Disclaimer: Everyone knows motherhood includes some not-so-polite, gross details. If that's not your thing, you probably should click over to a different blog that doesn't glorify bodily functions.
If my encounters with pee and poop were a pie chart, my own would span an eighth of the pie, my 20-month-old son, Bennett, who is in diapers, would claim three-eighths, and my 3-year-old son, who is "potty trained," would sprawl fully half.
I'm not one of those people who uses frivolous quotations. Quinn is potty trained on paper, but he hits his target cleanly only once or twice a day. He goes through 3-6 pairs of pants and underwear. My brilliant solution? Gumdrops for a dry floor.
My sweet child likes to do everything else better than he likes to use the restroom. He waits until he has to pee so bad that it makes him dance. The stream starts flowing while he's pulling down his pants. It continues while he stumbles toward the too-small potty chair he won't give up. It flourishes in a 180-degree arc across walls, big toilet and floor as he turns to sit down. It dribbles a meager tinkle as it meets its target.
My eighth of the pee pie is usually tainted with something kid related, because if you're a stay-at-home mom with a 20-month-old who can suck down a tube of toothpaste in less than a minute, you pee with the door open. Sometimes the kids come in, wailing and teary, when they bump their heads and need a hug. Sometimes they try to crawl in your lap. And sometimes -- OK, never? -- you let them.
Sometimes Baby pulls the stool out from under the sink, turns on the hot water faucet and pumps the soap. You confiscate soap, head off burn and catch the child when he slips off the stool and nearly knocks his jaw on the sink. All before standing up.
You like to retreat quietly to the bathroom. Sometimes you need three minutes and take them all, despite the troublesome hush that befalls the house.
Baby spends his free moments outwitting the child lock on the kitchen cabinet that stored the Santa and Halloween candy. A pile of chomped plastic-wrapped candy canes and metallic wrappers litter the floor.
Maybe Big Boy likes to streak after using the restroom. He forgets that he must wait for help in the bathroom. That he must wash his hands before he plays with his cars or eats a cracker. That he must shield the contractor or the cousins he hasn't seen for three years from his "jewels," as he calls them, especially while they're finishing lunch in your dining room.
You lecture him to stay put. That might mean staying in the bathroom that has half a shred of toilet paper left on the roll and none under the sink. Out of principal, you wipe with that half a shred, at the expense of your fingers' dignity. Had you run to get a backup, Big Boy would have run, too.
Sometimes you get so tired of wiping pee off the floor that to get your son to go on time, you lend him your phone, which he uses to watch home videos. He likes to close the door to the windowless bathroom and watch them in the dark. For a half-hour. Sometimes he drops your phone on the tile and the screen shatters. And you end up at the Apple store a month later because you've seen it slough off one too many glass shards.
Sometimes, when you're in public, you can't get to a restroom fast enough. So you offer a water bottle in the car.
Say you have lunch with Daddy. Big Boy gulps down apple juice and little else. You drive around for an hour while waiting for a Genius Bar appointment at the Apple store. Wake Big Boy 15 minutes into spontaneous car nap. Console crying, unhappy Big Boy as you exit the car, three minutes before appointment. Big Boy clings to your leg and sobs as you hold Baby, the runner. You guide Big Boy across the street. Baby's unzipped coat comes off in 28-degree weather, mid-crossing. You kneel and adjust coat while issuing pep talk and hug to quell the crying before you enter the store. Fail. Enter Apple store, ignoring 30 heads turned to stare at the sweaty, sobbing child and his harried mother who wears leopard-print shoes with clashing socks. Consult Genius. He can't do anything about the cracked screen today. Lady, you have to back up your phone and come back. COME BACK? With these two? Exit store and guide shuffling, sniffling 3-year-old back across the street and back to car. Buckle both kids. Wipe sweat from brow. Big Boy whines: "Mommy, I have to go potty!" Crane neck for child-friendly, bathroom-accessible store within 10 feet. Spot week-old water bottle in console. End scene.
But the scene of life doesn't end. Starting with those first horrific newborn blowouts, the quality of a young family's days are tempered in part by the quality of bodily functions. Baby is quickly approaching potty training. Bennett is still cute and contained, though. He tells me when he wets or poops, and Tuesday night, he brought me a diaper and the pillow he uses during changes.
Sometimes Baby sits on the training seat on the big toilet, reaches over and grabs toilet paper from the roll and wipes. He doesn't rip off the used piece. One time, you forget to remove his rumpled portion before you roll the paper up for use.
That had to have been a good day. The toilet paper was clean, and there was no pee on the floor.