Tag Archives: poo

How to Be Naked At the Grocery Store

So the other day at the grocery store, my four-year-old daughter Brontë once again showed signs of an unfortunate phase I thought we’d gotten past.

Let me explain.

As any parent can tell you, having kids is a mixture of heartwarming, hilarious, and insanely trying moments.  While every kid is different, they all seem to go through phases so frustrating, so utterly nerve-shredding, that parents hope and pray they can make it through them without duct-taping their kids to the back porch before grabbing their keys and tearing off in the car, blasting rock music and shouting, “WHEEEEEE! FREEDOM!”

I exaggerate, but only a little.

Brontë’s worst phase had to have been the Great Poop Art period spanning 2013-2014, when she was roughly one and two years old. Back then, she would casually reach down the back of her diaper to scoop out  handfuls of poo, which she would then paint into massive murals all over the house.

She really got into it, focusing intensely as she massaged poop into the wall and all the crevices of her crib. She would poop mural the bathtub, poop mural her bedroom and poop mural the backyard whenever the spirit moved her. No amount of shrieking, yelling or time-outs seemed to slow her down.

poopI don’t know whether she was inspired by curiosity or anger, but I can tell you what finally stopped her. One evening,  I returned home from a mom’s night out to find Brontë’s bedroom wall completely covered in fecal swirls (apparently, dad had missed this).

That was it. I sprayed the wall down, put a sponge in her hand, and told her to get busy cleaning.  I made her scrub the caca nightmare for half an hour before mopping up whatever was left, and THAT, dear readers, was the last time Brontë involved choco-pants in her artistic endeavors.

Poop Art was the worst of the worst, but the second worst phase was probably the one where Brontë thought it was great fun to flip mom’s shirt up in the grocery store.

Maybe because Brontë was breastfed, she didn’t think boobies were a big deal. Toddlers love being naked anyway, and don’t get why adults make such a fuss about it. Many times, John and I had to rehash the “being naked is private” lecture with her after Brontë had once again ripped off all of her clothes and run bare-ass naked through a park or restaurant or dentist’s office.

But one day, Brontë figured out she could really get a rise out of mommy by pulling up mommy’s shirt in the frozen section of Safeway. What fun. All Brontë had to do was wait for the right moment, when mom was lost in thought comparing different tomato sauces, for example, to whip out her tiny hand and start pulling.

Mom would hysterically grab at her shirt with one hand and try to restrain her toddlers’ hands with the other, shouting for Brontë to quit while other shoppers pretended not to see anything. Brontë thought this was the most hilarious thing she had ever witnessed in her two years on the planet and it took me weeks to break her of it.

But I finally did, and everything was quiet through all of age three. And four, until the other day…

Pure unbridled havoc
Brontë and I were at the local Whole Foods. She was facing me, perched in the kid seat of our shopping cart, and I was staring at the vast pasta section while trying to figure out where they put the bucatini.

“You’re tall, mommy,” she said.

“Yes, a little tall. Very tall compared to you right now, but you’re getting taller,” I said.

All of a sudden, her eyebrows bunched up in a look of pure determination as she plunged both fists under my shirt and shot her hands upward. I thrust forward from the waist, trying to move my torso with my shirt without jettisoning my child in a runaway shopping cart, and yelled, “STOP IT!”

“YOU stop it!” Brontë shouted back while using every ounce of her strength to wriggle her arms back toward my collarbones.

“CUT IT OUT!” I yelled while trying to grab her blurry arms. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”

“I’M…” she started. “I’m…”

“I’M MAKING DINOSAUR ARMS!” she screamed in exasperation.

I blinked at her in pure bewilderment. Dinosaur arms? What the hell!?

When it finally hit me, I couldn’t help but smirk. Suddenly, I found myself caught up in the classic parental dilemma of not wanting to encourage bad behavior while simultaneously not wanting to discourage raw genius. Maybe I could help her realize her creative vision in a safe way.

“Umm…” I said, “How about I make the dinosaur arms?”

She nodded and relaxed as I snaked my own arms beneath my shirt, popping my hands out the neck hole: “RAWR, I’M A T-REX!”

