Poop Happens

Mad Maddie and the Chocolate Factory

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Hey Dad, come get a whiff of this!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The baby wakes up in the morning and mom and dad go in to fetch her. The diaper gets changed and we head into the living room to start the day. Just as I put Maddie down, her mom asks, what’s that on Maddie’s collar? I take a quick look and wonder, “Do I really want to know?”

Mom picks up the baby and daddy mentally prepares himself for battle. I’m not sure what that brown stain is, but when is a brown stain ever good news to any parent? I readied myself for the worst and inched my nose closer to the offending collar.

I got in there to take my obligatory snort and found myself smiling at the result. It was chocolate, the best possible outcome for such a dirty investigation. Both parents pondered where the mysterious chocolate had come from.

Is Maddie a rogue chocolate runner?

(The dark world of chocolate smuggling)

Is the baby a chocolate mule for some Swiss candy company?

(Where are the profits?)

Did mom have chocolate on her hands?

(Mom’s stance: Deny Deny Deny)

Did poo magically transform into chocolate?

(We can always hope)

Does Maddie poop chocolate?

(Past history would contradict that possibility)

Does dad need his sniffer recalibrated?

(That would be some mistake!)

We will probably never know how Maddie woke up covered in chocolate – but let me leave you with this. It was the most pleasant surprise and the sweetest outcome any parent could have wished for!

Diaper Changes Going to the Dark Side

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The many faces of my diaper dandy.

Please feel free to chime in on this situation if you have any pointers.

My glorious 9-month-old daughter has really started to ramp up her frustration level during diaper changes. I’ve taken a close look at some of the most common issues, but nothing seems to jump out as the cause of all this angst.
 
Maddie has never liked to be messed with. The baby gets annoyed when you pull a shirt over her head. She even gets fired up when you put pants on her. But lately, the diaper change has Maddie truly embracing the dark side of the force.
 
Changing the diaper is an activity that I have always tried to keep lighthearted and maybe even a little bit fun. The changing process is usually accompanied by a song or shared conversation. However, diaper changes over the course of the past week have really turned into a series of baby tantrums complete with kicking and some less-than-pleasant screaming.
  • She isn’t struggling with any type of diaper rash.
  • There has been no deviation in the changing method.
  • In the past we have used toys or items to distract her.
It’s almost the thought of the diaper change itself that sets Maddie on this rocky course more than the actual change itself. I suppose these bad moods are more intense when the baby is tired, but there still seems to be little reason for such an Oscar-worthy performance.
 
Maddie’s parents concluded a long time ago that Maddie hates having a dirty diaper, but hates having it changed just as much. The fact that she is being awarded a clean diaper in the process is completely irrelevant.
 
To my knowledge, she has never had a bad experience while going through the motions. So we have no idea what is troubling her now.
 
To our knowledge, Maddie is not experiencing any physical discomfort, just the anguish of believing that she might be missing something interesting during the event. Hopefully this diaper change of discontent is just a phase that will be over sooner than later. But for now, the days of the easy diaper-living have come and gone only to be replaced by small arms fire and looting in the streets.

Baby Doubles Down on Solid Food

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This is my spoon and I'm not afraid to use it!

As Maddie has become more and more accustomed to solid food, it was finally time for us to up the ante. Earlier this week we added a little solid food brunch to the baby’s repertoire. At the time, we didn’t really anticipate some of the double duties that sneak up on you once your baby starts doubling down with the solids.

If you have a problem with the word “double” or if you hated the Doublemint Gum song, this article is NOT for you!

The first double duty we ran into was trying to preserve Maddie’s wardrobe. The baby loves her food so much that she almost always chooses to share it with whatever she happens to be wearing. Even with the bib on, Maddie likes spreading her food around the neck of her shirt. She has also become quite proficient at sharing healthy doses of solid mush with both of her sleeves.

Maddie is also well aware of the skin benefits associated with rubbing various solids all over her legs and when possible, her feet as well. We have quickly learned that these clothes must be soaked in water almost immediately. That is unless we prefer some of the more exotic stains that come with sweet potatoes, carrots and even those nasty peas.

