Although Big has always been a great sleeper, there was a time when he was about two years old when he started getting up wayyy too early in the morning. Although we got him to stay in his room when we woke up, I still wanted him to sleep longer or at least play quietly in his room. His new thing was to bang on his bedroom door, which he knew would bring Mama running because I didn’t want him to wake up Little. So one morning, I heard him wake up at 6 AM. I decided that I was going to ignore him as long as possible (aside from a single, “Knock it off!” about the door banging). When I drifted back to sleep and realized at 7:40 that he’d been playing quietly for nearly two hours, I rejoiced and went to get him to celebrate.
<insert foreboding music here>
I opened his door. His room was pretty dark and I didn’t have my contacts in yet. He was standing right in front of the door. He immediately said, “Mama! See!” and started to hand me something. I asked, “What is it?”
Indeed it was. My son had just handed me a lovely little turd which he had pulled out of his diaper. It was perfectly round, way too round to have come out that way, so I realized with sick horror that what had been keeping him busy for the past hour-plus was playing with his own poop like it was Play-Doh. I quickly turned on the lights and, like in a horror movie when the protagonist finally realizes what’s going on (“How could he have missed the signs?!”), the little poopy handprints all over the room jumped out at me in stark relief. Poopy handprints on the toys, the door handles, the toy box, the blocks, the books, HIS FACE AND HAIR, everything that he touched all morning. Shall I point out that he’d had a runny nose for a couple of days and so was constantly wiping his nose with his hands??
I scooped up Big and dumped (no pun intended) him in the tub for his second bath in less than 24 hours. The nanny arrived just then and, upon hearing the bath water running, called out, “Uh oh, was there an explosion?” Yes, of sorts. She spent the next half hour scrubbing down his room while I scrubbed down the boy.
My mister’s response when I told him this story? “You may have won the battle, but he’s winning the war.” Alas, maybe this was my due; maybe it was karma. I think there’s a story out there about me as a toddler, something about me smearing my poopy diaper all over the walls . . .
Good times, noodle salad.