Category: bodily fluids

Dear Men…Take the Photo

Poop Happens

I remember that night last October better than I recall what I had for lunch yesterday. I learned an invaluable lesson in mommyhood. If you are crouched next to the shower spraying poop off of your daughter’s behind, you should be mindful of where you rest your arm. Because if you accidentally lean into the

Potty Training Problems

When my toddler daughter needs to use the potty, she tells us. So we figured potty training might not be so difficult, since she already knows when she needs to go.

We figured wrong.

I expected accidents, puddles, I was prepared for it all, but potty training is not what I expected. There isn’t pee everywhere. Instead, my husband and I are dealing with a pee-pee standoff. That’s right. Our daughter does not have a problem controlling her bladder; she has a problem controlling her bladder too much.

I found out potty training was not going to go as planned when I was home alone with my daughter. She’d consumed a ton of juice and was happily sitting on her Elmo potty in the living room.

Before I knew what was happening, an hour had gone by and it was time for me to start making lunch. I left the room expecting her to

Parenting Lessons: Take One

Our son gave me a funny look as he sat across the table from me. We were eating breakfast when he sneezed.

A huge glob of nasty nose fluid hung suspended in mid-air from the tip of his face.

He started to freak out. He cried as if the world were ending. He was on the brink of hysteria.

I sprang

Chocolate or Poop?

As I sat in front of the TV eating chocolate chips, one fell and I couldn’t find it. I figured my dog would find it, so no need to search. When I repositioned my son (who was sleeping on my lap), this is what I saw. My first reaction was: “How the EFF did he

Port-a-Potty Parenting 101

I’m always on potty watch. It’s my God-given duty to take care of the dooty. I can’t stand it. It’s the bane of my existence. Anything pleasurable to me is a trigger for them. Sitting down to a movie, pouring a cup of fresh coffee taking that first bite of ice cream; someone always has to poop. It’s always an emergency, and if we’re out of the house, it’s always in the most vile latrine I’ve ever seen and smelled.

Independence Day, 2014. I knew it would happen. I planned ahead. I made sure all children went potty before we left. I forced them to poop. I threatened to take away toys, I threatened to take away TV. I was serious.

Satisfied that all poops were out, we joyfully set up camp along the lakeshore to enjoy the annual celebratory fireworks. It was a beautiful evening; hot and clear, no bugs, a

One in the Can

Those who have experienced the undeniable need to sacrifice your attachment to cleanliness and a small piece of your sanity in a wretched  public restroom can appreciate the contrasting experience of heeding that same call in the comfort of your very own bathroom.

At home, in your private sanctuary, you have the clean seat, the tidy bowl, the stack of outdated yet unread magazines and the perfect combination of wipes and extra quilted paper for your delicate behind. It is the nirvana of potty breaks.

That is, of course, unless you live in a house filled with a motley assortment of teens, tweens and toddlers. In that case, the home is filled with bathrooms that are only one small step above public facilities. We have the random sprinkling of drips and, more often than not, a clogged toilet.

Could it be the carb-heavy, fiber-free diet of the average American youth, or perhaps the

I Want to Poop Alone

Everyday about half way through my morning coffee I feel my bowels shift as they get ready for their big movement of the day.

I wait for the perfect amount of urgency so I won’t have to spend too much time on the toilet (I do have a toddler, after all). Once it hits I have under 45 seconds to get to the bathroom, pull my pants down and sit, before I miss the window of opportunity to relieve myself in one quick trip.

I don’t have time to persuade my toddler to come along. And I usually don’t have to. Most days she follows me, eager to provide a spoonful of chaos into my bathroom experience.

This time was different.

I found myself alone, in almost complete silence, except for listening to a rhythmic “plop, plop.” Never did I think I would consider these sounds peaceful, but there I sat, taking in fumes

Puke: A Love Story

It was mysterious and somewhat surreal: our two year old vomited at least three times in his crib during nap time without making any kind of retching sound, without crying, without any indication whatsoever.

