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.