Originally published February 16th at Mommy Connections East Toronto
I talk a lot about poop these days. I mean a lot. Like way too much and to way too many people. To my husband, parents, friends and even strangers.
It wasn’t always like this. I used to have regular, non-poop conversations about all kinds of things.
Before my son was born I talked about poop a normal amount. Not being a plumber, medical professional or teenage boy, I didn’t really have much cause to talk about it. My poop conversations increased slightly after my husband and I got a dog, but this was nothing compared to what happened when we had our baby.
I would say, conservatively, 70% of our conversations are about poop. I’m sure it makes my childless friends uncomfortable, but, to be honest, I don’t care. I have made my peace with it.
We have all kinds of poop conversations. Everything from earnest, thoughtful conversations to hilarious, gesture filled stories.
If I had to categorize these conversations (and I do, for some reason), they would fit into 4 main categories:
The Poop Check-in/Update
Since we had the baby, we have become responsible for monitoring another human’s excrement. That’s the part of the job that doesn’t get advertised in the brochure. These conversations are mostly to update others on your baby’s poop (because they’re dying to know, obviously).
These conversations tend to be something like this:
My husband: I haven’t changed a dirty diaper in a while. Is he okay?
Me: That’s because he saved all the poop for me.
My husband: Oh, good. Nice scheduling little man.
Poop as an explanation for behaviour
These conversations are mostly trying to explain weird sounds you baby makes. Probably in quiet moments in a public place. Funny grunting noises, weird faces or unexplained fussing can all be explained by an impending poop.
Me: What is that noise? Was that him? It sounded like a cat trying to play the tuba.
My husband: Maybe he has to poo?
Me: Oh, probably.
This category is devoted to the poop’s descriptive properties, including its colour, shape, smell and texture. There are entire internet sites devoted to showing new parents what baby poop should look like. If you try to find them, maybe delete your internet search history – especially at shared computers.
Anyway, these conversations are mostly short, and tend to have phrases like these:
Why is it green???
Ooh, runny today.
Gross, this one is sticky
What is that? A carrot? He only eats breastmilk!
You get the idea….
Poop horror stories.
The first thing my baby did when he was born was poop on the nurse, so we have lots of these. As a mom, I spend a lot more time cleaning up poop then I ever have before. Between the dog and the baby, I should really be wearing a hazmat suit.
At least 3 times a week the baby has these massive poop blowouts that break through the constraints of the diaper and get EVERYWHERE. I have heard lots of names for the really big blowouts, but my favourites are: Pooplosion, Apoocalypse, Poonami and Mount Poosuvius.
As a result, these conversations are often about quantity or poop, how much got onto you and how long you took to clean up the mess.
Me: Major Apoocalypse today.
Husband: Up his back?
Me: And his front. Not sure how he managed to poo on his neck and chest. Also, he kept reaching for his left butt cheek, so that didn’t make things easier.
Husband: Any hope for the outfit
Me: Oh no. Gone for sure. Mine can be salvaged though.
Or this one, I had with another mom today:
Other mom: I don’t even care if I get poo all over me now. I got some on my cardigan the other week, and put it back to wear for later.
Me: Yeah, most of my outfits have some poo or other body fluid on them. If I can’t smell it from another room, it’s good.
Don’t feel bad, new parent. At least you are not alone! When you meet another new parent, the urge to compare stories from in the trenches is strong. There is no point in resisting, because we all know they are dying to talk about it too.
The poopier or more implausible the location of the poop, the stronger the urge to tell someone else what you have spent your morning doing because someone else should hear about this!
When half of you wants to cry and the other half wants to laugh at the sight of poop clinging to your baby’s hair, the dog and your couch, the best option is to find another parent and have a laugh.