People are excited when you begin parenthood, with good reason. One, they are genuinely happy for you. Two, they aren’t the ones up at three every morning. Perhaps most importantly, though:
“Having a baby will change your life!” they say. “It’s an amazing journey!” they say. Nobody ever tells you “get ready for some of the grossest things you will ever have to do unless you’re an RN.” Then they laugh at you while you blindly chatter on about nursery things and never once mention poop.
Robin is an RN, and she once had to clean out a festering wound in a man’s ass. Thus, in our family, cleaning out a festering ass wound is the gold standard of gross. Those of us who did not go to school to specialize in Gross Nurse Things (motto: a school where you can call your sister while holding a human lung) having a baby is pretty gross. Here are some of the gross things I’m glad nobody told me, so spoiler alert for you non-parents:
- You will touch poop every day. You can use good diapers and name brand absorbent wipes and rubber gloves and a hazmat suit. The Baby just laughs at you. He will wait until the diaper is off and then kick it, putting poop on you, his heels, the wall, the clean diaper. He will transfer poop from one butt cheek to the other while you manically open the new damn package of wipes. He will poop on you when he’s naked and sitting in the tub with you. He will have diarrhea while daddy is running around giving shoulder rides. The poop cannot be outsmarted, it can only be faced stoically.
- The more you try to avoid the poop, the longer you will have poop on you. All of the running around to avoid the poop backfires because it just gives the poop more time to spread. Handle that shit or that shit will handle you.
- You will pick boogers and get excited about it. For me, long stringy ones that need the suction cup are the most satisfying. Robin likes picking my son’s nose because a button nose is easier to dig around in than Dude’s skinny nose. AJ and I have, completely unironically, used the mouth-to-nose Swedish snot sucker Nose-Frida and been proud of the results.
- I would like to clarify Number 3 in that AJ and I used it on the baby, not each other.
- You will know exactly what food your spouse fed your baby by how the baby farts smell. Duration and texture of farts will factor into your analysis. You’ll begin to ask things like “do you think we need to up the morning prunes to avoid Old Faithful coming while company is here?”
- You will find disgusting deposits of formula that have hidden and fermented in crevices of baby fat. Every time you think you have cleaned all relevant crevices Baby will create another one. You will be vomitously reminded of some of the world’s more pungent cheeses.
- If Baby has cradle cap, you can drive yourself mad by absent-mindedly deflaking your child. You’ll inspect the breadth and texture of the dandruff and almost be sad when teatree oil shampoo takes away your hobby.
- Between heating, mixing, making puree, whatever…you’ll end up eating baby food. You just will. Only become concerned if you start to crack open a cold one after a bad day at work.
- Your baby will sneeze into your mouth. The exact composition of the snot, factoring in recent feedings, bottles, germs and Nose-Frida action, will vary.
- You will be peed on and there will be nothing on which to wipe it off except the baby, who is producing more urine as well as screaming so you will just stand there in your soaked state and laugh like Heath Ledger as the Joker.
- You’ll begin leaving poop updates for people. You’ll ask your spouse if the latest diaper change included a rock-hard turd you have to manually pull out. You’ll Google “baby poop like coffee grounds.” You’ll leave the following voicemail: Mom, he already pooped twice, if he poops again I need to know texture and color, OK thanks, love you bye!
- In conclusion, I cannot stress this enough, poop.