Recently, I read a blog post so funny that I snorted coffee through my nose and fell off my chair laughing. Yes, it is that FUNNY. Here, I will share it with you– http://crappypictures.com/toddlers-helping/ and warn you– it is about poop. More specifically, it is about a small child’s effort to be helpful that ends with the blogger being sprayed with poop. We laugh because if you have children or have spent any time with children, you can see this very incident happening. Maybe it has even happened to you.
Everyone poops, but only kid-poop stories are funny. I’m learning that the hard way.
Not too long ago as I was in the kitchen cooking supper and my MIL was sitting in her usual spot at the table flipping through a magazine, she broke her silence by yelling, “OKAY!”
I responded with “Mom, do you need something?” Silence.
“Mom, are you alright?” Silence.
“Mom, can I help you with something?” More silence.
As I moved closer, I got a whiff of…well, let’s just say I could tell she had had an accident. So, I wheeled her back into her bathroom to clean her and change her. As I was doing this, I said, “Mom, if you needed to go to the bathroom, why didn’t you just say so?”
And she answered, “I did! I said, ‘okay!’” Ohhhh! Now, I know “Okay” means “Get me to a toilet now!” Good to know.
I thought this story was pretty funny, but I was wrong. I shared it with a friend and instead of laughing, her mouth dropped open in disbelief, and as she cringed, she asked, “You have to change her diapers?” Apparently, this aspect of my life is something my friend never considered. Of course, I change my MIL’s diapers. She has very limited mobility and only occasionally does she tell me she has to go to the bathroom.
On a good day, not only does she tell me, not only do I get her to the bathroom in time, but she waits until she is seated on the toilet before peeing or pooping. Other than wiping—and I handle that, too—there isn’t much clean-up needed. Hooray! On a bad day, yes, I am changing her diapers—and her clothes, and my clothes–and I am mopping the bathroom floor.
Why isn’t my story funny like the blog about the toddler and the diaper spray? I think it is because most of the people who hear it can’t relate. It doesn’t resonate with my peers in a “been there, done that” way—not yet, anyway.
Besides that, yes, poop—mine, yours, a child’s, my MIL’s—is nasty. Never did I think I would be wiping another adult’s butt. I’m not a nurse. I never wanted a career in a care-giving field. In my ideal world, even babies are born potty-trained and no one is ever, EVER incontinent.
I feel badly for my MIL and any other adult who has to be accompanied into a restroom. As unpleasant as it is to wipe someone else’s butt, it’s got to be even worse to have someone else wipe yours.
And in truth, as much as everyone cringes and thinks, “I so could not change my mother-in-law’s diaper!” dealing with bodily functions isn’t the hard part of caring for another human being. Everyone poops—and pees, and bleeds, and sneezes, and salivates, and sweats, and cries, and vomits…In fact, if you aren’t oozing something right now, you might not be human.
The loss of freedom—mine and hers—that’s what is hard.