Impacted Poop: The Anthem of Motherhood

This is a post about kindness. We need more of it. And you want to know what we need less of? Stupid motherfuckers.

I took my middle child to an urgent care clinic today for impacted poop. That’s right: poop.

Now, I have been a mom for 8 years and feel like I have a pretty good handle on what is urgent care-worthy. I tried everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to help him get it out, but after 2 hours of misery I rushed him to a doctor. It is Saturday and my husband is at work, so I ran my other two kids to my parent’s house and went to the closest urgent care that was open.

I paid $100 –they made me, before we could be seen — and we waited. And we waited. And he was crying and sweating. And it was terrible. Finally, they brought us back. I was so relieved. The nurses were two kind, older women. I felt like maybe it was going to be okay, until the doctor came in. He proceeded to look me up and down and after tossing a cursory glance at my son and said, “We don’t deal with that here. There’s really nothing we can do.”

That was before he began flirting with me.

“So … are you from around here?”

“Yes. What do you mean, there’s nothing you can do?”

“Where did you go to high school?”

“Not here. Why can’t you try to manually remove the poop?”

(More mindless chatter until I interrupted him to ask again why he was refusing to even look at my son’s situation.)

“Well, constipation is common in children his age, and he just needs some magnesium citrate. But he could also see a pediatric G.I.”

“The reason why I’m here is because there is literally poop lodged in his anus that I have not been able to get out. I tried. It needs to be removed. He can’t even walk.”

The doctor proceeded to look down my four-year-old’s throat and say, “Your mommy is pretty.”



Let me tell you something, idiots of the modern world: moms don’t want to be flirted with when their child is writhing in pain. We also do not enjoy being talked down to like we are nothing but walking, talking vaginas. If I wanted to pay $100 to be objectified, I would have gone to another part of town.

Because I didn’t know what else to do to cope with my rage, I posted a rant about what was happening on my Modern Mommy Madness Facebook page, and a wonderful woman named Jennifer contacted me. She married into a family I’ve known my whole life, but until today I’d never had the privilege of talking to her beyond a brief hello. And now I think we might be best friends.

Jennifer is a mom and a nurse at a local E.R. and she told me if I brought my son to her, she would do whatever was necessary to help him. I almost started crying right then and there. I know it’s only poop, but when your kid is in pain and you are out of ideas and someone tosses you a lifeline, it’s a game-changer. I needed a lifeline. We immediately went to the hospital where she works.


Medical professionals who are actually good at their job and don’t spend their time hitting on women instead of treating patients are amazing creatures and I love them. I love them like I love the teachers who so painstakingly teach my children how to write their names. Just as I don’t have the skill set to teach my children how to read or write without screaming into a pillow, it turns out that I also don’t know how to properly extract impacted shit from an anus that does not belong to me.

Truth be told, I didn’t think I would make it through the experience of holding my son’s legs as Jennifer carefully and professionally pulled poop out of my child. The doctor came in to shake my hand and all I could think (or say) was, “HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DO THIS EVERY DAY?!”

The hospital bill is astronomical. For shit. An astronomical bill because of literal shit.

However, the point of me writing this is not to bitch about money or medical bills. It’s to say that when you see an opportunity to help another woman and you do it, you can SAVE HER. Literally and figuratively, save her.

I hope I can pay it forward and throw someone else a lifeline. I think that we women often shrug things off and think we can’t make a difference in this world, really. Well, I’m here to tell you that  WE CAN.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some wine to drink.


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My Son Thinks He Is A Cat.

Asher is 4.

Four is a magical age, full of excitement, wonder, and pretending to be a kitty cat for 3 weeks straight.

We are in week three — yes, THREE — of Asher impersonating a cat. His favorite past time is watching cat videos and then putting his observations into practice. He uses his paws to bat things around the house. He walks on all fours and perches on top of furniture.

He pretends to be afraid of cucumbers.

He scratches.


