After reading a book and singing a few favorite songs and lovingly scratching her back, I gave her a kiss and walked out of her room. Ah, naptime. Time to sit and relax for a bit before tidying up the house. I sat down on my bed, sipping water and scrolling through Facebook, checking the notifications from my Gentle Humor Parenting Story of the day. Earlier in the morning Rosalyn had gotten ahold of the french press and dumped out the used, wet coffee grounds. Oh, toddlers.
It wasn’t long before she called out to me through the monitor. Unicorn needed a diaper before they could take a nap. Of course, how could I have forgotten? No matter, I’m a pro. I diapered the stuffed animal and soothed her back to a heavy lidded state before quietly padding across the carpet. Once on the other side of the door I chuckled and shook my head. Oh, toddlers. What a cute little scamp I have. Resume relaxation.
Somewhere, God laughed.
Approximately 4.5 minutes pass by and I’m about to consider turning on some Netflix because hey, the bathrooms can wait a little while longer, yeah? Especially after the action packed morning we had.
Softly, her voice comes through the monitor again. “Need help. Mommy? Need help.”
Aw, sweet angel. She needs a little more love today and that’s fine by me. Motherhood is a blessing!
I click on the camera to check where she is in her room. Sometimes she lays by her door and I’d hate to open it on her precious cherub face. That’s when I see it: a large dark mass sitting in the middle of her bed. Strange, the only stuffy she had with her was a white unicorn. Both her teddy bear and hedgehog are in her playroom, waiting patiently for a magical playtime session.
Once again, her small voice pleads over the monitor. “Mommy help. Poop.”
I leap up and span the distance across my room and down the hallway in four steps and fewer seconds. I slam the door open with little regard for the precious cherub face that was, thankfully, not in it’s path. (Email me for the address you can send my Mother of the Year trophy to.) Rosalyn stands in the middle of the room, her shit covered arms extended out to me. There is a package of wipes to my left. I grab it and begin to extract them in quick succession, throwing them forcefully towards the daughter-shaped feces monster before me. “Why?!” I ask her, deliriously expecting a response. “Why did you do this?!” If she had a much more advanced capacity for communication I imagine she would’ve said something like, “I don’t need a fucking reason, lady – I’m two years old. Try not being so stingy with the cookies next time, huh?” With her limited fine motor skills she tries and fails to make any sort of dent in the layers of excrement, dropping the wipes to the floor and reaching out to me again. “Wash hands? Rozzie wash hands?” She takes a step toward me and I’m unable to harness any sort of calm, gentle response.
“NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. YOU STAY RIGHT THERE. DO NOT MOVE. DO NOT TOUCH ME. NO. NO. NOOOOOOOOOOO.”
You’ve seen Chris Pratt taming the velociraptors in Jurassic World, right? That. Except covered in shit.
(Once again, I’m happy to accept any and all parenting award nominations. Call me.)
The next few minutes are a blur but when I come to Rosalyn is in the tub, fully clothed, water running. She gingerly sticks a few fingers into the stream and shouts victoriously, “All clean!” Omg no, child. Not even close. How have I failed you? I leave her to her rudimentary hygiene abilities, comforted momentarily by the containment properties of the tub. Once back in The Room I find myself dialing my mom for some sort of guidance because I’m on the quickly crumbling edge of a panic attack. I try mightily to give her childhood freedom from my OCD but my anxiety has a line and that line is poop. The phone rings and I inspect my surroundings for the first time, taking stock of the damage. It is smeared on the pillows, the bed rails, the sheets. The carpet, the window sill, the door. Bless her heart it is smeared on drawer handles as she undoubtedly searched for something with which to reverse her horrifying mistake. I’m now able to piece together the poop clues and discover what transpired in absolute silence during those 4.5 minutes. It wasn’t the diaper she had been wearing but one she had somehow retrieved and unwrapped from the garbage can. I imagine the first minute was play-based and then quickly derailed into a mission to wipe her hands clean on various surfaces. Naively, we never got a proper diaper trash can for her room as 90% of her diapers are cloth. Most poop is flushed into the pipes and away from me like God intended, not wrapped up neatly like a potential E. Coli hot pocket. Idiots.
Mom talks me down from the ledge and I then call my husband who is sitting at a grown up desk, talking to grown up people, and not covered in shit at all. Fuck him. While giving him a detailed tour of the horror in front of me because I desperately need someone else to suffer, Rosalyn cries out from her bathtub prison. “Raining! It’s raining, Mommy!” Um, what? I enter the bathroom to find she has discovered how to turn the shower on and is dancing in confused wonder. She has pulled her towel into the tub and proudly explains, “Towel bath.” Water is everywhere. But at least it’s not shit.
She is bathed and napping in my bed. Her room is disinfected. The carpet is pretreated, waiting to be shampooed. The sheets, pillows, and clothes are in the wash. I need a shower, I can feel poop smeared in the wrinkles of my brain. I’m hungry and need to pee but dare not to leave the bed in case it wakes her up.
Motherhood is a blessing. A shitty blessing.