It wouldn't be new parenting with poop. Lots and lots of poop. I originally posted The Daddy K files: The sugar-and-spice myth debunked last November and now there's a frightening addendum.
Recently on some news radio show, I heard that women may be dirtier than men – i.e., they have more strains of bacteria on their skin than men do.
I was floored. I had to pull over and hyperventilate. Actually that was because I had arrived at work and had to go inside. And work.
I'm not sure if the sugar-and-spice myth is cross-cultural, but this anthropology minor has always been fascinated by it. Growing up, girls were ethereal and angelic. Even the anomalies of tom boys fell into a "not of this world" category. Anatomically speaking, girls were as seamless and smooth as the Barbie's we observed with scientific fascination (while we giggled obsessively at the curves and valleys).
Bathrooms were for boys to do their dirty business, but solely for the beautification of girls. In fact, I believed the rumor that public women's restrooms in restaurants, hotels and elsewhere were nothing more than elegant buffets and glittery lounges with eunuchs swinging feather fans.
Even when I grew up and lived with women, the illusion remained. The greatest magicians of today and yesterday (predominantly men) have nothing on the female sleight of hand.
Pregnancy pulled the curtain back a bit, but it was always me who left the bathroom shamed, odiferous air wafting after me like the guilt from a night of nacho/beer binging.
But now that I have a baby daughter, I know the devastating truth. It was horrifying at first, the stark reality slapping me across the face multiple times each day. I couldn't eat or sleep for weeks.
I'm better now; this book has been a Godsend.
Gentlemen, hold my hand. It'll be okay.
Girls poop. A lot.
Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya…
Fast forward to a week ago Sunday. Mama A and I are eating lunch and Mama is also feeding Baby B pureed organic pears. Bea loves those pureed organic pears.
And breast milk. It still wouldn't be a complete meal without the breast milk.
So we're all eating lunch and Bea starts tooting (baby girls don't fart, they toot) and then calls out in her high-pitched Hindi baby velociraptor shriek followed by a huge open-mouth smile.
Happy baby poop face.
Usually the pooping lasts for a minute or two and then she's done.
But this time the tooting keeps coming and the happy baby poop face morphs into unhappy adult grimace red poop face. This continues for almost 10 minutes while we finish lunch.
Now, I've seen baby blow outs before; they don't faze me anymore. We remove Bea from her baby chair and take to her to the living room changing area (every living room should have one).
As soon as I lift her shirt I know we're in trouble. Dear God I haven't see that much muck since fishing in my grandparents' slimy mountain pond when I was 12. I almost call the local hazmat team in. The sun turns blood red. There are locusts.
We wipe off what we can with at least a dozen of her cloth diapers and then Mama carries her – arms extended as far away from her person as possible – quickly to the kitchen sink where I proceed to hose her down with the faucet sprayer.
Horrid. A scene out of Silkwood. Baby howls and we try to console her.
Finally she settles down, we dry her off, get her dressed and all is well with the world again.
Hours later Mama finds poop on her foot.
Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya…