Originally published November 19, 2012, this story is and will remain one of the shining jewels of my parenting career.
It all happened on Saturday: It had been a bad afternoon.
I felt impatient and emotional, completely unrelated to the fact that I was still coughing and hoarse from the illness that Noah had so kindly passed on to me.
Chris had taken the kids to the football game by himself that morning and had left me home alone to heal and get things accomplished, so I felt worse that I had no reason to be in such bad sorts.
Noah had napped for 25 minutes on the way home from Tuscaloosa, so Chris texted me and suggested that I meet them at the park at 2 pm – because that’s totally what two worn-out, cranky, undernapped kids need.
Everybody was whiny.
Nobody was happy.
And I experienced continuously increasing levels of icky.
Then Chris suggested that we ride up the road to the mall, eat dinner in the food court, and perhaps visit the toy store, two more really great things to do with attitudinally-challenged children.
We abandoned the mall at 5 pm, with the full intention of putting both children to bed record-breakingly early.
But it was Saturday night – so they had to be bathed first.
And of course their bathroom is still in shambles, so it had to be done in our tub, which is not kid-friendly due to it’s double depth and lack of removable shower head.
Ali was dramatically bemoaning me detangling her hair.
Noah was splashing her in the face and repeatedly walking over her legs, pacing the full length of the tub over and over.
(In retrospect, he must have been sniffing out the perfect spot to take a dump.)
Ali was howling about Noah splashing her in the face.
Chris was watching over my shoulder, giving me “suggestions” and offering to “help.”
The stress in the air was thicker than a snowsuit wedgie.
Ali looked to the left, gasped, and shrieked, “Noah pooped in the tub!!!!”
I looked over, and there it was. Just one. But wow.
It was one of those that is so massive you’re more impressed that it made it’s way out of a creature half it’s size than horrified that it’s SHARING A BATH with your two kids.
But the horror caught up with me quickly and I yanked Ali out of the tub and stood her on the mat. Chris shrieked and pulled Noah, yelling in my direction (over the kid-cacophony) that there was more poop hanging off of Noah’s butt.
Ali stood shivering on the mat, Noah stood shivering on the floor, and I stood staring at the GIGANTIC INTRUDER in my bathtub.
I thought about the wash cloth. I thought about my bare hands. I decided on toilet paper.
I rolled off way more than six squares and reached into the water, barely able to get my fist around the giant squid.
I pulled it out of the water and turned to lob it across the room and into the toilet.
But the lid was down.
So there I was, holding a quite impressively heavy (yet sturdy) turd in dripping, quickly disintegrating toilet paper.
And there he was, all tending to our naked, cold, poopy toddler.
…Instead of what he SHOULD have been doing, which was noticing that the toilet lid right next to him was closed.
That might have been the moment I cracked.
“Toilet! Toilet!! TOILET!!!!!!”
Chris checked up, reached around, and lifted the lid.
But I didn’t wait on him. I launched the log prematurely.
And as it sailed in a beautiful arcing spiral five feet across the bathroom, it hit Chris square in the back of his retreating hand.
After it donged off the upright, The Rocket dropped right into the bowl.
I looked up and made eye contact with my husband. This was a moment – a climax even – of unendurable foulness. What was he going to say?
But he started laughing hysterically.
And then I started laughing, physically feeling the burden of stress dissipating instantaneously.
Noah continued complaining about his cold, poopy butt.
Ali didn’t take a break from whimpering about her share in the tragedy.
But we ignored our naked children as we convulsed with laughter, fully enjoying the experience of having happy hearts for the first time that night.
The moral of the story is: He who can withstand rockets of crap and return volleys of laughter is well worth keeping around.
Epilogue: The next morning, it became apparent that the pre-church bath had been completely unnecessary, as Noah and I were coughing worse than ever and Chris had developed some sort of horrible stomach plague. It is undecided as to whether Chris’ illness was caused by his poor choices at the mall food court or from the five pound brick of e. coli that I threw at him. But either way, our Saturday night was better because of it.