Tuesday, June 10, 2014


So, as evidenced in my last post, I'm going to admit that there has been a lot of crying in this house during the past week.

These last few days have been a doozy. A poo-zy doozy. This time around I'm speaking of Miss Emerson. We have entered a new phase with her. A phase that two of my other girls have gone through around this same age, so you would think I'd be used to it. But nobody ever gets used to fecal matter. NOBODY. NOT EVER.

It all starts with nap-time. Emerson goes down to sleep, at some point wakes up quietly, poops in her diaper, removes all of her clothes AND her diaper, and proceeds to finger paint and sculpt pottery and color in all of her books with poop. She reduces, reuses, and recycles EVERYWHERE. EEEEEEEVERYWHERE.

She will eventually come running out, covered in brown and smelling worse than the worst possible thing you could ever imagine smelling.

Insert me here, losing my shi* all over the place. Pun intended.

I was calm (er) with the first two kids who did this. However, three kids deep, I am quite literally at the end of my rope. We had 5 episodes of this in the past 10 days. I will be duct taping her diaper, but honestly the main reason I haven't resorted to that already is because I don't think it will even stop her from reaching on in. I will pause now to say this: if you need to forward this to someone who you are desperately trying to convince to NOT to have children, you have my permission. This story should do the trick. And if not, email me and I'll recommend a few more past posts. I don't mean to brag or anything, but I'm kinda becoming known as the birth control blogger around these parts. Moving on...

I sobbed my way through the last episode yesterday.

One minute, she was sleeping - darling and clean and well fed - until around an hour later. The smell preceded her by about 40 seconds before she came running in with her hands held high and happy and completely smothered in gggggggross. I broke. I cried and cried and shut myself in the poop stained bedroom, scrubbing with clorox, in a state of completely shattered, martyred despair. London and Lily were particularly sweet and concerned. London said, "Mom, I think you need a bweak. How about I give Emmasin a bath and you west {rest}." Sweetness which only made me cry MORE and HARDER for being so pathetic in front of my kids. I just couldn't take anymore POOP!!!!! MY HOUSE CAN NOT SMELL. LIKE. POOP. That is MY LINE. THAT IS WHERE IT IS DRAWN. I can do crying babies. I can do sleepless nights. I can do stretch marks. I can do tight budgets. I can do messy rooms. I can do laundry piles everywhere. I can do stress. I can do thankless jobs. I can do sagging breasts. I can do the occasional potty accident. I can do the stomach flu. I can do broken eggs on the kitchen floor. I can do an entire bag of flour dumped on the carpet. I can do shattered vases. I can do nail polish on the walls. I can do marker on the furniture. I can do just about anything but I CANNOT. I CAN.NOT. DO MY HOUSE SMELLING LIKE POOP ALL OF THE TIME. MY. HOUSE. CANNOT. CANNOT. CANNOT. SMELL LIKE POOP.

This was what I kept repeating to myself, along with a whole host of expletives, while cleaning down the individual crib rods that were smothered in greenish satanic excrement.
This time around, she had even managed to rub poop into the hand-made framed art piece that I painstakingly made when Lily was a baby (when I actually had time for painstakingly detailed hand-made framed art pieces) - which was on the floor, waiting to be hung. This was like a sign from the devil himself. He had officially popped a squat and crapped all over my existence. WwwwaaaaaaaAAAAAaaaaaaAAA. Why does this sort of stuff happen to me?!!!!!! Is it because I keep blogging about it so the universe keeps ping ponging it back? What is wrong here?!!!!!! What defective gene am I carrying?!!

Such was my state of pathetic self-pity last night as I texted my sister pictures of the incident. She concurred, it was bad. And as a nurse recommended that, from what she could tell by the color and consistency of what she was seeing all over the bedroom, Emerson needed more fluids.

Then she asked me if I wanted some perspective. I said NO.

She has never really listened to me though.

She continued, and updated me on a patient in her cancer unit who I have periodically asked about. Of course, no names are ever divulged, but there are a few patients who she has been especially concerned for in the past year and spoken of from time to time.

One of which is a young mom, with a little daughter in kindergarten. She arrived back at the hospital recently, her condition taking a sharp turn for the worst. She is dying. As my sister and I sat in our homes texting each other, the grief-stricken husband of this sweet woman had long been sitting faithfully at his sedated wife's bedside - refusing to go home and shower in order to make sure he was there when she drew her final breath.

Sometimes there are no words to describe the violent shift in reality such experiences can induce. It was instantaneous and true. I have no problems.

Today, I feel tremendously heavy and and sad for this Mom who I never knew. I am also really, really grateful.

I am going to share a few things that I believe deeply. As if this post hasn't been insane enough. But I don't care. Sometimes I just want to talk about what I think and what I believe regardless of who shares this belief, or what theology it aligns with, or how nutso or wishful thinking it may seem or whatever the case may be. I'm going to just allow myself to be free and go wherever I need to go.

When I think about this Mom and what is happening, I can't help but feel that I am in some way a recipient of the wisdom imparted from a soul who came to this earth to serve as a teacher. She is a teacher. I think that the noblest of souls, the true celebrities of heaven, are the people who come to fill this needed capacity. They can come in a wide variety of forms, but many of the very best are the handicapped, the disabled, the sick, or those struck by premature death and tragedy. The teachers come to wreak all sorts of havoc on mistaken ideas, selfish desires, and shallow wills. Through their lives, and even in the giving of their lives, they infuse existence with meaning and perspective. Perspective that would otherwise go undeveloped. For example, how your child pooping all over your home is really not a big deal in the grand scheme of life.

I think we each vacillate back and forth throughout our entire lives as both teachers and learners, depending on the circumstance and time. But the critical, primary question of identity has yet to be determined. Are you really a teacher, or a learner? I think we have yet to know until our lives lead out their course to the end. It isn't until then that we can know for certain what title we chose.

That Mom, I feel quite sure, chose to be a teacher. In the great courts of eternity maybe she stepped forth, knowing that life could never be as beautiful or precious unless there was death. We would never know the priceless value of a mother unless we understood the reality of losing one. And so in keeping with a grand opposition in all things, she accepted the masterful role of teacher. And I, a mostly ridiculous and even cowardly learner, am indebted to her. She taught me. Stories like hers will continue to teach me.

I am totally going to get her autograph in heaven. And when I do, after waiting in what will surely be a very long line of adoring fans, I'll be sure to thank her profusely for reminding me that dirty children and messy homes and exhausting days in this mortal life are gifts to be savored. Poop 'n' all.


Anonymous said...

Hi-I stumbled onto your blog and am also a mom to 4 girls ages 1-8. Yeah girls! Had to comment because one of mine did that poo thing too. So gross! We finally got it under control by putting a one piece zip up with the snap over the zipper on first and then a onesie over the top of it. She could not get it all undone and off. Or get her hands in. Ha. I know it's hot but I found some light cotton footless PJs at Costco last year and it worked. I got lazy thinking it was too much work changing her into that...yep it's way less work than cleaning up the mess. Good luck and prayers for your dear mom friend and her family. You are right, each day to be with our little girls no matter what they do is such a gift. Good luck!

The Mrs. said...

You made me think of Corrie Ten Boom -The Hiding Place.
Her sister said to be thankful for everything in the concentration camps. Even the fleas. I'm sure you've read it. I guess it could be worse than poop, huh? You touched on that beautifully.

Joan said...

Oh me oh my. You had me rolling on the bed in fits of laugher complete with tears. Thank you for your humor, words of wisdom and rich perspective.