The Gods Must Be Dadaists

December 2, 2006

Well, your responses to my rant about the mess and ick of family life made it clear – not that it wasn’t already – that we’ve all got shit stories. And pee stories and snot stories and vomit stories and bum-wiping stories and all measure of grossness to recount. Our attachment to these stories is, I’m sure, what makes parents borderline-intolerable to people who do not have children and whose idea of pleasant social chit-chat doesn’t include casual tales of household mayhem involving fecal matter. But we can’t help ourselves, can we? Shit doesn’t just happen, when you’re a parent – it HAPPENS. Shit announces its arrival with a fanfare of farts and then runs and explodes and splatters itself onto the scene. It’s kind of hard to ignore. And so, yes, it figures prominently in our stories.

Shit – and its supporting players, Snot and Mess – were, as story-fodder, good to me this week. It was a low week; it has been a low/dark/gray couple of weeks. I’ve been struggling with some strain of existential influenza and it has darkened my mood and dampened my writing, kept me trapped in an undertow of gloomy thoughts and morose reflections. Until the other day, when the shit and snot and mess hit the proverbial fan and I realized, suddenly, that this parenting gig really is one great big fucked-up messy monkey festival – insanely stressful and demanding and, wouldn’t you know it? really, really funny. Oh, epiphany! Oh, insight! Huzzah for Her Bad Mother, finally getting – really getting – what ancient dramatists and third-rate screenwriters and countless bloggers more enlightened than I have understood all along: this shit’s funny. Don’t take it too seriously.

I won’t say that the sun suddenly burst through the clouds and thawed my chilled spirit. It didn’t. I’m still feeling, inexplicably, tired and gloomy. But a laugh was wrung out of me, and – AND – I found something to write about that was not heavy with angst and anxiety and relentlessly moody introspection. Shit! Mess! Lopburi monkeys! Comedy is, after all, literally (reading it from its original Greek – komos – as we must, for we are nothing if not pedantic, even when speaking of shit) a revel, a chaotic frolic. There is comedy in the shitty, messy frolic that is the care and feeding of young children. Write about the shit!

So I did. And we all felt better for it, didn’t we? (Cue collective sigh of contentment.)

My only regret was that the shitty, messy, Lopburi monkey morning that inspired my entirely unremarkable insights was not, end of the day, all that remarkably shitty. It was messy and chaotic and frustrating, but there was nothing extraordinary about that particular mess, that particular chaos. It was mundane chaos. Ordinary shit. Oh well, thought I – it’s still funny. It’s still revelatory. Hit publish.

End of story, right? Ha. Would that it were. That story had one more chapter, and I now have evidence for what I have always suspected: that the gods are watching me and reading my thoughts and looking for any available opportunity to mock me. How else to explain the fact that this morning, mere days after my revelation about shit and my reflections concerning the mild corresponding disappointment that I didn’t have a better shit story to support that revelation, I would find myself on the receiving end of a projectile shit, round and firm and disgusting and approximately the size of a softball, launched from the diaper of a bucking WonderBaby and onto my forehead?

Let’s see that again, in slo-mo: a poo – a great big spherical shit – launched from the unfortunately springy diaper ‘neath my excessively bouncy child’s rear end into the air and squarely onto my waiting forehead, where it rested for an interminable second before plopping, with a disturbingly gooshy thud, onto the floor.

I sincerely hope that you, dear readers, are laughing, because I – still recoiling from the shock of having had shit on my face and preoccupied with the task of disinfecting my head – have not yet been able to muster a laugh.

Somebody better find this shit funny. If you do, could you please remind me again that it is funny and that I will, someday, laugh at this myself? Because that shitball seems to have knocked that newly discovered appreciation for potty humour right out of me.

**Because you asked…

How It Happened: WonderBaby has to be changed on the floor, because her mobility and strength and resistance forbid balancing her on a table, even with multiple strapping devices. So, I was on the floor, squatting above her, my head MUCH too close to her bucking form, the bouncing of which caused the change pad, and my hand, and the diaper and shitball to fly upward INTO MY FACE. Which from now on will be held as far back from the fly-zone as possible, and will be protected by plastic goggles and a helmet.

