Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Poo, et. al.

There must be a study out there that links the birth of a child to a physiological alteration in parents. No, I’m not talking about the many well documented changes that happen to a woman when she gives birth, but the lesser known and studied change that allows one to go from gagging at the thought of certain bodily excretions to scrutinizing the color and consistency of their child’s poop. I’m not saying that parents necessarily enjoy it doing this, although I’m sure many do, but that this task becomes routine so soon after birth. For example, I am amazed at how quickly I found myself doing snuger patrol, our cute name (everything has to have a cute name) for digging into Zoe’s pinky sized nose without gagging. Let’s be honest, snot is universally disliked (maybe even more so than poop, but since I don’t want to lower the standards of this blog I’ll leave that philosophical question for another place) but it’s almost fun twisting a tissue into a petite spade and digging for tiny treasures.

I have to admit that before baby came along the thought of having to deal with our baby’s secretions had me, um, worried. I tend not to like gross things, and although I wouldn’t say I have a weak stomach, a few of the things that would be leaking (or jettisoning) from our baby had the potential to gross me out. It doesn’t help that babies have no manners. When they sneeze they don’t cover their cute little mouths with their cute little hands, so you always get a cute little shower. I don’t know about all babies, but Zoe poops like an old man in a public restroom, long and loud. Like she invented pooping. But instead of grossing me out, like when the bum on the subway did this, I laugh at how cute our baby is.

Occasionally there are not-so-cute events, such as the so-called blow out. This is when your baby poops and it shoots up the back of her diaper and up her back. I know what you’re thinking; gross and can we change the subject? I promise to wrap this up quickly, but for those soon to be parents out there I wanted to pass along a few pieces of advice. First, always bring an extra outfit. Always! Second, dads, always claim incompetence. You may be mocked, sometimes scorned, and you may suffer, but there really is no question, moms just do a better job changing diapers. For example, one middle-of-the-night change I put the diaper on backwards. Alison has never put a diaper on backwards.

Parents devote a huge amount of time into the inspection and discussion of what is coming out of their child. I never really understood why this was until I became a parent, but if someone were to ask me I would probably tell them that our child’s various outputs are an indication of her health. Truth is, it’s just an excuse to avoid those tedious discussions about politics, art, etcetera that childless couples must endure. Trust me, it’s fun to talk about diapers and your child’s pooping ability’s. It’s like grade school playground talk for adults.

I think this is a topic that could stretch on for quite a while. I haven’t even gotten onto the subject of throw-up down the back of my shirt. Or the constant flow of drool, also down the back of my shirt. And since we have a girl I don’t get to discuss boys peeing issues. But I have years ahead of me and have just touched the tip of the diaper-berg. I will leave something for future blogs, when I return with Tales from the Diaper Pail.

See photos of Zoe at

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