Maybe it’s because I’m a guy, but ever since I can remember I’ve been obsessed with poop.
When I was a kid, I was afraid of it. And therefore, I was afraid of the toilet. I made potty training an absolute nightmare for my parents. I remember wetting the bed intentionally out of spite. I also remember one day in preschool my mom wouldn’t let me wear my corduroy pants that I loved for the 12th day in a row. I threw a fit, but she told me I had to wear my other pants, but I could take my corduroy pants as a secondary pair. Well, shortly after we had our first snack of the day I proceeded to crap my pants on purpose so I would be able to change into my favorite pants. Between that and not sleeping through the night til I was 3, my parents deserve some sort of medal.
And then my grandmother gave me that famous book “Everyone Poops” and I loved it. When I finally did start going to the bathroom as a kid, I would critique and review my poops every single time. I was also obsessed with any kind of animal poop I’d find outside. Why? I don’t know. Boys are obsessed with sick things. My friends were no different. One time in college (yes, COLLEGE) my friend called all of us into the bathroom because he had managed to defecate a continuous ring around the entire bottom of the bowl. We all just stared in amazement as my friend gazed proudly at it, telling us it had been a lifelong dream to accomplish this. Don’t worry mom and dad, that money you paid for college was well spent.
Which brings us to my son and the fact that I was instantly amazed with his poop. As a newborn, it’s called meconium and it’s like tar. Thick, black, poop that sticks to everything. Then, because Will was breastfed for the next few months, it turns runny with very little consistency. But the good thing is, it doesn’t smell bad at all. Well, it’s not like it smells like roses, but as far as poops go it’s the closest you’ll get.
But then, you switch to formula and that’s where things get a little raunchy. Formula does weird things to poop. First of all, the smell is horrendous. The baby’s stomach needs to get used to the new food and it’s just not the same as breastmilk. Also, the consistency starts to get thicker. Sometimes, the poop even turns colors! Yeah, you can imagine how that threw me for a loop. I’ll never forget, one day his poop was grey. I’m talking steel gray. And it was so thick I wondered how the poor guy got it out in the first place.
And finally, you start solid foods. This has probably been the most interesting part poop-wise. They tell you to introduce new solids slowly, giving each new flavor a few days before introducing the next. So far we’ve given Will peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas and rice cereal. And holy crap (no pun intended) you should see him eat. He LOVES solid food and he can’t get enough of them. However, even though he’s enjoying it I’m the one who suffers.
Because while it’s great that he’s making progress and trying new things, it is wreacking havoc with my diaper changing abilities. I find myself longing for the weeks after his birth where I was cleaning up breastmilk poop. The odor was manageable , the quantity was slight and it took me about a minute. Compare that to now:
First of all, as soon as he poops we know it. Hell, I think the neighbors know it. He grunts, turns red and then the smell permeates EVERYTHING! So I take him to the nursery to change him and I immediately start to gag when I open the diaper. My cute little newborn is turning into a cute bigger toddler. And as part of that growth, he’s now pooping like a little man. Instead of just being able to use 1 or 2 baby wipes to clean him up, I now go in with a small arsenal of wipes. First of all, the sheer amount of crap is staggering. He’s definitely my son and he has a lot of clogged toilets in his future. And now it’s no longer runny unless he’s sick. Now it’s got substance and that substance requires about 6-8 wipes every single time I change him.
If he’s had something like bananas it’s not so bad, but if he’s had sweet potatos…God help us all. Sweet potatos are the absolute worst. It smells like a combination of dead skunk mixed with nasty feet. It takes all I have not to vomit while I’m changing him. And if he’s like this now, what’s going to happen a year from now? Are there even diapers big enough to contain his excremental fury??
Just another one of the joys of parenthood I guess.