Erica: “I mean, I would describe it on a sliding scale between chartreuse and cognac”
Dr. H: “I’m a pediatrician, I don’t know what that means. Is his poop green or brown?”
Erica: “Oh sorry. Yes; orangey, brownish green”
Feces. Shit. Number Two. Aside from birth and death, defecation is one of the main functions that all living things have in common.
From the day you and your little fam arrive home from the hospital, baby butt mud becomes an important topic of discussion amongst spouses, in-laws, and friends. Frequency, colour, texture, smell, and leakage; every element is carefully considered when you have a baby. Human waste has become the thesis of my personal biography.
When baby Otis was first born he had perfect poops. He dumped after every feed, the colour was excellent and it actually smelled (dare I say it?) pleasant. My husband and I were so proud of his ability to digest that we would proudly over-describe his shit skills to anyone who asked.
Our pride was short lived, however, because at 2 months, Otis decided to dial back his turd talents and only drop a deuce once every 3-4 days (bringing about a level of anxiety in me that I never would have assumed could stem from actual shit). He would squirm in discomfort and would blast out smelly and audible farts on the regular (with a preference for funerals, meetings with clients, and play dates with the great-grands). The only advice I was given to help him with his discomfort was to change my diet.
Although I would literally give my life for this human, when his DR said to cut out dairy, I actually made this noise: “hahaha, uh oh, hmmmm”. Cream in my coffee, butter on my toast, and motherfucking cheese.
Side Note: I think it is amazing and should be acknowledged that Microsoft word does not consider ‘Motherfucker’ a spelling mistake. Isn’t that fascinating? This realization may require an article all on its own in the future. Put a pin in that.
Back to motherfucking cheese – How could I say goodbye? I was once addicted to cigarettes in the distant past and when I quit that, I took up artisanal cheeses – about two packs a week. Was my baby’s brown really THAT important?
Weighing our options was tricky. I think I may have always been a little bit lactose intolerant, if we are being perfectly honest, but some things are worth the shat-rifice… In the end though, my husband and I decided that cutting back was worth looking into for the health of our son. So I started eating less cheese and buying almond milk like some kind of Whole Foods kale cruncher (no offence to kale). Lo and behold the little jerk baby thrived and started squirting like an Olympian again. PHEW!
But the poo conversation does not end there, my friends. Oh no, it does not.
Not only has it become the root cause of my dairy divorce, but since welcoming Otis into our lives/home, dookie has become a whole family thing. Mostly just because it takes more than 10 seconds, which means that it now requires scheduling and planning to not die from crap combustion on a regular basis. Awesome.
I have this theory that my baby is actually able to sense when my bowels are brewing, because he tends to get hungry right about the time when my lower abdomen begins to churn. Last week I was feeding Otis and I was shivering from stool anxiety but I clenched those cheeks for dear life, knowing that if I fucked up this feed, I would also fuck up nap time, which would rob from me my alone time with The Bachelorette and a cold Corona.
Even my poor husband is no longer immune to excremental drama. The worst (WORST) thing he does these days is forget that he can go on company time. His business pays him a salary to be at work, equipped with over a dozen toilets, locking doors and free toilet paper (can you imagine the luxury?). For some reason, he prefers to save his secretions for after 5pm . He saves it until he walks through the door, when I am on all fours, desperately crawling to him for some adult company and reprieve from this young child my body and soul are nourishing from scratch.
Erica: (No hello) “Can you please take this baby?”
Husband: “Hi babe! Sorry, just let me take off my shoes and go poop. I’ll be right back”
Erica: “If you really loved us you would shit your pants right now”
But he doesn’t shit his pants. He goes upstairs and releases a comfortable BM and waltzes down the stairs with a smile on his face, patting his freshly washed hands on the side of his trousers, “Sorry about that, Erica, how was your day sweetie?”.
If you were to guess that it doesn’t end there, then you would be correct.
Even our two dogs joined in the fun and started to impact our lives with their droppings. A new baby equates to fewer walks and an increase in stress levels; the pooches demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the occasional hot pile, often when baby is seconds away from falling asleep on my chest. I can choose to either jump up and clean it or I can sit and smell it to preserve the sanctity of naptime. I often choose the latter.
Last, but most certainly not least, there is my shit.
Less cheese has made things a little different and an increase in coffee has also given me an extra daily drop. Similar to June Cleaver, I really try and keep my bathroom doings as hush hush as possible, not because of outdated etiquette, but rather because taking a shit has become my ticket to peace and quiet. The best moment is in the evening, around 9pm when Otis is asleep and my husband is chuckling at YouTube videos of adorable puppies (bless).
There’s a cool breeze blowing in through the bathroom window as I light a candle to begin the spiritual sphincter meditation and to commemorate the great poops of the past. I allow my body to relax as I let go of the day’s fibre and dairy-free excrement. As I unconsciously go through the movement I exhale as I furiously type on my phone a lengthy response to an Internet troll somewhere in Ohio who just called Beyoncé an “inappropriate slut” for wearing a leather body suit on stage. This is my time.
Shitting is my reward for dealing with the day’s shit, both literally and figuratively; a poetic, full circle venture into toilet Nirvana. Once the act is complete I simply close my eyes and meditate, pants still down, praising my body for allowing me this physical and emotional release.
So if you too are alone while cleaning up a baby poo-pocalypse, surrounded by dog doo-doo or abandoned by a husband’s poor chocolate choices, just know that I will be joining you in solidarity for the evening sisterhood shit. Think of me while you abandon your keester cakes, look up at the stars as you drop those brown, blind eels, I will be sending into the universe butt truffles of patience, strength and optimism.
Never be afraid to lose your shit, ladies. I do it every day.
Erica Moore is an Interior Designer with a degree in Fine Arts and Literature. She is a wife, and mother to 2 dogs and 1 baby. She is also a very hilarious human being. Check out her blog and keep up with her on Instagram.
Featured Photo by Polly Penrose