“Come on Lars, it’s time to get ready for school.” The time is 12:30pm, the clock is ticking and I am feeling that familiar taunting in the back of my brain. There is a slight possibility we could be late. Panic begins to flow. I still don’t hear a response from my son, so I go to look for him…There is no time to waste.
“Lars where are you? We can’t play right now…We don’t want to be late.” I try to keep it light although I can feel myself slipping over the edge into that identifiable chasm of compulsiveness. I round the corner from the kitchen towards our bedroom areas where I find Lars standing in the hallway. He is holding one hand out in front of him and one hand is down the back of his trousers. He is silently weeping, a kind of cry that says, ‘I probably should have come and got you about 5 minutes ago.’ It was not the hand that was down his pants that concerned me. There dripping from his exposed bough is, fecal matter.
I go in. I have to, there is literally no other choice at this point. As much as I want to turn my head, pretend I didn’t see the spectacle, I can’t. I go in. I cannot even be mad because it isn’t just any old accident, it’s diarrhea. Thick yet runny, rank yet…Nope just rank diarrhea.
“Awe baby does your tummy hurt?” My maternal instinct takes over from this point and I place my child on the toilet and begin to clean out his encrusted pants.
“You be mad at me Mama?” It’s times like this, I feel like an awful person for disciplining him when he does have accidents, simply because I don’t want him to feel like he is being reprimanded for when a calamity does happens.
“Oh no no sweetie, I’m not mad. You must be getting sick. This is icky poo, it means your tummy isn’t feeling good right now.”
“My tummy feel fine.” He rebuts quickly.
“Well I’m going to call your school and tell them you aren’t going to come today. We don’t want to be sick at school right.” I put it like this because my 4 year old is all about his schooling. He loves school, hates to miss anything related to school, let alone school itself. He is a school devoted man.
“I no go to school today?”
“Ya babe, I just don…” The kid cuts me off by beginning to do a happy dance on the toilet, waving his hands in the air and flapping his shit covered legs all around yelling,
“YA YA YA I NO GO TO SCHOOL TODAY!”
Clearly my knowledge of my sons love of education has been a bit skewed as of recently. I still phone his teacher to let her know he won’t be attending, as I’m not going to take the chance that this is actually a flu bug. I don’t want to be that parent that sends a sick kid to class to infect all the others, in this town a mistake like that would be talked about for years. Plus with Lars’ recent speech developments I wouldn’t want him to ask his teacher, “I poop on your face now?” And then actually follow through on the wind-up.
It is now mid afternoon and there has been no further evidence that Lars is sick at all, he is playing gleefully. Sophie and him are in the living room coddling their respective toys and I am finishing up some cleaning. Earlier I had to do a complete overhaul on the bathroom, because in Lars’ outburst of joy, he had flung poop on the bathtubs shower curtain and smeared a streak on the outside bowl of the pot.
It is not so much Lars that I am worried about anymore, it is Sophie. For the last few days she has had this incessantly drippy nose. I wipe it (much to her displeasure) then 10 minutes later I wipe it again, it is ever running.
“Sophie baby, come here so Mama can wipe that snotty nose.”
“NOOOOOOO.” She is standing about a foot away from me, feet cemented to the ground, her hands twisted into boulders and looking as if their weighing her down heavily. She is usually a little perturbed when I remove the snot from her nostrils.
“Don’t be silly, it will feel better once it’s gone.” I take a step towards her, as Lars zooms past the scene. When she realizes I’m making my move she tries to make a run for it too, but my cat like skill allows me to catch her arm in just the nick of time. I hold her in my grip with one arm and grab for a Kleenex with the other. It’s a struggle, I somehow get a little bit of my daughters snot in the corner of my mouth, but in the end I get the job done.
I feel accomplished.
There is a lingering smell of shit in my midst…I take a look at Sophie’s diaper although it doesn’t smell like hers (I just hated myself a little bit for enlightening you that I can tell the difference between my children’s poops solely from their smell.) I make my way to the bathroom, where again I find my son, in the same compromising position as I did hours earlier. Except this time he was smiling.
“What do you think is so funny!?” There was no room for sympathy this round.
“I no go to school tomorrow now…Icky Poo!”