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    kittenpie December 2, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    I am in fact laughing and covering my mouth and trying to laugh silently, resulting in dolphin-esque squeaks (I know you’ll have fun with that…) because I AM AT WORK HERE, DAMMIT! Gah. There needs to be some sort of warning sticker for this kind of shit. Online and IRL.

    crazymumma December 2, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    I tooted I was laughing so hard!

    Humbleshit Pie baby…..Humbleshit Pie.

    Tania Thompson December 2, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    I’m laughing enough for both of us HBM. And until you can laugh at yourself, I will promise to laugh at you – the most affectionate, I-love-you laugh possible. It is funny, it is all funny, because it is so absolutely unbelievable, this parenting thing.

    sunshine scribe December 2, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    I am laughing. But the most supportive kind of laughing. Okay I am freaking howling. And what Tania said … it is funny because this parenting thing is so unbelievable.

    Missed ya my friend. Must stop by soon with Wonderbaby’s gift. Big hugs to you through all that shit.

    Mouse December 2, 2006 at 6:43 pm

    I laughed out loud, something I don’t do all that often when reading, so Trillian has asked me what I’m reading–now she’s laughing too. It’s always best to laugh at the shit. We’ve had the raisins on the floor that freaked us out because we were sure they were shit (and vice versa–ew!). I think I’ve got at least three separate posts discussing shit incidents… and I just haven’t been blogging that long.

    Sometimes (that is, most of the time), it really is a choice of laughing or crying. I try to go with the former as much as I can.

    mothergoosemouse December 2, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    Think of the bribery potential, especially during the teenage years: “You had better get home on time or else I will tell all your friends that you once shat on my head.”

    Parents think that’s hilarious. Teenagers, not so much.

    And for what it’s worth, I might have just lied down and curled myself into the fetal (fecal?) position right then and there.

    Karen Rani December 2, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    You crack my shit up.

    metro mama December 2, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    VERY funny shit!

    Mrs. Chicken December 2, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    The only thing about this that would have been funnier is my being there to see the look on your face! :)

    Mrs. Chicky December 2, 2006 at 8:22 pm


    *rolling around, clutching my sides*

    *guffawing and snorting with giggles I cannot contain*

    Thank you for that, I need the laugh. I beg you to bring that up the next time you have dinner or drinks with a childless friend. The look on their face will be worth it.

    Anonymous December 2, 2006 at 8:37 pm

    I am laughing. I am laughing hard. I am laughing out loud. Stranger than fiction. What an image. When I was listening to Madeleine’s wheezy chest once, she vomitted on my head. I didn’t laugh then but I laugh about it now.

    Ahhh parenthood….and then they grow up.

    Oh, The Joys December 2, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Isn’t getting shat on a sign of good luck coming? Heh.

    penelopeto December 2, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    not just funny – giggle-to-myself-on-the-subway-recall-so-i-look-like-a-loon funny.

    as funny as it was when bee shit on my hand, age 5 days, and i pulled my hand back, flinging the shit all over chris. that was funny.

    soleclaw December 2, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    OH MY GAWD! It is funny, I promise.

    And may I ask, how did this actually happen?!

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    How it happened – WonderBaby has to be changed on the floor, because her mobility and strength and resistance forbid balancing her on a table, even with multiple strapping devices. So, on the floor, squatting above her, my head MUCH too close to her bucking form, the bouncing of which caused the change pad, and my hand, and the diaper and shitball to fly upward INTO MY FACE. Which from now on will be held as far back from the fly-zone as possible, and will be protected by plastic goggles and a helmet.

    K December 2, 2006 at 11:51 pm

    The real question is — does shit help your skin look younger?


    Laural Dawn December 3, 2006 at 12:08 am

    You are so going to win when you are exchanging stories about gross things you put up with when you had a baby.
    That’s pretty funny.

