The Power of Poop

Yeah, so, this is not a topic I thought I’d ever write about. Nope, not me. I come from a family in which poop didn’t happen. The closest we got was the vague reference to Dad’s need to “read the paper” when he got home from work. None of the rest of us pooped. Really.

This made poop a particularly huge revelation for me as a parent: poop can be the single most depressing thing in the world or make you laugh so hard you cry. Who knew?

For instance, yesterday I cleaned mouse poop out of our silverware drawer (those electronic high-pitched deterrent mechanisms are apparently a huge joke), cleaned a pooping accident by a 3-year old off the bathroom floor, and changed five poopy 7-month old diapers. All before 10am. Yep. It was a crappy day.

A dear friend with whom I trade childcare had a 3 year old with a diarrhea virus. After four days of diarrhea, her daughter had a normal poop. They danced and sang through their house, because a non-diarrhea poop meant that my daughter could come over to play again. The news prompted a “Yeah Poop” song and dance in my house, too. After all, the benefits of that good poop extended to our family!

A few weeks ago, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, confused about a sensation on my stomach and hand. I couldn’t figure it out, so I turned on the light. Ah, yes. My clever son had removed his diaper (wouldn?t want to get it dirty, after all), and pooped all over the bed (read: me). The source of my confusion was the chunks of carrots. The introduction of solid foods adds a whole new level of pooping adventures.

Then, there is a toddler’s fascination with poop and everything surrounding it. By age 2, my daughter could recite for you (or any other unwilling stranger), “The food goes in my mouth, into my throat, to my stomach, then out my bottom. It makes poop!” After a particularly stressful and haphazard trip to the east coast for the holidays, my daughter found herself unable to poop. It became a regular topic of conversation, “Mama, beans make good poop. So does salad. Does cheese make good poop?” You should have seen the Yeah Poop dance that followed those several days!

And, then, there’s just the great storytelling that arises out of poop. There’s the children’s book Everyone Poops (by Taro Gomi) that examines the pooping habits of many creatures under the sun. There’s our friend’s daughter who used to name each poop and say good-bye to it before she flushed. And, there’s the carrot story I just told you that will go down in the “stories to tell on your son’s first date” file.

Yeah, it’s a poop universe out there. And, look at me, I just can’t seem to stop talking about it. Happy pooping to you, one and all!