• J Mess


Everybody loves a poop story.

I once heard on a television show the phrase “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, you’re fired.” I live by that principle. Well, I used to. I hate being late. I just think it’s so disrespectful of other people’s time to make them wait for you, and I am rarely late, unless it’s something completely out of my control like traffic, mass transit issues, weather, aliens, baby, or husband. I put them in that order intentionally because my husband is chronically late. He’s so late that we’ve created a new way of telling time specifically for him. We call it Josh Standard Time (JST). If you’re operating on JST, you must add 15-20 mins to the original (EST/EDT) time. So if daycare drop off is supposed to be at 6:30 AM, we arrive at 6:50. If you have a dinner reservation at 8:00 PM, you better tell him it’s at 7:30. It’s part of his charm, and he’s lucky he’s charming otherwise you’d be super mad while you waited alone outside the restaurant on Valentine’s Day and everyone thought you were being stood up. That might have actually happened… (ok fine it did.)

The other reason I don’t like being late is that it stresses me out. And when I’m stressed, I make questionable choices in an effort to do things quicker and therefore not be even more late. This happened the other day at the pool for my son’s group swim lesson. For some reason I cannot figure out how to time this correctly. I’m either so early that we’re sitting around in the sweltering locker room or the chlorine-infested indoor pool area commiserating with the old people for 20 minutes, or I’m so late that I’m throwing his bathing suit on in a frenzy and dropping poop out of his diaper and onto the floor.

The old lady next to me in the locker room looked less than thrilled.

Instead of using the disposable swim diapers, I bought my son a re-useable swimsuit (also available, an adorable matching sun hat. You’re welcome.) In an effort to avoid having to clean poop out of the swimsuit, my strategy has been to change him into it right before we go into the pool and therefore only gamble that he won’t poop for the duration of the 30 minute class. Even though our house is only 5 minutes from the swim class, with my luck, he’d shit himself on the way there. As much as I’d like to be ready to go right into the pool, I just can’t risk it. Because honestly, I’m not quite sure what the appropriate plan of action would be in that situation and it would definitely happen to me. When I have enough time, this isn’t a problem. We get changed and then wait, and wait, for everyone else to arrive. But when I’m late (see above list of reasons), shit hits the... floor. Literally.

I had just changed his diaper before we left for class. So it had been on for 5 minutes when we got to the locker room. Of course we were late, so my plan was not to get out the changing pad etc, lay him down etc, change him etc. Instead my genius plan was to rip his diaper off while holding him, throw on the bathing suit, and run into the pool. Now remember, in my mind, the diaper had been on for all of 5 minutes. He probably hadn’t even peed, I said to myself as I clung to him and ripped it off, therefore flinging a ball of poop to the locker room floor. It all happened so quickly that I hadn’t fully processed it as I looked to the left at a scornful old lady and then proceeded to wipe up the poop with the diaper. Now I was holding a poopy-butt kid, a dirty diaper, and a glare of shame while I frantically dug for the changing pad with my one free hand. Meanwhile smooshing him into me and covering my entire t-shirt in shit. All of this so a 9 month old can stare blankly off into space while we all sing ring around the rosy in the water. It’s not like he’s actually learning the backstroke here…

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