Max spent the first few days of his life in an incubator at the hospital. Jaundice. He slept in the see-through baby toaster with his wee arse in the air, wearing nothing but a nappy and a mini Zorro mask.
But don’t be deceived by the sleepy sweetness you’re picturing; this kid was locked and loaded. As soon as they took off his diaper, he fired a shit missile right through a hole in the side of the incubator, adding a new kind of caca to the shit list: SNIPER SHIT.
My entire existence would henceforth revolve around the emissions of this child’s itty-bitty bunghole. That week at the hospital, I had to document every dang detail of his brownload downloads. Colour, frequency, size – ‘twas a proper doo-doo diary.
From black meconium to guacamole green to mustard yellow, his Crayola box of crappola indicated his bilirubin was regulating, his liver-tan was fading, and we could finally take him home, after a weeklong impression of “50 Shades of Michael Jackson.”
Max’s butt nuggets soon became that familiar shade of brown. Now that’s the shit I know and love. Wait, what? My romanticized notions of motherhood quickly kerplunked to the bottom of the diaper pail. Beyond the bliss of little white onesies and cloud-soft chenille blankets was the fundamental truth that we are all just animals, performing the most basic of human functions: Eat. Breathe. Sleep. SHIT.
Shit was everywhere. If I had one of those super-cool infrared CSI poop detectors, there’d be one solitary white patch behind the fridge where shit had yet to splatter. This shit storm was a new climate for us. Two years prior, our puppy had arrived, fully trained to poop in the yard at nine weeks old. Human babies are slow on the uptake, fast on the download.
But I didn’t realize just how wonderful infant poop was until Max, now a toddler, started depositing full-size, mega-toxic shitsicles. I may as well have been changing my husband’s diaper. Shudder.
Around age two, he started assuming “the position.” Max was a turbocharged tot, so when he stopped in his tracks it was either because Thomas the Tank Engine was on TV or there was a corn-eyed butt snake en route to Pantsville.
Sudden silence? Guaranteed, he’s bent over at the waist at a 45-degree angle, red-faced and quivering, squeezing some Mississippi mud into his diaper like a human tube of toothpaste. His body in full Nazi salute, my son was a member of the Turd Reich.
We didn’t push the potty training too hard, warned by many that he might rebel and either get a tattoo or start pinching loafs all over the house. But once he realized what we were up to, Max started hiding – behind the couch, behind his bedroom door. And he started saying things like, “I gotta go see a man about a horse.”
Okay, actually he said things like, “I go hide” and “no look at me.” Oh okay, Mr. Mysterious, whatever could you be up to? You better not be smoking cigarettes in there, or watching those skanks on Toddlers and Tiaras.
After three and a half years, Max finally realized his pants were not the place to release his chocolate hostages. He’d proudly sit on the toilet and look down between his thighs to see his chalupas go plop and shout, “Look, Mom, it’s poop!” No shit, Sherlock.
Now, after a three-year, diaper-free breather, I’m back in the gravy-making biz to do it all over again. Shit for brains, I tell ya.