Code Brown

All of you, dear new readers of this blog, be warned that this post is totally gross. But it involves one of the central aspects of my life. So don’t read it if you don’t want to. Consider this fair warning.

It’s not a topic of conversation for polite company. But at my house, it’s the recurring event that we plan for and anticipate with dread at all times. It’s Jack’s daily constitutional. The BM. The poo. Code Brown, baby. Nothing mobilizes Jeff and I like the whiff of sewage and a cry for help from the disgusted party who first discovers it. Like an unpleasant dinner guest, it comes at inopportune times and casts a shadow on the household. Five minutes of unsupervised Jack, in recent days, has resulted in one hour plus of Haz Mat-style cleaning efforts afterward.

Everybody poops. There is a cute little children’s story about this very topic. But nobody talks about it because it’s a quiet little private part of their day. We, however, talk about it quite a lot, unfortunately. It’s an omnipresent conversation topic when one is constantly wiping it off walls. And floors. And furniture. And electrical outlets. The pediatrician asked me how we get it out of the outlets. There is only one answer to his question: you don’t get it out. You throw them away.

No one is exactly sure why Jack has such an aversion to doing number twos in the toilet. And his need to smear it all over the place is another icky dilemma. One expert we consulted about the problem gave us this wise little nugget of advice: stay with Jack at all times, including in his room at night in order to catch him in the act. We rolled our eyes at this “helpful” solution and tried to brainstorm better ideas, all while we continued with the constant damage control of our house, or Poo Central. Now all these months later, we decided that the child psychiatrist’s dumb suggestion is our last hope for fixing this issue. We are on Jack all the time. We insist on keeping him in our sight at every moment, which isn’t at all exhausting with three other little boys around to care for. He’s now doing most of his therapy sessions while sitting on the toilet as we try to develop some better, more sanitary habits.

This week our efforts paid off. He did his business in the proper place and we threw him an impromptu fiesta in the loo, complete with high fives, hugs, smiles, and squeals, as well as his ultimate treat–a haircut with the clippers. He loves those clippers! In Jack’s mind, the only thing better than getting his hair buzzed with them would be dragging them through the house by the cord. I am beyond happy to cut Jack’s hair five times a day if it will help him transition from smearing to flushing.

So there it is, people. Our dirty little secret. It’s not actually secret, or little. But it certainly is dirty.

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