OK, confession time: There MIGHT have been ONE or TWO times this week when I smelled that Drew had defaced his underwear and then pretended not to notice.
Gordon was home and I was waiting for him to detect it “first.” I would find other pressing matters – the tiny weed sprouts emerging from the peat moss along the backside of the house, the dusty patio furniture in desperate need of wiping down. Anything to be kept out of the path of odor and all its obligations — which is really saying something, because it’s 859 degrees outside (feels like 873) and I’m not much of a gardener or wiper of anything. Including bottoms.
I Don’t Think Gordon Has Caught On. Yet.
Of course, there WAS that one morning when Drew walked around for maybe 45 minutes and I sensed that Gordon and I were playing a sad game of spousal roulette, where the person who flinches first has to man-up to the unspeakable. Up to this point, it has usually been Gordon — a prince from another era — because he is wonderful, honestly, or maybe because I’m a brat, or some combination of both. Or maybe this is just what couples do. Maybe there was just no tidy week in premarital counseling titled “the shared responsibility of poop patrol,” and it’s like so many other things in marriage: you make up the rules as you go. (Even if the other person doesn’t know you’re playing a game in the first place.)
We fall into where we think we belong, like dutiful Plinko chips.
Of course, I feel justified. I’m not getting off Scott-free. Gordon leaves plenty for me to do in the biohazard department. He gingerly removes the horrific once-pure-cotton briefs from Thing One’s shrimpy behind, wipes said behind with about 30 wet ones, folds the wet ones into a hand towel which I later have to disembowel and wash (why can’t he stuff them in the Diaper Genie?), then slips yet another Lightning McQueen brief up Drew’s chicken legs.
What is done with the vandalized underwear? It’s left submerged in the toilet — contents and all — for mommy to tackle soon thereafter with a pair of rubber gloves. Once she has sufficiently numbed all normal human scruples about decency and cleanliness and established a steady pattern of mouth breathing.
(Come to think of it, I think Gordon is winning this game after all.)
Last night I was up at church rehearsing for our production of The Sound of Music which is coming to Christ Chapel in September. For some reason I had forgotten to eat an apple (or pure, unvarnished queso) to tide me over during the 5-9 p.m. stretch, and when I finally left the sanctuary I was moments away from collapsing or consuming a Von Trapp child.
I glanced down at my phone and saw Gordon had called and messaged me. After such a low potty training week, and because Drew hadn’t pooped all day, I was expecting something along the lines of FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, COME HOME NOW OR NEVER COME HOME AGAIN, but what I saw was this:
The text said: Look who’s eating ice cream! Which is code for: Look who just completed Successful Bowel Movement #2 in the history of the Initial Thing! (Which will be his new, more sophisticated nickname now that he is a gentleman.)
I realize you might not have children or read this blog solely because I pay you. I get that. I am sensitive to that. I appreciate you indulging all this poop talk. If I have to type the word POOP again, I think the Star-Telegram will self-destruct out of honor or die of shame — either way this blog will go away. Then you can go about your life pretending there are no such things as diapers, rubber gloves, or cannibalistic actresses.
But Until Then.
Until then, rejoice with me in the little things, won’t you? That my husband and I can reconnect — call a truce, wave white flags, whatever — over something as simple as a well-timed bowel movement.
Which is every bit as romantic as it sounds.
For more from Julie (and to read her latest entry "Infant Bikinis?"), visit her blog at wetbehindtheearsblog.com.