The monitor was on and we didn’t hear a thing. I happened to be home early from work and our babysitter, Emily, was still here. We went in after his nap and were shocked to see him COVERED in puke. From his hair to his socks. His fingers, his face. The sheets, the crib, the wall, the floor. It was was truly everywhere.

He wasn’t upset, until he saw the mess… and saw us react. (Actually, I think we kept it very cool, considering the volume and scope of the situation.) Emily whisked him to a bath and I started to clean up his room. He has been lucky so far; he hasn’t been sick like this.

And, by

Why Inappropriate Laughter is the Best Kind

Twenty eight hours ago, I was saved by laughter.

I was holding my dog on a leash in the freezing cold, spraying hydrogen peroxide down her throat. Before you call the ASPCA, let me explain.

Twenty eight hours ago, my dog consumed half of a Mississippi mud cake, made with pure cocoa. As soon as I found the evidence (or lack thereof), I called my little brother, a vet in California, for advice. He said, “You need to make her vomit. A lot.”

He told me how to do it and as soon as my husband got home from work, I went outside with my supplies and my oldest son, hoping to prevent a visit to the local emergency vet.

And right there, in the middle of the yard, watching my dog empty her stomach, I was completely hysterical.

To say that yesterday was a hard day would be an understatement. After having been up

The Happiest Meal?

It was summertime. My kids had “free happy meal” coupons from the library and since they very rarely have fast food, they were particularly excited about it. Daddy-O was working late so it was the perfect day for a special treat. We got our happy meals and buckled into the car to drive to a new playground that was VERY close to the restaurant. I knew the smell of French fries was too hard to resist so I told them they could snitch one or two but to please save the rest for the playground.

Three minutes later we parked at the playground and one of the children—I won’t name names—announced, “I’m done with everything, even all of the apple juice!” Great. Thanks for listening, Pal.

I spread a blanket out on the ground and helped each of the other kids with their happy meals—opening straws and inserting into drinks, opening and

Being a Parent Means Never Having to Say “I Farted”

…at least not at the Rite Aid with a loud and chatty three year old.

Hey, at home, I am all about transparency in farting. I like to try to teach the kids to excuse themselves but there’s a lot of gas being passed at our house and, quite frankly, a lot of—well–traditions to maintain.

Daddy-O is quite fond of having the kids pull his finger (our inquisitive six year old recently asked, “How does that actually work?”) and there’s always the “Doorknob” game (involves shouting “Doorknob!” and punching the person who farted without remembering to say the word “Safety!” or, as Mommy attempts to enforce, “Excuse me.”)

Although sometimes at home, I opt not for “Excuse me” myself but for the more direct, “I farted,” which is sometimes followed by the phrase “Run away.” (“No, kids, trust me. You do not want to smell this. RUN. AWAY.”)

But we never deny. So I’m

Lice of the Party

“You still have a fever. You can’t go to the party.”

“But daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad, daaaaaaaaaaaaaady, everyone will be there. It’s my first sleepover party. You’re so mean. I’m never talking to you again!”

And so it goes. Back and forth between mom and dad, trying to drive a wedge between resolute (wife) and wavering (dad), my highly motivated, high-fevered daughter is turning up the heat, doing anything and everything to get herself to that sleepover. Even if her parents separate, divorce and reconcile all in the same night.

But we hold firm, barely. And so she goes to sleep overwrought, and over medicated with bubble gum-flavored Motrin®. Today’s battle won, we go to sleep ready for the tests and tribulations that come with the perils and pitfalls of tween parenting.

Cells buzzing, phones ringing, we are awoken to a cacophony of sound. Someone is sounding the alarm and we rise to the reverie of suburban

Too Much Information?

