The tale of a pooping genius.  Or dunce.  Or something.
February 24, 2010

I think my child has given up pooping for Lent.

A month ago, when we first introduced Charlotte to solid food, we were ecstatic to find that there was very little change to her pooping habits.  We had heard some horrible stories, tales of babies going for weeks (WEEKS!) without taking a dump and their entire lives heading in a downward spiral from there.

Or, at the very least, their parents’ sanity heading in a downward spiral from there.

Oh, how I adore this photograph.  And, thankfully, it is unrelated to poop.

So when our daughter took down a couple teaspoons of quinoa and barley and still pooped like a champion, we were understandably proud.  We have a pooping genius!  A pooping miracle!, we said to ourselves.  Our little pooping star!

(Do all parents talk about baby poop like it’s the most amazing thing ever?  It’s like sometimes we forget that IT COMES FROM HER BUTT.  It is not, you know, GOLD.)  (I mean, are we the only ones whose conversations are seemingly dominated by color, appearance, and frequency of baby poop?)

At any rate, all that quinoa and barley seems to have caught up with her eventually.  I know that this is normal, that it is only natural that when a baby transitions from a liquid diet to a semi-solid diet, the works are going to clog up a bit.  But it has been a horribly long time since she properly soiled her diaper, and quite frankly, it turns out that Charlotte is a tyrant when she’s feeling a bit stuck.

Okay, look, babies are tyrannical by default.  It’s really the nature of the beast.  I know this.  But folks?  The child’s cruelty in times of, er, non-poopage knows no bounds.  She takes no prisoners, this one.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, I would like you to know that yesterday, my daughter spent forty minutes grunting like a boar.  Her whole face contorted with the effort and the walls shook from the rumbling and then I detected THE SMELL. I think you know the smell of which I speak.  The smell that vaguely reminds you of rotten eggs.  But worse.

So, with extraordinary relief, I picked Charlotte up and headed to the changing mat.  I congratulated her on a job well done…and then unsnapped the diaper to find it squeaky clean.  Immaculate.  With absolutely NO POOP.

Naturally, this blows my mind, and I cannot fathom how a baby could possibly have spent forty minutes grunting without a single shred of excrement to show for it.  And in a moment of BLIND STUPIDITY, I find myself picking up her legs and looking beneath her bottom.

Like.  I don’t know, maybe she’s hiding it?

Charlotte, so long as her mother was staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, took that opportunity to release the loudest, longest, foulest fart this world has ever known, accompanied by a small splat of crap.  Poop.  Baby poop.  ON MY CHEEK.  CENTIMETERS FROM MY LIPS.

And then she laughed like a madman.

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  1. By Krista on February 24, 2010

    OMG.  I am at work reading this giggling out loud.  This is not a good way to hide my blogging-while-working habit.  Please stop being so funny between 8AM & 5PM EST.

  2. By Cambria Copeland on February 24, 2010

    Ha ha!!!  Hilarious!  Even better that she found it funny!  I hope she feels much better now.  No fun being stopped up.

    Have you had a “poop in the tub” incident?  We didn’t until she was 17 months old and I didn’t know what to do.  So I ran and grabbed some paper towels and when I came back Hadley was playing with it. With a gag and a scream,  I finally just took her out.  Carried her to the shower and dealt with the clean up later.  It was awful!

    I think we are the only people that talk about poop in depth (unless of course you live with one of those men who describe their colossal loads - I get an occasional description)!  Who knew it would become such a concern of mine, but have had more than one discussion with Hadley’s pediatrician, my mom, other moms I don’t really know, my other half about the consistency, what she ate that day, color and frequency. And sometimes it is actually the color of gold!  We’d be rich if it was in fact gold.

  3. By Heidi on February 24, 2010

    Oh, we have the best conversations about poop.  Our daughter seems to be a weekend pooper.  The past five or fifteen weeks, she doesn’t go all week.  We ask each other in emails and over dinner, “Did the baby poop for you this morning/afternoon/last night?“  And the answer is always no.  And it never fails that on Friday night, we have open the windows and wear a mask in order to change her diaper.  It’s awful. 

