…..If you have a weak stomach, stop reading. My apologies…..
In all honesty, I’m not sure I can do this story justice. I really think it would be better acted out with puppets, like traumatized children do with shrinks, or to draw a picture. But here goes.
Every so often in the middle of the non-stop irrelevent ramblings from your six-year-old about the fate of dinosaurs, the intimate details of superheroes, and what he’d do if he met an alien, a tid bit of information pours from his lips that stops your heart and makes you ask him to repeat it.
…Maybe three times.
Then you stop washing the dishes because you must have heard that wrong. You turn off the water, turn around and make eye contact. And ask again for him to repeat himself. Slower this time. From the beginning.
Nope. It wasn’t the sound of the dishes and water you heard, you really did hear him say what you thought he said. But it doesn’t Make. Any.Sense. He must have misspoken, then. Maybe he was trying to say something else and it came out wrong. Four times.
You slowly walk over and make direct eye contact and say, “You did WHAT!?” while consciously trying to not put too much emphasis on any of the words so as not to scare him from telling you the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
And he tells you the truth because he doesn’t think he’s in trouble. Yet.
“I went poop at school today,” he says. This is no real surprise since he ate the entire contents of a two pound bag of frozen broccoli with dinner the night before. “And it was kind of easy and kind of hard.”
“Oh…” You say, because you don’t really love this part of your job, asking about bodily functions and all, but know that it is important to follow up on. “What made it hard? It hurt a little?”
“No, it didn’t hurt. It just wouldn’t go down.” he says.
“What do you mean it wouldn’t go down? Go down what? Your bottom?” You ask, confused.
“NO! ” he says. Now he’s embarrassed.
“The toilet? It wouldn’t go down the toilet?” You ask.
“Right.” he says. “It was too big.”
“Oh, well, then you just flush it, honey,” you say, and start to walk back towards the sink full of dishes.
“But I DID! And it didn’t go down!” he says.
You turn back around.
“Then you flush it again,” you say.
“But I DID! I Flushed it twice and it still wouldn’t go down!” he says.
“Oh, well, that’s OK. Sometimes that happens. That’s what the janitor is for—”
“—But there are other people who have to use the toilet! They can’t see my poop! That’s rude!” he interrupts.
“So, what did you do, then?” You ask, cautiously.
“Welllllllll, I pushed it down.” he says.
“You what?” this is the part of his story that tripped you up from the beginning, ,the part of the story that made you stop washing dishes.
“I pushed it down. With toilet paper.”
“How did you push it down with toilet paper?” No, really, how does one do that?
“I wrapped the toilet paper around my hand and pushed the poop down the toilet with it.”
“You wrapped toilet paper around your hand? Like a mummy? And used that hand to push your poop down the toilet?” Your pride and joy, the one you insisted be tested for giftedness, used his arm as a plunger so he wouldn’t suffer the indignity of leaving a floater for one of his peers. He’s considerate, you gotta give him that.
“Yes,” he says.
“NO, MOM! YUCK! GROSSSSSS! My hand was in toilet paper!” he insists, because to his six-year-old mind wet toilet paper creates an impenetrable forcefield that poop and bacteria in a public toilet cannot cross.
You refrain from asking any more questions because you know you will not like the answers. You take him to wash his hands. And then make him wash his hands again. And about 30 more times that evening, while also disinfecting all door knobs, chairs, tables, counters, toys and anything else he could have possibly touched.
Then you tell your husband, who doesn’t believe you because he was just that afternoon insisting how your son has finally developed a self-preservation instinct.
So you ask your son to tell his Dad what he did. And he does. And you are just glad you can share this moment with someone else.