As I was picking up my five-year-old daughter from preschool, one of her teachers pulled me aside and starting speaking in a quiet tone, as if she were telling me something in private. I immediately got that fear of, “what embarrassing thing did my daughter say?” Did she drop an “F” bomb? Did she hit another kid? Did she tell her teacher that I cry during Frozen when Anna sings “Okay, bye,” because she desperately misses her sister? (I’m emotional, don’t judge.)

Nope. What my daughter said was completely medical. She was pretending to be pregnant (we have three pregnant women in our family, so it gets talked about often), and at one point said, “My water broke.” Her teacher thought that was “too much information.”

Is the actual breaking of the water kinda messy and gross? Yes. It happened to me at 8:15 AM on a beautiful Friday morning in September

The Bathroom Cheerleader

I was packing for a family trip back to Houston. The commencement ceremony for my Master’s degree was the next morning and I had decided to participate. I was torn between feelings of pride at my accomplishment and dread at wearing the regalia, when I heard a faint cry from my son’s bathroom.

“Mommy. Mommy, I need you.”

I dropped the gown and ran into his bathroom to find him sitting on the toilet, looking pale.

“What’s wrong baby? Are you ok?”

“No,” he replied, breathing like a solider just off the front line. “I can’t get the poo poo to come out; I need you to cheer for me.”

He wanted me to cheer for him… to poop?

I stood for a second. I was upset that my son was in physical distress, but I was also feeling the creeping dread that every parent knows: my child is going to ask me to do something weird and uncomfortable that I wouldn’t want my friends to know about, but because I’m a good parent, I’m going to do it.

Tot Etiquette

In the early years we spend plenty of time and energy teaching manners and etiquette to our little squirts.

Wash your hands–but sing the entire alphabet while doing so. What is this message we send? Don’t you ever wonder what our kids think of these signals we send? And why is it that “we” don’t sing

Sympathy for Bob Costas’ Eye Infection: My Pinkeye Story

Don’t belittle Bob Costas and his eye infection. In my world of stay-at-home-moms and preschool and grade-school teachers, pinkeye is the equivalent of leprosy.

Yesterday, I was shunned. I was asked to step outside a classroom. I was thanked for staying a playground-length away from a baby. My husband’s coworker followed him around with a can of Lysol.

I was waiting for the horse and cart to come take me away to my pinkeye colony.

Yes, pinkeye is highly contagious. But it’s not airborne. I would have to touch my eye and then touch something and then have someone else touch that thing and then touch their eye to spread it. I’m wearing my glasses, too, which provide a natural barrier for when my hand wants, of its own volition, to go see my eye.

Trust me, I’m not touching my eye. It freaks me out just as much as it freaks you out. If

Spit Up Selfie

Five Words A Parent Never Wants To Hear

I fell asleep one night listening to the complaints of my four-year-old daughter (yes, we have a family bed, which is fodder for a whole other story at another time). She said, “My mouth doesn’t feel good.”

I did a little investigation (the kind you do with heavy eyelids in the near-pitch darkness) and told her, “Just go to sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning.”

Fast forward to the wee hours of the morning–4:34 AM, to be precise–when I heard the five words a parent never wants to hear: “I need to throw up!”

As soon as those words came out of my daughter’s mouth, the entire contents of her partially digested dinner followed. I barely had time to sit up before I realized two things: one, for someone who hates to get her hands dirty, I had no qualms about cupping my hands together to catch vomit; and

Night Shift

This summer we welcomed our second child into the world, and shifted our lives around to accommodate. We had decided that my wife would take a year off from working and we would keep our four-year-old home as well. Pulling him out of daycare wasn’t the easiest decision in the world; he’d made friends and it was great for his development, but it just didn’t make sense for us financially.

His last day of daycare was a Friday. The following Monday we began our family’s transition from a dual-income family with one child to single-income with two kids.

One that first day, I came home from work and was paying Chutes and Ladders with son when I noticed he was acting irritably. He told me he didn’t feel well. In the next 20 minutes, events escalated from minor headache to fever to full-out exorcist-style puking. We contacted his  daycare and