Of course my children all got poop in their eyes. One is three years old, and really, the story could stop there. Instead, I’ll fill you in on all of the shitty details of my weeks past.
“Just wash all of your hands more,” the doctor says last week, as she and I wiped the brown crust from side to side to confirm which child it was she was examining. “Just have them in the habit of more trips to the washroom to wash up.”
You see, the washroom in my house is where the mess begins. The washroom in my house is the temple of poo mining and exploration. It’s both a science lab and an art exhibit. If anyone has a three year old they can read between these lines.
In fact, lucky for me, I’ve managed to normalize pooping so much in this house after a different child development milestone nobody ever told me about, that I’ve come to find the bathroom is now where chats with playdates can take place, and where snack requests are made. It’s where one can learn to play rock, paper scissors with the cat, against its will. In the bathroom they are allowed to close the door, and so, it’s where paint gets peeled off doors and toilet paper becomes banners- clean toilet paper or otherwise.
When you are three you are fiercely independant. You are fiercely confident, too, in the realm of cleaning one’s own butt hole. And who am I to say I want in there ever again, especially after the baby on my breast reached into the bowl fetching for that little brown trinket the last time? Who am I to want to chase down a lemur-like child from the top of bunkbeds and freshly upholstered couches in pursuit of the browned butt, all while the poo goo drips down with the pants around her ankles? Not that any of the above has ever happened.
And so, I let her try. But there are so many screamed directives, I suppose, including “FROM THE BACK AND NOT THE FRONT!” and, “WIPE UNTIL THERE’S NO POO LEFT!” And by the time I remind her to scrub the shit off her hands, she’s dissolved into singing the Wiggle and Wine again (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q0AazVu1Tc). And let’s be real, a three year old’s forte is not multitasking.
We have soap in the pump, the bar style and even dish washing soap, too, because it was green. But have you really ever known a 3 year old who both listens and has clean fingernails?
Before I know it she’s high five’ing her buddy and kissing and face-scrunching with the baby and blowing raspberries on face and butt cheeks and doing mouth to mouth resuscitation with the cay and all that’s happened while I pick the poo-skidded panties, four ponies and three markers without lids off the bathroom floor.
Again, she’s three. She’s a moving, growing, singing germ.
My two youngest go to daycare. They are but two of the nearly 50 other filthy butt holes there who all meld, mix and marry. And every staff member there does their very best, as does every parent at home, but there is no amount of essential oils in the world that can negate the probability of that petri dish of possibility.
And so, as I sit here with more wet toilet paper wiping yet another crusty eye, there’s just one lingering question that comes to mind because honestly, my three year old can’t be that much shittier than the rest: Who’s poop is it in our eyes?
I have but one wish this year, for Dear Santa. Please, this year, allow my family the Christmas miracle of shit-free eyes. Or, if that’s too much, please ensure the Pharmasave gets their priorities straight and restocks the no name over the counter eye drops, as I’ve sold them right out.
Until then, breastmilk squirts in the face for all, and Happy Holidays!
Whitney you are an amazing writer & you need to write a book someday when you have time. You are so truthful & funny at same time. Love ya.
I second that book writing! You bring me to tears, from both laughter and raw truths. Motherhood is hard, and beautiful, and draining and amazing and many more words than I can’t muster on this 60 minute ‘round the clock feeding gig. But please, do write a book. I’ll actually pay for it before you write it – I swear this is not the sleep deprivation talking!