I poop a lot, okay?? It’s not an intolerance or condition- it’s just me. I am a poopy person. Over the course of my life, this has made for some… awkward moments and quite a few embarrassing situations (hello? crapping myself while walking into work ring a bell??) You don’t really ever get used to random bouts of sting ring, and pooping in a public restroom will NEVER be as desirable as the comfort of your own toilet, but when you gotta go (and I mean turtle-heading GOTTA go) you gotta go.
Kids complicated this.
It’s bad enough to be flipping through a rack of clothes in the middle of the mall and suddenly have that GOTTAGORIGHTNOW feeling suddenly shoot through your gut, but at least if you’re alone, you can just haul ass (pun intended) to the nearest restroom and unleash your bowels in relative peace (sorry other occupants! you don’t matter at a time like this!). When you have a child, not only do you have to get YOUR ass to the bathroom, you have to get their’s to go with you. As fast as humanly possible.
Children do not understand urgency unless it is their own, and even THAT is iffy at best. Many a time it ends with a log in their pants, so why would they care about a potential log in yours?
If it seemed like just GETTING to the bathroom with a child in tow was hard enough, try the actual act of taking a dump with your loud filter-less audience of one. Or two. Or however many you have in the stall with you because people are too fucking weird to leave kids outside of the stall or outside of the bathroom.
The responses over the years have ranged from EW MOMMY, YOU SMELL LIKE DOODOO! to UGH ARE YOU POOPING AGAIN? and everything in between, and it has all made me consider selling my kids on Craigslist. My public restroom adventures went from just something I dreaded having to do (naturally) to something I actually feared. What were they doing to say THIS time? And how many people would be around to hear it? WHY, stomach?? WHY?!
I’ve spent so long clenching my cheeks over the possibilities of bathroom embarrassment at the hands of my children, that I never stopped to think what effect having to witness all of my poops has had on THEM. Yes, I’m the mom with the embarrassing bathroom kids, but what is it like to be the kid of an embarrassing bathroom mom?
For years, one or both of them have had to accompany me to the bathroom when my stomach decides it won’t take no for an answer. For years they have had to deal with the urgency, the panic, and dear God, the smell! I’ve even used them as cover more times than I can count.
“Didn’t you say you have to go to the bathroom??”
“Yep! He has to go! Come on honey! I GUESS I’ll take you, since you really have to go!”
Maybe I’d be a “better” mom to some people if I shielded them from the poopcapades, but instead I decided to be completely open and honest, no matter how humiliating it is. Sorry kids, moms a pooper, and you just have to deal with it, no matter how unpleasant that may be for all of us.
Would that decision scar them for life? Give them poo-phobia? A severe aversion to public restrooms? Make them unable to poo in public for the rest of their lives?!? I have a friend who can’t drop a deuce without being COMPLETELY naked; this includes public restrooms. First of all, ew. Second of all- was this to be the fate of my children? Did my friend get forced into one too many tiny poo-fume filled stalls with his mom, and that was the result??
Disgust and confusion eventually gave way to understanding and acceptance. While the occasional comment is made about the frequency with which I have to use the restroom, there isn’t any complaining or loud announcements about how my crap smells like a turd covered in burnt hair. They GET it. They can’t change it. They know I can’t. They are comfortable enough with me (and I with them) to hang out and have conversations while we’re releasing the demons (doesn’t it just FEEL like that sometimes???) without judging. My Poocapades actually made our relationships STRONGER!
This openness that was created by my frequent poops made for two children who feel no body shame whatsoever. It’s actually kind of amazing. It also means that they fart constantly – including right in the middle of dinner- and see nothing wrong with it, but you gotta take the good with the bad.
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