• Kelsey Petersen

It's all Poop

I squinted the sweat out of my eyes to look at the stop watch counting down on my phone’s screen. Ten more seconds in plank position. KILL ME. When the young gym employee rolled by with a big yellow mop bucket filled with bleach water--- I just knew. Call it motherly instincts or whatever, but I knew that there was a mess and I knew it was because of my kid. I looked at the treadmill where I’d last seen Michael, but as I suspected, he was missing. I rolled up my mat and made my way to the front of the gym where the kid’s club was. The young girls that work there gave me a nervous laugh.


“We had a little bit of an accident.”


They said it with a polite smile but I swear to you, there was disgust in their eyes.


The little accident was poop.


Poop on the floor in two places. Poop all over Ellie’s purple watermelon dress. And, as I discovered upon opening the door to the private restroom off to the side of the kid’s club, poop caked all over my daughter who was standing buck naked in a puddle of her own urine. Poor Michael quickly discovered that I had forgotten to put the baby wipes into the diaper bag and had to use dry toilet paper to clean Ellie up.


The joys of parenthood.


After Michael wiped her down we slapped a diaper back on her and came to terms with the fact that she was just going to have to enjoy her ride home in the buff. I came out of the bathroom to grab Scarlett when the employee sheepishly handed me a Clorox wipe. I looked down at it, confused and she pointed to the side of the room where it had landed. Oh, it was still there. Waiting for me. I mean, I didn’t blame them. Nothing is grosser than some other kid’s poop. However, cleaning Ellie up was a ten-minute ordeal and the kid’s club was kind of hopping that night, so I was surprised they had let my daughter’s poo just sit there while kids ran in circles around it.


I started scrubbing the floor with the wipes and meanwhile Ellie burst out of the bathroom rocking the glitter sandals/diaper look and nonchalantly strutted over to the lego table declaring, “I’m naked!” The other kids in the room looked at her like she was a nasty weirdo but she paid them no mind.


“It’s burrrrsies,” she said as she picked up a lego and started banging it on the table.


“Yeah, I bet you are cold, naked girl.” I smiled at her in spite of myself because of her shameless approach to the whole situation.


I know it’s like a right of passage or something to embarrass your kids someday, but I never really thought about all the ways they’d embarrass me. I mean honestly! Parenthood is like a club…or a brother/sisterhood (humanhood?) Once you’re “in” there is just no judging. Because we’ve alllll been there...maybe not exactly---like maybe your kid hasn’t taken a dump in the middle of a kid’s club, but we’ve all dealt with our fair share of poop.

“Oh, your two-year old is screaming bloody-freaking-murder because you are making her wear sandals at the park so she doesn’t burn her feet on hot cement?” POOP. Or, “Your kids knocked over a display of soda in the middle of a grocery store?” POOP. Biting. Yelling. Hitting another kid in the noggin with a block. IT’S ALL POOP. And we, as parents, can all relate to each other in some small way.


Before we made our embarrassed get-away, a mom at the gym told me about a time when her daughter pooped at a water park starting at the top of the slide smearing it allll the way down. She made me feel a little better just by sharing her story, as if she were saying, “It’s cool. I’ve been there.”


It is my hope to be that person for any parent I see riding the struggle bus. We are all in this together, after all! May we all be filled with as much confidence in our parenting endeavors as my strong-willed daughter was post-poop incident. No shame, just pride.




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