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Poopy Pinkie Update

5 Mar

A dog with infinite patience is a treasure.

Children are impressionable and are firm advocates of the Monkey-See-Monkey-Do philosophy of life.  As parents, we’re aware of these facts, but there are still moments when we’re taken by surprise. 

My little Phoebe has been my frequent sidekick on trips to the vet with our dog Gretzky.  The most recent one, however, had quite an impact on her curiosity and penchant for reenactment.  I was folding laundry last week in the master bedroom when my daughter walked in and handed me a small hairbrush she has had since infancy.

“Mommy, can you please wash this hairbrush?  It stinks.”

I sized up the manner in which she held the thing—pinching the portion that housed the bristles between her thumb and forefinger with one hand, pinching her nose shut with the other. 

“Why does it stink?” I asked. 

“Because it was in Gretzky’s butt.” 

Phoebe offered this explanation without fanfare, and without the laughter that would accompany such an outrageous statement if it were meant as a joke.  I eyed the hairbrush suspiciously.  The evidence I was hoping not to find was streaked on the otherwise white handle—only a smear of light brown, but enough to let inquiring minds know where it had been.  The dog came into view of the bedroom’s doorframe.  He looked okay, but he was sporting those “Help Me” eyes I have seen many times since my daughter’s birth four years ago.

“Why was the hairbrush in Gretzky’s butt?”  I asked, still a little fazed that I had occasion to utter the words.

“Because I was pretending to take his temperature like the vet did,” Phoebe answered in a tone that implied I should have known this already. 

“Phoebe, only the vet is allowed to take Gretzky’s temperature.  Do you understand?  I know you wanted to pretend you were helping Gretzky, but you are not allowed to put anything in the dog’s butt.  Nothing goes in Gretzky’s butt.  Nothing,” I still could not believe the necessity of the conversation.

Phoebe, looking visibly disappointed, turned on her heel and went to sulk in her room.

And I went to the bathroom with the hairbrush.  And some bleach.

Blowin’ in the Wind

9 Aug

This woman hasn't taken a shit without the help of laxatives in over 20 years.

My car needed servicing the other day; my husband had a class to attend and needed his car.  At first it looked like my four-year-old and I would have to forgo our weekly story time at the library, but then I suggested my husband just drop us off at the library early.  Phoebe and I could enjoy the woods and picnic area on the library’s property and pass the mere thirty-five minutes before the doors opened.

The best thing about our local library is the children’s librarian who genuinely loves kids, which is not the case with all librarians.  Unfortunately, there is one such crotchety blue-haired lady who works the circulation desk.  She rarely speaks except to complain, and when the kiddos pour into the juvenile section on Monday mornings for story time, she can barely contain her fits of eye-rolling and throat clearing. So when my daughter announced at 9:55, in front of the library doors that wouldn’t be opened until 10:00, that she had to poop NOW, I was more than a little disappointed to see Blue Hair at the helm.  She was tidying up the circulation desk when I knocked gingerly on the glass.

“We’re closed until 10:00,” her muffled voice seeped through the glass.

“I know, but she really has to use the restroom.  Could you please let us in?” And then I placed my hands palm to palm in the universal begging posture of ‘pretty please.’

“Sorry.  I can’t hear you.  Come back at ten.” Then Blue Hair disappeared into the back office.

“Mommy.  It’s happening,” my daughter warned.

“Phoebe, is there any way you could hold it for just four minutes?”  I knew the question was pointless.  We’ve all been there.  The shit levee had been breached.  Like she said, it was ‘happening.’

“I think we’re going to have to find a place to hide,” Phoebe announced, matter-of-fact.  This was not her first rodeo.  We have frequented many public parks and playgrounds that lacked facilities and had become experts in hiding behind trees, industrial air-conditioning units, dumpsters, etc.

Thankfully our library grounds are graced with a stand of trees and thick underbrush that would provide adequate cover.  For the poison-ivy-paranoid, there is even a winding path and patches of pine straw that offer just enough space to pop a squat without foliage conducting unwanted reconnaissance where the sun don’t shine.  I only had one tissue in my pocket, thanks to an earlier booger situation, but I was confident that I could use it strategically barring some unforeseen ‘consistency’ issues.  I reviewed what Phoebe had eaten over the past twenty-four hours and breathed easy.  One tissue could do this job.