    And yes, we have been fooled many a times by the grunting and the screaming and the smell. 

    I’ve heard prunes (and the other fruits) are helpful with this situation, but we’re not there yet…so maybe relief is on the way!

    Poor Charlotte.  Remember that she’s the one that actually feels constipated…you just have to deal with the rotten baby farts.

  4. By on February 24, 2010

    Prunes! Mashed up, and mixed with the other stuff. It will help. Nia had the same problem, but prunes will help! You can start with just a little, and then move up the amount if you need to. You wouldn’t need to give her much, or often… just when it gets really bad.

    I wouldn’t reccommend going anywhere that day… :)

  5. By gretchen from lifenut on February 24, 2010

    Peaches help babies unleash, too.

    So sorry about the poo-on-the-face.

  6. By kbreints on February 24, 2010

    HILARIOUS!!!!!!!! Oh my gawd I am dying laughing. Thank you—I needed this.

    As for conversations about poop—it does not end ... for a long time. Maybe never where the boys are concerned.

  7. By on February 24, 2010

    you may already know this, but my son had the same sort of issues when eating more solids. are you giving her enough water? i was sort of afraid of giving him water b/c i was worried he would decrease the amount of milk he was drinking. anyway - giving her water from a sippy cup might help things a bit. oh and plain yogurt mixed with pureed prunes is a staple in charlie’s diet too :). bummer about the poop on the face!!

  8. By Laura on February 24, 2010

    This is hilarious!  Leah did this about a month ago to my husband.  He was in the middle of changing her diaper and was about to put some cream on her bottom when she had a projectile poop that covered the entire changing station and the carpets 3-4 feet away.  Afterwards, she looked at my husband with big eyes and then smiled like it was the funniest thing in the world!

  9. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on February 24, 2010

    Cambria - No poop in the tub incidents so far.  I use the water sling and shower her more often than not, which is probably why.  We have, though, had poop-on-momma incidents in the water sling.  OH.  MY.  GOODNESS.  Poop is so much messier when mixed with two naked bodies and a net sling.

    Gretchen - That’s what I’ve heard.  I think we’re trying peaches before prunes.  I figure, I like peaches better so maybe she will too?

  10. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on February 24, 2010

    Stephanie - She has some warm water from my glass sometimes, but she’s not a big fan.  She definitely prefers milk.

    Laura - PROJECTILE POOPING!  ACK!  We have totally had that too!  The first time it happened, the poop was everywhere in the bathroom, all over the faucet and the sink and my deodorant on the opposite counter.  I was part dismayed and part ridiculously proud lol.

  11. By on February 24, 2010

    Fruits are good just don’t give her bananas. They will stop some kids up further…

    When Bekah was still really little (maybe a month or two old), my sister was changing her diaper and didn’t get a new one under her fast enough. She was changing her on her lap and had to go change her clothes.

    We get a lot of the out the side or up the back type of diapers.

  12. By on February 24, 2010

    Oh mn! I had to smile but then felt so sorry for you. UGH!

  13. By mommica on February 24, 2010


  14. By Cynthia on February 24, 2010

    Oh my… I <3 you for sharing this!!

    We talk about poop all the time… I’d never thought I’d be EXCITED about poop, but Isla’s had her fair share of problems when it comes to poop that when she does poop, I tell her how excited I am and how happy it makes mommy.

    Oh boy, this reminds me that I have a wonderful poop story for you. Isla hadn’t pooped for a week. I was feeding her in the car, us the backseat and Luke in the front. Isla started making grunting noises and I heard the poop explode into her diaper. After not pooping for a week, I told her how happy she makes mommy when I see a big poop in her diaper. She proceeds to eat for a few more minutes then she finishes… Then I reach for her bum to sit her up on my lap while I put my boob away, and all I feel is wet poop. I yell a Luke to take her, he does and all I see is poop on my dress, poop on the seat, poop EVERYWHERE. Luke gets poop on his suit and Isla has poop all over her legs and dress.1 change of clothes (for Isla only, because who knew Luke and I would both get shat on), 1 diaper, 16 wipes, 1 happy baby and 2 stressed out parents later… we continued onto the WEDDING RECEPTION. We spent the rest of the night with poop on us. No one could smell it, THANK YOU HAIRSPRAY IN THE WOMEN’S WASHROOM!

