I have been officially initiated into the toddler parent club. Initiation didn’t come in the form incoherent babble turned (somewhat) actual conversation. It wasn’t a result of my daughter’s first meal eaten entirely by herself, using utensils and all. And it didn’t come as a byproduct of her superior “toddling” skills evolving into all-out running, all the time. Nope, initiation into the toddler parent club was much smellier, messier and not half as cute as all of those things. It involved poop. Lots of it.
Having a 20-month old and a newborn can be interesting, but the amount of poop that needs to be managed on a daily basis is downright astonishing. My 4 week-old son poops almost every time he eats. Considering he eats at least every 3 hours, that’s a great deal of mustard yellow, seedy poop. Luckily, newborns don’t move around very much and diaper changes are still relatively easy, especially with his big sister helping (a little too much).
I digress. The truly interesting part of having both a newborn and a 20-month old are the vast differences between the two age groups. My 20-month old daughter, Riley, is very independent. She likes to feed herself and is quite vocal when she wants (or doesn’t want) something. While we have tried to translate this independence into using the potty, she is having none of it just yet. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that she is happy to sit in her wet diaper. Thanks to my newborn son’s feeding schedule (more on than off some days), I can’t always get to Riley when she wakes up in the morning or immediately following her nap. Apparently this is not acceptable to Princess Riley as she has begun to take off her pants followed by her wet diaper. The days where she takes off a diaper that is merely wet is no big deal. It is the dirty diaper days that scare me. There have been two instances where my daughter has taken off her dirty diaper and my husband or I have found her half-naked in her crib with poop smeared up her legs.
The most recent occurrence of Operation Diaper Removal has since been dubbed Poop-ageddon. It is a sight I will not forget for the rest of my life. I wish I had my phone ready to take a photo for future blackmail (most likely necessary in her teenage years), but sadly I probably wouldn’t have known what to do with it if I did. Upon opening my daughter’s bedroom door, I was hit with a sight so ghastly, it took my breath away (although that may have been partially from the stench). Riley had not only taken off her diaper (just wet by the way), but had proceeded to poop on her nice clean crib sheet. Let me break this down for those of you who overlooked the nuances of that sentence: Riley did NOT poop in her diaper that lay on her bedroom floor. She DID poop in her crib. It took me a moment to realize that the poop on her crib did not fall out of her diaper, but was a separate deposit from Miss Riley. However, what was most horrifying about the sight wasn’t the turds glued to her sheet, but the smear of chocolate-colored mess on her face. That’s right: poop on her face. As soon as this realization hit me, I ran to her crib and snatched her up while saying “Please don’t touch me, please don’t touch me!”
I managed to get Riley into the tub and rinse her off before having to take her out and clean the entire bathtub before getting her back in for a proper bath, all while Sawyer, my newborn, was screaming from his bassinet in my bedroom. As all of this is going on, a clearly happy Riley (she loves baths) just kept saying “brudah, brudah, baby!” as if it were all MY fault her baby brother was screaming and not because getting her out of her crib took at least 20 minutes instead of the usual 3 minutes.
After getting both kids back downstairs and fed, I sent “SOS” texts to both my husband and mother-in-law before noticing something that finally put the small back on this tired mama’s face. The day before, we had our neighbors and their kids over for a little ‘get-to-know-you’ lunch. I could have gone next door and kissed these wonderful neighbors of ours because of one little gift they brought over. A beautiful unopened bottle of Pinot Noir was waiting to be popped open, and I saw the light at the end of the tunnel that was 5:00. Poop shmoop…I had survived Poop-ageddon AND I had wine. Take that, toddlers.