Phoebe pulled her pants down while I adopted the posture of support which ensures, most of the time, that nothing will soil her clothing or shoes as she marks her territory.  And I noticed something odd; something was missing from this all too familiar scene.  Maybe it was familiarity that had vanquished the emotion that used to accompany these moments.  Mortification.  That was it.  The mortification I used to feel during these episodes was gone.  Sure, I was pissed off at Blue Hair for not letting us in, but even that indignation was leaving me.

People have been relieving themselves in the great outdoors for millennia without remorse.  It’s only our sheer numbers and proximity to one another that causes those pesky inconveniences like plagues and cholera.  But as long as my little one isn’t dropping a deuce in an open city sewer or peeing directly into the town’s water supply, I’m going to tell her to enjoy the breeze on her butt.  And if ol’ Blue Hair ever gets wind of what transpired, well… she can just kiss what was blowing in the wind and lighten up.

Poo Munchers: Then and Now.

18 Feb

Below you’ll find a video of a suspected poo muncher, which we suspect is named Pumpkin – see the gross, but true story, “Third World Third Grader” below the video for explantion.

Third World Third Grader

Mrs. Kane was a bitch.  I didn’t know the word for it when I was in her third grade class, but I knew what she was.  Among her pet peeves was letting kids go to the bathroom.  As I have always had a peanut-sized bladder and over-active bowels, this was bad news for me.  If there was already a kid out of the room, you could forget raising your hand.   Ms. Kane was convinced that evil “Shenanigans” would break out in full force if more than one child walked the hall to the bathroom at the same time. 

My saving grace from the pee-pee dance fate of my fellow third-graders was a letter my mother had written to Ms. Kane.  When I came home with major skid marks in my underpants my mother’s inquisition began.

“Stephanie, how did this happen? You’re a big girl.  Didn’t you ask Ms. Kane if you could go to the bathroom?”

“Yes, but she wouldn’t let me.”

“What do you mean she wouldn’t let you?”

“I raised my hand and she told me to put it down because I already went. I tried to tell her that this time it was for number two, but she hushed me and told me that she knew I just wanted to get up to Shenanigans in the bathroom.”

“How long did she make you wait?”

“Until lunch.  It was a really long time.  I tried to hold it, but a little came out when I ran to the bathroom.”

Furious, my mother put down the detergent and marched into the kitchen where she conjured up paper, pen and envelope from thin air and scrawled an epistle for me to hand to Ms, Kane the next day.  I never knew exactly what my mother wrote.  Whatever it was, it made Ms. Kane mutter meanly under her breath and glare at me before asking me to sit down.  She even let me go to the bathroom while one of my classmates, Sara, was already in there.  Needless to say, Ms. Kane and I were not on good terms that day.  And it was about to get worse. 

The only thing worse than making third graders collaborate on something is not letting them pick their collaborator.  Ms. Kane was a sadist in addition to being a bitch. She announced ceremoniously to the class that she was pairing us up to work on a project that day.

“And when I read off the names of who will be working together, I don’t want to hear any complaints.  No sighs, no faces, no moaning.  Understood?  You will learn to work together.”

Now, I had heard this directive, but I was a third grader.  My filter had its limits.  My last name was Alchermes.  I was the first victim on the list.

Ms. Kane’s voice boomed, “Stephanie will be working with Sara.”

“No!”  It was so loud and sudden, I wasn’t sure it had come from me at first. 

Oh, but it had. 

Ms. Kane’s wrathful stare pounded into me, eradicating my indignation, or at least the outward appearance of indignation.  Inwardly I was seething.  And with good reason.

Sara may have been her first name, but everyone in the third grade called her Pumpkin.  I have no idea why.  We were eight-year-olds.  In retrospect, Sara’s squat and rotund stature just naturally lent itself to that name.  She simply looked like a pumpkin, with brown curly hair that was rarely brushed.  Or washed. Hygiene was not high on Pumpkin’s list of priorities. 

