The Closet Crapper

If there exists a phrase to describe my last three days it would be this: adventures in toddler poop.  Right now the little man is peacefully sleeping, but I’m sure that will end well before I’m ready for it to.  You see, I feel like all I have done the last couple of days is clean poop.  I know it isn’t…we did have a great hour and a half at the park yesterday, but somehow that memory is much less remarkable in my mind than a number of others…

At just shy of 18 months, little man is actually fully capable of communicating when he has to use the bathroom and using it.  He has done it on a number of occasions.  However, lately he has decided to be, quite literally, a closet pooper. He actually hides/goes to a corner/behind furniture and covers his eyes to poop and tells you no when you ask him if he is pooping.

Sunday morning, 9:30am: We sit him on the toilet since we know he has to go.  A couple minutes roll by…nothing and he tells us he is all done.  Okay kid, I’ll bite…it’s a pretty routine time for you to go, but I understand there are days when you just don’t have to.  I take him off and turn to do something…the hubby and I both get distracted in the midst of getting ready for church.  Little man has disappeared while naked…I look over and he is playing in the closet…a perfectly normal thing for him to do.  He loves hiding in my clothes.  I have a sudden realization – he isn’t playing peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek with us – he is deathly silent.  I look at hubby and say “he better not be crapping in my closet.”  Hubby makes a beeline for the closet.  Sure enough.  There is a log in the midst of my hanging clothes as little man runs for his life leaving a trail of little turds, one of which he steps in as he proceeds to run down the hall.  Hubby is, to put it very mildly, not amused.

Monday, lunchtime: Hubby forgets his lunch at home and tells me he is coming home to eat lunch.  Awesome!  It’s a treat to see him midday and we’ve had a bit of a frustrating morning so it will be good for us both to see dada.  I’m fixing us some lunch and see little man go around the corner of the couch.  He’s silent.  “Are you pooping?” I ask.  “No,” comes the response.  I know he is lying to me.  I finish up what I am doing and head over to him as hubby walks in the door.  Craaapppp.  Literally.  He is fully clothed, but there is poop on the carpet.  I take little man to the bathroom…poop down his pant leg, all over his sock.  Gross…he gets a mini-bath, hubby cleans up poop off the carpet.  Hubby is never coming home for lunch again.

Today, 9:20 am: Little man was up crying from 4:30-5:30, then up at 6:10.  Back to sleep at 8:30.  We have to leave for MOPS at 9ish.  I might play hooky…oh wait, I have pumpkin bread I made PLUS granola and yogurt someone dropped off at my house to bring.  I’m exhausted, so is he, but somehow we are going to MOPS.  In the car little man was chatting and eating a banana.  It’s now silent.  “Are you pooping?” I ask.  “No,” comes the response.  A few minutes later my car is FULL of disgusting, gross poop smell.  And I am stuck in traffic.  Ten minutes to go a mile in a car that now smells worse than the barn.  I arrive for MOPS and pretty much head straight for the bathroom, because the little changing table in the nursery was not going to cut it.  It’s down his pant leg, all over his socks.  Mid clean up I run out of wipes.  Ugh.  Why am I not in the nursery where there are packages of wipes?  Why is no one coming into the bathroom so I can ask to bring me some more?  I have hand sanitizing wipes.  I pull them out and as I do little man starts peeing an arc at me; thankfully, he misses me.  Are. you. kidding?  Pee on the bathroom floor.  I have four sanitizing wipes left.  I start mopping the floor with his clothes that will no way be going back on his little body.  Thankfully I have extra pants and a shirt.  I find a way to somehow finish containing the mess and cleaning him up with a mix of paper towels and creativity.  He’s clothed now.  No spare socks.  He is barefoot with a couple inches of fresh snow outside.  Oh well.  I survived.  My bag smells like poop.  I think he is getting a diaper rash…I didn’t bring the coconut oil.  Oh well.  He’ll survive.


Head back in to join the other moms.

Today, noon: I am going to the bathroom.  Little man says he has to go.  I put him on the toilet.  He says he is done.  No, you are not.  Two minutes later, floodgates open.  Thank you Jesus.  I did not want to clean that one out of a diaper, or carpet.  Finally – a bit of success!

