You can tell a seasoned Dad by how he deals with crap. All crap. I mean literal crap. Some people handle certain crap before becoming a Dad without issue. Dog poop, cat crap, these sorts of fecal experiences are just doing your pet ownerly duty and the job gets done as matter-of-factly as mowing the lawn. But when baby boy blue comes along and something that resembles hot dog mustard is up this kid’s back, down his legs, and has you wondering why you ever put the diaper on in the first place, y0u my friend, have just launched into Dealing with Crap for Dads Boot camp – DAY 1.
From this point on, your life is ruled by sh*#t. It completely revolves around it. One day you look up from your sweet little bundle of joy, and realize you are out of food. This means one thing. You must leave the house! How do you do this with a 12 pound crap machine in tow? Do you have a panic attack and then decide to skip getting food because you needed to lose weight anyway? Is the thought of public diapering is so unpleasant that you drive yourself to distraction trying to time these events around your baby’s uh-hem, schedule.
Oh no Brave One! No! You diaper on the go; in the backseat of the van, in the disgusting grocery store washroom, wherever you need to. Baby bum changing on a change-table in the comfort of your own home is one thing, but now in order to keep living your life with this baby on board, you have to locate appropriate change venues wherever you venture. It’s just part of it. There should be an app for that.
On Baby #1 journey you think that diapering baby will be your most intimate experience with your offspring’s crap in your life. And you rationalize that it’s ok because this phase doesn’t last forever. Or at least that is what your laughing parents tell you. But then you realize as that baby becomes a pooping toddler, that in fact yes, the crap phase really does last forever. Now the crap not only stinks, but there is more of it. And you find yourself battling your own gag reflex with a clothes pin squeezing your nostrils shut 3 times a day. (What can I say, he is a prolific kid.) “When will this end?” you shout. BTW, you are also still cleaning up the dog crap and the cat crap because that job didn’t ever got re-delegated. You just got a bigger dog. With bigger crap.
So now you and your wife, who appreciates, so she says, that she is not the only one changing the stinky diapers, are so used to crap all day long that you begin to make a game out of it. What the hell else are you going to do? She even delights so much in sharing this experience with someone who is at least half as obligated as she is to change it, that she makes a rock, paper scissors competition out of the event every time the kid poops his pants. So now each time junior does a big ugly in his Diego Pamper’s Cruiser, you guys are doing best out of three to determine who gets THIS one. Luckily for the winner, there is now another baby in the mix quite happy to even out the tally as he is filling his newborn size 1 with that same foul looking mess you became acquainted with only 18 short months ago.
Deciding this is clearly insane, you embark on potty training your number 1. Your mom assures you it will only take 5 minutes to do this. Her kids were trained almost with no effort at all at 15 months. So, in a moment of rare optimism and confidence, you buy a potty, some tighty-whities, and show them to your totally unphased son. You put them on, show him the potty, and then change his tiny little briefs 30 minutes later. Because he doesn’t care where he poops. Only that you change him. So you do. And then you begin the bleaching 18 month old underpants as well as running around trying to convince him that all the cool kids go on the potty, not in the diaper, nor the underwear. No one ever told you that crapping toddlers are way harder than the perpetual pooping babies. How did that rather significant tidbit of info get left out of the ‘Baby and Me’ class you went to?
Fast forward for a second and a few more kids later, you are now the proud parent of a couple of young school aged boys who almost eat as much as you do at the young ages of 6 and 7. They have the to power to clog a toilet like a man as well. Guess who gets that excellent job?
You betcha. ‘Cause you Da Man. The Crap Man. Now you have earned the title of expert. Your wife doesn’t even touch that task. She just turns her back, shaking her head and scrinching her nose. And then she asks you to deal with the toilet.
“Why not me?” you ask no one in particular. “Why the hell not?” As you furiously plunge the disgusting downstairs toilet, your four year old starts yelling from the upstairs bathroom “DAAADDDD! I pooooped! Can you come and wipe my bum? And check out how huuuuuge it is Dad! It is EPIC!”
That weekend your house gets new heavy-duty high-efficiency toilets which could flush a basketball. And you feel like the crap battle might almost be won. You are getting smarter at this. And by god you have earned the fancy new toilet.
Life is looking easier. Increasingly now your kids’ toilet habits are usually not your problem. Oliver mostly can reliably wipe his own backside, and your wife manages the exceptions most days. So you get your kids some ferrets. Because you think the kids need more exposure to little creatures and they will be fun. And they are litter trained when you buy them. This should be a crap-neutral experience. “What is another litter box?” you think to yourself.
And then the morning after you get them, your boys run upstairs out of breath to your side of the bed. “Dad”, they pant. “Dad! The ferrets…….the ferrets have pooped all over the wall!!”
That’s right. They call YOU. Why? Because no one deals with crap the way a Dad does. That honour is fully yours to enjoy.
Happy Father’s Day guys. Thanks for taking so much, well, crap.
We love you for it.