As a mommy of three with more than my fair share of experience in the not-so-widely-publicized toilet-related aspects of Motherhood, I feel it is my duty to provide you, the naïve and childless public, with some little known facts about the future that many of you think you want. I believe that us parents have a responsibility to educate those of you who may be considering joining our ranks concerning the biohazards of rearing a small human into adulthood. Ideally, this would be done generationally whereby parents would pass the knowledge they’ve gained during their own experiences on to their children. I think we all know that it doesn’t always go that way though, does it? (By the way, thanks for that, Mom. Marching confidently into this parenting-gig only to have feces flung at the rose-colored glasses you provided was awesome.)
Now just to be clear, I am in no way suggesting I would have done things differently had I known “then” what I know now. After all, I did decide to have two additional children after experiencing near-daily poopocalypses with my firstborn. I’m just saying that a little “heads up” would have been nice. It is however, too late for me. You, however, still have time to mentally and physically prepare for the onslaught of stink about to assault your senses. With that in mind I have decided to provide you with a few examples of some of the less-sanitary features of parenting.
Now before we even get into what your kids will do, let’s talk about something that you might do. Ready for this? You may poop during labour. I’m just putting that out there immediately in case you were wondering how real I was planning to keep it here. Now you know. I imagine that you have probably recoiled from your laptop in disgust and are now frantically typing “Involuntary bowel movement during labour” into your favourite search engine hoping to call my bluff, but just stop it. It’s true. There is a risk, and there is practically nothing you can do about it other than to accept it as a possibility. The good news is that you will probably be in so much pain that you won’t notice or care whether or not you’ve actually (*ahem*) “evacuated your bowels” during what you have always imagined would be a beautiful moment. This and the fact that your husband, if he is anything like mine, will consistently deny that such a horrifyingly disgusting event ever took place, should be of some comfort to you after it’s all over.
The first time you see your child they will be covered in a ghastly layer of gook consisting of your blood, their pee and poop, amniotic fluid, and a de-LIGHT-ful waxy substance known as vernix. Say THAT ten times without gagging.
Your baby will vomit directly into your mouth at least once.
Your child will urinate on you and your various belongings on a semi-regular basis for a period of time spanning several years. Don’t let the fact that they are “potty-trained” tempt you to lower your guard, remove the plastic from the couch, or start leaving your purse unzipped. Unless of course you find that the faint smell of ammonia on all your clothes helps to scare off unwanted visitors and other predators.
Your baby will spit up down the inside of your shirt, directly between your breasts, approximately eleventy million times. They will usually wait for a time when you are already hot, sweaty, and far from home without access to a clean garment or running water. Beware crowded, non-air-conditioned spaces like weddings, funerals, line-ups, and anywhere with the words “Fun Zone” in the title.
No matter what you encounter prior to this event, nothing will ever prepare you for the first “meat diaper”.
You will find things in the toilet for what will seem like the rest.of.your.life. Things that have no earthly reason to be there will be floating (if you’re lucky) in the bowl like some sort of disgusting prize in a cereal box. It will be your job to reach in and fish out the Lego Man, the slimy wad of Play Doh, your husband’s razor, your wedding earrings, and maybe even your makeup brushes. You will need to do this immediately (no time for gloves!) because if you don’t you run the not-to-be-taken-lightly risk of the same little doofus that put the object there in the first place running in and flushing it, thereby ruining your septic system and the back yard in one fell swoop.
Oftentimes, your kids will smell so badly it will be offensive. It will usually be poop-related, but not always.
You will also smell really bad a lot of the time. It will usually be kid-related. To cut back on the frequency of this occurrence don’t forget to wash your hands after the mandatory post-potty high-five.
No matter where you hide the box of tampons, your kids will not only find them but will remove their packaging and use them to decorate the Christmas tree.
You will find poop in strange places. Like the closet, or the back deck. Perhaps even in the laundry hamper. No explanation will ever be forthcoming. You will almost never find poop in the toilet because for awhile, flushing will be the one thing they do right every time.
You will know, down to the hour, exactly how long it takes for various foreign objects such as stickers, rubber bands, Lego Man’s arm, and pebbles to pass through a toddler’s digestive track.
Your child may one day create a shrine on their bedroom wall for prize boogers. Despite being asked to wash the boogers off beforehand, your husband may decide to skip that all-important step, paint right over them, and in so doing preserve said boogers for all eternity. (You’re welcome, future owners of my home.)
I can tell by your horrified cyber-silence that I should wrap this up now. However in the interest of full disclosure you should know that I am not stopping because there is nothing left to say, but because I truly believe in the whole “just give the people only as much information as they can reasonably be expected to handle at one time” concept.
I trust that in the days, months, and years following the arrival of your own small, sticky, vernix-covered, milk-drinking, poo-factories (because we both know that despite what you have just read, you’re going to go ahead and do it anyways!) that you will think back on this moment with gratitude and thankfulness that at least you went in with your eyes open and a surplus of hand-sanitizer at the ready. You’re going to need it since the amount of poop and bodily-fluids one small child is inexplicably able to produce is nothing short of supernatural. They truly are miraculous!