Brontë laughed hysterically before snaking her little arms up her own shirt and popping her fists out the neck hole: “I’m a baby T-rex!”

We rawred at each other for a bit while snorting, stomping, giggling, and convincing nearby shoppers to give us a wide berth, since we were clearly lunatics.

And I breathed a sigh of relief.

Brontë wasn’t trying to publicly pants me again; she was just realizing that her relatively small arms on my tall body would make a terrific Tyrannosaurus Rex impersonation. That’s exactly the kind of brilliant, outside-the-box thinking I can’t bring myself to shut down.

Even if I should. Or shouldn’t. Who knows?

We went home and made our bucatini and played T-Rex tag the rest of the night.





False Breakthrough in Potty-Training

Brontë: I need a toilet.

Me (feeding Bridget): You want to go potty?

Brontë: No, I just need a toilet.

Brontë toddles off, returning with her Minnie Mouse potty. She puts it on the floor and just as I start to get excited, flips the lid down and stands on top of it.

Using her potty as a step stool to retrieve a TV remote from a shelf, she hands me the remote and asks, “My Little Pony?”

Me (flipping on the TV): Sure. Why not?

Dang it. At least she’s getting some use out of it, I guess.

Everybody poops. Everybody.

Monsters put poo in my diaper. It wasn't me.
Monsters put poo in my diaper. It wasn’t me.

Big stink lines wafted from my two-year old daughter. She was blurring the background view as she stood in her overripe diaper.

“Did you poop, Brontë?”

“NO!” She yelled, running behind the couch.

“It’s okay if you pooped,” I reassured her, “Everybody poops.”

Popping her eyes above the couch, she considered what I was saying.

“Mommy and daddy poop,” I told her, “Grandma and grandpa poop.”

She paused to reflect on this as I continued, “Princesses poop. Anna and Elsa poop.”

At this, she burst into choking laughter. “PRINCESS POO!!!!” She screamed, eyes tearing up as she continued to belly laugh.

What a novel concept, the very idea that the goddesses of frozen castles and marshmallow monsters would poop just like the rest of us.

“Did you poop, Brontë?”

“Yeah, I poop,” she confessed, breaking into a giggle. “I poop princess poo.”

Babies and the Humor of Bodily Functions

IMG_1224My beautiful baby girl laughs hysterically whenever she farts. Probably in part because it makes her parents laugh hysterically. We should probably teach her not to do that before she joins the rest of society.

I think our current amusement with bodily functions is directly tied to the lifestyle changes babies bring. Unless you are a nurse, janitor, proctologist, or something along those lines, you probably don’t have to deal with other people’s poop. The rest of us spend most of our lives not just being grossed out by poop, but pretending it doesn’t even exist.

Think about it… You spend most of your days regularly suppressing gas (what guys do while goofing off may be another matter) and politely saying you need to “use the restroom.” Even if we all know what is happening, we all politely pretend otherwise. No one ever says, “Excuse me while I go take a crap” or “I need to go take a dump and it might be a while.” That would be shocking, even though everyone does it.

Some women I know won’t even go number two in a public restroom. They are too horrified by the thought of being found out. When I leave a bathroom and see someone entering, and the place has a lingering stench from some previous user, I feel compelled to tell a stranger, “Sorry, that wasn’t me!” because, well, I can’t have some total stranger thinking I have bodily functions like everyone else.

It’s really bizarre, when you think about it. A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about his horror at seeing a woman walk into a bathroom with a newspaper. He knows, intellectually, that women have to go to the bathroom too, but the fact she brought a newspaper in with her shattered his illusions that she might be doing anything other than taking a crap.

So after a lifetime of pretending no one ever has to poo, I can’t adequately describe the hilarity of watching your pink-cheeked little baby girl in her high chair suddenly drop her spoon, stare off into the distance with widening eyes, and begin to openly grunt as she squeezes out a turd,  sigh, and then go back to eating as though this were the most normal thing in the world.