Tomorrow: let’s avoid any repeats please.

“You’re Gonna Miss This”

“You’re gonna miss this // You’re gonna want this back // You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast // These are some good times // So take a good look around // You may not know it know // But you’re gonna miss this”

– Trace Adkins

I love this song.  It’s a song that has particularly stuck with me the past fifteen months of my son’s earth-side life.  I give myself this gentle reminder during the days I feel like I could pull out my hair while curled in a ball and stuffing my face with ice cream in the closet.

Today he was ready for bed and went to sleep an hour and a half earlier than usual.  I nursed him and he started dancing around the room leaving me wondering if he was really ready for bed.  A few moments later he turned off his tranquil turtle night light that he usually adores, walked over to me and put his head on my lap.  Seconds later he lifted his arms for me to scoop him up.  Little mister burrowed into my chest/belly and gnawed on his hand for a good five minutes, soaking my shirt with the endless amount of drool that comes with trying to cut four teeth at once.  Soon his little body relaxed, arms around me, and I bumped him higher on my shoulder where he snuggled in and his breathing feel into a soft rhythm blowing against my cheek.

I thought…I have a laundry list of things I could get done with this extra hour and a half of peace in the home without a little one running through it like a tornado…or I could sit here, snuggle and rock…because I can.

Because I am going to miss this.

I am going to with these days hadn’t gone by so fast.

So I rocked.  And as I snuggled my little boy I began to reflect.

I love the season of life I am in right now.  It may be hard at times, but it is so sweet and beautiful.  But I do miss other seasons, just a little…

I miss the late nights of Halo (which I am terrible at, but the guys put up with) until 4am at our Detroit apartment – often several nights a week…only to wake up for a 6am client at the gym and to go back to bed immediately after.  I don’t know how I stayed awake enough to train her.

I miss the Thursday night prayer meetings we had in that same apartment, where a half dozen friends would gather and we would record praises for the week and prayers for the coming one.  I still have that journal.  And still pray for the item we listed first every week that we are still trusting God for.

I miss the hours we would spend at the rock wall on campus – working a route, practicing butt starts, setting routes and becoming pretty decent climbers along the way.  Turns out 2-3 hours in the evening a couple times a week (before retiring to the apartment for Halo) really does something…and gave this chick the ability to do a pull up or two.

I miss that season where it seemed we hardly had two dimes to rub together and even put a car into storage for half the year to save on insurance costs since we weren’t really in need of two cars anyway at the time, but we had SO MUCH FUN.

I miss the quirkiness of storing our chest freezer in the spare bedroom closet of the Pontiac apartment…and how maintenance would give me the strangest look because of it.

I miss the ability to walk a couple buildings over to the tennis courts where I learned how to keep a ball INSIDE the fence…I am still a pretty shoddy player, but I was able to practice a lot!

I miss being able to walk across the street to a sub-par grocery store, but a conveniently located grocery store none-the-less instead of having to hop in my car when I need something the 24 hour easy-to-walk to CVS doesn’t have now.

I miss playing the game with my hubby of “who is going run outside to lift the gate” for a friend who was coming to visit us at the apartment on the rare occasion that the gate was actually down…and then getting up the courage to run through it with my car when my card (along with everyone else’s in the complex) wouldn’t work to make it go up in the morning when we tried to leave.

I miss the pick-up games of soccer, largely comprised of international students from around the world…and the world cup viewing parties we would have at apartments or on campus on a laptop.

I miss being able to sleep in until 9:30 on a Sunday morning and then rushing and blaming each other when we were late for church at 10.  Shoot, I miss being able to sleep in until 9:30 ANY day…ever.  Or being able to sleep through the night without waking once to pee, listen to determine if the cries will stop or just intensify or simply waking for no good reason other than my body is used to it by now.

I miss being able to stay out late (and by late I mean past 8:30) without trying to find a babysitter, because the boy’s bedtime is at 8:30…or heading out with my hubby on a whim because we felt like it or a friend wanted to hang out at 10pm.

But in the middle of missing those amazing memories and moments, I wouldn’t even think about trading the present to go back for them.  Because I know I am going to miss these moments.  And if I spend too much time wishing for the past or longing for the future I am going to miss making memories today.  Hard days are hard days and we all have them…with or without kids, with or without jobs, with or without money and if we stop, we can find beauty in the midst of the tears and chaos.  And then we pause…because when we find that beauty, we know that we’ll be able to look back and say “I miss those moments.”

