It all began with a pair of socks. I asked Yev, “Hey can you grab me a pair of socks for L’s feet? They’re cold.”
“Why don’t I just turn up the heat?”
“Because I get hot really quickly with the morning routine. I’m already taking them to the park today, so I know I’ll get sweaty from all that moving around.” No need to start this early. Mornings are hard enough without breaking a sweat by 7am, after I’ve already showered and put on clean clothes. Yev shrugged and walked away. Well for you literary folks, this was a classic example of foreshadowing.
The morning progressed rather normally. The girls fought over toys and screamed at me while the same inane child’s movie played in the background. They peed in the potty a couple of times, and I thought, “This is going to be a great day. R’s bladder is getting bigger, and L is starting to get the hang of this potty thing.” Oh, how I was wrong.
I’m packing the car to go to the park with a friend, silently congratulating myself for running on time, when I hear L whining and R going, “Oh boy. Oh boy.” I stroll over, head hung. What now? Well L’s legs and hands are smeared with poop, and I see a dog licking up a suspicious brown goo on the floor. I peek around the couch and sure enough! There is a nice pile of poop on a blanket. What should I do first?
Well, this just became a tactical mission. If I grab just L, R was at risk for becoming poop smear victim #2, and if I take both with me, I’m sure the dogs would continue their feast and get sick all over my living room. So I hurry both dogs outside, intermittently remind the girls, “No! Don’t touch that! Don’t eat that!” while R is inching curiously towards the poop, and L is sobbing while raising her poop hands towards her mouth. I grab both mischievous hands and hurry the girls to the bath.
Now let me remind you, I have a park date that I was SO proud of myself for actually being on time for. So the stress begins to creep into my chest. Should I just cancel? No time to think about such things with L screaming and R trying to wipe the poop stuck on her butt repeating, “Yucky! Peeyew! Caca!” Thanks R, I didn’t know.
I throw them both in the bath because if you know anything about twins, they want to do the same thing at the same time. If one gets to bathe, the other must follow. So I’m rinsing L off, while R is on her stomach splashing around. I keep switching back between washing L down and lifting up R’s head telling her not to drink the poop water.
I finally get them both out of the bath with a towel around each of them. Now it’s time to clean up the poop on the floor. I scoop up the original pile of excrement and flush it down the toilet. Then I throw the unsuspecting blanket into the garage hamper. I’m pretty much just in survival mode at this point, and I can’t even really recognize that I’m stressed. I can’t even handle it because I just keep thinking about my park date and how I still have to drop baby V off at my mom’s before we can go. I’m basically just profusely sweating, figuratively and physically (remember the foreshadowing?)
So you know how some people have a nervous tick? Well I have a nervous mutter, and it wasn’t until R started walking in circles going, “OK. OK. OK. OK. OK,” that I realized I was frantically circling around and muttering, “OK. OK. OK. OK. OK.” I was trying to clean up all the poop that I could still smell but couldn’t see. So I took a deep breath, opened the windows, and put the girls in their room to pick out clothes while I washed my hands and put on my shoes. Mama needed a minute to herself.
I’m in my bathroom “freshening up” (which in mom world is about 30 seconds, if you’re lucky), and I notice a goopy brown spot on my foot as I go to put my shoes on. Great, well there’s the poop I could smell but couldn’t find. I wash my feet, don some shoes, and finish getting ALL the girls ready because at that point, baby V had made herself known that she needed some attention too.
I finally get everyone loaded in the car, and I call my mom to tell her that I’m on my way to drop V off. I notice on my pants a remnant of the poopocalypse. Part of me wants to cry, but I find humor one of the best medicines for pain. So I recount my morning to my mom on the drive over and ask her to bring out a baby wipe when she pops out of her house to grab V.
For you past, present, or future potty training moms, this may not be a regular occurrence, but it happens often enough to make you reconsider having any future children (and if we were completely honest with ourselves, it may even make us rethink the current children we have 😬). All I can tell you is I firmly believe the true repercussion of original sin for women wasn’t pain in child birth; it was potty training. (I’ll have to check with my pastor on the direct Hebrew translation, but I’m confident there’s at least some subcontext in there.) And although I can confidently say it’s worse than you thought it could be, I can also tell you I never knew I could be so proud of someone peeing in the toilet!