Poo-poo-pool time

Pacific Northwesterners are funny. 

No matter how much we moan and whine about the endless rain, when the temperature hits 85, we go on and on like the heat wave of the century has hit.

My family is no exception to this.  Hot weather turns the kids into frazzled, little hot messes.  And so, the air conditioning goes on, and stays on, until the temperature dips back into the respectable 70’s.

This weekend, when the mecury soared to a whopping 91 degrees, we decided to dust off the kiddie pool.  The kids had a blast.  They stayed in the pool all day Sunday, and only came out to eat, nap and go to the bathroom.

Actually, that last part isn’t entirely true.  As you can guess from the title (no, I didn’t stutter), we ended up with a little extra poo in the pool. (Yes, mom forgot to buy swimming diapers for the little one.)

But honestly?  That’s one hot mess I don’t mind cleaning up.  Especially if what I get in return are rejuvenated little bodies, cooler temperaments and wrinkled, happy kids. 

For that, I’m more than willing to fish out the occasional floater. 

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Driving under the influence

I confess, I am guilty of driving under the influence. And no, I’m not referring to the controlled substance kind. I mean the kind that probably most parents have experienced at one time or another: Driving Under the Influence of Kids, or DUIK.

You hear all the time about the dangers of using mobile devices while driving. Earlier in the year, Oregon passed a new hands-free mobile device law. And I am totally on board with all this. The yahoos that drive and simultaneously text/talk on the phone/surf the internet rank high on the list of my own personal pet peeves.

That said, the irony of all the research and controversy over car mobile devices does not escape me. Frankly, I’ve found that driving with munchkins in the car CAN be, and oftentimes IS, exponentially more distracting than any cell phone conversation I’ve ever had.

Driving under the influence of kids is usually not without at least a little excitement. Some familiar hazards of the road include:

  • Danger: Falling Objects
    There’s nothing like attempting to retrieve a dropped sippy cup, stuffed animal, or binky while navigating through rush hour traffic. These are actually some of the few times I’m grateful for red lights.
  • “If you feel like you’re going to be sick, use… oops, nevermind.”
    Thankfully, I’ve only had a handful of incidents involving one of my kids blowing chunks in the car. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the person who invented rubber floor mats… you are a true genius.
  • Next rest area: 50 miles??
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m elated that Bobo is now potty trained. I have learned the hard way, though, that sippy cups and car rides do not go hand in hand. I also find myself making a mental note of the gas stations we pass in case we need to make a quick 180 later on.
  • “Um, what’s in your mouth?
    Usually, the item in question is an old cracker or raisin my kids manage to find in one of the crannies of their carseat. The other day, though, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw Chip in the backseat, nibbling on a mysterious non-food like item. I maneuvered to the side of the road and pried open his little jaws. Apparently, Chip found a small, plastic bunny that Bobo had left laying around in the car, and proceeded to chew the ear off it. I am glad I noticed it before he ingested it; that would not have been a fun thing to watch for coming out the other end.
  • “This here car ain’t big enough for the two of us.
    Few things can raise my blood pressure like a wailing child in the back seat. I remember driving to the coast in inclement weather when Bobo was a newborn. She screamed nonstop for the entire car ride (about 3 hours straight). By the end of that trip, J and I were both convinced she would be an only child (guess we were wrong about that one).

This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy driving with Chip and Bobo. The above driving hazards aside, my kids are actually pretty good car travelers. We’ve also learned a few tricks of the trade, including burning a CD of eclectic ” mood music” we like to rock out to (J has been giving the kids air guitar lessons), as well as having a stash of movies, toys and snacks close at hand at all times.

And sometimes, if the stars are aligned just right, the view from the rearview mirror can look pretty sweet.

Ironically, this is an actual picture taken from my phone while in the car with the kids one day. Yes, I was driving. No, the car was not in motion at the time.

What’s worse than smelling like poop?

