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I am always shocked by poop.
Not my poop, but the poop of my daughter, that delicate little flower.
My mother, who routinely drove me crazy about all kinds of things, was a Poop Nazi. You see, I am not a Daily Pooper. A Daily Pooper does just that – poops daily. I am a bi-weekly to thrice-weekly pooper.
My lack of daily pooping drove my mother to distraction when I was a child. “When did you last poop? Are you constipated? Does your stomach hurt? Do you need to potty?” These were questions that I endured until I was well into adulthood.
If I was crabby, it must mean that I needed to poop. If I was distracted, I needed to poop. If my head hurt – you guessed it, I should poop. It was a cure-all – no need for fancy medicine or scientific advances in medicine, people just needed to poop more often.
My mother would be proud of my daughter. Phoebe is a daily pooper. She obviously inherited this ability from her father or from my mother’s side of the family.
My first experience with Phoebe’s pooping ability came on the day she came into this world. Until you have experienced meconium or a newborn’s first bowel movement, you don’t know what true horror is.
Moo and his mom had left the hospital get some dinner and pick up a couple of missed items at the drugstore. Almost as soon as they left, the nurses swooped into the room and got me out of bed for the first time post-c section. While I’ve never written about that experience (and I need to) suffice it to say that when I finally returned to my bed, I was exhausted and drained in many ways.
At this point, the nurses instructed me that Phoebe needed to be fed and probably changed. “No problem,” I said. I had a tiny bottle full of formula and I had some idea of how to use it. My tiny baby sucked down 1/2 an ounce and burped beautifully. I was praised for my feeding and burping ability. Then, came time for the diaper.
I don’t know what I expected from that first diaper, but it wasn’t the vile, viscous, gelatinous black stuff I found on my daughter’s hide. It was evenly distributed all over her hind-end. I considered running away right then, but the nurse said “Oh good, she’s passing the meconium already.”
I failed to see how this was good, as I was convinced that we needed a priest but never the less went to work trying to clean this stuff up. It laughed at the provided baby wipes – I used half a dozen to attempt to mop the goop up, but the moisture just seemed to make it spread. I expressed my concern about the lasting power of this stuff and the nurse suggested a warm wash cloth. This was slightly more useful, but I never want to know what happened to that cloth or if it came into contact with anyone’s face.
Even now, every time I open Phoebe’s diaper and am met with poop, I express my shock by saying loudly:
“What am I feeding you? How did you get birdseed in your poop?”
or my favorite: “Don’t get your socks in it!” as my incredibly flexible daughter touches her bottom with her little sock covered feet.
One day, I will get over my poop shock, right now, I’m just trying to resist the urge to be a poop nazi.