Monday, June 20, 2011

That Old Re-Occuring Theme

A couple of months ago, probably after I regaled her with yet another look-at-how-my-children-tortured-me-with-poop story, Kira bought me these key covers (And yes, I am using them on my keys. They make me laugh in an oh-my-god-I-either-have-to-laugh-at-my-life-or-stab-myself-to-death-with-a-pooper-scooper kind of way. If you want your own, you can get them here).

They are the perfect gift for the writer, who, sadly, has made stories about her misadventures with poop into a claim to fame. (You don't have to tell me how pathetic that is.)

And just when you thought there was no topping the last poop story, here I come with another horrible tale...

This one should probably be called: Are You Sure You Want A Pair Of Boys? or Why This Would Never Never EVER! Happen To A Mom Of Two Girls.

Last weekend, Tom and I did a little re-arranging in the basement and created a nice little astro-turfed area for the boys to play with their garbage trucks. They like to propel their trucks through the house and then ram them into the walls. Since I'm afraid this kind of play will terrorize the new puppy, I suggested we move them all downstairs. The boys thought this was a great idea and spent may happy hours playing down there in a space where Mommy left them alone. I was happy because the screaming and banging was muffled and I no longer had to spend every waking moment of my life listening to garbage truck sound effects. It was a beautiful thing, while it lasted.

On Wednesday morning, I skipped the gym (my first mistake) and let the boys play in the basement all morning without watching them too closely (my second mistake) because, I told myself, there wasn't a whole lot they could do to wreck the basement (my third mistake). Sam came upstairs after a while and said he wanted to play outside, so I positioned myself on the sun porch so I could watch Sam on the swing set and keep an ear out for John, who was still downstairs. I had just opened up Microsoft Word and had just literally allowed my cursor to hover over my novel document when John came upstairs and announced that he was poopy.

Just for the record, his Pull-Up was drier than the Mohave desert. The rest of him--from his hair to the spaces between his toes... well, that was another story. I went down into the basement to investigate, because I know from previous experience that a poopy child = a poopy room. I know... I know... those of you who are horror movie afficionados know the drill... Don't ever go look in the basement...blahblahblah.

Well, I looked in the basement.

Someone had opted not to come upstairs to go poopy in the potty. That was bad. But it was like the small puddle of blood that's discovered before the TV detective finds the mutilated body....

Apparently, two little someones had tracked what would have been a relatively easy cleanup all over the 80-year-old, uneven, un-finished, very pitted, extremely porous basement floor. And had run their garbage trucks through it. And used their sand toys to shape it into little castles. Then they'd run through it and tracked poopy footprints everywhere. Cozy Coupe had gotten a fairly thorough waxing with it. The new astro-turf rug was covered. So was my elliptical.

Everywhere I looked, all was poop.

I went to find the culprit.

He was hiding in his swing set clubhouse. Using skills acquired from watching ninety-bazillion hours of  Busytown Mysteries, I deduced that the brown-stained pants of my eldest child were in fact the same color and consistency of my brown-stained basement.

I'm pretty sure my head blew off at that point, so I take no responsibility for my actions after that. I was temporarily insane. And pissed. So I screamed. A lot.

And then I put Sam to work cleaning Cozy Coupe, while I scrubbed the floors. I was not a happy individual, as you might imagine.

And then I went upstairs for more hot, soapy water, where I found John, covered once again, head to toe, in poop. Cue the part where I lost it completely.

I cried as I carried him (at arm's length) to the shower. I wept as I scrubbed him down (again). Wailed as I looked around the bathroom at the poop puddles on the floor, the poop-painted toddler potty, the brown smears on the toilet, cabinet doors, and good towels. I cried, and when he saw he'd made Mommy cry, John cried. And Sam, who'd come upstairs and was sitting in the playroom, started crying, too.

We all had ourselves a good, long cry.

I went back downstairs, and for the next two hours, as I scrubbed the floor, I kept crying. I cried whenever I thought about the fact that I have a Master's degree, and am a published author, and an award-winning playwright. I know multiple languages. I can embroider like nobody's business, and make cute little dolls too. By all accounts, my life should be rich and full and interesting, and yet, instead of doing any of that, I was on my hands and knees cleaning up my children's shit once again.

If that's not a metaphor for motherhood, I don't know what is.

I'm sure there are moms out there who say that raising children is life's greatest joy and that there is no finer thing in life than to spend time at home with one's own children--but I can pretty much guarantee that they have never had to scrape poop out from beneath teeny tiny garbage truck tire treads.

I'll spare you the histrionics, the bitching, the moaning, the why-mes, and all of that.

Just know that it was a very shitty day.


  1. brittany, i am so sorry you had to go through that, but i am so glad you c an write about it with such self-revelation and humor. this was my favorite line, until i read a bit further, it was merely the opener: And used their sand toys to shape it into little castles.

    i have been there, so been there, but never quite in the ways you have been there.

  2. i think i'd throw everything away rather than clean it .... well .. i mightt clean and keep and the boys ... but not the toys ....

  3. I think this is possibly the best thing you've ever written. I can't even imagine....


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