From the first hours of motherhood, you are told to care deeply about poop.
Black poop from your baby should not be horrifying — or a sign of him eating blueberries and/or black jelly beans. It is natural, much like your fear of pooping after pushing a child out vaginally.
You swore it wouldn’t happen to you but over the course of the first year, you and your partner begin talking about poop with ease – while eating, on a date, before falling asleep. Neither of you are bothered by this and accept it as valid, fascinating conversation.
You say the words, “come look at this diaper,” and are not making a joke.
Really, the poop doesn’t smell that bad. It is kind of weird.
A child who eats solid food is much grosser in the poop department. Still, your kid can barely walk so it isn’t like there’s any hope of poop not being your responsibility.
The kid can tell you when he needs a new diaper. You become adept at scheduling activities based on likely poops, for baby and yourself.
You have officially spent enough money on diapers and wipes to earn a free flashlight, valued at 17,000 points, from your credit card company.
The kid is now interested in your poop. It is hard to be chill about this. Sometimes a woman just wants some damn privacy. Getting the job done in the bathroom is harder with guests.
The moment your kid seems slightly interested in not sitting in his own feces, you try to potty train.
This does not go well. Cleaning poop off underwear is somehow much worse than diapers. Wiping poop off a standing up person is horrible. You want to throw up sometimes.
You consider toilet training habits you’ve heard about from your hippie friends. You let your child wander naked for a whole day. When you accidentally step on a turd, you realize you don’t want to be a hippie. You want to be a person who never touches poop again.
One day you wake up and realize your child uses the toilet on his own almost all the time. You can wipe that little butt while on the phone and brushing your teeth at the same time.
Then your child gets sick. The flow of poop is constant. If the kid wasn’t so pitiful, you would be seriously upset. But how can you be mad when your little one can’t stop shitting? You realize there are worse things than a slow pooper who wants to talk while sitting on the potty.
Your child attends some sort of preschool program. This person who has to use the toilet every hour at your house somehow goes the whole year without once pushing out a turd for them.
Every day your child comes home, starts to pick up toys, and then has to poop. You suspect he is reading in the bathroom but never catch him. He must take off all of his clothes to poop.
Your child does not want help wiping his bum any longer. This is unfortunate at he doesn’t quite get all the poop, despite using half a roll of toilet paper.
You become friends with a plumber.
You stop trying to clean underwear. If it is even mildly gross, you throw it away.
Your go-to answer for any discomfort in your child is asking when the last time he pooped was, even though you know the answer.
You know the poop schedule of everyone in your house. You wish you did not have this information so readily available.
Your child refuses to poop unless at home. You go on vacation. Five days in, your child spends two hours in the bathroom. You hope he has learned a lesson. He has not.
The bathroom smells horrible when your child uses it, like he’s a grown man with huge elephant scat or something. Your child likes to describe his poop, still.
Your child closes the door when he poops. He leaves you alone in the bathroom, as well.
Your child can say he has an upset stomach rather than give details about consistency, frequency, or color of feces.
You smile when mothers of younger children talk about poop. What’s wrong with them? Don’t they have a life?
On a camping trip, your child is able to balance in a squat and poop in nature. You feel that you can die now and your child will be able to make it to college.
You and your child can discuss animal poop without laughing, in a scientific manner of observation rather than a grossfest.
You have not thought about poop for two weeks. You realize your own bowel movements are remarkable only for being regular and indistinct. Your household has returned to a stable level where poop is not a topic of consideration.
Now you begin to wonder if you made it all up, if poop really was your whole life there for a while.