

Timmy nods sagely. “No, they don’t.”

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Anna, eeewww, the things they say!, Timmy | , , , , | 3 Comments