Our days at home have fallen into a predictable rhythm: Snacks, naps, and crafts keep us busy all day.
During craft time, one of my three toddlers will usually pitch a fit because I dared to glue something in the wrong spot, or perhaps the purple crayon was not available. I do what every well-meaning mommy does when the meltdown ensues and I promise the teary toddler a special snack. That really means I get to hide in the kitchen for a few minutes, but the snack usually does the trick and we’re back on track, meltdown behind us and we’re good to go.
I don’t think they’ve figured out that my “escape into the kitchen” trick saves mommy’s sanity. I promise I’m not drinking wine in there! (Not before lunch anyways.) It’s a little trick that I am planning to use as long as possible. Except that last week it completely backfired.
Needing a few minutes away from the unhappy tots, I ducked in and emerged with a snack favorite: a plate of crackers and peanut butter. Easy and pleasing. The meltdown of the day, oops, you know I’m lying there, the meltdown of the HOUR drifted away and the kids began to happily munch on their snack.
A few minutes into the snack sesh, I realized that my son had taken his shirt off. No biggie. Three-year-olds generally hate clothes, so it was not alarming.
I looked down at the snack plate and noticed the crackers were disappearing quickly. A small mountain of crumbs would soon be the only thing left behind. Then, I glanced at my son and noticed he had a pea-sized piece of peanut butter on his bare back. Lord help me, I don’t know why I did this, but I swiped it off his back and put it in my mouth. Why? I have absolutely no idea.
Most moms eat off their kid’s plates all the time, right? I guess I’m going to stop doing that. In that moment I realized this was 100 percent NOT peanut butter.
It was poop.
In the moments of surprise that followed, I discovered a few things:
We cannot trust context clues. Screw everything that you learned in second grade about using clues to find information. In the seconds that followed the incident I inspected my son. There was no tell-tale trail from waist band to neck that usually accompanies a blow out. In the context of snack time, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PEANUT BUTTER! The colors matched, I’m sure of it. How did it get there?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is absolutely true. I loved the book and movie. However, I was always skeptical. Miss Hilly could not just eat Minnie’s chocolate poop pie, right? You would know, I thought. The truth is the thing I ate did not taste the way a diaper smells. The texture told me it belonged in a diaper, but was there a distinctive poop taste? Not at all. I wholeheartedly believe The Help is 100 percent true.
Motherhood is so weird. There’s nary a diaper that can scare me. I suck snot using a Nose Frieda with the best of ’em. However, I must draw the line at eating poop. People said you will never know what to expect about being a mom, and while I don’t think this is quite what they had in mind, they are certainly correct.
And really, that’s it. Many, many mouthfuls of Listerine later, I realized this journey has surprises waiting around every corner, and you’ll never know what’s coming next.