I realized it’s been a while since I wrote about poop, so I obviously felt I should rectify that straight away. This really should go without saying, but just in case, I do not recommend eating whilst reading this.

If you have little kids, you have poop everywhere. Maybe not all the time, but there will be a collection of moments when your entire day stops because one (or more!) of your children has pooped in a place where poop oughtn’t be, and to you falls the task of restoring those places to their pre-poop state. Normally, all this pooping occurs in a diaper. One can argue that poop most certainly ought to be in a diaper, and given the numerous alternatives, this is preferable to most. But when the convenience of not having to clean poop off the floor/couch/sibling requires cleaning the poop off of the pooper, these preferences become the splitting of hairs. While all of this becomes a routine to which we become alarmingly accustomed, there comes a Poopsplosion to which one cannot be accustomed and for which one cannot be fully prepared.

The Poopsplosion is exactly what it seems. This is one of those cases where the hyperbole neatly intersects with reality and the reality seems hyperbolic to the point of incredulity. Ask any parent and he can tell you of each child’s Poopsplosion. This event is cataclysmic in both the violence and dispersement of the poop, so much so that it ingrains itself upon your memory in the same way that its smells ingrain themselves upon your sinuses. Each child usually only has one in his lifetime, under normal circumstances,* so this really does become a permanent memory, forever filed in the brain’s archive of horrors to relive as you try to fall asleep, right alongside crippling self-doubt and genuinely considering the possibility that Donald Trump may become the President of the United States of America.

Joshua’s Poopsplosion was mercifully (or not) contained by footie pajamas. While this kept us from having to hose/burn down his room, there was at least a moment’s debate as to whether or not Joshua himself was salvageable. Imagine, if you will, a pair of women’s stockings. Now imagine pouring warm pudding into those stockings. Now imagine putting your legs in them. This is how we found Joshua on the day of his Poopsplosion, hip-deep in his own filth, effectively clad in what could only be described as a “Poop Suit.” His bath was immediate and vigorous. Those PJs were, I assume, destroyed. I don’t really remember, as my task was to sandblast bathe Joshua while Jen handled the clean-up duty (dooty?) in his room. While his PJs did an admirable job of containing the poo, damned if Joshua didn’t wear some breathable fabrics through which moisture could pass. And pass it did. Onto his bed and his stuffed friends, as if he’d poured a pitcher of acrid tea on everything he owned. He and his room were, eventually, cleaned and sanitized, but the same cannot be said of my long-term memory.

Jack’s Poopsplosion happened today. I woke him up at his usual time, which is to say that I entered his room to find that he had begun his twice-daily routine of pulling all his books off their shelves and his clothes out of his dresser. But, as a new wrinkle, I discovered that he had pooped on all of it. His diaper, already at capacity from his 11-ish hour nighttime slumber, was the overworked levee before the hurricane that came out of his derrière. It had no chance at all. His sheets, pillows, blankets, clothes, and stuffed friends all looked like they’d been deployed in the Battle of the Somme, so thoroughly caked in excrement had they become. They moved swiftly to the laundry room and Jack — poor, poor Jack — was scrubbed hard enough to have easily removed every last cell of his epidermis. For you see, this is knowledge that adults with grown-up levels of personal hygience lack — dried poop is slightly harder than concrete, and among the stickiest** substances known to modern science when allowed to dry on human skin.

Mother Nature did not design the human body to poop on itself. She wants that waste out and away, literally putting it behind us so we don’t even have to see it. The Poopsplosion is her way of telling us that what we are doing to our children is unnatural. Mother Nature cannot be contained.


*If they’re sick or trapped in a carseat for six hours or going commando because of a previous incident for which you were regrettably unprepared, the Poopsplosion can repeat, but at least you know it’s a possibility going in. A true Poopsplosion cannot be predicted.

**The stickiest substance I’ve ever come across is an unknown brand/model of construction adhesive used to secure a countertop to the kitchen wall in our old house in lieu of traditional fasteners. This adhesive was so strong that my wife stood upon this countertop and jumped on it to try to get it off said wall. She was unsuccessful. Dried poop is similar, but it smells worse.