    Jenn December 3, 2006 at 12:36 am

    oh, I’m so sorry – but, damn, that IS funny!!

    and, despite the ick factor, doesn’t sting like getting post-poop hand sanitizer in your eye because the pump is all crusted over and it squirts out funny. (not funny ha-ha, either)

    hm…for my own future reference, I’ll have to find out if hand sanitizer is okay to use on the forehead…

    hope you’ve recovered!

    mayberry December 3, 2006 at 1:34 am

    No. fucking. way! Yep, that’s funnY! My husband’s been puked on; my daughter has been peed on (by someone other than herself). I’m really going to keep an eye out for wayward shit balls.

    Lady M December 3, 2006 at 2:49 am

    Wow, that’s a good (not) one.

    Our best story is barf, not shit. Q barfed all over himself, the floor, and SwingDaddy’s hair and clothes, 10 minutes before we were leaving for the airport last year.

    Lydia December 3, 2006 at 8:32 am

    It is funny, it is funny! My son is good with the long strings of snot hanging out of his nose that magically transfer onto my shoulder…my hair…my ear….

    Joker The Lurcher December 3, 2006 at 10:32 am

    of course its funny! if yu don’t laugh you cry!

    here’s what you need:

    and hold onto the story for when you have to do a speech at her wedding/graduation/some other pompous event…

    Lisa b December 3, 2006 at 10:37 am

    Ok that is gross. I was thinking that had never happened to me, which is true, but I do have an incident with poo trailing up the stairs and other incidents with baby poo on carpet. These are truly the darkest moments of my motherhood.

    Googles are a good idea but we use face shields in our chem labs. I think that might really be what you need.

    tallulah December 3, 2006 at 10:53 am

    hahahahahahaha! Now THAT is funny! No…really. If it helps, it never gets better. Read, “Tori’s worst Thanksgiving Ever” on my blog. And she’s 11!

    Iris December 3, 2006 at 11:16 am

    OH MY GOD!!! *she says while wiping the coffee off the computer screen that shot out of her nose when she read this post*

    Honey, I am a nurse, I have seen some shit, a lot of shit, all manner of size, texture, consistency and odor. I have had 4 babies, I have seen some really funky shit, but I have NEVER and I mean NEVER had shit hit me in the head. WOW, you have quite the way of telling a story. Thank you for the laughs!

    Karla December 3, 2006 at 11:31 am

    Yes that is very funny, and it will continue to be so until it happens to me too.

    Her Bad Mother December 3, 2006 at 11:40 am

    K – I thought that it was semen that was supposed to be good for the skin, not shit, notwithstanding all of the composty goodness of organic-fed-baby shit…

    hautemama December 3, 2006 at 11:53 am

    I’m a shitaholic too.

    Very funny post!

    bunmaster December 3, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    Two words dude:

    Hazmat suit. ; )

    Suburban Gorgon December 3, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    Oh yeah, I’m laughing, and so is my husband as I read this post aloud for dramatic effect. When the Kraken was all of 2 weeks old she projectile shat onto my chest during a middle of the night diaper change. It was not fun, but it is now very funny. Once you’ve grown back new skin over the spot on your forehead where you’ve scraped yours off, you’ll be laughing too.

    Julie Pippert December 3, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    Listen, normally I’d offer some cheese to go with that whine, but today I’m offering wine.

    Actually, I’m offering to blog about a wine I think you’ll really like.

    And I’ll do it straightaway, even though I already put up a new blog entry today.

    Hopefully, it’ll make you laugh because honey, this shit is REALLY funny.

    Check me out tomorrow. ‘Kay?

    Her Bad Mother December 3, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    All-righty, Julie – I likes me the wine (and the whine). I’ll check it out tomorrow… :)

    Christina December 3, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    I’m laughing, but only because I’ve been there, sort of. When Cordy was a baby, I got hit with projectile shit as well. We were changing her messy diaper on a day she wasn’t feeling well, and I was right in the firing zone. We had no idea she wasn’t done yet, and she gave a loud grunt and well, let’s just say I was covered from neck to knees.