We have long conversations about what activities cats do and do not enjoy. “Cats don’t like to take baths,” Asher insists every night at bath time. “Cats can’t swim.”

“WANNA BET? I had a cat named Wonder who used to swim across our lake,” I tell him. Which is yet another strange-but-true fact from my childhood that seems to grow weirder and weirder the older I get.

One morning I overheard Robbie say “Now, stand up on your hind legs so I can get you dressed,” when he was helping him get ready for school. Hissing followed.

Last week, he rolled around on the grocery store floor while I was paying for our food. I pretended nothing was out of the ordinary, because that’s what mothers who are trying to foster independent, free-thinking, feline wannabes do, right? They just play along. Kind of like I’m doing right meow.

The pooping in the yard thing makes so much more sense now.

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First Grade Journaling.

First graders at our neighborhood school are required to write in a black-and-white journal every morning. They aren’t allowed to bring it home and they aren’t allowed to draw in it.

This afternoon, I got a text from Maverick’s teacher. It was a picture of today’s entry.


The year is supposed to be 2015. I hope he didn’t lose points for that, because I keep doing it too.

One of the most traumatic events in my life thus far was the day that Asher, who was only a year old at the time, went to the refrigerator looking for juice. It was on the same day that Aunt Nancy and Uncle John were coming to see our new baby girl for the first time, and Robbie and I were busy cleaning the house.

I heard him saying “Mommy, juice,” but I was busy and figured I would get to it in a minute. Always the self-reliant middle child, he went to the refrigerator to get the juice himself. He then proceeded to lug out a gigantic bottle of wine that was stored in the door, dropped it on the tile floor, slipped, and fell in the glass. Just thinking about it makes me upset — my heart starts to race, my stomach flip-flops.

I NEVER drink white wine. I don’t know why I bought it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was living in The Blur, so I probably just saw it on sale somewhere and thought YES, I NEED THAT. I need ALL of that. EVERY LAST DROP, right this minute. I don’t have time to rip the cork out with my teeth in the parking lot and drink it immediately because the baby is hungry and screaming, so I’ll just take it home and chill it. Isn’t that what people do with white wine? I usually drink red. It’s much more low-maintenance. Yes — I’ll chill it — and as soon as I get the chance, I’m gonna down this mofo like the sleep-deprived bitch that I am.

That chance never came, because my child beat me to it.

When the ambulance arrived, our entire house smelled of alcohol, the baby was screaming, and I was covered in blood, crying with a toddler on my lap. The biggest chunk of glass that lodged itself in his ass left a large, crescent-shaped scar on his butt cheek that still makes my heart sink every time I look at it.

Maverick wasn’t home when it happened, but one of his most favorite activities is to meet a new person and tell the exciting tale of The Time Asher Broke A Bottle of Mommy’s Wine. If you hear the story from a charismatic 6-year-old, it’s actually quite entertaining.

His teacher informed me during our textversation today that this story, as told by Maverick, is one of her very favorites. “This one’s a keeper,” she said, referring to the journal entry. Yes, indeed it is. I never made baby books for any of my children, but I do have THIS.

I’ll just store it right next to the bloody chunk of glass I have stored in a box in my closet.

The Psycho Threes.


Asher is in a difficult phase I like to call the “psycho threes.” Based on prior experience, I expect it to last until he’s about 5 years old.

I’m pretty much over it and it only began in earnest a few weeks ago, the epic meltdowns and unintelligible screaming over things like his sister sneezing on him or touching him or touching his blanket or staring at him.

Sometimes it’s over things like the fact that I broke his banana off the bunch because HE WANTED TO DO IT, or because there is sand on his hands after he got in the sandbox or there is a rock in his shoe after he walked through gravel.

I’ve gotten better this time around (because Maverick’s third year of life was literally the hardest year of mine, and this experience by comparison isn’t that bad) at maneuvering the whole living-with-a-tiny-psycho thing … but it wears on me. A lot. It begins first thing in the morning when he can’t get his blanket to hang just right on the back of his chair at the breakfast table, and it ends approximately 12 hours later when someone pulls the plug on his bath because HE WANTED TO DO IT.

