A nasty bug has hit our household.
I have missed more work in the last couple of weeks than I ever have, whether because one of my kids has been sick and someone needed to stay home with him, or I was sick myself.
This is hard for someone who has always prided herself on never missing a day of work. Even when I was 22 years old with a screaming hangover, I’d take a cold shower and march myself into that classroom to teach those young, impressionable kids.
On second thought, perhaps I should’ve kept my smelling-like-vodka-tonic ass home.
Side note: Did you know that vodka most certainly does smell if you drink enough of it? At least that’s what a co-worker told me back in those days, when I’d switched to the drink for just that reason—as if my bloodshot eyes weren’t clue enough as to what I’d been doing the night before. I can’t help it I had fun friends and a swinging social life back then. Thank God I don’t have any friends now.
Anyway, for most of the past few days, I’ve managed to keep the aches, chills, and other flu-like symptoms at bay by chomping ibuprofen every four hours, thereby heading into work. Yesterday, however, the threat of shitting my pants at my desk actually felt like it could become a reality, and it was enough to keep me at home.
Because our bug has included explosive diarrhea.
It all started last weekend, when my little family took the 5-hour trip with me to my half marathon. About 10 minutes from our destination, a smell—don’t pardon my pun—oozed into the air around us.
“Did you shit?” I asked my husband. Loosely translated, this means, “Did you fart, and if so, why didn’t you roll down the window?” Because even the freezing temps and snow flurries flying in for a few minutes would’ve been better than that smell.
He took his eyes off the road momentarily to turn my way. “No. Did you?”
I shook my head, then turned to address our boys in the back. I assumed that one of them had farted (and they’ve been out of diapers for a long time), so I was only teasing when I said, “Did one of you poop in your pants?”
They giggled, and my 6-year-old said no. My 3-year-old, however, said, “I didn’t poop, Mommy, but I farted.”
It only took my husband and me about 5 minutes of unwillingly inhaling the scent that permeated the air around us in the warm car (that had begun to feel increasingly warmer—and smaller) to realize that our little guy hadn’t farted; he’d sharted.
And that was how the bug began. We found a Dollar General, bought some Pull-Ups, and convinced our younger son that even though he is a big boy who doesn’t need diapers, on long drives when a young boy has caught a stomach bug and he’s unsure if he’s farting or actually crapping his pants, Pull-Ups are a good idea and a once-in-a-lifetime exception, especially if that young boy’s mother had packed lightly for once in her life and wasn’t sure how many days of clean clothes could be guaranteed at the alarming rate of sharting.
So he agreed. And in the meantime, I remembered the post below that I had written a long time ago but never published from before my younger son was completely potty trained.
I take comfort in believing that I’m not the only mother who thinks in terms of “blog post” when faced with a sharting situation. They didn’t come up with the term “mommy blogger” for nothing, folks.
So enjoy, if you will…
Although I wouldn’t describe potty training as chock full of “fond moments,” I do have a memory about potty training my first son that I just love…
He was on the brink of turning 3, and he was actually fully potty trained. The only thing he had left to learn was how to adequately wipe his butt after he shat. (I find the word “shat” so much more effective than “pooped,” don’t you?) One afternoon, he informed me that he had to go poop, and I told him I’d be there in a few minutes to wipe his butt.
Unfortunately, there was this really awesome political fight going on on a friend’s Facebook page, and I got caught up in it. I have since realized that Rule #1 of Facebooking is Don’t Talk about Politics on Facebook, but I had a few months left to go (and one incident where my brother called one of my friends that he’d never met an assclown on my page) before I would learn that very important rule.
I heard my boy calling for me, but I had forgotten that he’d gone to the bathroom as my fingers flew across the keyboard (It was a really good fight). I kept saying, “Okay, buddy, I hear you. I’ll be there in a second!”
Finally, after several of those “seconds” had gone by, I heard my firstborn son yell, “UGH! It is REALLY ANNOYING that NOBODY IS WIPING MY BUTT RIGHT NOW!”
I have never forgotten that. Hilarious.
Now it’s Potty Training: Take 2 with my second son. And it’s simply not going as smoothly as it did with my first.
