I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.
We all have boundaries. Even if we’re not currently aware of what they are we know them when we see them. There are certain things I would not do for love. For instance, I would never put anyone in front of my children. I won’t compromise my relationships with them for anyone.
In my (almost) 15 years as a parent, I’ve been sneezed on, puked on, pissed on, and pooped on. I’ve wiped snotty noses and soiled bottoms. I’ve potty-trained three boys. I’ve had awkward talks about sex, divorce, and mental health. I let the twins’ mother keep the house we shared (to the detriment of my credit rating) simply so they wouldn’t have to move or change schools. One of the twins once sneezed a mouthful of baby carrots into my eye. The other once spit up into my mouth when I was kissing him. Baby B was an active sleeper when he was younger, and once kicked me in the nuts in the middle of the night when sharing a bed with me. There’s still a scar on my right cornea where one of the twins kicked me in the eye while we were wrestling.
I have put up with and done a lot for love.
Last night, however, I crossed a new threshold. I did something I never thought I’d have to do as a parent, and it’s quite possibly the most awkward and grossest thing I’ve ever experienced as a father. The rest of this post involves a toddler pooping, so continue reading at your own risk.
Nearing bedtime last night, Baby C began complaining about a stomach ache. C doesn’t poop regularly, probably once every two to three days. He had an instance last week where he complained about tummy pains. He was with my mom at the time, but she said once he pooped he was fine.
That in mind, I guided C to the bathroom and told him to sit on the potty. After a few minutes had passed he said he was finished. I didn’t see anything in the toilet, but it was possible that it had floated to the back where I couldn’t see it. I plucked C from the potty and proceeded to wipe his tush.
Then I felt it. Through the wipe, thankfully.
C had not pooped. Evidently he was blocked. I put him back on the toilet and told him to try again. I could actually see the poop trying to come out, but it wouldn’t. My poor baby boy was in pain. He was sitting on the toilet crying and telling me he just wanted to go to bed. Somehow I needed to get him to poop.
I then remembered a time when the twins were just a few months old. Baby A hadn’t pooped in a couple of days and we told the doctor so at a routine check up. When the twins were infants, the pediatrician they saw checked their temperature with a rectal thermometer. I remember watching as the nurse checked Baby A’s temperature. Baby A then, as soon as the thermometer was removed, shit all over the table.
I knew what I had to do, but I didn’t know what to use. After a quick brainstorming session, I realized the best thing I had in the house to do this with was a q-tip. I had Baby A bring me down a couple of q-tips. I then locked the bathroom door and sat down in front of C while he cried on the toilet.
The first couple of times I reached towards C with the q-tip I cringed and stopped. C continued to cry. His poor face was as red as a fire engine and was soaked with tears. This hardened my resolve.
I very gently inserted the q-tip into C’s, um, rectum. C immediately began to cry out in pain so I quickly removed it. Then, much to my relief, his bowels erupted like a volcano blowing it’s top.
Let me tell you…I understand why he was in pain. I don’t know how that child had so much poop in him. It was like watching a snake slither out of a hole on a pegboard. Needless to say, when he was finished C was ecstatic. He was ready to get off the toilet and get back to playing. Meanwhile I was left feeling uncomfortable and queasy.
I learned something about myself last night: there are many, many things I won’t do for love, but evidently sticking a q-tip up your ass to help you poop isn’t one of them. Isn’t self-discovery the greatest?