Every elementary school classroom has that one kid who smells, the kid who repeatedly infects the rest of the students with lice.  As an adult and mother, I now understand just how sad that kid’s life is.  But as a third grader, all I cared about was avoiding the kid who stank, and now I was being forced to work in close quarters with her.  I feared contamination.  I feared her stigma might be contagious.  I also had already suffered her company in the bathroom earlier that day and did not want to repeat the proximity under any circumstances.  My fears were temporarily vanquished by Ms. Kane’s fuming voice.

“Stephanie Jane Alchermes, didn’t I just tell everyone that they would work with their partners with no complaints?  No eye-rolling?  No loud sighs?”

Fearing her line of questioning was rhetorical, I sat silent and swallowed the tablespoon of bile that had risen in the back of my throat.

“Well?” she screeched, standing with hands on hips and eyes bulging.


“What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I’m sorry.”

With that, Ms. Kane moved on to pairing the rest of my classmates, who resigned themselves to silence after they saw the verbal ass-kicking I had just sustained.

With my stomach still in knots, I reluctantly relocated to Pumpkin’s desk so we could work on our project, which was creating a menu for a hypothetical restaurant we would invent together.  Food was the last subject I wanted to discuss with this odd specimen of a human being.  You see, there was a reason for my uncharacteristic outrage.

Earlier, while Pumpkin and I we were in the girls’ bathroom together, I had seen Pumpkin do something unspeakable.  Something for which I had no context. 

In short, she horrified me. 

When Ms. Kane voiced her disdain for “shenanigans” in the bathroom, she probably imagined children throwing wet paper towels at the ceiling or scrawling on walls with contraband markers.  I don’t think she imagined what I saw Pumpkin do.

Pumpkin had already left the classroom to use the bathroom when I felt the overwhelming urge to pee.  Despite the potty-pass my mother’s letter had purchased, I was still reluctant to voice my request.  Ms. Kane still scared me, and I didn’t want to be close to the “smelly kid,” even if it meant I might piss my pants.  I tried waiting Pumpkin out, but she was gone a long time.  Finally, I couldn’t wait anymore.  The times table worksheet in front of me was starting to blur.  I needed to go now if I planned on concentrating on anything other than not wetting myself.

“And check on Sara while you’re in there Stephanie.  She’s been gone too long.” 

Ms. Kane’s instructions ushered me off to the girls’ bathroom with a mixture of dread and urgency.  The fact that Pumpkin had been absent for so long could mean only two things: shenanigans, or poop.  I hoped for the former.  She already stank enough.

I entered the girls’ bathroom and went directly into the first stall, slammed it shut and peed.  As I washed my hands in one of the pink sinks, I had the odd sensation that I was being watched.

And I was. 

There in the mirror, in addition to my own face, was Pumpkin’s reflection.  For some unexplained reason, Pumpkin had chosen to relieve herself in the door-less stall that every other girl in the third grade avoided. 

She stared at me and grunted.  It was very clear that she was dropping the kids off at the lake, and that I was a reluctant witness to the deed. 

Her grunt was quick and shallow.  I reached out to grab a paper towel and feigned ignorance.  But I saw it anyway.  One of the great mysteries of my life.

Pumpkin’s stall, though unequipped with a door, was equipped with toilet paper.  This fact either escaped Pumpkin’s notice, or didn’t factor into her post-dump routine.  In the mirror, very clearly reflected for me, was the horror film of her next move.  Methodically, and while her stare still bored into me, Pumpkin took her bare hand, reached around and wiped her soiled ass.

Incredulous, I found myself unable to turn away.  Frozen with a wad of paper towels in my hands, I watched in continued horror as she brought a freshly squeezed butt nugget to her mouth.  She shoved it in face as if it were a fine chocolate and licked her fingers until she had devoured every morsel of her doody delicacy. 

So I ran.  I ran all the way back to Ms. Kane’s classroom. 

“No running!” Ms. Kane’s shrill reproach greeted my return.

Later that morning, as I sat across the desk from Pumpkin, planning out how much we would charge for our hypothetical spaghetti at our imaginary restaurant, I thought, briefly, about asking her why. Why did she eat her own poop?  But I could feel Ms. Kane watching me like a hawk, and I couldn’t handle any more shit lists.  Of any kind. 

But when Pumpkin added chocolate pudding to our imaginary restaurant’s menu, I knew what she really meant.

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