Friday, December 12, 2008

A parable of poop

The call came precisely at 4:50 p.m., EST, on Dec. 10.

"We have a breakthrough," Mo reported.

Cue the joyous exultation.

As if we needed a reminder, we learned again this week that all of life revolves around poop (except perhaps those pesky 65 years or so between toddler-dom and seniorhood.)

We had, plainly, a poop emergency. Hopesy hadn't taken care of the TCB since Saturday. Granted, there was one mere nugget on Monday. Beyond that: Lots of moaning and groaning and writhing and ughhing, but four days without satisfaction.

What had we wrought? We broke the cardinal rule of regularity: consistency. We switched Pediasure to Pediasure with fiber, and then fed her an organic chicken baby food she'd never eaten. We strayed from the routine of only switching one foodstuff at a time.

Bingo, bango: Disaster and restless nights. We tried prunes. We force-fed Milk of Magnesia. We begged and cajoled. But during stretches like these, bowel movements have a way of dominating life and conversation.

"Say ... do you think the tragedy in Mumbai is an outgrowth of failed colonialism or an inevitable flare-up of tribalism?"

"I can't believe she hasn't pooped."

"If I do say so myself, that $700 billion bailout sure seems like money well spent. Cheerio, Congress!"

"Smell her diaper. Has she pooped?"

"An army of aliens is swelling at the front door, singing Christmas carols that only Anne Heche can understand."

"Why won't she poop?"

On and on it went. Already saddled with a nasty cough, poor Hopesy would strain so hard tears streamed down her cheek. During a visit to the doctor, she made odd guttural sounds that vaguely replicated the mating call of a libidinous right whale.

Finally, relief came. Hope huffed, puffed and blew ... OK. Enough with the metaphors. We shared our plight with old friend Dr. Spitenup.

"Had you considered suppositories?"

We had one reaction: Duh. Thirteen months on, we're still slow on the uptake on this parenting thing.


Misty said...


oh my goodness, i have tears from laughter!!

however i do empathize with poor hopesy!! glad she has found some relief at last!

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. I remember it well!! Particularly the humiliation of not having thought of the most obvious solution. Well, it won't be the last time it happens; parenthood is like that.

Cheers, you three! Celebrate the breakthrough with hot chocolate and sappy holiday music, and give Hopesy an extra hug.

Love you all --

Grandma K.

Jan said...

Well, get used to feeling dumb. It's the great parental equalizer! Actually, bowel management seems like a much more engrossing topic than either Mumbai or the economy, so keep blogging with all the dirty details, please!!

Debbie said...

Let me just say I know first hand the joy of "The Poop has Arrived" phone call. :-) Glad everything worked itself out! I hope you guys are feeling better too.
xoxoxo, deb

Bless you boys said...

I just read this but with our baby our doctor finally had us "stimulate" his pooper. Take a QTip and goop tons and tons of vasoline on it. Then gently stick it where the sun doesn't shine and gently turn or jiggle. It's not pretty but it really, really helped our Brennan. Sometimes the junk just gets stuck I think. (Note: You can't have enough vasoline.)

Karen said...

LOL! Poor Hope! We have lots of poop conversations around here too. We use the occasional glycerin suppository to get poor Ben going. No, I shouldn't say "we". For some reason, Mark has decided that it should be my job.