Mistakes were made tonight.
I didn’t mean to do it, okay? I mean, it was all a blur, and then the sharknado was happening, and I had to do something. You can’t just not do something when the sharknado happens like that. Some situations demand action. I’m not going to say I’m a man of action, but every now and then, even the talkers have to step up.
It was my kid. The toddler. You know kids. They get into situations. They don’t know what they’re doing, they’re just going along doing toddler things and then something horrible has happened and it’s all you can do to mop up the mess and make sure they don’t drown or fall off the jungle gym.
Yeah, he pooped in the tub tonight. First time ever. I know it happens. The warm water, the relaxing bubbles, it causes an unclenching and next thing you know you’ve got some extra floaters in the tub. It was a rough poop, too, the kind that can frighten a little kid. One minute he’s splashing around, all smiles and foamy bubbles; the next he’s leaning over the edge of the tub and saying, with fear in his eyes, “daddy, stomach!” And I don’t know what’s happening and then I see the first floater and I’m scooping him out of the tub and plopping him down on the kiddie potty and he’s dropping a brown softball in the little orange bowl. Drain the tub, run him another bath, get him cleaned up, give him a popsicle. DADDY OUT. SITUATION HANDLED. MIC DROP.
There’s good and bad in this.
The good is that we’ve been trying off and on for weeks to get him to take an interest in the toddler potty and he’s been about as game as a member of the A/V club at the prom, so the fact that I was able to toss him down on the bowl and have him sit and stay there long enough to complete business is pretty heartening. It’s his first potty so we did all the requisite clapping and cheering and hugging and the showering with popsicles and candy. I think we managed to make it clear to him that potty business is a good thing to do and that it’s in his interests to do it as much as possible in the future, but one way or another, it’s a pretty big first step for him, if a little bit later than we wanted him to take it.
The bad is that I grabbed the poop. Like, with my bare hand.
I panicked, okay? He was scared, it was floating, I had the clarity of thought to get him onto the potty but not the clarity of thought to, you know, not touch human feces with my bare hand. I mean, I had to get it out of the tub, didn’t I? I couldn’t just leave it floating there. As a dad, there are things you just don’t do. Also, there’s the general cleanliness of the house to think about, and cleanliness does not typically go hand-in-hand with floaters in the goldfingered tub. It had to come out, and it had to come out immediately, and what was there to do? I grabbed it.
There are milestones in a person’s life. First broken bone. First kiss. First loss of a loved one. Milestones and moments that, through their significance and specialness, sear themselves into your memory like old tattoos, never to be forgotten. The day I first deliberately touched a poop with my bare hands is a day which will, unfortunately, live in infamy in my mind for the rest of my days.
Sam’s Club sells bleach in bulk, I think. I wonder how long I can soak my hands before the bleach starts breaking down my skin.