Tag Archives: pee

I Saw A Real Live Cowboy, Too

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m back!

The last two weeks have been physically grueling and emotionally intense. First, I drove with my Loving Husband and with Sausage up to western New York state for my grandmother’s memorial service and to help my father deal with her possessions, which felt like a strangely mournful looting. Then, less than 48 hours after our return home to Maryland, we were driving again — this time to New Jersey, where Sausage would be staying with my mother-in-law while we flew to Oklahoma for a friend’s wedding.

Oklahoma, OK?

It sounds trite to say that in all this I learned a lot, but it’s true. I don’t think I’m ready to talk about the things I learned with regard to my grandmother’s death — that’s all too raw. But I will happily talk about the things I learned in Oklahoma City, where I attended the beautiful wedding of a dear friend and attended the damn good party that she and her new husband threw afterward.

Lesson The First: Oklahoma City Is … Special

Things that are great about OKC: the Bricktown Brewery‘s wheat beer is pretty damn good. The people were invariably nice and polite, and did their best to be helpful. The streets are clean. The botanical gardens are beautiful.

Things that are not so great: we could not find a salon that could accommodate four mani-pedis on a Friday afternoon. There are no proper drugstores in downtown Oklahoma City (so don’t bother looking); but we did find a convenience store that sold Band-Aids for my blistered feet, at 25ยข a pop. And, after some searching, we found a place that was open at 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon and would sell us drinks, which saved us from a very long day with nothing to do.

If you go to Oklahoma City, you’d better rent a car because it’s the least walkable city ever; don’t forget to pack sunscreen, because there are very few places to buy it downtown; and in general, don’t schedule too much time out of your Oklahoma vacation to spend in OKC. Go see the buffalo or something instead.

I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him.

Lesson The Second: I’m Not 22 Anymore

I forgot, for a little while this weekend, just how ancient I am. I danced, I drank (oh, man, did I ever drink), I shouted to be heard over loud music. I slept two hours before catching an early flight home, stumbling onto the plane still a little drunk from the night before.

And then I suffered. I suffered the pain of physically realizing how far I’ve come from my 22-year-old self. For example, some things that I learned the hard way:

  • My feet can’t handle all that carousing anymore. Blisters and bunions and badness, oh my!
  • I can’t jump up and down on the dance floor anymore. At least, not unless I have a REALLY empty bladder.
  • I start to get sleepy at around three in the afternoon, so events that start at 8:30 in the evening will largely find me tucked in a dark corner, nursing a beer and my bunion, struggling to stay awake.
  • My appearance has changed enough that people who knew me in my late teens and early twenties don’t recognize me.

There I am. Partying like it’s 1999.

Really, I should have known better than to try to party like I did back in college, but after more than a year as a stay-at-home-mom, finding myself sans child and surrounded by adults and freely flowing booze, I felt like I had escaped from some sort of cheerio-scented, diaper-filled prison. And as for not being recognized, well. It had been fifteen years in some cases. Who doesn’t change in fifteen years? I will choose to think of it as being caused by my more-flattering haircut and hard-earned confidence, and less as a result of crow’s feet and lost youth.

Lesson The Third: I Have Some Wonderful Friends

I was lucky this weekend in that an old friend, one whom I hadn’t seen in eleven years, was also able to come to the wedding. We stayed in the same hotel and spent a lot of time together, catching up. We had been very close way back when, and somehow that closeness and trust had survived the years. This got me to thinking about just how lucky I’ve been in my life to have so many friends like that — people that I’m friends with no matter how much time and distance there is between us. This weekend’s lovely bride is one, my eleven-years-gone friend is another, and I can think of several more women who I know I could call on any time, even though we haven’t been in close touch for years. Women with whom I’ve had such a great connection that we’ll always be friends, no matter what. For someone who has trouble making friends and who finds social situations to be anxiety-inducing, this seems pretty remarkable. I’m so, so lucky to have this kind of friendship in my life.

We always said we’d be friends forever. It’s starting to look like we really meant it.