Q:  What’s worse than smelling like poop?
A:  Smelling like someone else’s poop.

When I opened the door to Chip’s room this morning, I was greeted by a smell I can only describe as rancid.  Chippy had a major blowout sometime during the middle of the night, and boy, was it a dandy.  Messy and stinky combined.  I’m used to changing diapers, but this one seriously made my eyes water.

When I was putting on Chip’s socks, I noticed the odor still lingering.  I check Chip’s clothes and diaper, and can find no trace.  I wash and sanitize my hands.  We’re in a big hurry this morning, so I don’t think much more of it, and I herd the kids out the door to take them to daycare.

However, when I get home, it still stinks.  I start my little quest to try to figure out where it was coming from.  I check Chippy’s crib sheets.  I empty the diaper pail and spray a healthy dose of air freshener in his room.  This helps somewhat, although I’m still getting a whiff of something.  In desperation, I lift up the cat’s tail to see if she has something stuck in there.  It’s usually a good thing when I come up empty in this department, but this morning, it only left me more stumped.

As a last resort, I go into the other room to change my own clothes.  It’s then that I look into the mirror and see the little brown streak on my nose.  There are a couple of points about this that mortify me.  First, I somehow got poo on my own nose without knowing about it.  That in itself is gross beyond words.  Secondly, I had conversations with both of the kids’ teachers today, as well as several parents, and no one bothered to tell me, “Hey, you have a little bit of crap on your nose.”

Rest assured, if I ever see you walking around with something on your face, I will let you know.  Especially if it resembles poop in any way, shape or form.  I’d rather be called a “brown-noser” any day than walk around with poo on my face.

The Five W’s of Poop

It is amazing how much of our household conversation centers around poop.  For the past four years, we have lived, slept, and unfortunately, breathed, our fair share of poo on a daily basis.

Bobo has coined her own terms for this as well.  The other day, she told me she had to go #3 (which is, of course, when you have to go #1 and #2 at the same time.  Her first math problem; it was a proud moment.)  It is no coincidence that one of her favorite books is Everyone Poops.

And then there are The Five W’s of Poop – Who, What, Why, Where, When, and sometimes How.  These are questions that you never thought you’d actually ask as a parent. 


Example: “What have you been eating??”
This is actually a two-part question, followed by “How in the world could all of that come out of someone so little??”  I never cease to be amazed at the variety in the consistency, color, texture and smell of the things I have discovered in my kids’ diapers.  Some of the things that manifest in those tiny little diapers seriously frighten me.


Example: “Where did the poop go?”
This one could be relabeled as “The poop that never was.”

To preface this, anyone who has ever visited our house knows that flatulence (and the accompanying jokes) run rampant at our house.  You have to admit, fart jokes are pretty dang funny… be forewarned if you ever come to our house.

Anyway, there have been many times I have taken one of the kids upstairs to change their diaper, certain I would find a big one in there, only to come up empty handed.  Meanwhile, my better half sits downstairs on the couch, giggling to himself at what he thought he got away with.  I’m not fooled. 


Example: “Why is there poop on the bathroom seat?” 
I’m not going to try to blame dad for this one; pretty sure I know the answer already.  I won’t go into details on this one, other than to say that we have successfully potty trained, but not yet mastered the art of wiping.  It is for this reason that I always look before sitting down.


Example: “When will my kid poop?”
Any parent who has dealt with constipation has probably asked themselves this very thing.   When the deed is finally done, they probably regret they asked it in the first place.


Example #1: “How on earth did you get poop in your hair?”
We’ve had some epic blowouts at our house, but none as impressive as the time one of my kids had a poop that leaked out of their diaper, up the back of their shirt, and into their hair.  In my opinion, any poop that can defy the force of gravity is one for the record books.

Example #2: “How long will I have to change diapers or wipe someone’s butt?”  
This is not so much a conversation I have with anyone in my house, as much as it is something I wonder to myself daily.


