I can't wait until the Peanut starts eating solid foods. Because although I've always extolled the healthy benefits of breastfeeding, the BossLady and I continue to be amazed at the ever-changing consistency of our daughter's poop. I know I said once that I wouldn't write about the everyday aspects of childcare. But dammit, when it comes to baby poop, I just can't help myself! Sometimes I'll look in the Peanut's diaper and what I see will dispel many of the previous notions I had regarding the laws of physics and biology.
Since the birth of our daughter, we've been fairly diligent in keeping a sleeping, feeding and diaper diary. For parents-to-be, I highly recommend maintaining some sort of similar log or journal. It really helps you figure out patterns in behavior so when something is off kilter with your baby, you can refer back to the log to see if anything deviated from the normal routine.
Anyway, our journal is fairly scientific and uses our own coded glossary. This past weekend, we had some relatives over and one of them happened to pick up the diaper diary, flip through our notations and then ask, "Hey, guys. What does T.A.E. stand for?" The BossLady and I looked at each other and smiled, wondering whether we should reveal our secret acronymous code. Finally, we started laughing and explained to our relatives that T.A.E. stood for "TOTAL ASS EXPLOSION."
Yes, friends. Every few days, my daughter's ass completely explodes! Her viscous poo enthusiastically escapes the confines of the diaper; sometimes it flows upward like a volcano and sprays her entire backside. Other times, it migrates south and envelops the back of her pasty white thighs. Where the poo eventually lands is usually a total crap shoot (pun intended.) Needless to say, it's a mess to clean up. She gets it all over her clothes (sometimes making me contemplate whether we're better off burning them instead of washing them.) At times like this, feces-to-skin contact is rarely avoided and we stand dumbfounded in awe at the sheer volume of it all.
We quickly learned that diapers were not a "catch-all" solution (pun intended.) As first-time parents, this came as a big surprise to us. We had naturally thought that, by now, modern technology would have created a diaper capable of capturing all of a child's excrement. We didn't know that diaper success was measured on a completion percentage where 70% got you invited to the Pro Bowl and 80% got you into the Hall of Fame. Naturally, when we discussed this with other parents, they smiled quietly and told us that they were so glad when their kids started eating solid foods. And while the parents said that looking into their child's diaper and seeing an actual tiny mini-log of poop was completely surprising to them, they were so glad to be over the T.A.E.s.
See...Total Ass Explosions are they type of thing that they just don't teach you about in Lamaze or in the Baby Care & Feeding classes. I've yet to see an mention of it in any of the parenting literature. Why is that? Even though it's not immensely important or relevant, how could you NOT mention it if you're writing a book that has a whole chapter on infant bowel movements and changing diapers? After all, most baby books go into great detail about the meaning of your baby's poop based on its color or its consistency. Some of them even discuss the relevance of the poop's smell! So, after all that, why wouldn't you mention the occasional Total Ass Explosions? At least give it a footnote, man!
It just reaffirms my belief that I need to write a book about baby care and parenting for fathers. Not covering any of the important stuff. Just the stuff that they never tell you about. In fact, I'd write a whole chapter on baby poop...like how to change diapers between innings, how long a baby can really go without a fresh diaper, how to eat a sandwich while changing a diaper or what to do when the dog starts eating the baby's poop.
I don't know what I'd call the book but THAT chapter would be titled, "No Shit?"