Early this week, I held an elevator door for a family with a bundled up little person in a stroller as my two little guys tumbled over each other to be the first to press the button to floor number two. We exchanged mom-pleasantries, and I found out her son was turning one later in the week. I told her that my elevator hijackers were three- and five-years old.
“What’s it like?” the mom asked. “I’m watching to see what we’re in for!”
Just then, the elevator alarm sounded.
“OH NO!” screamed the five-year-old. “We don’t have an emergency! MOM!”
I sighed. What to tell this sweet young mother? That elevators would no longer be silent and she’d never get to press her own floor again. That super heroes and their complicated origin stories would be vital information she’d be quizzed on daily. That wearing the same pajama top for three days straight would be the epitome of high fashion in the under-6 set.
And the poop. Oh the poop.
Poop as an almost-not-quite-silent-but-oh-so-deadly-punctuation at the most inopportune times (at a church during a funeral, as we sit down for dinner 2 nights out of 3, during any and every fully-booked flight with no changing table in the restroom). Poop as declaration of independence, loud and clear (“MOM I’M POOPING!” from across the playroom full of very fashionable moms of potty-trained genius 18-month-olds, “MOM I’M POOPING!” from the background anytime I’m on the phone for the past 5 years).
But mostly, Poop as comedy. High comedy. Anytime, anywhere.
Just the mention - and it was mentioned often - would start the hysterics. Poop on your head! Laugh riot. Poop on the floor! Falling down with laughter. Poopity poop poop poop! ROTFL. Pee-pants has nothing on you, my friend, Poop.
And it drove me crazy. I’m not a squeamish person. I’ve changed approximately 4,391 poopy diapers and cleaned up some amazing infant poop explosions up the back, the carseat, the highchair. I’m not a prude. I enjoy scatological humor and I have two cats so if you can’t keep your sense of humor while scooping the poop of two completely ungrateful creatures… wait.
Anyway, one morning as the Poop Brothers were wrestling their way out of the door, they dissolved into delirious giggles because one of them said Poop Boot or something. I was just done. “Why is that so funny?”
They stopped. The two little faces tried to be serious. But they couldn’t stop grinning. “Mom it’s POOP! We love POOP!” More giggles.
Of course you do, my darlings. I sighed. No use fighting it. They tittered their way down the stairs and I muttered under my breath, counting down the days until they were old enough to fight their way to school together. Alone.
And suddenly I was sad. There were only so many days when my Poop Babies would let me walk them to school. Would still want to hold my hand. Would actually FIGHT to hold my hands. And then we saw him. Along the edge of a neighbor’s garage, some old insulating foam oozed out and lumped up in an poop-esque statue.
“OH look at that! It’s Poop! And it’s SMILING!” my older son said.
I looked closer. Sure enough. It was Poop. And it was smiling.
“Well look at that,” I said. “It IS Poop Smile!”
And so, the Poop Smile song was born. (Sing along, if you’ve ever had a birthday or attended a party!)
“Good morning to you!
Good morning, I’m Poop!
Good morning from Poop Smile!
Good morning to you!”
And so every morning, even if we’ve gone screaming out the door, and every evening as we arrive home, even if I’ve dragged them most of the way, we sing good morning with Poop Smile, and stroll down the alley together. And my little boys still hold my hands and skip merrily through puddles, giggling about poop all the way.
The mom in the elevator I laughed together as my boys tousled and wrestled and giggled in the corner.
“Well, there’s never a dull moment… and a lot of poop!”