Example: “Who smeared poop all over the bathroom floor?”
This is the question I asked myself when I went to get a drink of water this morning and discovered a nice little surprise.  The likely culprit is probably Boo; her litter box is in the kids’ bathroom, and she has been known to wipe her furry little butt all over the floor in a effort to loosen a dingleberry or two.

On the other hand, maybe this is also one of those questions that I don’t want to know the answer to…

The phantom Cheerio, and other unsolved mysteries

I went to change Chippy’s diaper this morning, and was mystified to find a Cheerio wedged in his little crack, and an Kix in the inside bottom of his sock.  While I did not examine the Cheerio closely (my morbid curiosity only extends so far), I am 99% sure it was undigested.  The Kix, I am at a complete loss to explain. 

Sometimes I wish my son was old enough to talk so he could explain these little mysteries to us.

More often than not, though, it is now how the food got there, but how so much of the food could get everywhere.

We went out to dinner the other night to the new Mongolian Grill by our house.  J loves this place; as a self-professed carnivore, he loves the fact that he can gleefully heap mounds of uncooked meat into those little bowls and make it as spicy as he wants. 

Eating out with kids poses and especially large challenges.  Chip’s new thing is to scream loudly, not because he’s mad, sad or hungry but just because.  More than one time, our food has arrived at the table, and minutes later has to be boxed up to go.  Usually, I sit holding the baby on my lap (or standing, bouncing him), while I hurriedly try to cram as much food into my mouth as possible (it is for this reason I usually order food that can be eaten with one hand).  I seem to forget all of these scenarios each time we embark to go out to dinner with the kids. 

Tonight, however, both kids were in rare form… contentedly eating their food, which in turn allowed both my husband and I to eat in a semi-state of peace and leisure.

We finish round 1, and J went back to stand in the ever-growing line.   Bobo was busy munching away on her noodles, and dinner’s going great, when all of the sudden, Bobo looks at me and says, “Momma, I have to go potty… NOW.”

From the corner of my eye, I can see J in the buffet line, surrounded by hoards of people, happily mounding piles of frozen sliced beef into his little bowl.  I snake my way over there and hiss at my husband, signaling for him to come over.  My husband, ever the good sport, comes trotting over, bowl o’ beef in hand.  I leave him with Chippie, and Bobo and I sprint off to the bathroom.

Let’s just say our trip to the bathroom was not a fast one.  Bobo was in a dilly-dallying mood, talking about all sorts of things.  She also had to go #2.  Normally I would find this cute; now, however, I was hungry. 

Ten minutes later, we make it back to the table.

I find J, bowl of steak tartare still sitting there, who has managed to find all of the finger food in the diaper bag and try to entertain Chippy with it.  Some if it, he has eaten, the rest he has joyfully flung over the floor (his new thing is to put something on the floor and say “Uh oh”.  At home we encourage this and say how cute it is; I am regretting this decision now).  J has also decided to see if Chip likes sticky white rice, which he does, as evidenced by the glutinous little globs stuck all over his hair, face and clothes.

I send J back to the buffet line to cook up his food, and we finish the rest of the meal somewhat peacefully. 

Then I see it. 

Piles, and I mean piles of food strung all over the floor underneath the high chair where my son sits.  Bobo has managed to spill her egg flour soup, and we have used a huge pile of wipes and napkins to mop it up.  In short, our table, and the surrounding area, looks like a food tornado whipped through it. 

I am more than a little horrified, and feel sorry for the poor soul who will have to clean this up.  Or even worse, for the family that has to sit there after us and find bits of noodles and Cheerios stuck in the cracks of the booth.  I scoop Chippy out of his high chair, trying to pick off all of the now hardened bits of rice and cereal.  Superglue has nothing on this stuff.

We leave an especially big tip.  As I drive away, I wonder to myself how much time we have to wait until we can go back to that place again.  Dang, the food was good…