I need to get down and dirty and talk about poop tonight.
Oh, I know that there was a time when girls would never have dared to whisper the word POOP out loud, but times have changed, and women can even drive pickup trucks now with manual transmissions.
Of course, this did come as a surprise to the boy when he was a little 5th grader. I picked him up in Hubs’ truck one afternoon from school. When he piled in with his backpack stuffed with all the spelling tests and math assignments of the week, which was really just an entire tree that had been killed for paper so that I could sort through it all and wonder if, years from now, I really WOULD want to have the original copy of a spelling test where he misspelled the word SOCIETY by writing it as SOSITY. And that was even AFTER we had practiced that word at home until my nose bled with all the boredom from the laborious spell-a-louds we did. He took one look at me and, in shock, asked, “I thought it was Dad. When did YOU learn to drive a stick shift?”
“Oh, you know, your father taught me how to do it over the lunch hour, and now here I am! Buckle up! My take-off is a little shaky.”
I think he was absolutely stunned to learn that day that Mama had really been a whopping thirty-three years old when she owned her first automatic transmission. I don’t regret that decision, either, because… as fun as it is to shove the clutch down and whip your sporty little car into fifth gear all by yourself, while you pass a logging truck doing ninety-four, it was so much EASIER to have an automatic when it came to holding your Starbucks cup while driving.
But I digress.
Thing 2 eats everything… except genuine food products. Everything goes into his mouth, from gravel at the playground to real, American quarters that he steals from his older brother’s bedroom, even though we have drilled that older brother, time and time again, with PUT THE COINS UP, BECAUSE THEY CAN CONSTITUTE A GOOD CHOKE!
A couple of weeks ago, while I was crouched down at the grocery store, fishing my VERY SPECIFIC BRAND of chai tea K-cups off of the very bottom shelf, I turned around to find Thing 2 licking the shopping cart handle like it was a Popsicle delicacy.
I’m not necessarily a germ-phob, but when it comes to shopping carts, I do need to feel the reassuring coolness of Germ-X on my hands, because what about that sweaty guy who pushed this cart before me, while he kept hitching up his jeans that were falling off his hips, and we all know he probably SCRATCHED while his hands were inching his denim fabric higher.
Don’t judge me.
So yesterday morning, after Thing 2 had squatted down behind a chair for some private time to take care of business, I announced, “Let’s go change your britches.”
I used to have a life on the outside, where I wore shirts that I’d actually ironed and jewelry that sparkled, while I lounged on the leather sofa at Starbucks and laughed uproariously with my girlfriends for long hours. Now, though, I only know the barristas who work the drive-up window, and my life involves a litany of questions, starting with “Did you poop?,” and ending with “Who put this soggy piece of string cheese in my purse?”
(And really? That’s a question that my former twenty-two-year-old self never thought I would have to ask.)
Thing 2 and I got down to the act of changing his diaper yesterday, when I noticed it.
It was SOMETHING in the midst of all that poop.
Something that wasn’t actually poop.
So I put on my rubber gloves, as any good crime scene detective would do, and that is when, people, I came to the startling realization that it was a AN OLD-SCHOOL, CLEAR-GLASS MARBLE WITH PURPLE SWIRLS IN IT THAT HAD OBVIOUSLY TRAVELED COMPLETELY THROUGH MY BELOVED TODDLER’S DIGESTIVE TRACT!!
We don’t even have marbles at our house, y’all, because they’re as outdated as girls who don’t say POOP out loud.
And so… it’s true.
My favorite toddler obviously swallowed a marble from SOMEWHERE, and I can give the jury a full testimony to the fact that stomach acid will, in no way, etch a marble or cause it any great harm.
With a little soap and water, that sucker would have been ready for someone to knuckle down with it in a game of Keepsies.
Naturally, I had some questions for Hubs. The first one was, “Should I take him to the doctor?” Because it isn’t anything for Nervous Gladys to call her pediatrician to ask any of thirteen hundred different questions, where her boys are concerned.
Apparently, Hubs is of the notion that if the marble has traveled through all the duct work of a two-year-old and come out whole, there’s no need to alert our insurance company to possible, self-inflicted issues. Plus, neither of us really wanted an X-ray to happen, because we just don’t even want to know what other small things have taken up residency in Thing 2’s colon.
And then… Thing 2 pooped again this afternoon, as all toddlers are prone to doing. When I opened the diaper today, there… THERE!!!!… staring at me from the mess of YUCK… was a red marble, with orange swirls.
Because Thing 2 can never just do things halfway, y’all. If he’s going to swallow marbles, he’s going to eat the entire bag of them, or he’ll hang his head in defeated shame.
This afternoon, I called our pediatrician, because listen! Isn’t eating marbles a very dangerous pastime? Shouldn’t we talk to the authorities about this? Shouldn’t Thing 2’s doctor be involved?
CAN ANYONE REASSURE ME, WITH ALL THEIR YEARS OF MED SCHOOL AND THEIR RESIDENCY AND THEIR “THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME” SPEECHES???
I immediately saw dollar signs and X-rays and the MRI tube and GOOD LUCK GETTING HIM TO LAY PERFECTLY STILL IN THAT THING in my head.
Dr. B laughed out loud and said, “Girl, I only worry about batteries and magnets. If he has eaten one of those two things, then I would want you to bring him in. But marbles are smooth, and they’re actually categorized as one of the easier things for a toddler to pass through all his digestive system. Pennies and dimes do well, too, but I’ll tell you now that you should coach him to stay away from the quarters, because they have a fifty-fifty chance of getting stuck at the bottom of a toddler’s trachea.”
So the professional word from our favorite pediatrician is, “JUST LET THEM PASS. AND CLEAN THEM UP AND SAVE THEM; THEY’LL MAKE A NICE GAG GIFT WHEN HE GRADUATES FROM HIGH SCHOOL.”
And then Dr. B said, “Or… you could advertise them on the local radio station. You know, an ‘If anyone has lost their marbles, I may have found them’ sort of thing.”
Come to think of it, they might actually be the ones I lost, when I became a Boy Mom and entered this new-to-me world of snakes and snails and I CAN OUT-EAT YOU IN MARBLES.
And that’s gonna be it tonight, people.
(The author would like you all to know that the marbles were placed into the trash can, so that this problem wouldn’t repeat itself. Because if you think a dirty shopping cart handle makes her cringe, you can only imagine the therapy and house slippers and asylum membership, with the full-cafeteria-access pass, she would need, if one of these marbles had been swallowed a second time, considering where she had originally found them.)