  15. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on February 24, 2010

    Cynthia - A little while ago, I transformed the trunk of my car into a changing station.  Mat.  Carrier.  Waterproof pad.  Two sheets.  Lots of wipes.  Extra diapers.  Wet bag.  Change of clothes.  Etc.

    And two days later, I added in a change of clothes for me.  Because, well, in my case it wasn’t a wedding reception, BUT STILL!

  16. By Cynthia on February 24, 2010

    Now that she’s not pooping milk poop, we’re okay… But now we know for the future.

    And you are one smart woman.

  17. By C @ Kid Things on February 24, 2010

    Hahahaha! I think she knew EXACTLY what she was doing.

  18. By Megan R. on February 24, 2010

    Oh my….I can only pray that something like that never happens to me!

  19. By on February 24, 2010

    we’ve always talked about poop and are now glad to have another person’s BMs to discuss too!
    there’s nothing wrong with a liquid glycerin suppository like Pedia-Lax. It’s perfectly safe, it won’t make your baby’s bowels dependent on it or anything (it’s not a laxative) and because it’s liquid you don’t have to sit there with the butt cheeks closed waiting for it to melt. 
    it’s actually healthier than letting them get too constipated - the harder the stool is to pass, the more chances of tearing the delicate tissues and then you have a baby who is in pain and won’t poop because they’re afraid of hurting! no one likes anal fissures! i don’t think i’ve ever said that!
    talk to your doctor about it!

  20. By Megan at FASS on February 24, 2010

    Holy Crap!  I know what you mean about conos:  Ths was my comment in the car today to my mother in law, “I am just not happy with Shiloh’s poop this morning.  I didn’t like the consistency.“  I then looked at her and said- who am i????

  21. By on February 24, 2010

    Sooooo, I’m laughing so hard I am crying!!! Maybe it was Missy and me making her laugh so much and we just jiggled it loose.  But look on the bright side:  it didn’t go INTO your mouth!  Just next to it.  And really, the tears are in my eyes.  You will laugh when it happens to me too!

  22. By Marla on February 24, 2010

    Oh my. That’s yucky.

  23. By on February 24, 2010

    BHAHAHAH totally agree with krista your not helping my blogging-while-working habit.

    We talk about poop all the time. I ask my mother in law every day did he poop today? Was it hard? Pasty? I mean who asks about poop EVERY DAY??

    And heres a good poop story that literally just happened this weekend. AIden had only pooped a little bit on friday, so on saturday I gave him prunes in the morning thinking that it would help. All day no poop. Lots and lots of grunting and stinky farts but no poop. So sunday he ate prunes for breakfast and lunch. Still nothing all day. Monday he had 5, yes 5, MONSTROUS poops!! I know he was probably thinking here you go mommy is this what you wanted??!!

  24. By Kerry on February 24, 2010

    “And then she laughed like a madman.“

    MUAHAHAHA, as did I!

  25. By on February 24, 2010

    thanks!  I just disturbed a quiet library with my uncontrollable laughter!!!!!

    and I haven’t had a baby at home in 26 years.

    LOVE your blog.

  26. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on February 24, 2010

    Nicole - BREAKING NEWS, my daughter just pulled the same stunt.  Six diapers later, I am finally (FINALLY!) coming up for air.  Oh my word.  I have never seen so much poop in my life.

    Did I call Donald to brag about it?  While he was at work?  Slaving away?  Why, yes, yes I did.

  27. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on February 24, 2010

    Lauren - Maybe that’s it.  The two of you inspire greatness!

    And also, you inspire poopy farts.  That make me gag.  WHO KNEW?!

  28. By on February 24, 2010

    Bwahahaha…My nephew started on semi-solids lately and has the same problem.  Only difference is that he now poos only during bath time. So he not only has a bath but a shower after that too.

