Thursday, March 3, 2011

Poop Never Fails

When I began this blog a couple of years ago, I never intended for it to become a dumping ground for poop stories and experiences. But when you're a stay-at-home father of a toddler, and you already have a proclivity for poop (when I was in college, I wrote a short story called "The Wad"--though not for any class, of course), well, I guess some things just happen.

As a middle school teacher, poop was a wildly popular way to rivet attention of my students. I could use poop to get my students interested in a book, a story, a thesis essay, or even a grammatical exercise.

As a high school teacher, poop was, undeniably, still a valuable go-to player when the class seemed to be sleeping no matter how hard I tried to build a bridge between my passion and theirs.

And as a college instructor, teaching an 8am section of Freshman Comp, yes: even there poop could perform wonderfully to suggest to my students that if they arrived within the first three minutes of class time, they might hear a funny (and true) story about Mr. Reynolds and poop.

So, call it like-father, like-son, or just call it what it is. But, today, the nap saga continued. Tyler may be going through some growing pains, he may be having some nightmares, or it may be some separation anxiety he's developing when it's time to bid goodnight for a late-morning snooze-a-roo. Or, alternately, he may just be moving out of the nap phase.

Whatever the case, today was shaping up to be another battle. His shrieks were telling me: Daddy, please, for the love of all things beautiful in the world, DON'T MAKE ME DO IT!

As I once again sang the sweet syllables of that classic hymn "Amazing Grace," Tyler's contribution was, well, not quite as amazingly graceful as has been the pattern prior to the past few days.

So, when I finally plopped him into his crib, and he stood there looking at me with a face drizzled with tears and red eyes, I caved.

Call me a softie. Tell me that Tyler has me wrapped around his littlest finger.

This may very well be so.

But instead of closing the door and dealing with another twenty minutes of shrieking, I decided to try my old ally, my longtime companion, my great friend who has never before let me down.


I left Tyler's room and told him that I had a surprise coming back to him to help him feel happy-happy-joy-joy while he went to sleep.

He caught some of his tears and responded, through heavy sobs, "What--sob, sob--is it--sob, sob, sob--Daddy?"

"You'll see!" I said with evident glee at my opportunity.

I went into Jen's and my bedroom, opened up my sock and underwear drawer (no, this isn't going quite where you think it is, but not too far from it...) and I grabbed one black sock. It was from a pair that had been given to me by our neighbors as a Christmas present. The sock has a graphic of Bart Simpson on it wiping his bum with a long piece of toilet paper.

I went back into Tyler's room, the coveted surprise in my hands.

I proceeded to bend down, give him the sock, and then tell him a very detailed and vivid story about a young boy learning to use the potty for the first time, as his Daddy and Mommy watch him. Many plops and splashes later--and after some of the movement falls ont he floor--the boy's tummy ache is all better, and he smiles with pride as his newfound skill.

Tyler: laughing like crazy.

Me: Goodnight, precious boy.

Tyler: calm.

Me: Thank you, Poop.