Which it is, except she doesn’t know yet that we are all supposed to pretend we never fart or poop. It’s such hysterical relief to watch her toddle along in her fluffy pink dress,  stand at an angle on one foot to rip a gigantic fart, then go back to skipping along, pretending to be a princess. After hearing her father and I howl with laughter enough times, Brontë picked up on the fact that her farts are funny. She will rip one, laugh and say, “My butt said thhhwwwpppp,” which only makes her parents laugh harder.

Eventually, I know we will have to teach her that it isn’t polite to do this in public, but right now I can’t help but chuckle at her dizzying freedom, being able to rip farts and crap wherever she happens to be, without the faintest sense of awkwardness or embarrassment.

Babies, or Drunken Midget Frat Boys?


Do I really have a baby, or is there a midget high on PCP running around the house? One minute she’s cuddly and sentimental, the next, raging…. I can almost hear her slurring, “Lemme tell you about the cats,” as she drools before falling flat on her face.

Brontë is starting to walk, but she isn’t very good at it yet. She is, however, excellent at navigating the stairs. She will deftly skate down them on her butt in record time. I found this impressive until today, when she staggered up to me, buck naked, with poo smeared all over her back side. “Where’s your diaper?” I asked her, as she stared at me blankly.

I cleaned her up and re-diapered her before setting off in search of the missing nappy. It was shortly thereafter that I reached the stairs and realized what had just happened: Brontë had crapped her pants, pulled her diaper off and hid it, then SCOOTED HER BUTT DOWN THE STAIRS AS IF THE STAIRS WERE ONE LONG GIANT ROLL OF TOILET PAPER! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Fortunately, we had already invested in a steam cleaner due to the combination of these kinds of shenanigans and the ill-fated white carpet that came with this house (let me just take a moment to warn prospective homeowners: if you have kids, avoid white carpets like the plague). Still, I hadn’t planned on spending the afternoon cleaning warm feces out of the crevices of our staircase, and after that was over, I still had to embark on Operation Find The Missing Crap-filled Diaper.

It took a while, but I eventually found the unholy mess tucked into one of the pockets of the cat tree. She started taking her diapers off a few weeks ago, but we were able to confound her by putting diapers on her backwards. With this new development, the bad news is, apparently, that she has learned to master the updated technology of Backwards Diaper 2.0.

The good news, however, is that her removal and hiding of her soiled diaper may mean that she has finally developed an aversion to her own poop. This would be a welcome change. Before having kids, I kind of assumed all animals naturally had an aversion to their own feces. It is filthy and can causes diseases, and it seems like evolution would favor animals that avoid it. Cats crap in a box, dogs crap outside their living space, and even monkeys will throw poo as an intentional insult. You would think humans, being exceptionally smart animals, would also avoid poop.

You would be wrong. Brontë appears to view her poop as an acceptable artistic medium. She will scoop it right out of the back of her diaper in order to finger-paint the walls. We have this poor stone raccoon statue in the backyard that has had baby poop massaged into its crevices (and subsequently been power washed with the hose) more times than I can count. I’m really looking forward to the day I won’t have to scrub feces off the walls anymore.

So, I’m hoping this new diaper-hiding phenomenon means that Brontë, at long last, is beginning to see poop as something she wants outside her immediate environment.

In the meantime, I am going to list some of my toddler’s behaviors, and you tell me if you don’t think it sounds like something a drunken frat guy might do:

1.  Pulls off her clothes, wherever she may happen to be, and runs around naked, screaming, “WHEEEEEEEEEEE! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

2.  Walks around unsteadily, occasionally falling flat on her face.

3.  Changes moods erratically, flipping from a screaming tirade into loving, hugging sentimentality: “Momma, I wuv you!”

4.  Pees in inappropriate places.

5.  Belligerently demands cookies or other snack foods.

6.  Occasionally becomes irrationally territorial and possessive, picking fights over minor perceived slights.

7.  Abruptly passes out on the floor.

At least I understand now why some people are driven to seek intoxication. It brings out your “inner child,” so to speak. She is currently crawling over my lap, chest and face right now as she races back and forth on the couch, giggling maniacally as she goes baby-HOGWILD. She probably won’t have this much fun again until she goes to college.