    I sat there stunned for a moment, and then Aaron and I both laughed. That’s all you can do sometimes is laugh.

    Gabriella December 3, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    That is funny!!!Sorry! And one day you will laugh about it!

    jen December 3, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    oh, man…laughing my ass off from this one.

    if i had a nickel for each industrial sized shit happening at my place lately, plus all the discussing, looking, and pondering by said shitter, i’d be a rich woman who’d hire her own ass wiper.


    ewe are here December 3, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    I’m laughing my *ss off right now. So hard, that I actually had to read the ‘poo paragraphs’ to him so he would understand.

    If it makes you feel better, MF peed on my head once – when I bent over in front of the changing table to recover a dropped item I felt the trickle.

    Mom101 December 3, 2006 at 8:45 pm

    Time for a new bumper sticker:

    Shit happens. HBM makes us laugh about it.

    Naomi (Urban Mummy) December 3, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for the story. I read it to my hsuband, and we both howled with laughter. Tears running down my cheeks and everything.

    Then again, I am sleep deprived!

    Hope you’re all clean now!

    Emmie (Better Make It A Double) December 3, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Oh mama. That’s one for the memory book. I cannot match that that, though we have to do our 20 month old twins’ diapers on the floor too, and I’ll never forget the day I lost my balance while leaning over a boy and ended up with my (sweatered) elbow in a shitty diapers. Brought new meaning to the image “up to my elbows in shit”. Today I went to draw the bath after having just undressed the boys, and I came into the bedroom to find them both peeing into the floor-mounted heating grates. I’m still trying to figure out if I need to do anything about the urine that is now pooled in our ductwork. Yes, we all have our stories, don’t we?

    Gidge December 4, 2006 at 12:35 am

    I once nibbled a chocolate chip from under my finger nail (having just heated up some chocolate chip eggos) only to discover that no, it wasn’t a chocolate chip.

    Yes, we all have our shit stories.

    Amber December 4, 2006 at 1:34 am

    I’m sure somebody already pointed this out, but you got lucky. It *could* have hit your mouth!
    And yes, it is funny.


    TB December 4, 2006 at 11:32 am

    Oh man, do you ever really get used to this?

    We were having dinner at friend’s this weekend and after they put their four year old son to bed, he vomited spectactularly all over everything in his room necessitating several loads of laundry and an excessive HAZMAT cleanup. I thought to myself; I am in for an exposure to bodily functions the likes of which I have yet to imagine.

    Binkytown December 4, 2006 at 3:18 pm

    Wow. You’ve taken the term shit-faced to a whole new level! That just means she really loves you. Yeah. They forgot to mention that in the baby books..

    nomotherearth December 4, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    The Boy used to have projectile NEON GREEN shit (from all the fenugreek that I was taking). Everytime we went to the lactation consultant or to the hospital, he would cover the walls with green poo. Every. Single. Time. Got to a point where I would stand back and let him splatter other people, instead of me. I’m not a nice person…;-) I would warn them, though. They just didn’t believe me.

    PeetsMom December 4, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    Hysterical – laughing! Can’t breathe!

    T. December 4, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    Laughing my ass off.

    But now, thanks to you, I am going to be very careful when changing my nephew’s diaper.

    Because how many Canucks need to be shit on in a week?

    Katherine December 4, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    The smell of shit is but another version of the sour-breast milk based scent, eau de Mommy! Both valuable for their resilience-building characteristics. Afterall, who signed up for a motherhood that was clean?

    Pattie December 4, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Oh no! Well, I guess it is better it hit you in the forehead instead of in your mouth, right?

    FishyGirl December 4, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    Yes, this shit is funny. There is something in the air, too – my shitpost of today:

    Then there’s the time my other son projectile shat all over the neighboring incubator in the NICU

    There are countless others in my archive, and I haven’t been blogging very long at all. Shit is seriously funny stuff.

    Sorry you have suffered, but laughing along with you.

    Virtualsprite December 4, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    Yes.. I am laughing. And hiding because I’ve been there. Well, not in the face, but in the hands and on the carpet. Oh, shit indeed.

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