  29. By Mary @ Parenthood on February 24, 2010

    HAHAHAHA - We get uptight if Elizabeth misses her morning poop over here.  To the point where we change our schedule and start passing the baby back and forth.  “Watch out… She’s loaded!“  I’d be a gibbering basket case if she went weeks!  (Didn’t even know that was possible)

    We’re blessed in that we have not had to deal with poop on clothes in months; never on mommy or daddy (good thing too!) and rarely in the diaper.  This is probably a good thing.  We are wimps when it comes to poop!

  30. By on February 24, 2010

    Seriously, my Charlotte poops at least three times a day. What can I say, she’s regular.

    We have had two poop in the tub incidents though. Lately we notice that she almost always poops during dinner. It’s so funny when she stops what she’s doing to turn red in the face and grunt in the middle of a meal. We all laugh and she looks at us like “What? You all poop too!“

    Of course, we don’t poop DURING dinner.

    Anyway, my husband waits for the dinner poop before heading into the bathroom for bath time now.

  31. By Alicia on February 24, 2010

    HAH! my husband was terrified of diaper changes after a poop disaster that shot at least 5 feet.

    He used to be really backed up before he got introduced into solids - they actually helped him. He still gets backed up, but finally figured out the perfect way of getting it all out (getting on all fours, head laying on his hands, butt in the air, lips pursed).

  32. By on February 24, 2010

    It really isn’t good for little ones to have a weeks worth of old food in their gut…try giving her just a tiny bit of pureed prunes every day. It helps get things “moving” in a really good way.

  33. By Mailis on February 24, 2010



    *still laughing*

    Charlotte is my hero. Not for sharting on your face, no…but for finding humor in the situation.

    Jude is currently bunged up, too…and it is no laughing matter for him. I keep finding poop balls in his diaper…(sometimes they roll out and onto the bed). I think Jude has a pet dung beetle, so round are the wee turds.

    The work he puts into making them is unreal. Red face,  scowls, wiggles. Tomorrow, he has a date with some apricots. And, if that doesn’t work…a Q-tip covered in Vaseline.

    I hope Charlotte manages to fill a diaper soon.

  34. By Mailis on February 24, 2010

    By the way, I am kidding about the Q-tip and vaseline. But, don’t think I haven’t seriously considered it. lol…

  35. By on February 25, 2010

    Too funny. My oldest was 18 months old the first time we took him peach picking. He had never seen FOOD ON A TREE before. He ran everywhere taking a bite until we corralled him. Home for lunch and a nap. Relaxing after that hectic morning, we hear an explosion from the upstairs. He had blown out his diaper covering the crib, the wall, the rug. And we had heard it DOWNSTAIRS. We never got the stain off the Peter Rabbit wallpaper. He was telling this story to someone when he was a 6th grader. The friends comment was, ‘good thing you weren’t sitting up”.  Enjoy the glamore side of motherhood Sarah.

  36. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on February 25, 2010

    Mitzie - The friend has a point - he could have been launched through the roof!

    LOL, your story is probably the single best baby poop story I have ever heard!

    Lynn - When we took her to the doctor for her regular check-up, I mentioned the constipation and we were reassured that as long as it doesn’t persist, it’s a normal transition problem going from liquids to solids.  I once provided daycare for a child who had a very serious hold-in-the-poop problem.  As a result, I am very aware of what can happen when a child is constipated, and I guarantee that I am increasingly proactive about encouraging her to poop as time marches on.  At any rate, though, she did poop yesterday!  YAY!

  37. By Catch the Kids on February 26, 2010

    This is hilarious.  I remember my son doing a “jet” that went out a metre onto the snow white carpet of our rented unit.  And me.  But nowhere near my mouth though!  Wah!!

  38. By Julie Campbell on February 27, 2010

    That is one awesome story Sarah. My kids would die laughing if I told them they did that to me as an infant. 

    My oldest had severe constipation problems, and it was awful.  I found myself gently trying to get the poop out of her with my fingers on more than one occasion (oh the things a mother will do). Luckily she grew out of it around 3 years old.  It was a nightmare though.  Hopefully Charlotte will not take that long.

  39. By on February 28, 2010

    Got to love baby poop. I still am amazed when I open up Harper’s diaper and there is a human like turd in there, bonus point when it is surrounded by the whole peas and corn nibblets she had for dinner.





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