Poop. I was searching in the dark for lost poop. This, my friends, is what my life had become. I had reached an all-new low, and I wondered – for a moment – if there was any coming back from this.
But first, let me start from the beginning…
My two-year-old son is in a Spica cast due to a broken Femur. The story doesn’t fit the trauma of the injury and healing process. He fell to the kitchen floor during playtime while trying on one of my husband’s shoes. The end result was a trip to the ER, a two-night hospital stay, and 5-6 weeks in a body cast that doesn’t allow him to sit up or walk.
My poor baby boy was traumatized by the entire situation and spent the first few nights back home sleeping in bed with me and my husband. I was scared to death of touching him, moving him… and of changing his diaper. I was especially terrified of poop. The doctor had thought that it would be entertaining – or helpful – to tell us stories of toddlers who needed their casts completely redone, because poop had exploded up through their diaper into the inside of their cast.
Thank you for that image, Doc.
Because of this, I was almost relieved that Brady was very constipated for his first bowel movement. It was 3am in the morning; and he woke me and Nate up, asking for a cup of juice. That’s when I smelled ‘it’ and sent Nate to get the juice while I tackled the diaper in the dark. I’m not exaggerating… I was so freaked out about getting poop on the cast that I was sweating and basically lamaze breathing as I undid the diaper.
But then I realized that the poor kid had pushed out a hard, golf ball of poop. I made a mental note to buy prune juice just as I breathed a sigh of relief at how easy it would be to clean up.
Okay, maybe not. Brady decided to twist and kick in that moment. He might as well have shouted “FOUR!” That ball of poop took flight and landed… somewhere.
I just sat there, stunned, staring at the now-empty diaper. Like seriously, does this actually happen in real life? I squinted my eyes and tried to see better in the darkness, but I didn’t see the poop ball in the immediate area around us. So I started pulling back the sheets a bit. And then, as I searched and tried to keep my toddler from wriggling away, it hit me. I had lost a hard lump of poop in our bed.
The hysterical laughter that hit me immediately afterward mixed with sobs. I really wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, so I laugh-cried. (Totally a thing). It was 3am, I was exhausted, there was a now wide-awake toddler lying naked on my bed, and I was looking for lost poop.
This. This is what my life had come to.
It’s not that I ever imagined the mommy life as being glamorous; but – let’s face it – we all hope that we’ll turn into that mom who miraculously holds it all together. You know, the June Cleaver of moms who manages to place a warm meal onto the table every night, while keeping a tidy home, looking effortlessly glamorous, and still finding the time for reading with her husband every night. They just don’t make them like that anymore.
This is more my reality these days.
Spica-cast inspired melt-downs… Tears… Frustration… And lost poop.
In the end, the flying poo turned up on Nate’s side of the bed. (At 2 years old, Brady is already quite athletic. Move over, Tiger Woods). In my exhaustion, I briefly wondered if I could just grab it with a baby wipe and then wait to tell Nate the story in like 30 years from now. But even if I’m no June Cleaver, I am very clean, hygienic, and humane, so I sighed in defeat and realized the diaper change had now turned into a sheet change. Unfortunately, after waiting for a diaper change and a bed-sheet change, there was no going back to bed for the little guy.
That’s okay, sleep and morning showers are totally overrated, so early morning cartoons it was.
As we snuggled in bed and watched Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Brady gently cupped my face in his hands as if he wanted to keep me as close as possible. Every once in awhile, he’d whisper “Mama” and then look up at me with his big eyes, as though to make sure that I was still there. (It’s something he has done quite frequently since our stay at the hospital). And I was reminded that even if the mommy life is far from glamorous (and that it does stink at times… literally), it is sweet. And beautiful. And precious.
Our little ones make it worth it, each and every day. Because the love we have for them is unexplainable and unstoppable, even if it sometimes leaves us looking for lost poop at 3am.