You Won’t Find This in Potty Training Guides

I’m all for parenting books and their advice. I don’t agree with all of them, but I respect the need for so many people to seek advice. The sheer number of those available should meet the needs of most people, especially those like myself without parents to turn to in times of crisis or chaos. I get it.

What I need most are blogs. All the mom blogs in all the world offer a level of reality and comfort that no published guide can offer. You tell your stories without filters, you don’t worry about what an agent says, and you deliver the message in a way that exudes strength, determination, and a can-do spirit despite wanting to run screaming from your homes. It’s why I decided to throw my hat in the ring. Maybe someone will connect with my stories and find solace in their moments of despair.

Like the one I had last night.

My husband was out-of-town for business, and I was leisurely talking to my friend on the phone as both kids were fast asleep in their beds. She was sharing the contents of her day with me that included a lice infestation on her youngest daughter’s head. It turns out helmet shopping is a dangerous undertaking. As all moms who have gone through the lice crisis before, she was exhausted, embarrassed, and subconsciously scratching.

I had to interrupt her horror when my eldest opened my door with a suspicious smile on his face and said, “Mommy, I just wanted to tell you I love you. And I have poop on my hand.” The referenced hand moved from my doorknob to the edge of my baby’s bassinet.

From there, things moved fast. I told my friend I had to go. I followed him to the bathroom to make sure proper hand washing was observed and to grab the disinfectant.

The bathroom looked like a crime scene. I took in the towels crumpled on the floor near a puddle of what I hoped was water. I noted the light brown streaks on the counter, the edge of the bathtub, and on the toilet itself.

As he was washing his hands, I realized I should check to make sure he wiped. He had not. I put my hand on the toilet paper to grab a length of it, and my hand found the hidden part in the back where he had wiped his bottom with his hand and then wiped his hand off directly on the roll because it was a new one and he couldn’t get it started. Note to self: put on rubber gloves before this type of investigation.

I lurched back in disgust and surprise, only to step (with bare feet) into poop previously camouflaged on the brown bathroom mat. It took this mom only a half beat to assess that particular piece of evidence. He always sits on the floor to put on his undies.

My friend on the phone (the one with the lice infestation) once warned a more na├»ve version of myself, “Kids are gross.” I was giddy with my first pregnancy and needed a dose of reality. That is why we moms stick together. We have all earned the badge of courage for facing our worst nightmares. What is your latest war story?



Pregnancy Through the Eyes of a Child

All kids have a real curiosity about the mystery of pregnancy and childbirth, and rightfully so. In addition to his questions involving how a fetus pees, our son has begun to ask more practical questions.

As I tucked him into bed the other night and walked to the door in the dark, he asked me, “Mommy, where does the baby come out?” I replied with the best answer I could come up with on the spot. “In the hospital, honey. Goodnight.” And then I ran like hell.

The next morning, he wanted to push further. “Mommy, why does the baby come out in the hospital?”

“Because that is where my doctor is, and she will want to make sure that me and your baby brother are okay. She will probably want me to stay for a day or two so they can give us check-ups.”

“Oh,” he said, “so the doctor pulls the baby out?” He points to my belly button. Oh dear. Here we go. Am I prepared to be factually accurate?

“Well, she helps to pull him out down here.” I gesture vaguely toward my nether regions.

“SHE PULLS HIM OUT OF YOUR BUTT????” Hysterical laughter ensues.

At this point, I do the wrong thing. Instead of being a 21st century parent, I revert to a more modest time and offer him a cup of grapes and try to dazzle him with the presentation.

I was sure I had properly distracted him. Later that day, however, I hear him telling my husband through belly laughs, “The doctor is going to pull my baby brother out of Mommy’s butt!” I have no doubt he told all his preschool teachers the same thing.

Let this be a lesson to you. Be honest. Face it, or your kid will tell everyone he sees in Home Depot his theories on childbirth and you will be the butt of everyone’s jokes.