The nurse comes into my room on the maternity floor.
"Did you eat a lot of fruit today?" she asks with a curious smile.
My three-day-old jaundiced son was in an incubator down the hall and Florence Frightengale here was talking about apples and oranges!?
She chuckled. "Max just pooped and it shot right out of the hole in the side of the incubator."
Not connecting the dots? Fruit has fibre. Mommy eats fruit. Breastmilk transfers fibre to baby. Baby shoots supersonic, projectile poop missiles.
Excellent work, son! Next time, point your cute little crap cannon right at the meany-faced nurse. You know the one. Get 'er right in the meany eye.
And so it began. My entire existence would henceforth revolve around the emissions of this itty-bitty bunghole.
During those six days at the hospital with my little Mexican midget with the excess bilirubin, I had to document every dang detail of his brownload downloads. Colour, frequency, size -- it was a proper doo-doo diary. From black meconium to guacamole green to mustard yellow, his Crayola box of crappola indicated his bilirubin was regulating and we could finally take Paco home. (As his liver-tan faded to the intended pasty white, his moniker changed from Cheech to Alfredo to Billy Reuben to Casper, but we eventually settled on Max, short for Maxican -- a salute to his uncanny six-day impression of George Lopez.)
I stole as many diapers from the hospital as my duffle bag would hold and went on my merry mommy way.
Before long, Max's butt nuggets became that familiar shade of brown. Now that's the shit I know... and love? My romanticized notions of motherhood quickly kerplunked to the bottom of the diaper pail. Beyond the bliss of little white onesies and cloud-soft chenille blankets was the fundamental truth that we are all just animals, performing the most basic of human functions: Eat. Breathe. Shit. Sleep. Survive. Max and I, both.
In a twist of cruel irony, my dad was battling colon cancer. He had a tumour removed from his bowel the very day I peed on a stick and heard it scream "pregnant!" Good and bad, the colon was certainly seeing a lot of action in our family. But let's keep this light, shall we? Back to the ass goblins.
Shit was everywhere. Yes, fan included. If I had one of those super-cool infrared CSI poop detectors, there'd be one white patch behind the fridge where shit had yet to splatter. But hey, we were home. Let the feces fall where it may.
It's when we ventured out into the real world that things got messy. More than once we stripped Maximus Stinkimus down in public places, including once in the parking lot of a car dealership as we shopped for a new ride. I triple-bagged his clothes as my husband dangled the 15-pounder out of the car door, Michael-Jackson-balcony style; Max had shat himself from neck to knees. If I hadn't packed extra clothes for him, we would have had to wrap him up in a Pontiac poster. Stool-resistant seats blasted to the top of our "things we need in a car" list. Basically, we needed to drive Frank Barone's couch.
We were rolling with the punches of new parenthood, but this shitstorm was a new climate for us. Two years prior, our new puppy had arrived, fully trained to poop in the yard at nine-weeks-old. Human babies are so dumb.
But I didn't realize just how wonderful infant poop was until Max, around age one, started depositing full-size, mega-toxic shitsicles. I may as well have been changing my husband's diaper. One day, honey. EW! (Please read that EW in all caps, 48-pt type, and followed by 10,000 exclamation marks.)
And around age two, the butt-munchkin started assuming "the position." Turbo Ginger never stops, so when he does it's either because Thomas is on Treehouse, or there's a corn-eyed butt snake en route to Pantsville. Here's how it goes: I notice a sudden silence. This can only mean one of two things. He's either standing there across the room, holding a pair of scissors and staring at me thinking, "Will she stop me, or shall I go ahead and carve the shit out of those curtains?" Or, he's bent over at the waist at a 45-degree angle, red-faced and quivering, squeezing some Mississippi mud into his diaper like a human tube of toothpaste.
His body in a full Nazi salute, it's like he's a member of the Turd Reich. Okay, that's it. When my kid starts to remind me of Adolf Hitler, I know it's time for change. It's potty time, baby.
But we didn't push the potty training too hard, warned by many that he might rebel and either get a tattoo or start pinching loafs all over the house. But once he realized what we were up to, Max started hiding. Behind the couch. Behind his bedroom door. And he started saying things like, "I gotta go see a man about a horse." Okay, that's a lie. But he did start saying, "I go hide," and "Don't look at me." Oh OK, Mr. Mysterious, what ever could you be up to? You better not be smoking cigarettes in there, or watching those skanks on Toddlers & Tiaras.
But now, at two and three-quarter years of age, he's ready and about 87 per cent trained. He has the occasional accident, but who doesn't? (Blush.) The day is quickly approaching when I will no longer accidentally lick "chocolate" off my wrist, and I can buy more vodka and less crap-catchers. Those friggers are 50 cents a poop, er, pop! I'm broke. And I'm not just talking about my vagina.
In the meantime, I'm savouring my little pooper's first life endeavour. (Well, second, if you count "latching on.") His determined, wide-eyed poop face is cute as hell, despite the assault on my nostrils as an ungodly aroma wafts up from below him. He looks down through his legs to see the chalupas he's dropping and exclaims, "Look -- it's poop!" No shit, Sherlock. He has pooped on the potty about 70 times now and he's still psyched -- every time. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
Then we "drop some friends off at the lake." Proud and excited, he watches it swirl down the drain and exclaims, "Bye poopy, see ya later!" I sure hope not, dude. What's that? -- A knock on the door. Oh... God... Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!