By Guest Author Matt Coffey
The following is a story written by my brother on the joys of parenting. If you like the story, share it and like it so that he will hopefully keep writing stuff like this.
So my two-year-old came downstairs from his nap the other day, naked from the waist down. This was an alarming incident, knowing we put him to bed fully clothed. As the adrenaline began to spike, my wife and I began the universal attempt at parent/child dialogue:
Us – “…why are you naked, buddy?”
2-year-old – “mumblemumbleburbleburble”
Us – “You took your diaper off? Why did you do that?”
2-year-old – “mumblemumbleburblepoopy”
Us – “You made a poopy?”
Now, while my son has an extensive vocabulary for a toddler (“Excuse me, Mommy, I’m on the potty. I need some privacy.” I kid you not), his favorite word in the world is “Poopy.” It’s his noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, etc. He’s like any Marine and the F-bomb. (“Dear Jesus, thank you for this day, and thank you for the poopy. Amen.” His actual words.) So this statement could mean anything from “My nightlight’s off” to “My room is inhabited by a Balrog from the depths of Middle Earth.”
Nevertheless, I began my sprint upstairs. Because he also loves MAKING poopies. He feels the accomplishment of making fudge dragons that a Olympic wrestler would feel about pinning Alexandre Karelin. And my son’s pale butt was spotless, like the statue of David after a Crest Whitening Strips treatment. That means he didn’t poop in his diaper and then take off the self-contained mess. None of this was verbalized in my head at the time; it was a reflex straight from the spinal column. I just thought “Poppy… clean butt… uh-oh.”
When I got up there, I saw a spotless diaper in the corner of the bed.
Scanned the rest of the bed.
It was roughly the size and carapace-shape of an angry brown armadillo. This might be fish-story-syndrome, but I think it was bigger than his head. On top of the bed. In the middle of the freaking comforter that my wife had just washed. Only parents can sympathize with the feeling of relief that came with knowing it would stay in one piece so I could pick it up with the diaper, leaving minimal residue.
But then I saw the pee stains.
Three of them.
In different spots on the bed.
“Be a shame if somebody…”
“Defecated all over it…”
This was no accident. This was a deliberate act of terror. My boy is very intelligent, as I’ve already demonstrated. So he felt rumblies in his tumbly, woke up, and dropped two layers of clothing. He then squatted on his own bed, gave birth to E.T., stood up, peed, stopped and turned, peed again, stopped and walked over by his pillow, and peed again. Like he was marking his territory.
My anger level went from zero to silverback in two seconds. It probably took me five minutes to walk down two flights of stairs, because I had to clear the red haze from my eyes and suppress the urge to smear his little face across my patio. It also took a while because that diaper was heavy. I’ve rucked with less weight. When I saw him downstairs, I finally calmed down below my violence threshold to choke out “…Whyyyy??”
His response: “I didn’t want to poopy in my diaper. That’s icky.”
And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Who wants a 50 lb diaper demon pressing against their baby soft skin, when they could unleash that evil on some other surface? A surface that OTHER people will have to rip off your bed and clean?
And that’s the conundrum of parenting: trying to convince your toddler that your inconvenience is worse than their inconvenience.