Also, double the solid food leads to more diapers packed with secret and unspeakable treasures. Wait, that’s not entirely true – the treasure is actually tainted. For the past couple of months, we have only encountered one really messy diaper per day. Now, one must be ready at any given moment with the frightening potential of back-to-back dirty diaper episodes.

Last but certainly not least is the double bath time duties. As the diapers grow more and more unruly, so does the need for extra trips to the bathtub. These new duties are not a hardship at all – but they can be rather time consuming. It’s also interesting that we are now learning a great deal more about the cause and effect relationship as it relates to the actions you undertake with your child.

Guest Blogger Swept Up in Double Trouble

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After reading Diaper Change Triggers Honey Badger Attack – A fellow Stay Home PaPa named LJ Burton told me about the double threat he faces from his two-year-old twins. LJ is our first ever Stay Home PaPa guest blogger.

By LJ Burton:

My newest two daughters, twin girls that will be 2yrs old close to the end of this month and like Maddie, they have learned several new tricks themselves.

The bigger of the two, Kassie, has somewhat of a Houdini streak in her. She is adept at getting out of her own clothes, particularly her nighttime sleeper. But that’s not enough. Once she gets the sleeper off during the night, she’ll manage to take off her diaper. Sometimes the diaper is found thrown underneath her crib, other times it’s stuffed down in the leg of the sleeper. Mostly it’s been a wet diaper when this happens, but a few times it’s been a messy one. Oh what fun!!!

Her twin sister, who’s also the oldest of the two and the smaller one, sometimes becomes Kassie’s dress up doll. She’ll manage to unzip and disrobe her sister and on occasion will also take her sister’s diaper off as well. The latest occurrence was just this morning. We’ve managed to somewhat stymie all of this disrobing by using a safety pin on the sleeper’s zippers, but that doesn’t always stop them. On night Kassie managed to pull the head off the safety pin, then proceed with her usual disrobing.

As if that’s not enough, Kassie has become very skilled at climbing in and out of her crib as well as her sister’s crib. She managed to go to such lengths that at the height of her activities she extracted a container of socks from the top of a dresser drawer, carried that container over into her sister’s crib, then climbed into her sister’s crib to throw them all around. Before she climbed into her sister’s crib she managed to pull all of their clothes out of the dresser’s three drawers and decorate them around their bedroom.

As if that’s not enough, my wife found Kati, the smaller of the two, sitting on the top of our cat’s condo tower earlier this morning. It stands about 4ft high and is about 2ft square and has three levels. There’s an armchair sitting next to the cat condo, but we still don’t know how she managed to climb up there. Particularly without falling in the process.

Kicking while being diapered seems like a walk in the park by comparison. 🙂 I’ll trade with you for a while if you’d like to see what it’s like with multiples!

Diaper Change Goes to the Dogs

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Never let your guard down!

Once again the baby got the drop on her PaPa during a particularly adventurous diaper change. The changing had been a complicated and messy affair, but it appeared that the worst of it was behind me.

The clean up was all but finished when I was reaching for a new diaper. That’s when Maddie let out a delighted gurgle and her legs shot straight up in the air. I thought she was just being cute, but I was way off base. While admiring Maddie’s awkward yoga moves and looking at her elevated feet – I was momentarily distracted from what going on down below.

In less than three seconds, the baby had unleashed a gusher of the bad stuff. The second I saw it, she slammed both of her feet down into the new pocket of sewage. (Stay calm, shields up!) I reached for her feet a second too late as they both shot straight up again. (Houston, we have a problem) She grabbed at her poopy feet with both hands. (I shall fear no evil)

Question – Where does a baby automatically put their hands after every new tactile sensation? In their mouth of course! I realize I have about a second before Maddie gets a taste of her own toxic medicine. I pin both of her arms with my right arm as I am using my mouth and left hand to gather critical paper towel reinforcements.

Maddie is completely delighted with all the carnage unfolding around her. She’s smiling and carefully observing as I am scrubbing her nasty paws down with wet paper towels. Once her hands are clean, I notice that my little artist has also decorated the wall with a poopy footprint.

