This week we’re getting back to basics. After dedicating a few columns to poop-related matters over the last year, including discussions about poop and food, potty training, and constipation, today’s column is an outline of exactly what people don’t want to know about a child’s bowels. Here’s a hint: Most of it is related to your senses. If you find yourself itching to post about your child’s dirty diapers and/or explosive encounters, ask yourself if it’s because the incident overwhelmed one or more of your senses. If the answer is yes, you’re probably posting about something that should be kept off social media. That doesn’t mean other parents can’t relate, and oftentimes do, but it does mean that you’ve crossed the line into smelly overshare.
Just because you’re knee-deep in diarrhea starting the day (sometimes the minute!) your child is born doesn’t give you carte blanche to talk about all things poop. One reason is because people already know what poop is all about. Everyone poops, as the story goes, so we all know that it’s gross and that it’s a frequent occurrence in babies and toddlers. It’s tempting to write about what you know, like a rapper might, which is why I try to sympathize with parents who have such a hard time keeping poo details out of their status updates. I get it; babies turn their parents’ world upside down with an odorous force, and at some point, something’s gotta give. It’s like that dam of both proverbial and literal shit that people shouldn’t ever discuss slowly erodes, one diaper explosion at a time, until the wall finally collapses and all of that crap becomes common Facebook material. But I’m here to encourage parents to reinforce that dam by doing whatever it takes to keep the poop talk contained. Call a friend, write in a journal, or even photographic it for a wildly disgusting scrapbook collage, but please leave Facebook out of it.
With that said, here are five examples of descriptive details people don’t want to know to help parents fight the urge to update.
1. What It Looks Like
Poor Kelly might never be able to look at another Play-Doh Fun Factory without barfing. Or at least without picturing Kris’s child taking a crap. One thing I will say about this analogy is that I’ll take “Play-Doh Fun Factory with spaghetti attachment” any day over “soft serve ice cream with the handle stuck in the on position.” The last time I read a submission like that I didn’t eat Dairy Queen for months.
2. What It Smells Like
When the punchline to a joke involves sniffing a hand that smells like “doo-doo butter,” you might want to rethink your routine. Other parents may be able to relate, but everyone else is thinking about never wanting to touch that hand again. At the very least, don’t invite anyone over for chips and dip anytime soon.
3. That You Wore It
There are many crowning victories that prove when a woman has “officially” become a mom, but I don’t know anyone who views poo stains on shirts as “medals of honor.” Did anyone else visualize Sarah’s comment in the form of a heinous necklace made out of bronzed feces, or it that just me?
4. That Your Dog Ate It
Casie thinks she’s hilarioussss, but I think she’s grossss. I also happen to have about a million submissions related to dogs eating baby poop. Let me tell ya, it’s nothing new. Shockingly, animals that choose to lick their own asses enjoy eating poop that comes out of other asses. Who’d have thunk it?
5. That Your Kid Ate It
Yes, kids eat their own poop because for a while after we’re born we humans are stupid enough to eat our own excrement. It happens in car seats, cribs, bath tubs, and anywhere else kids tend to spend a lot of time eating, napping, and pooping. Toddlers think it’s awesome, parents think it’s disgusting, dogs think it’s snack time (as noted), and Facebook friends wonder why the hell they check their Timelines while eating toast with Nutella. The circle of life continues, at a very yucky cost.