About a month ago, I was sitting on the couch watching Caillou with my younger son, who will be 3 later this summer. He looked up at me and smiled that huge smile that I love, the one that lights up his chubby cheeks so brightly that it almost brings tears to my eyes.
“Hey, Mom,” he said. I beamed back down at him, eyebrows raised in interest at whatever he was getting ready to tell me. “I peeing right now,” he finished.
I felt the smile slip from my face. “Why don’t you go on the potty, buddy?” I asked, frustrated. He’d been doing this type of thing in diapers for weeks, and we’d switched to Pull-Ups, hoping that with our guided instruction, he’d take the initiative and start doing his business in the bathroom. But no. He shook his head. “No, I can just go right here. I done.”
It’s hard to argue with that logic, really.
A few days later, he danced—literally danced—into the kitchen. It was about 8:00 AM, and I was supposed to be at work pretty much right at that moment. Instead, I was standing over my Keurig, thinking that if I cursed at it enough, it might spit my much-needed cup of morning coffee out a little bit faster and we could all be on our merry damned way.
“I peeing, I peeing!” my son singsonged at me, doing a little back-and-forth dance with his hips. He was trying to be funny, but when I complained about his ill-timed comedic performance later to my husband, my husband raised his eyebrows at me, all self-righteous, and said, “Hm. I wonder where he gets it?”
That morning in the kitchen, my older son saw me roll my eyes and sigh. Before I could ask it, he looked at his younger brother and said, “Why don’t you go on the potty, buddy?”
“I don’t need to go on the potty,” my younger son answered. “I done.”
I tried to teach a lesson by being a hardass. “Well,” I said, grabbing my travel coffee mug and twisting on the lid. “I guess you’ll have to sit in it for a minute. We’re late, and I can’t change your Pull-Up until we get you to preschool.”
My younger son shrugged. Have you ever seen a 2-year-old shrug with indifference? Try not to laugh.
“I can wait,” he responded simply.
“Whatever,” I mumbled.
It all reminded me of my first year teaching, when I had a 6th grader accidentally pee his pants in my classroom at the beginning of the year. I was shocked; I wasn’t prepared for that scenario, as I hadn’t gone to school for early childhood development, nor was I a behavior or Special Ed teacher. I’d gotten a degree to teach middle school English, where things like this normally didn’t happen.
When one of the other kids noticed the spot on the floor and pointed it out to me, I made something up about having seen the ceiling leak the day before, and I fake-lamented out loud that the janitor hadn’t had a chance to fix it yet. Then I scoped out the classroom for wet pants, found the little guy, and quietly sent him to the nurse’s office to call his mom for a change of clothes. Nobody was ever the wiser, and I consulted with my principal that afternoon about what to do if it happened again and the other kids caught on. I didn’t want him to get made fun of.
“Oh,” my principal said, pulling a serious look, “I understand what he’s going through.”
“You do?” I asked, leaning forward in my chair, ready to sympathize with some deep bedwetting issues that this large, 40-year old football player of a man was getting ready to divulge to me.
“Sure. Because I’m wearing an adult diaper, and I’m doing it right now.”
Side note: That was the first hint that I’d love that job. The second was at the end of the year, when that same principal and his assistant were seen driving through town, a keg in the back of the principal’s pickup truck for the end-of-the-year teacher party at the principal’s house. And later, at that same party, when I ran into his bathroom to puke and all he asked when he came to check on me was, “Did you make it into the toilet?” before handing me another beer, I knew they’d have to drag me away from that job by my hair if they ever wanted me to leave.
Unfortunately, I fell in love and got married and had to move away to follow my husband’s job. But I still remember my four years there fondly, and it was with a heavy heart that I left.
And on that side note, I’ll end this particular potty training blog post. I hadn’t realized how many funny incidents I’d had with it while my kids were going through it, and if I don’t cut it off here, this will be a hell of a long post. I’ll post the remainder on an upcoming Friday, because there are never enough good shitting stories, right?
Have a great weekend!
Click here to like me on Facebook!
Click here to like me on Facebook!