Next up, time for little foot cleansing. Thank God for my secret stash of cloth diapers. Between those and the paper towels, I managed to clean the baby, the diaper staging area and the newly minted wall. It was only then that I realized that the war had left its mark on me as well. I finally got myself cleaned up before Maddie and continued her EPA scrub down operations in the baby tub.

Unlike our poop storm in the mall last week – Maddie found this entire fiasco very entertaining and looks forward to our next poop wars encounter.

Lessons Learned From Messy Day at the Mall

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Are we really still talking about this?

With all the mayhem with Maddie at the Short Hills Mall yesterday, a couple of friends reached out to me about the fear factor associated with having a baby. This is when I realized that I left out a few critical components in telling yesterday’s story.

First let’s recognize the obvious points of my poop adventure at the mall.

  • It was pretty nasty.
  • It was relatively embarrassing.
  • It definitely sapped every ounce of energy out of my body.

But believe it or not – there were multiple positives that came from this uncomfortable situation. Spending time with your daughter is an amazing experience even when everything is going to POOP in front of you.

Number One: When you are walking through a public place and the baby is screaming – you are much more focused on soothing the baby rather than the stares that are coming your way. That focus on the child makes this walk of shame much more palatable.

Number Two: Many other parents were very kind and offered words of encouragement as Maddie and I passed by. One guy even stopped and said, “I’ve been there, man.” Another woman held the elevator for me and assured me that things like this happen from time to time.

Number Three: When Maddie and I finally made it to the car – She gave me a big warm smile and fell asleep right there in my arms. There is no feeling that compares to that in the world.

So despite the day’s trials and tribulations, I was practically swimming in my love for little Maddie. No matter what adventures we enjoy or are forced to struggle through together – the love for the baby overcomes all difficult or unsanitary situations – even when you are slugging it out through a poop storm at a mall in Northern New Jersey.

Baby Backdraft Rocks Shopping Mall

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PaPa is not the sharpest tool in the kit!

Maddie and PaPa had just finished a quick and efficient trip to the mall in Short Hills, New Jersey when things took an abrupt and alarming turn for the worst

We had been in the mall for less than 20 minutes and were already on our way to the car. I lifted Maddie out of her stroller and stopped dead in my tracks – say it ain’t so! The stroller had a long brown smelly stain that could only mean one thing – BACKDRAFT! Backdraft is the name I’ve given to the gravity-defying phenomenon that takes place when poop blows up the baby’s back instead of where it belongs into the diaper.

Much to my dismay, I turned the baby around and the evil gravy had obliterated her shirt! You cannot be serious! Now it’s decision time. At this point, the baby is still happy. Do I risk taking her home covered in the goop or do I risk a trip to the public bathroom? The last time we changed a backdraft, Maddie screamed bloody murder for several minutes. I made the only decision I could – try to clean things up and hope for the best.

One we got into the bathroom, Shakespeare came to mind: “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” It was a nightmare! To date, it’s the worst diaper disaster I have ever encountered. I honestly didn’t know where to start – there were nasty pockets of poop in too many places to count. As soon as I started cleaning up Maddie, she went nuclear, screaming at the indignity and discomfort of it all.

Now it’s a party! Poop, screaming and penetrating stares from fellow shoppers! The only thing that could possibly enhance this experience would be if my baby bag were missing a backup outfit! Yahtzee!!! No backup!

Now what? Just like in the movie Legends of the Fall, I had to wrap Maddie in a bearskin! Well actually it was my fleece jacket, but you get the picture. Now Maddie is really screaming as PaPa rushes through the mall in search of some baby clothes.

Some people are giving me encouraging or sympathetic looks while others are shooting daggers at me – Honey Badger don’t care, she’s just screaming. I rushed into Macy’s and told the clerk, “I need a onesie – Right now would be good!” I laid Maddie down at the register on my jacket and dressed her right there. I’m already doing things I never imagined and Maddie is only four and half months old. I think this parenting thing may take a little more practice.