Some days I handle it better than others. There have been many days lately where I just sat down and cried with him because I didn’t know what was wrong or how to fix it and frankly, I needed a good cry. Being a mother is so, so hard when you’re not at your best emotionally and physically, when you are tired and feel like you need a break and yet … they are still there, asking for things. Needing things.

But tonight, at the end of a long stretch of hard weeks, after a bath and dinner and a book and a bedtime struggle, came the arduous task of picking out just the right pair of pajamas and the right pair of socks and trying and failing to put them on himself. And then it was finally time to put that sweet, psychotic, three-year-old boy to bed.

I was so OVER it, but I was holding it together, masking my exhaustion by sitting calmly on his bed like I had all the time in the world. I said — because now I must ask first, instead of just picking him up and plopping him on my lap — “Asher, do you want to sit in my lap?”

And after a long pause, he broke into that dimply grin and said very seriously, “IT IS MY FAVORITE THING.”

Then he climbed up, leaned in, smelled my shoulder like someone would smell a bouquet of flowers, and put his head on my chest.

It’s my favorite thing too, you know. So at least we have that in common.

Catching Up.

A few nights ago I witnessed Asher accidentally pee into his own eyes. He screamed “there’s soap in my eyes!” And I said no, that’s pee, and as I said it I realized this was yet another situation I never thought of when I first pondered having children.

 Robbie: “What’s your favorite letter, Asher?”

Asher: “Cake.”

Pepper still isn’t walking. She will be 16 months old next week. She’s making up for that by talking, though, so we aren’t terribly concerned about her development. She says: No, Mama, Daddy, Maverick, Pepper, Lemme out, I wanna get out, Hi, Hello, Bye-bye, Turtle, Kitty Cat, Monkey, Brother, Baby, Milk, Eat, Bath, Boat, Pig, and a whole bunch of other things. But her legs go limp when I hold her hands and try to encourage her to walk.

She has started getting up on her knees and “walking” on them, which is not as fast as crawling but it puts her up higher. The sweet lady at the gym nursery said she’s never seen anything like it. Well … that makes two of us. At this rate it will be Christmas before she’s walking, and yes, I am in a hurry for her to start. She is HEAVY and I’m tired of carrying her.

Thanks to a book from my parents, Maverick is now an expert on the Dead Sea. If anyone has any questions relating to that body of water, please direct them to Maverick.



Locked Out.

Yesterday afternoon, I was home with Asher and the baby. All was well; they played happily while I spaced out.

I said, “Hey Asher, let’s go check the mail!” And we walked out the back door, leaving Pepper to play alone for a few moments while we went to the mailbox.

I shut the door behind us and realized too late Asher had turned the lock on the doorknob before I shut it, locking us outside and the baby inside. I know you’re probably all wondering why I don’t just keep a phone tied to my hand, or at the very least, AN EXTRA KEY OUTSIDE OF MY HOUSE. I have wondered these exact things myself, friends. But as I stated earlier this week, I can’t even think straight to ask for help or answer the question “What can I do to help you?” So no, there was no extra key. I’m lucky I had proper clothes on.

Yet again, we walked next door to the sweet neighbor’s house, where Mrs. Jo let me use her phone and phone book to call for help. But this time, she kindly said “You know … I’d be happy to keep a copy of your house key here.”

And I said, “Yes … I think you should.”

Thankfully, my mother-in-law was home and answered the phone, drove right over and let us sit in her air-conditioned car as we kept a watchful eye through the window to make sure Pepper stayed safe while we waited for Robbie to arrive with his house key. She also proactively made copies of our house keys to prevent this absurdity from happening again. What would I do without these capable people in my life?! I really don’t know. This morning I lost and found my wallet twice in the span of 10 minutes, then lost it again in line at the coffee place.

I need school to start.