How Cleaning Poop Changed My Life
There is a lot of poop in my life. We got a dog a few weeks ago. She’s pretty good about not going in the yard, but she’s still a dog. We also finished potty training our LAST child two months ago
Last. One. (There’s a Hallelujah chorus going on at my house.)
This was the fourth child I’ve potty trained and it was still full of firsts. The first time I had to green machine an entire room. The first time I had to clean poop off the wall. The first time I found poopy wipes shoved under the bed. The first time I had to convince the child that he can’t clean himself alone. We survived.
I have been changing diapers for the last twelve years. It includes some of the most difficult years of my life but they also included some of the most meaningful years. As I’m almost ready to say goodbye to the diaper stage, I am thankful for all the poop because it has changed me for the better.
See the Flowers for the Poop
I am grateful for the poop because it allows me to see the flowers. My colicky baby eventually stopped crying. She started talking…a lot. She took my face in her sweet little hands, looked me in the eye, and told me she wanted a frudich (sandwich). She told me that she missed me when I was gone. She also told me my forehead looked like a peanut butter cookie. Laughter filled our home and has never left.
Watching my children grow and learn is one of the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced. What a beautiful blessing it is to help them learn, to watch them change and discover. Sometimes the sweet tender moments are few and far between, and sadly sometimes I’m so busy I almost miss them. But if I slow down when I sense them, they make all the poop worth it a hundred times over.
Appreciate the Flowers
I am grateful for the poop because I now appreciate the flowers. Children require sacrifice, but with sacrifice comes love; amazing, overpowering, I’ll-rip-your-face-off-if-you-hurt-my-kids love. But it’s the kind of love that builds compassion for others –for other parents, for other kids, for other people.
Sometimes I have been in the middle of poop and someone has offered me a flower.
Like the time I was at the grocery store with my toddler and crying baby and, after all my groceries had been rung up, I realized that I didn’t have my wallet. The woman behind me in the line offered to pay for the groceries. I dug a little longer and randomly found my checkbook in my purse, but I will never forget that woman’s willingness to be kind to a desperate mom.
That’s a flower I might not have experienced without all that poop.
Strength to Hang onto the Flowers
I am grateful for the poop because it makes me resilient and strong. I can do hard things. I can learn hard things.
Patience, for example, comes from spending hours with a screaming baby. It comes as I clean up milk off the floor again and again and again. It comes when I read The Cat and the Hat for the 40th time in a day. It comes in the middle of the night when nightmares wouldn’t go away. It comes as a 3-year-old demands to button his own shirt when we are late for church.
Letting Go of the Poop
We all have it, yucky, smelly things in our lives. Maybe it’s something we’ve done that we aren’t proud of. Maybe it’s something that someone else did to us. Maybe it was something completely out of our control.
Watching and caring for my children has taught me to let it go. It’s not easy but worth it. Hanging onto all the awful things in our lives does no good. It only makes us stinky, like poop. Children let go and move on. They forgive quickly and whole-heartedly. They don’t hold grudges. I am grateful that I can learn from them.
There is Always More to Come
Life is full of surprises. No matter how much poop you clean up, there will always be more. Knowing there will be more is somehow comforting because it’s not a surprise when it shows up on your doorstep. We all have different poop. We all deal with it the best we know how. You may not choose to deal with your poop the way I choose to deal with mine, but that’s okay.
Oddly enough, cleaning poop has changed my life. Children have changed me.
Being a mom has changed me and I’m so glad.