So now I’m returning to normal life — blog, baby, theatre, and all the accompanying craziness. But I feel better having cut loose a little, having reconnected with some of the people I love the most, and heck, having been to Oklahoma. Who would have thought?

The Other End*

*Because of family obligations, I’m unable to give you new content this week. But fear not! I have lots of content that nobody except for my mother (Hi Mom!) has ever seen, because nobody was reading my blog yet when it was published. So here’s a re-post from back in March. Enjoy!*

I think it’s really interesting to talk about Foucault in one chapter and smelling poop in the basement in the next. It seems to me that life is just that complicated. ~ Edmund White

Since becoming a mom I’ve developed a possibly unhealthy fascination with all things excrement, at least with regard to my own offspring (and, let’s face it, with other people’s offspring of a similar age to my own.) Frequency, density, color, scent — all are things that I’ve become far, far more interested in than my pre-baby self would have thought to be appropriate.

For example, did you know that an exclusively breast-fed baby might only poop once a week? I didn’t. How about the fact that this same baby, after a full week of no poo, will produce a FLOOD of runny yuck that looks like you’ve mixed cottage cheese and yellow mustard and smells like it’s been fermenting in someone’s ass for a week? BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN. And that no diaper known to mommy kind is capable of fully containing this flood — the best you can hope for is to minimize the damage and have a recovery plan in place.

Another interesting tidbit, which if I had ever thought about I would have realized: what you feed your baby will have a direct and visible effect on what is produced from The Other End. Beets, for example, produce purple poo. Increased quantities of solid foods produce poo that is both easier to clean up and infinitely smellier. The poo of an exclusively breast-fed baby has been said to smell like buttered popcorn — the poo of a baby eating three meals a day of purees and finger foods smells like SHIT.

Now, poo is not the only thing that comes out at that end, and people who do not have kids may shake their heads in disgust when they overhear two mommies in a grocery store loudly discussing their babies’ peeing frequency, color, and scent. What? How else do you determine if the child is well enough hydrated? A dirty diaper is like a car’s dashboard — that is where you find your baby’s check engine indicator, as well as his fluid levels and fuel gauge. Seems reasonable to me that you’d discuss these things.

And it is reasonable. I may think about my child’s defecation habits more than my previous, No-Kid incarnation may think is normal, but that’s just one thing that I think about, and no more than any other person who spends most of their time physically caring for another person does.

It’s when things go wrong, though, that it really becomes terrifying. My son has only been sick once in his life at this point, and the experience was far more traumatic for me than for him (at least, that’s what I tell myself).

He had a stomach virus.

Stomach viruses manifest a little differently in babies than they do in adults. He vomited a little for about a day, and simultaneously began having diarrhea.

He had diarrhea for ten days.

(Yes, I called the pediatrician. We chatted. It was fine.)

At its peak, he had ten poopy diapers in a day. For most of the ten days, he had about eight poopy diapers.

You’ve had diarrhea (admit it, you have) so you know what it looks — and smells — like. The smell filled the house and crept into my dreams. But that isn’t the worst of it.

See, diarrhea eats away at flesh. This is also something that you’re likely aware of — the fabled Ring of Fire — though you certainly don’t remember a time when you spent the better part of every day not just producing it but SITTING IN it. This made for red, raw, excruciatingly painful diaper rash.

Really, all I can say for that time is thank goodness for All-Natural Beaudreaux’s Butt Paste. Yes, yes, the baby was hurting and screamed whenever I tried to clean the area. I have great sympathy for him. But the thing I remember most about that time (other than the smell, because seriously, it was intense) is having nightmares in which I was drowning in diarrhea and unable to get to my child who was screaming because his butt was ROTTING AWAY. Until that child was well again, complete with an unmarred bottom, I thought of absolutely nothing but his poo and the issues immediately surrounding it.

And this is why mommies think, talk, and obsess about excrement.

*This does not refer to the lovely coffee house at Drew University, at which I worked for two years and almost never had to clean up pee or poo.