The Tale of the Poop Nugget
By Jessica Guerrieri
Before a workout class yesterday, one of my friends told me a story about arriving at the playground with her four-year-old son only to have him announce that he had a “poop-nugget” in his underwear. She didn’t have a change of clothes for him and, after all the effort it took just to get out of the house, she was not about to leave. So she found a tree, opened his pant leg, and had him shake out the poop. Then she buried it with dirt and continued on their merry way.
As she told the story, I just kept stretching, nodding along as if she were sharing their summer vacation plans. Like all moms, I have been conditioned to be unflappable, especially when it comes to anything that involves human anatomy and bodily functions.
I remember vividly, back when I had two kids under three, how I spent the morning in the bathroom at the doctor’s office trying to get a sterile urine sample from my three-year-old daughter. As she sat on the toilet, I put my hand all the way down the toilet bowl, ready for whatever came at me. My daughter just started laughing, thinking I was trying to pinch her bottom. It was at about this time that my other daughter, Maddie, discovered my wallet and started flinging my credit cards into the bathroom trashcan and onto the floor. That was it. It was time for an emergency story time.
I grabbed Maddie and sat us both next to the toilet bowl as I began to tell the Little Mermaid, hoping the water theme would get things moving. Right then an elderly man walked in on us—naturally the girls had unlocked the door—but I was happy for the break. It wasn’t until about 25 minutes later that, just as Maddie wiped her nose on my shirt, I finally started to feel some warm drops on my hand.
It’s not just human-genital scenarios that mothers regularly confront with zero drama. Recently our three bunnies entered sexual maturity. How do I know this? My daughter brought her upside-down bunny to me. Something had happened and she was devastated, convinced that the little guy was dying. One peek and I came face-to-face with the reality: his testicles had newly descended. I calmly let her know what was going on. Praising her for locating the one un-cute thing about these darling dwarf bunnies, I then congratulated myself for handling the situation flawlessly—no emotional trauma. Just then the bunnies began engaging in what my daughters have since affectionately named “the hippity-hop.” I only let a hearty chuckle escape when I had made it safely to the pantry.
And that is where my chuckles, cries, and jaw-drops happen—outside of the view of my kids. The rest of the time, I, like most mothers, am the queen of the poker face. And when it comes to other moms’ tales from the bodily fluid trenches, I also don’t bat an eye. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good poop story. They are sort of my bread-and-butter as a mommy-writer. But anyone looking for any reaction other than empathetic amusement and judgment-free solidarity has got the wrong girl.
Jessica Guerrieri is a mom and a freelance writer/blogger. Find her at witandspitup.com and on Instagram @witandspitup.