“It Happens!”

I used to wake with dread every morning. My eyes would flutter open, I’d stretch my arms wide and then the reminder of what I was most likely facing would come rushing back to me like an unstoppable tidal wave. You see, I am the mother of four wonderful and beautiful children. Three of whom are under the age of five.
It was when my sons were two and three years old that my mornings morphed into some pretty horrific happenings. I searched online for answers and sought guidance and advice from other mothers I knew. Everyone shrugged their shoulders. Their eyes seemed to scream, “MY child would never…” while their mouths not-so-subtly informed me that it was better me than them. I didn’t begrudge them. I would have had the same thought twirling in my mind had the roles been reversed. However, the roles weren’t reversed. This was my very true reality.
What began darkening my mornings was my sons’ infatuation with clothing removal. This, if you are two and three, of course leads to the natural progression of diaper removal and the literal mess it left in its wake.
In hindsight, the first morning was almost humorous. My little boys were sharing a room and mornings were typically rambunctious but I attributed this to the fact they were boys. Rough housing, yelling and wrestling were normal, right? What I encountered when I opened their door this particular morning gave new meaning to the old adage, “Boys will be boys”. I entered the room and everywhere I looked, I saw feces, which for the duration of this article I will refer to as “caca” which is the term our family uses. It was everywhere. There was caca on two little, bare bottoms, on walls, on hardwood floors, under fingernails and in hair. It appeared and later was found to be truly smeared in and on every nook and cranny in that room.
I noticed my sweet two year old had caca smeared on his face. As though my three year old followed my eyes he proudly stated, “I didn’t eat it, Mommy!” Ugh. This clearly implied two things. One, his little brother had in fact eaten it and two; he probably had as well despite his protests. I did not know where to begin the cleanup. I made an executive decision to start with the boys and work my way out. Inch by inch, I cleaned every crevice of their bedroom. Once it was spotless, stern discussions were given about the fact that what they had done was not nice, not fun and could even make them sick. Problem solved- for exactly 23 ½ hours. The next morning I awoke to the exact same scene. There stood my two sweet angels defecating their room and having a marvelous time! After another round of deep cleaning I thought, “I’ll fix this. I am surely smarter than a pair of toddlers.”
That evening I put the boys to bed with their diapers on backwards, pure genius. My ingenuity lasted for one night. The boys removed their diapers and it was another round of ‘same caca, different day’. I went back to the drawing table to figure out my next move. AHA! I ran and grabbed their footie pajamas. I cut the feet off of the pjs and also cut a small half circle at the back of the neck. I wasn’t losing my mind; I had actually devised a new plan. The boys were going to wear their pajamas backwards with the zippers out of reach behind them! This was a beautiful plan and it worked exactly 5 days.
After the boys’ brief sabbatical, the little darlings had figured out that they need to help each other undress. They worked together and took turns unzipping each other. It was a mother’s dream- if it was occurring in any other scenario that didn’t end with caca everywhere. Why couldn’t they help each other in their playroom? No way! They were only going to take turns during this hellacious activity.
I was truly lost. My eldest daughter had never done this and as I mentioned, no one else was fessing up to having been in my shoes. I had to keep the boys in the same room. I didn’t have the space at the time to separate them. I was frazzled and befuddled. Then I put on my war hat and enlisted my husband to join in the battle. We devised and we plotted as though we were leading a covert mission. In a way, we were. We spoke in hushed voices so the young ones could not thwart our plans, my husband’s plan actually. We were going to continue using the modified pajamas but we were going to take the added measure of sewing the zipper shut. And I am delighted to report that our mission was a success! I wanted to write a letter of immense gratitude to my husband’s home ec teacher for bestowing the sewing knowledge onto him over 20 years ago. That very lesson returned sanity and joy to our mornings. Let’s face facts- if your day starts with caca, you are pretty much in for a caca-y day.
I am proud, ecstatic and elated to report that my boys did outgrow this. We slowly eased off on the sewing, crossed our fingers, held our breaths, made promises to God and prayed for serenity. Our prayers were answered!
When I was in the thick of it, it was difficult and overwhelming. The added work and stress is never easy on a mother of young children. This time embarrassed me and made me feel like an inept parent. I realize now that I certainly was not lacking and that I had nothing to be ashamed of. I know that now.
If I can help even just one mother who finds herself in my situation one morning by telling her, “Just go right to the needle and thread”, if just one new mommy reads this article as she is rocking her sweet newborn and then recalls it later when she, too, needs to rectify a messy morning, well then all dreadful mornings would not have been so full of caca after all.
I am happy to spread it around. The knowledge and helpful hint, not the….


2 thoughts on ““It Happens!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.