I just got to the middle of potty training season. The time of year where I learned the important lesson that diarrhea and potty training do not mix. Nothing about that was tremendously awesome.
Let’s face it, parenting is not for the faint of heart. Or the squeamish of stomach. In the first year of your child’s life, you will deal with more bodily excretions than you can ever imagine. By the time your child is potty training, it is such old hat, you will start discussing said bodily excretions with perfect strangers while in line at the grocery store or on the elevator. Much to their embarrassment. Theirs. Not yours. After spending just a few months with a tiny human, your ability to be embarrassed will be totally numbed.
This year, during awards season, Anne Hathaway got a bunch of awards for singing I Dreamed a Dream while covered with pretend dirt and pretend grime and pretending to have all her hair cut off in a pretend dank alleyway by pretend bad guys and also pretending to prostitute herself to pretend johns for pretend money.
Yesterday, I got absolutely nothing for singing “We’re going to Pee in the Pot-Ty! We’re going to Pee in the Pot-Ty!” repeatedly to a toddler who didn’t quite make it to the toilet and, instead, peed on my hand while I was helping her pull down her Minnie Mouse panties. And there was nothing pretend about that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Golden Globes, the Oscars, the Tonys, the Grammys, and the Emmys. I love watching the stars dressed in their finery. I am sometimes amazed by the performances they give on screen or stage. But I am also jealous.
That’s right. I admit it. I am jealous. I want awards. I want lots of awards. I want to pretend to be humble about my awards when I am interviewed by Katie Couric or Matt Lauer. I want to say things like “Oh, that old thing? I was honored just to be nominated” and “I keep it in my bathroom to remind me that it’s not really all that important.” But, really, that will be a lie because I want to have so many awards for what I do that I have to build a special room for them.
But, no one gives you awards for Momming. And, last night, I decided that the only way anyone is going to get any awards for doing what I do is to invent the damn things.
So, welcome to The Ickys….awards for the contact sport that is parenting.
No one at The Ickys dresses up in any finery. Shirts with spit-up on them are de rigueur. We don’t have a red carpet….but we do have a big, purple beach towel that only got a little bleach spilled on it in that one corner and you hardly notice it. When you are standing on our purple towel being asked “who are you wearing?” the interviewer means which kid’s chewed-up-then-spit-out green beans are globbed on your left shoulder.
And when we give you an Icky, it’s for something you only wish was pretend.
So, without further ado….here are the first annual Icky Awards.
THE ICKY FOR THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS
Back when Iris was just a month or so old…back when we didn’t know what the hell we were doing...my husband was changing Iris’s diaper. I was sitting across the room, attached to a medieval torture device that is commonly referred to as a breast pump. Suddenly, I hear Quinten make a strangled yelp. It sounded like the noise a person would make if they came to the top of an escalator for which there was no second floor and they just fell over the edge.
I looked up and saw my husband balancing on one leg, still holding Iris’s foot, looking down at some dark brown splotches on his clothes and the family room carpet.
Me: What happened?Quinten: She pooped!
Me: What do you mean she pooped?
Quinten: (pointing at the splotches that extended about five feet across the floor from the changing pad and which peppered the front of his pants) I mean she POOPED!!
It took Quinten three days and four different products to finally get the stains out of our carpet.
THE ICKY FOR CREATIVE USE OF SILVERWARE
I had this conversation with a friend of mine, another potty-training mom, not too long ago:
Her: So, I saw something weird in B’s poop, so I did something you’re going to think is really gross.Me: You reached in and fished it out of the toilet, didn’t you?
Her: I got a fork and kind of squished it up to see if I could find anything.
Her: Now I don’t know what to do with the fork.
Me: (stopping the laughter) Wait? What?
Her: It’ll get sanitized by washing it in the dishwasher, won’t it?
Me: You used silverware?? I don’t know. I’m not sure I’d ever trust that fork again.
Her: What would you do?
Me: I’d have used a plastic fork.
THE ICKY FOR THERE ARE BENEFITS TO COMPARING AND CONTRASTING
Sometimes, the Ick is all in your perspective. As evidenced by the following conversation I had with another friend:
Her: W managed to get a poopy diaper out of the trash while I was cleaning poop out of R’s undies. I found W with a poopy wipe in his mouth. I can't sanitize him enough. I am so grossed out.Me: Is it really worse than the time when R licked the floor of the Home Depot? I mean, at least you know where the poop on that wipe came from.
Her: You’ve got a point….
THE ICKY FOR I’M GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A SHOWER AFTER THIS BATH
So, when Iris was younger, she didn’t like baths. At all. Ever. From the time we brought her home from the hospital, she would start screaming as soon as she saw water in the tub and wouldn’t stop until long after she was dry. It was, to say the least, unpleasant for everyone involved. And then I hit on the idea of getting into the tub with Iris so I could hold her. Which worked, thank God. And, because it worked, I kept doing it longer than I probably should have. You want to know the day I stopped doing it? Iris stood up and announced, “I’m peeing!” And she was. She definitely was.
THE ICKY FOR THINGS YOU CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’VE DONE BUT IT SEEMED PERFECTLY REASONABLE AND PROBABLY WAS THE BEST OPTION AT THE TIME
The night before Iris’s third birthday party, she got a stomach bug. As in, I woke up to the sound of my child wailing at half-past midnight. Following the noise to her room, I discovered, she’d thrown up all over her bed. Half-digested barbecue and broccoli everywhere, soaking into sheets and blankets and pillows and even the mattress pad. So, first there was the cleaning up of the child and then there was the changing of the sheets and blankets on the bed and the finding a new pillow to put on the bed because we’re just going to have to throw that one out. Followed by the taking of the child’s temperature and the child remarking that she feels better now and just wants to lie down. So, I let her lie down again.
She was up again in a matter of minutes and I could see on her face what was coming next. More vomit. And my husband lunged for the trash can but I could see that he wasn’t going to make it in time. And I knew we didn’t have another clean set of sheets for the bed because I’d been slacking on the laundry. And this is where things started moving in slow motion…I reached out my hands and cupped them together and, dammit, I caught that vomit right in my hands. All of it. Every drop.
THE ICKY FOR NOT THINKING QUITE FAR ENOUGH
Just a couple of mornings ago, I had this conversation with a friend of mine:
Her: Yesterday, B told me “tee-tee tastes like poop.”Me: She what?
Her: I know! I told her she shouldn’t be tasting her tee-tee, it could make her sick.
Me: Good advice. But, how does she know what poop tastes like?
Her: Oh God! I hadn’t thought that far! Don’t tell me that!!!