Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mommy Challenges

Yes, everyday as a mommy presents new and sometimes exciting challenges and developments. Today I'm dealing with two sick children. Coughs and green snot. No preschool or MOPS meeting today.

In honor of those "poopy" days as a mommy, I'll bring out an article I wrote last year for my MOPS Newsletter. Maybe someone will get a laugh, a smile, or realize we all need help sometimes.

Need Poop?

Everybody poops. As mothers of preschoolers we encounter poop on a daily basis. We don’t cringe at talking about our baby’s bowel movements over lunch or shy away from a lively discussion of toilet training mishaps. Whether you call it a BM or Number 2, our children all poop. Pooping is a basic body function that we need to do, but can it teach us anything about living our life?

It wasn’t until I had a poopy week (both literally and figuratively) that I realized how much poop could teach me. I was making lunch when I detected the distinct scent of poop. Venturing over to the nearby laundry room, I checked the cat’s litter and didn’t notice evidence of fresh droppings. Heading back to the kitchen I again caught a whiff of the elusive smell. “Did the kitty poop somewhere?” I asked my three-year-old son.

“Kitty pooped on Chewy,” Scooter replied as he pointed to his 11-month-old sister sitting in her exersaucer. I turned to see Chewy happily splashing her feet in a brown puddle. I knelt down, put my nose to the goo, and recoiled at the strong scent. I momentarily contemplated how the cat got under Chewy’s feet until I realized the liquidy pile was growing. Diarrhea was running down Chewy’s legs, staining her pretty pink pants, and she kept on smiling. After 5 rags, 15 baby wipes, 3 towels, 1 bath, ¼ cup baby shampoo, 1 soaking of clothes and a cloth diaper, 8 squirts of stain remover, 1 load of laundry, and excessive use of bleach spray I served lunch 45 minutes late. That was only the start of my poopy week. My son gave me the poopy ending.

My husband and I had been teaching Scooter the difference between needing and wanting something. On this particular day Scooter had been “needing” a lot. A tantrum erupted and grew over me needing to help him go potty. Having been potty trained for over a year; Scooter was capable of doing everything but wiping himself. The tantrum escalated to where I gave Scooter a warning and took away his favorite toy. “I need you to move my stool to the potty, “ he demanded. With both of us refusing to move the stool, the results ended up being poop on the stool rather than in the potty. I was on the verge of losing it. We were supposed to meet my husband in town shortly for pizza. My next discipline action should have been to take away the pizza, but I NEEDED to see my husband and get out of the house. After another cleaning, more use of bleach and a time-out, we left 20 minutes late.

Two minutes after leaving the house I noticed both kids were asleep. That’s when the floodgates opened and tears streamed down my face. In three years as a mother I had never had a more strong desire to hand my kids over to husband and say, “They’re all yours.” I needed time to myself. After reaching our destination my husband took one look at my red-rimmed eyes and said, “I’ll take the kids home. You can have some time to yourself.”

The floodgate of tears opened again on my solo drive home. This time because God was speaking to my heart and giving me the direction I needed. I had been teaching Scooter about the word “need,” but here I was “needing” time to myself. It was nice to have time alone, but I didn’t need it. God was all I really needed and He would help me to deal with poopy children. God gives up poop in our lives for a reason and it only took a couple of smelly loads to remind me that God is all I need to deal with those poopy days. Thank goodness God always knows what kind of help we need.

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