I hate to admit it but my life seems to involve a seemingly endless amount of shit. I wish I could say that I am speaking figuratively here but I'm not.
Friday afternoon, I was rummaging through our hutch in the dining room when I caught a whiff of poop. I couldn't place the origin of the smell. It wasn't on my shoes or on Vivi. Breastmilk poop has a distinctively different smell so I ruled the babies out. The windows weren't open so it couldn't have drifted in from the outside. Without an obvious origin, I started to think that I was imagining it.
I went about my day plagued by the awful smell. We were leaving for New Jersey at the kids' bedtime so I was doing the usual pre-trip chores when, at about an hour before our departure, I saw Vivi scoot out from under the dining room table. She had a look on her face that told me everything.
"Vi, what were you doing under the table?" I asked.
"Did you poop?"
"Mama, it was coming on really fast."
"Vi, why didn't you go in the bathroom?"
"Mama, I wasn't thinking. I'm sorry."
And there in all its fresh and hardened glory, was the poop under the table. Apparently, Vivi had been relieving herself there on more than one occasion. The hardened stuff was what I was smelling that morning. The fresh stuff was, of course, her most recent deposit. I was disgusted and frustrated and set about giving her the silent treatment while I cleaned up the mess and scrubbed the rug.
My husband cleaned Vivi up while I was on my hands and knees in the dining room. It wasn't long before she was at my side repeating, "I'm sorry, Mama. Next time, I go on the potty." I snapped back at her, "You are not an animal. Animals poop like this. You are a big girl and you need to use the potty." I was angry and my tone was sharp.
On the road to New Jersey, I started to feel really sad about the whole situation. Vivi knows better but she is trying to find her way in a family that has grown substantially in a very short time. She sees these babies getting all the attention and my husband and I barely have anything left to give her. So what does she do? She acts like a baby. As soon as Vivi could move, she would hide under the table or under the piano if she had to poop. This is no different except she isn't wearing a diaper. I vowed to have a little more compassion for her.
Our trip to New Jersey was nice and the ride home was completely uneventful. (No small feat with two infants and a toddler in the car.) When we walked into our house upon our return yesterday, however, the smell hit me again. "Damn rug," I thought. But as I sat on the couch in the living room, I realized that the smell was NOT coming from the dining room. It was in the living room.
"Vivi, did you go poop in the living room?" I asked in my new and improved way.
"Are you sure? I smell some poop."
"Mama, if I go poop maybe I do it by that lamp."
Sure enough, there were two large poops under the side table. I looked at Vivi, looked at the poop, sighed and thought, "Well, at least it's not on the rug."