August 23, 2012

Neminems for Everybody

My adorable terrorists
When I was pregnant with my twins, a lot of people made jokes about the horrors of parenthood.

One of those jokes, one that you hear all the time when you're pregnant, is that you'll never get to go to the bathroom alone again.

Of course that wasn't true.  Of course you get to go to the bathroom alone.  At first, it's even easy to go to the bathroom alone.


Things change.  As your children change, the realities of life with them change as well.  So when you say to a pregnant lady, "You'll never use the toilet alone again!" what you're really saying is, "There is now going to be a window of time in your life, lasting from weeks to years, where you going to the bathroom is the most fascinating thing in your kids' lives and they will not let you keep anything that good to themselves."

In other words, this is a blog post about poo.

There's a lot of interest in poo over here.  My kids are interested in ANYBODY's poo, a potty training side effect I'm sure, and lately M and I have been INCREDIBLY interested in RH's poo.


Because there hasn't been any.

You got that right.  We are now on day five of Poop Watch 2012.

No, she's not constipated.  She's just not pooping.

Yes, I've talked to the pediatrician.

But this is a fairly normal growth spurt.  How do I know?  Because when DD was about three months old, she didn't poop for ten days.

Yeah, ten days.

On the one hand, there's a lot to be said for the poop-free model of infant.  Babies are nice and all of that, but they do poop and scream and puke.  Well, most babies.  Not mine.  Mine is poop-free.

On the other hand, you find yourself just... waiting.

DD freaked me out something fierce when she stopped pooping.  The last day that she pooped was the day that we got in our car accident.  And when you have an infant in the car while your car is totaled on the freeway, any change of behavior seems... ominous.

Not pooping?  Was it some sort of horrible bowel trauma?  Did we have a gremlin that caused our car to spin out on the ice, and then hid itself inside of my infant daughter's colon to cause more mischief?

I doubted it.  But it was possible.

Every day for ten days I called our pediatrician, to inform her that my very cheerful three month old would not poop.

And then... it happened.

We were driving back from Minnesota in Grandpa's car (ours having been totaled on our way TO Minnesota), the last day of the weekend after Christmas.  Traffic was epic.  There was gridlock down the expressway all the way from the Wisconsin border to our front door.

And somewhere around Schomburg, the screaming started in the back seat.

Now, anyone who's had an infant in the dead of winter knows that babies are like petruschka dolls.  There are layers and layers of garments.

First, there's the diaper.
Then there's the onesie or shirt.
Then there's the overalls or crawler.
Then there's the coverall for the crazy cold.
And then there's the car seat.

Ladies and gentlemen, by the time we got home, the poo had seeped all the way through all of those layers to the car seat.  *Barely*.

And, ladies and gentlemen, we were stuck in traffic, unable to either pull over or exit the vehicle for so long that the poor thing was practically cemented in to all of that stuff.

Poor Grandpa.  His Jetta probably still smells like infant excrement.

The passenger side got the worst of it.  I got a concussion.
Aside from that, nobody was harmed.
It was horrible.  I still think back on it as the worst poo I've ever seen.

Well, except for maybe that one time that Poppa put the girls to bed in their pjs without any diaper on, and they were thinly coated in their own feces from their necks to their toes when I got them out bed in the morning... but at least that was fresh.

So, M and I are currently quite fixated on RH's poo.

DD and SI cannot fail to notice this.  The moment RH whines, a big sister chimes in.  "Did her poo?"

"No, I don't think so."

"She did!  She get a neminem!"

And then we all march off to find out that, no, she does not in fact get an m&m.

...but I get m&ms.

As the majority of American parents are probably aware, bribery is essential to potty training children.  Now, SI was basically potty trained in eighteen hours.  But DD has been much MUCH more work.

We've reached the point where, most of the time, she poos in the potty.

And then she watches me put it in the toilet, and we flush it away and wash our hands.

And then she gets an m&m.

Actually, at this point the m&m isn't really important.  It's more the fact that she can jump around and scream for joy and sing and announce to the world that she could have a "neminem."  Because she pooed in the potty.

And everybody poops.

And we have a lot of m&ms in the candy dish.

And that means that now NOBODY is allowed to go to the bathroom without my children present.

Having a potty training kid watch you sit on the toilet is... a unique experience.  She is not content to merely be in the room, no.  She isn't content to merely engage you in conversation about all of the details of your endeavor.  She is not content to merely give you a high five when you're done, and then run screaming through the house telling anybody there that you just did it!  You just pooed in the potty!

No, she wants to see.  They both want to see.

"Mommy!  I want to see you poo in the potty!"
"You can see me from there sweetheart, please just... stay over there."
"Is you pooing mommy?"
"You is!  You is pooing in the potty!  Yay!"
"Yes honey, please... just... stay over there."
"I want to see!  I want to see your poo!"
"When I'm done honey, then you can look in the potty, but... please... not now..."
"Mommy mommy!  Is you doing it?  Is you pooing in the potty?"
"Yay mommy!  High five mommy!  You doing it!"
"Mommy is doing it!  Mommy is pooping in the toy-yet!"
"Mommy gets a neminem!  Mommy gets a neminem!"

And at that point, you give up and weep openly into your hands while your child tries to pry your rear off of the toilet seat and cram her nose practically into your butt crack.

Or, of course, you can close the door and spend a few minutes with two small people screaming and crying and yelling and banging on the door and yelling, "I WANT MOMMY!  WHAT IS YOU DOODING?  IS YOU POOPING?"

But don't you dare answer them, because if you do, you're just going to make it worse.


And if you don't answer them, they run screaming all over your house, terrified that you have disappeared while wailing, "Where is you, Mommy?  I want mommy!  Where is you?  WHERE IS YOU??????"

People don't tell you that when you're pregnant.

And yes, I get a fucking m&m.

So our house is filled with poo-sanity.  From SI's mispronunciation of her favorite bear, "Winnie a Poop," to  DD's bouncing m&m dance, to my attempts at stealth pooping, to RH total lack of poo.

And poor M.  He's just not as graceful when it comes to having the girls watch.  And if *I* have to deal with this shit (pun intended) during the day, he sure has to deal with it after work.

That said, I don't know what's going on in there when they're watching him, but I do know that yesterday DD was trying to cook her penis in the kitchen.

It can't last forever.  By the time these kids hit middle school, even the existence of this blog post will humiliate them beyond remedy.  I hope.

Very happy for somebody who hasn't earned
an m&m in four days.
And in high school. I will pull this out as a warning to keep them from getting pregnant.

But for at least the next couple of years, I will treasure my door-closed-toilet-time.  Because you never really appreciate what you have until it's gone.

...unless it's a poop-free baby.  That is easy to appreciate while it's happening.

The poop-free baby is pretty much a winner every time.


  1. and I fear none of us will ever look at a bag of m&m's the same way again.

  2. You were right about this being hilarious. I've laughed until I cried! :D Oh my.

  3. Ha! This is great. We are just entering the poop phase as my 20-month-olds proudly proclaim they've "poo-poo'ed" multiples times a day. (And, sometimes, they actually have.) Anyway, enjoyed this post as a preview of what is to come. New follower via Multiples and More.

  4. Oh man, I can relate. My daughter would go on long pooping break up until she was 3. We used to have to resort to miralax and I called the episodes PooGate!

    Following/commenting from
    thank for the laugh and please follow back :)

  5. I do love M&Ms but I'm afraid I might have to chill on those for a while. ...Prying your butt off the toilet... excellent. SOunds like fun times in your house!!! Found you at finding the funny.



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