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.

Breathe.

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.

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.

Postscript:

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…

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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…

…except…

IT WASN’T PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!

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.

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

Things I love about being a mom…

As any momma knows…this parenting gig is hard.  It doesn’t matter if you have one, two or ten kids.  If you have a child that sleeps like a dream or one that revolts at the thought of sleep.  If you have been a mom for two weeks or twenty years.  If you work outside the home, stay home or land somewhere in between.  If you have a bunch o’ money or are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

It’s hard.

Hard, oh really?
Hard, oh really?

I’ve been at this mom gig for almost 9 months now…to one fabulous little boy…who does not sleep like a dream, but I guess he could be worse.  He’s been walking for almost a month; that makes things challenging/interesting/fun/hard.  I land somewhere in between with work – working part time with part of my part time being at home (which sounds awesome…and sometimes is…but sometimes isn’t) and then working a couple hours two nights a week as a personal trainer (so does that mean I work like 3/4 time total?) – definitely not having a bunch o’ dollars, but we have a comfortable home that I love and we can pay our bills.

There are days that pass by faster than I can blink and I am left mourning the fact that my little boy is growing SO FAST.  Then there are days that drag so slow I am constantly looking at my watch to see the minutes tick by as we wait for nap time, and then when dada comes home, and then sweet, oh sweet, bedtime.

But after having a rough night last night and first couple of hours of the day (seriously, little mister woke up on the wrong side of the crib this morning and then when I brought him to bed with me to snuggle and sleep for another hour or two after dada goes to work as is our usual routine, he tossed, turned, kicked, pulled my hair, grabbed my nose, bit my chin, etc for the longest time…we maybe dozed for 20 minutes…and then it took him a good couple hours to find his normal pleasant disposition) I paused for a few minutes to reflect on the joys that I have found and the things I love about being a mom…

…and then the little monster mister work up.  After my first typed sentence.  He woke up SCREAMING.  And screamed, and screamed.  And saw the neighbor pull into his driveway…and he craned his neck to look to see if his dada would come out of the car.  And screamed when the neighbor did.  And then finally dada pulled in the driveway, took him into his arms, and all was well with the world.

Dada for the win.

So five hours later I can sit down – after leaving dada at a game night with some friends because it was little mister’s bedtime and it was impossible for me to set him down in a different room with the laughter and occasional barking dog.  He didn’t want to miss the party.  So I left…and now, sweet silence.  I can write…

Without further ado…the things I love about being a mom:

– Little mister’s smile. Y’all that thing can melt my stone-cold heart in .000312 seconds flat.  It’s an arbitrary number

– The way he looks peacefully sleeping, all snuggled in my arms

– How he sometimes wraps his arm around me when he curls up next to me in the morning for our last hour or two of sleep

– His laugh.  It’s delightful

– The mom community I have been invited into.  My church does an awesome job of supporting mamas – in our mom2mom group that meets biweekly during the school year and coming this year in the MOPS group that will be meeting on the off weeks – and they provide childcare for it.  Tuesday mornings…if you are in the Auburn Hills, MI area you should definitely come!

– Nursing…I think if it wasn’t for nursing my active little mister wouldn’t stop for a moment during the day to cuddle

– Watching him explore the world around him and make new discoveries (like cool whip finger paint:)

finger paint

– His little arms stretched up to me, wanting me – even if it often feels like an inconvenience

– The faces he makes

– Listening to dada pray over him at night

– His excitement when you come home from being gone ten minutes or ten hours

– The fact that my little mister LOVES to be outside

– Knowing that, for at least this moment in time, dada and I are his favorite people in the world

It is such a privilege to be called mom (and I love the fact that he is starting to say “mama” and “dada” – legitimately, although not all the time).  The late nights, early mornings, not being sure when night became morning, messes, loaded diapers, endless laundry, frustrations, etc pale in comparison to the precious times with my baby boy and watching my hubby have those moments too.  Being a mom…it’s a hard job…but a job I love.

The Bed Hog

“You know how if you have a dog and you let them sleep on your bed they end up encroaching in your sleeping space?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s what Joshua did to me last night.  He took over and didn’t let me sleep.”

That’s the conversation I had with my hubby Friday morning. Thankfully, it was his side of the bed that the little mister ruthlessly stole. 😉

We have NEVER let him sleep with us in bed.  He has his bed (crib) and I have mine.  All is well with the world.  Sometimes after daddy leaves for work I let him come in and snuggle with me for an hour or two…but that is the closest he gets to snoozing in our bed.

Friday night he REFUSED to sleep.  I would hold him and he would fall asleep just fine.  I would put him in his crib and he would roll over on his belly, start crying and refuse to sleep – often crawling to the end of the crib and repeatedly bashing his head on the crib slats.

I thought I had finallyyyyy gotten him to sleep, gazed oh so lovingly at him while he dozed, tiptoed out of his room and crawled under my bed covers…excited to drift off into la la land.  I settled in, closed my eyes and drif….waaaaaahhhhhhh!!!

He didn’t even give me a full minute of hope.

Dan got up to try his hand at getting the little bugger to sleep while I had flashbacks of him at 2 months old when we played this game.  Dan walked into our bedroom with a screaming baby, clearly frustrated, and set him down on our bed.

Instant silence.

Contented sleep.

Seriously??

Hubby curled himself around the little man…not even wanting to attempt a transfer.  His bedroom is literally three feet from ours and I can get to his crib from my side of the bed (on the far side) in about 8 steps.

So while Joshua blissfully slept, Dan found flexibility that he didn’t even know he had to stay on the king sized bed.  I slept pretty well over on my half of the king estate…rolling over at 2:30 to feed the little guy who was trying to crawl to me to get his fill.  After feeding I cozied him up next to me…where he didn’t stay.  Instead he rolled his way back over to hubby and pushed him little by little toward the edge of the bed until he woke at 7am ready to eat again (the longest stretch of sleep we’ve, rather I’ve, had in a while, I might add!).

Needless to say, Dan was quite exhausted come Saturday morning…and began calling Joshua a bed hog!  It made for a more tired and stressful day at the zoo where we had a line like the day after thanksgiving to even turn into the park.  Although some people co-sleep just fine, it just isn’t my style.  I think he understands now why I like the separate space…my bed.  Little mister’s bed.  And never the two shall meet 😉