So I rocked and snuggled for a half hour or so – with my drool soaked shirt, son on my chest and baby in my belly kicking at his/her older brother.  I smiled and I cherished the moment, because I know I am going to miss this.

Brave enough to banish guilt

I had a meltdown this morning.  Sobbing I texted my hubby to pray for me because I just couldn’t handle my son anymore for the moment.  He is a 13 month old ball of uncontainable energy with that utterly defiant, boundary-pushing, toddler streak going on.  After a terrible night of almost no sleep after 3am for no legitimately good reason – at least in my mind – he was being a nightmare.  I can only take so much food throwing, biting, hitting, hair-pulling and whining.  I snapped…and for a not-so-brief moment I wished that he wasn’t my child…that I was simply babysitting him for the morning and pretty soon his mom was going to pull up and happily take him off to anywhere but my house.  But alas…he is mine.  And he isn’t going anywhere.  My wonderful hubby asked if he needed to come home…no…I just need you to pray I replied.

I was not very beautiful in word, thought or deed this morning.  I yelled, I fought back…I maybe, probably pulled his hair a little harder than what I normally would do to get him to release mine.  Sure, some think that you should never-ever-ever pull their hair back, but let me tell you – when I start to go for his, he lets go.  I was feeling like a terrible mom.  In one breath I was yelling at my toddler and in the next sobbing telling him that I know I wasn’t being a very good mommy, I wasn’t being nice, but I couldn’t handle him.

I think in these situation when we are at our wits end and desperately praying we don’t completely screw up our kids because of these days it is really easy to feel guilty.  Guilty that we aren’t holding it all together.  Guilty that we yell when we “know” the mommy we met at the park would never raise her voice.  Guilty that we sit in a corner playing a game on the phone for 15 minutes…or 30 while our kid(s) wreck havoc on the house…paying attention only enough to hear them bustle about – at least they are alive.  Guilty that we aren’t enjoying every minute because it goes so fast as we have heard five billion times.  Guilty because because when they fall off the coffee table that you have told them they couldn’t climb on like a broken record you don’t feel bad…and since the fall didn’t look too bad, you don’t even make a move in that direction.

But you know what?  This morning – I felt brave enough to banish the feelings of guilt.

Because NO mommy has it all together.  Because EVERY mom curls up in the corner of a room or stays much longer in the bathroom to avoid interacting with their child(ren) at some point.  Because every mom makes a disciplinary decision that in hindsight, probably wasn’t the bed.  Because every mom wishes that their kid would grow out of some stage…no matter how fast the time actually flies.

So instead of feeling guilty I simply chalked it up to what it was – an awful morning where I was not in the place to handle my kid well.  It doesn’t mean I love him any less for wanting to wish him away momentarily.  It doesn’t make me an awful mommy.  It doesn’t even put me close to taking the title of the worst mom.  It means I am a mom.  Experiencing the fullness of this mom journey and job.  The good, the bad and the downright ugly.


Thankfully today, we caught a break.  Instead of the 45 minute naps that he usually likes to take, my little boy has taken TWO blissful…and I mean BLISSFUL hour an a half naps.  It doesn’t always happen, but when it does…it’s magical.  God knew I needed a little “magic” this day more than most.  Either that or he heard the desperate cries of a hubby who didn’t want to come home to a completely frazzled wife. 🙂  I was able to journal, spend some time with Jesus AND work on a craft project I have been making painstaking slow progress on.  Should I have done some work…sure…but I did what my soul needed in order to be refreshed and press forward as a better mom and wife!


I thought it was peanut butter…

Life is an adventure with me for sure!

It was one of those mornings a few weeks ago where everything was going decently well…we were happy, the house hadn’t yet been wrecked by the tornado that is my son (and it was already past 8am!), and I probably only got up two times in the middle of the night as opposed to four our five.  And then it happened.  A moment that made time stand still and burned itself permanently…in detail…into my mind.

