Three words that I used to whisper because I was too embarrassed to talk about them. And I NEVER held entire conversations about them. ESPECIALLY over dinner! That was just unheard of!
And then it happened. I became a parent. And instantly, not only did these bodily functions become topics of many dinner conversations, they became the center of our lives for awhile.
It started in the hospital when the nurse asked us to write down when the girls ate, how much, and then when they had wet and dirty diapers. The girls were 3 weeks early and weighed five pounds each – a great size for twins, but still tiny! When we took the girls to their pediatrician the morning after they were released from the hospital (we called to get them in right away because one girl had only one wet diaper in 12 hours!) we found out that we needed to feed them more. They had already lost almost half a pound — way too much weight for a newborn their size! To help make sure the girls were getting enough milk, we kept a log of inputs vs. outputs, because the best way of knowing if the girls were getting enough was keeping track of their wet and dirty diapers. So, for the next month we kept a paper by their changing table and we would try to make sure we marked down each diaper in the correct column.
For the first few months, this was the normal topic of conversation around our household – when you have two babies that poop at least ten times a day, it takes up a lot of your brain power. Then at some point we realized that talking about poop over dinner had become the norm. We would talk about their “outputs” in great detail! Was it a lot? What color was it? Is green poop normal? Did you see how MUCH that was? That poop looks like this mustard we’re eating! Oh the joys of parenting little ones!
When our babies were a month old, we went out to my parents farm to visit for a weekend, where Layla decided to start her projectile puking. Over the next three or four months we cleaned up so much puke it’s not funny. She had GERD, so she would vomit up her entire feedings. We used to keep bath towels (not hand towels, but the ones you use to dry your body off after you shower) right by our couch where she nursed, and when we would hold her we would point her that way, so if she puked it would hopefully land on the towel. Walking around with puked on clothes became the norm. Usually, after my third outfit (we’re talking everything, not just a shirt) change, when I got puked on again I decided it wasn’t worth it and walked around smelling like sour milk.
Eloy and I were visiting with some friends when the girls were barely two months old, and Eloy started talking to them about poop, and puke – you know, the stuff we were wading through everyday. The person(who was our age, but hadn’t had kids yet) just looked back at Eloy and dumbfounded said “Are you really talking about poop?” What a difference it makes just having the kids two months!
Now, compare this with a dinner we had just a month ago with two couples – each couple has a newborn baby. We were all swapping stories about blow outs, dirty diapers, spit up, throw up and snot. Anything remotely gross, we were talking about it. And all of this over our pizza and beer! We were having the best time, bonding with each other as parents – even if the topic of conversation was a bit unconventional.