Sometimes, an incident can be so traumatic (or important) that it can split our history into two. Kinda like “Before Christ” and “After Christ.” Now it may be a little extreme to say that after today I will refer to things as “PPD.” No ladies that’s not Postpartum Depression I’m talking about (although this may serve as a late trigger). Today shall henceforth be known as “post poo-pocalypse day” in the Lewis house.
All I know is that when my oldest child ran into my bedroom tonight and stammered “Charlotte is poop… I mean… she is trying to poop…” I positively fled out of the room and around the corner to absolute horror.
What I encountered in that carpeted playroom will undoubtedly change my life forever.
Poop on the toys. Poop on furniture and books. Poop under fingernails, dolls, and hair bows. But worst of all. Poop on the carpet. Ground INTO the carpet.
I started screaming before I was logically aware my mouth was moving. “no NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
I picked up the offending child and ran with her screaming (me, not her) into the bathroom and deposited her into the tub while I ran back out to survey the damage. My hysteria mounted as I saw the progression of her movement around the room documented by the fecal trail.
I frantically ran back into the bathroom and started the tub. My oldest child brought me an armful of crap-covered toys and I bellowed “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!” and in the same breath, “I NEED ALCOHOLLLLLLL!!!!” I meant rubbing alcohol but by the time the word had left my lips I decided the kind meant for consumption seemed a more appropriate choice.
I cleaned up said toddler as quickly as possible while shouting rhetorical questions to her and the ceiling (“WHY IS THIS HAPPENING??”) so to start the real work of cleaning the carpet before the room dried to a bacteria-laden wasteland that could only be cleansed by FIRE.
I asked Siri how to get the poop out of the carpet (ya know, since in my crunchy-mama mode I recently got rid of most of my chemicals) and pulled up a recipe that promised my carpet would be “as good as new!” when done. I cried real tears at my phone and sobbed “*I* will never be the same, how is my carpet supposed to be?!”
Such was my palpable emotion that my oldest child tentatively asked if we were going to give her sibling away to another family because she pooped everywhere. Naturally, I had to take a three-minute break from de-contaminating to offer reassurance to everyone (including the screaming baby in the music chair) that no, honey, we don’t give away children for pooping in the house.
As I maniacally scrubbed the carpet fibers into an unrecognizable fuzz, I scoffed at my previous self: the woman before PPD—the simpleton! The woman who absolutely raged if the dog pooped on the rug. Oh, how I would long to clean up a dog mess right now! I lamented. My wonderful dog had the decency to keep his mess to an area the size of a slice of bread.
As fate would have it, the children came running into the danger zone and I screamed “STOP!!! WE’RE ALL GOING TO GET PINKEYE” and decided that now was the right time to start crying hysterically. I vaguely thought that at least this would make a funny story for someone out there and laughed! But because I gave birth to three big beautiful babies I peed myself a little so I went back to crying.
Desperately trying to not alarm my children further, I attempted to think of something positive. “Well, you’ve been wanting to get into minimalism” and I happily started throwing soiled toys into the trash bags along with the rags that could never be salvaged. “And at least it’s trash day tomorrow!”
But then I was abruptly reminded of something I heard yesterday: “Yeah, you know St Johns County goes through every piece of trash to look for recyclable material?”
And now all I can think about is the poor soul at Republic Services who is fated to open up the plastic bags of fouled rags and crap-stained barbies and poop-encrusted play forks and the horror that will overtake them as they are left to their own imagination to try to figure out what circumstances would explain the contents of that bag.
And maybe my husband was a little alarmed when I Facetimed him mid-way through cleaning to announce that we were, in fact, moving. Maybe I cried again after I finally put the kids to bed and realized that the upstairs smells like … in a word … regret.
Clearly, potty training toddlers should never be left pants-less. Even for a moment.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be setting up a Go-FundMe account for new carpeting. Later!