Marriage is hard and life is messy. Anyone who tells you otherwise simply hasn’t come to terms with the fact that these things are true. We all have our fairytale moments, but the reality of life is that at some point or another you will be challenged. The peaks and valleys we all go through.
A few years ago, as I was in the throes of parenting toddlers and found myself navigating through some difficult times in our marriage, I told my girlfriends I was going to write a book called, “Marriage Sucks. Men are Stupid. And Children are Assholes.” Of course, it was meant to be funny – a satirical approach to life. I would never call my children assholes (to their faces). I knew my husband wasn’t stupid (domestically challenged perhaps). And for all the tough times, our marriage equally brought some great moments.
But, what I realized is that if we aren’t honest with one another about the struggles we all face and learn to laugh at those moments, we will be conditioned to think life is wrapped up in tiny glass houses where we only share the highlights.
Through being honest with my girlfriends, we learned to laugh and found strength in the similarities we all faced in our day to day life. We learned to approach the difficult moments with humor.
One of the things we found ourselves laughing (and sometimes crying) our way through was potty-training. When I look back at those moments, there are so many stories. Life certainly was messy during those days – literally, messy.
Welcome to the next installment of “The Poop Chronicles.”
We knew we were on a tight schedule once the kids woke up from their naps. My husband had a show that night so we did our best to prepare before nap time. The bags were packed. We had dressed the kids before they laid down. All we needed to do was to wake them up and off we could go.
If only it were that easy!
As I approached our daughter’s room, I immediately knew I was walking into a war zone. I opened the door and stood in disbelief for a moment, then quickly screamed, “two-person job. TWO PERSON JOB!!!”
My husband came running, with our son closely behind to see what all the fuss was about.
Our beautiful little girl was naked, covered in her own poop, standing there with the biggest smile on her face in what was once a white crib, surrounded by walls that were once the color of purple. At that moment – everything was brown. Our child. Her crib. The walls.
My husband and I stood there stunned while our son, who was 2 at the time, exclaimed over and over, “yucky everywhere.”
Kid or Crib? I kept yelling. Clean the kid or clean the crib?
My husband quickly grabbed her and ran to the bathroom to hose her down. I ran downstairs to grab rubber gloves and cleaning supplies. Off to work we went – him on cleaning the child, me on cleaning the room.
It is amazing how quickly two adults can move when everything is covered in poop. The ordeal added about 30 minutes on to our original departure time – reason #476 people with kids are always late. I was next to certain we had missed something and came in wreaking to high heaven when we finally arrived. Life of a parent – there is always a mystery stain on something.
At the advice of my brother, we started to put her diaper on backwards at nap time and bedtime which saved us from ever having to deal with another one of these incidents. (You’re welcome).
The thing we realized in that moment, even in our “parenting haze,” was that small humans have an uncanny ability to get poop onto things far outside their reach and into crevices that are otherwise undetectable. Everywhere. Nothing is safe.
Those days now seem like a far cry – our lives consumed by the bowel movements of small humans. The messy changes from actual mess to things like guiding them through the start of school, sibling rivalry, and learning right from wrong.
And, just when you think you have it figured out, the door slams on that stage of parenting and you find yourself navigating through the next.
Life is much the same.
Things change. People grow. Nothing is certain.
This week, let’s all challenge ourselves to embrace the messy of our own lives. Perhaps it is a heated discussion between friends, finding a new job, the challenges of parenting, or realizing you are now steps away from family who can be at your door in a moment’s notice.
By learning to embrace these things, we allow ourselves to find the hidden treasure waiting for us in the mess.
Cheers to a new week!