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Let's Talk About Poo

By 30th November 2014

At seven months, lying out on his changing mat, nappy off, my third son looks at me dead in the eye. There is a gleam in his eye and the starting of a smile in the corner of his mouth. I know that look. I’ve seen it before. As quick as he can muster he’s started to roll and the taste of naked freedom is just too much. He lets out a giggle. Needless to say there is now poo on surfaces that shouldn’t have poo on them.

I’ve three boys aged five and under so a defining preoccupation in my life for the last few years has been of the brown sort. Well yellow to begin with. It wasn’t always that way. At university, I remember laughing at a comedian who said new parents talked more about poo than sex. I bet it wasn’t a topic of conversation any of us would have thought we’d become so expert in!

“It’s well over six and half inches long,” I say.

 “Is it? Are you sure? Did you get a proper look?” he asks.

“Yes [Long pause]. He’s definitely constipated.”

Between my siblings, my parents, my husband and close friends we’ve laughed about the grunt before the bowl movement, the loud ‘done a poo’ announcements and the times the boys have simultaneously puked, pooed and urinated over my last clean pair of trousers. We’ve discussed nappies and terry towels and the need to wash yellow marks immediately with the vanish soap.

Up and down the country parents have similar stories. The intimate care of a baby humbles and binds us. Just like seeing their first steps, it’s a theme that is universal and binds all parents. Perhaps they are not bringing it up around the dinner table but they have all been there. You could be the most high flying executive by day but come bedtime find yourself donning the black rubber gloves to fish a large turd out of the bath tub.

As the children got older the toilet talk turned to tactics. We’ve agonised over toilet training that went on for months and celebrated with those whose children mastered their movements in a week. However, slowly the conversations dry up. It becomes harder to talk about the accidents, lingering smells and the disappointment that problems with daytime wetting and soiling bring.

Roll back to my toddler who can’t get enough of ‘Dinosaur Doo’ and ‘Liam goes poo in the toilet’. We find ourselves reading and talking about poo quite a bit especially if he’s sitting on his frog potty.

As for Houdini, I sigh. Just like baby number two, baby three wouldn’t try this stunt with daddy.  It’s just too much fun with mommy. I mop up the smudges and try to bring my giggling boy back to the mat. Foiled again! 

Muireann x

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