By Merritt | Filed under Little People | 5 comments


This is serious...
This is serious…

Have you ever seen a baby try to fall asleep and have a poop at the same time? No? Its like a flute competing with a kettle drum in that order, and with the limited range of baby’s concentration and muscle tone, it is an impressive match to behold. But, we all know who wins…


I was driven to the edge today by poop. It started last night with Manu unable to sleep because she just kept pooping. By 2 pm today, I had changed 7 diapers from my kiddos full of the stuff . But it did not stop there, I just lost count.

Then, at 5:00 it was off to the park where I followed my dog around picking up more poop.

Finally with the pooch-poops collected and tossed to the trash, we all head home and as I am gathering Max & Emmanuelle out of their stroller, I kid you not, my sniffer detects that familiar bouquet. Baby poo-poo is a smell as distinct as butter popcorn at a corporate-plex movie theatre — sorta gross, sorta sweet.

So after I unload the kiddos, I ferret around their britches for the felon and I find it in Max. Off we run to the changing table. He is looking at me smiling. I am looking at him asking if he is doing this on purpose. He starts laughing with all his heart and I’m sure hes understood me.

House-sized dookie! Artist Paul McCarthy's “Complex Sh*t”
House-sized dookie! Artist Paul McCarthy’s “Complex Sh*t”

During the day, I like to record what I feed Max & Manu, and if I forget it’s really not a problem because a reminder is just a poop away. Just wait a few hours and you will get all the evidence of the latest feeding in the pantaloon. If the baby ate carrots - a nice burnt orange poo will greet you. If baby ate summer vegetables - a funny ochre-hued excreta you will find.

One day, I got a lil’ crazy and fed them in succession: peas, prunes and a little left over sweet potato. And like clockwork, a few hours later I hear Pierre’s screech from the changing room. You see, if no one tells you that the baby poops out exactly what you feed him, its quite a surprise. I liken it to the opera scene in Amadues where the actors toss all kinds of food into a wooden horse’s mouth and within seconds the horse raises it’s tail and the same food (stalks of celery, bundles of onions) come crashing out onto the floor.

Same with baby. So, I rush to see what Pierre’s cries are all about and there, rooted to the spot layeth a tri-colored turd. A purple, orange and green figurine looking no different than a Playdo mold your child might bring you from toddler art class. “Here mommy, heres a pretty paper weight I made you.”

But you know, at least it’s a solid! At least its something that one can apprehend and control. Unlike that other, closely related cousin…. the big “D”.

I had heard stories from the nurses at CPMC about preemies about how tiny babies could expel more poo than body weight in a projectile out the little openings in the incubator and all over their clothes. They described this incredible combustible force that propelled it all. We laughed over several of these stories. It really was a point of humor with them.

Well, funny for them in their polyester scrubs, after-hours cleaning crew, and hospital owned furnishings…

Because about 2 months after we had brought Max & Emmanuelle home, I was working fast to change my baby’s diaper when all of a sudden a blast of poo, no, a torrent of brown hydrous confetti comes jetting out and sprays in all directions. My white curtains, the freshly painted lemon yellow walls, the free-standing wardrobe and all my clothing (um, silk trousers, linen dresses, dry cleanable … yeah). All contaminated. I don’t like to use contaminate and baby in the same sentence, but… there is no other word is there?

Baby reacted to my shrieking with a meltdown of tears. And right then, there was something beautiful - an epiphany of sorts in the moment following. Looking at this little person in front of me I immediately forgave, understood, fixed baby up and held her next to me, lulling in her ear that everything will be okay — that I am sorry if there was any pain or upset tummy in her little/big experience.

It was amazing to stop my physiological reaction, feel the waste of energy expelled, and really see the moment for what is was. Nothing that 1000’s of parents haven’t gone through. A silly story to tell in the future, some clothes that can be replaced, and my little baby whose system is learning everything for the first time ever. Watching Max & Manu’s bodies change on almost a daily basis is a pleasure and fascinating. The body human - the perfect machine. Their growths reminds me of how magnificent my own casing is.

An inconvenient truth.
An inconvenient truth.

But about that poop thing. I really am tired of it. And yes I’ve seen that popular book, “Everybody Poops“, but must they poop all day long?

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Les bruits sourds contre les murs et les hurlements animaux que vous pouvez occasionnellement entendre à n’importe quelle heure du jour ou de la nuit ne sont pas les résultats de nos célébrations à Merritt et moi après des semaines d’abstinence. Il s’agit de la convalescence difficile de Merritt après sa césarienne compliquée par les contractions utérines postpartum et une constipation postopératoire. Une tempête parfaite, comme vous pouvez l’imaginer.

Oui, ce n’est pas toujours facile d’être maman. Demandez à la votre.

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