We had just finished breakfast – toast with peanut butter & jelly alongside some banana slices.  I got Joshua out of his high chair, setting him down on the ground to go play while I took just a couple minutes to respond to an email I knew was waiting for me.  I sat at the dining room table while he played contentedly a few feet away in the living room.  Moments after I began typing I heard him grunt…and poop.

I decided to take two minutes to finish the email before changing his diaper…it would give him a chance to make sure he got it all out anyway!  As I was typing out the last sentence or so Joshua came up next to me and handed me something – its a new skill he has been learning.  I glanced over…said thank you and took it from him.  He started to walk away and I turned back to the computer.

This, my friends, is when it happened.

I looked down at my hand and noticed some peanut butter on my finger.  We had just finished breakfast and sometimes I can be lazy about thoroughly wiping everything off my squirmy boy’s hands.

So I licked my finger to get the peanut butter off…



I looked in horror at Joshua as it dawned on me that I just tasted AND ATE my son’s POOP.

“Ahhhhh, I just ate your POOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!” I cried to Joshua as I bolted up.

I ran to the sink, washing my hands and my tongue…trying to get that horrid taste from my mouth and then scooped Joshua up…noticing that his hands were, in fact, covered in poop.

I changed his diaper…one that shouldn’t have left him with poopy hands based in it’s shape, consistency and where it landed in the diaper (TMI??) and then realized that he reached inside his diaper to access the poo.

After the battle that was changing his diaper and trying, unsuccessfully, to prevent him from sticking his poop-covered fingers in his own mouth, I was terrified.  Terrified of going back into the carpeted living room that my little boy was playing in when THE INCIDENT occurred.

I walked in…making sure Joshua stayed behind me to avoid further messes.  Immediately I saw a wooden tray that holds puzzle blocks, on the floor, covered in poo.  Whew, I thought.  That’s easy to clean, sanitize and whatnot.  Dodged that bullet.  Then I took another step into the living room and on the other side of the recliner I saw a large poop mess, freshly rubbed into the carpet.  A spot about the size of an average adult’s hand.  Seriously?  I guess when little man does it…he really does it.  Can I just say…I am incredibly thankful for wet vacs and carpet shampoo!

Moral of this story?

Don’t EVER assume it is peanut butter.

All is forgiven little one…off to other adventures and stories!





I’ll be honest…I’m not looking very patriotic or fourth of july-esque today.  I sit here wearing a purple shirt with khaki shorts – only a couple flags in the world actually contain the color purple…so at least I’m pretty neutral.  I don’t even have a flag like a couple of my neighbors.  Little mister and the hubby are wearing an absence of red, white and blue as well – ooops.

However, despite our lack of appropriate celebratory attire, I am thankful for this day.  And not just for the day off work or the firework celebrations.  It is an incredible privilege I have to live where I do.  I did not choose to be born in the USA, but I was.  I didn’t choose to be raised in place where I have never needed to fear for my life over what I wear, say, think, believe, profession I choose or who I want to marry…but I was.

As a woman I can vote, drive, work (in whichever field I choose), advance professionally, go about as I please, play sports, and receive an education – as far as I want to take it, among other things.

As a follower of Jesus, a Christian, I can worship when I want, where I want, with whoever I want, how I want…AND I can tell other people about Jesus freely.  I can also work in Christian ministry and not worry about being thrown in jail, persecuted (harassed and taunted maybe but really persecuted, no), or executed.

I don’t take these privileges lightly.  I am deeply grateful for those who have sacrificed to assure me these privileges over the past few hundred years to the present.  Wives who have parented children alone while their husbands served (and still do) overseas, some never coming back…men voluntarily choosing to put their lives at risk to defend mine…men who would have preferred to live a normal life, instead drafted and then served with honor and bravery.

I know our nation’s history is not without its stains, scars, imperfections and bad decisions.  And often I am concerned about the state of the nation and it’s direction on a number of levels.  I’m aware of current injustices, wrongdoings, failures and divisions.  But today I step back from the negatives that are too easy to focus on at times and I am thankful.

Thankful for the privilege of living here, of being raised here, of the freedoms that I am afforded by virtue of location and citizenship.  Thankful for great friends, neighbors and communities.  Thankful for a sleeping babe that had not stirred since the celebrations began. Thankful for the sunshine and summer nights.  Thankful…

Happy fourth of July!