Poop in the Bathtub

Numbers 1, 2, and 3 are boys.  Number 4 is a girl.

Up until she was about three years old, Number 4 thought she was a boy. She loved her older brothers.  Hanging with the boys was all she really knew.

She refused to wear anything girly from birth.

I had accumulated an adorable collection of  cute little dresses, and almost all of them went unworn, into storage, with the tags still on when she outgrew them.

She was tough and physical. She loved the dirt. She loved bugs, especially “cute little sluggies.”

I admired that, but I was pretty bummed about the dresses.

So Number 3 and 4 are 15 months apart.  One night, when they were about two and three years old, they were taking a bath together.  I left the bathroom for 2 seconds to get a towel out of the closet right around the corner.

As soon as I turned my back, Number 3 started shrieking.


Yes, she had.

Bath time over.

Several months later, Number 3 and 4 were in the bath again.

Number 4 was studying her brother, and then herself.

Before her mouth even opened, I knew what she was going to say.

“Mommy? Where’s my penis?” she worriedly asked me.

I was scrambling to come up with the best way to answer.

Not Number 3.

“Um, it fell off.  When you pooped in the bathtub,” he matter-of-factly explained to her.

And that, I believe, is when Number 4 realized she was a girl.


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Mom, what’s an orgy?

Let me begin by saying that my husband is a wonderful father.

I was selling girl scout cookies with Number 4 a few weeks ago and one of the other moms there asked where the rest of my kids were.

“They’re home with their dad.”

“He’s alone with them?”

“Uh, yeah?….”

So I guess I take the fact that he’s completely willing, capable and hands-on for granted.

He’s also an extremely talented carpenter. He has built some amazing homes from the ground up.  I can rip out a picture from a magazine, say build this, and in two days, it’s done.

But put the remote in his hands, and he’s rendered almost helpless.

I find it so contradictory for a dude that can MacGyver some scraps of wood and a couple nails into just about anything.

So the other night I needed to take a shower.  Badly.  And I just couldn’t wait until after the kids were asleep.

They usually watch a show before they go to bed, but since it was spring break, we said we’d buy an on-demand movie.  We had checked out the options the night before, and they had decided on George of the Jungle 2.

So I gave my reclining husband the remote.

“Find George of the Jungle 2.  I think it’s in the new release section.”

And I quickly tiptoed into the bedroom before anyone realized I had left.  I turned on the shower.  Mmmmmm.  5 minutes of peace.

MOM! Dad picked the wrong movie!!!” yelled Number 3, slamming open the bathroom door.

Okay, 30 seconds of peace.

“Well tell him to get the right one.  Let me take a shower.”

“He’s asleep.

And what’s an orgy?”


Let me also explain that my husband has one talent which far surpasses all the others.

He can fall asleep in seconds.  And I swear to you, I’m not exaggerating.


If falling asleep were an Olympic sport, my husband would kick everyone’s ass.  He’s like the Michael Phelps of falling asleep.

It’s really annoying.

Mostly annoying because I’m jealous.

But also annoying when he falls asleep with the remote in his hands and accidentally and unconsciously purchases A Good Old Fashioned Orgy for the kids to watch.

I guess from now on, the showers will have to wait until after everyone is in bed.

Everyone including my husband.

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Grammy took my fruit snacks away

Three of our seven kids (Numbers 4,5, and 7) are girls.

I have felt very strongly with all of the kids, but the girls especially, that it’s important for them to feel comfortable with their bodies.

Comfortable talking about their bodies.

To own their bodies.

So from birth, I have taught them and encouraged them to use the “proper” terminology for all their body parts.

Straight out of the gate, Number 4 was a pistol.

Her, how do I put this positively,

enthusiasm and energy,

have always set her apart from everyone.

She can be a source of frustration for me, but really I admire her tenacity, her perseverance, her curiosity, and her individuality.

Number 4 began talking early.

Combine this with her innate qualities as well as the acquisition of the word vagina, and you have a recipe either for disaster, or some serious comic relief.

And that brings me to my story.

My parents were at the house for a visit.

Mom (Grammy) was out on the back deck with some of the kids.

My father (Papa) was playing in the yard with Number 3.

I was in the kitchen getting some stuff ready to eat.

It was a Norman Rockwell kind of moment.

Until Number 4 ran into the kitchen, repeatedly screaming “Mommy!!!” and crying hysterically.

“What’s the matter?” I asked her.

“Grammy took my fruit snacks away,” she said in between sobs, tears streaming down her face.

“Why?” I asked her.


I put them…snort

in my vaginaaaaaaa!!!”

Well, how silly of Grammy.

Isn’t that where everyone puts them?

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The Underwear Drawer

I believe in some roundabout way, Number 4 meant this as a compliment:

“Mom, you run a lot.  You could win those contests.

But you should still lose a little more pounds.”

If she only knew what I looked like just eight years ago.

Eight years ago, I was the single, impeccably-dressed, thin, and hot 4th grade teacher in a fairly wealthy school district in Fairfield County, CT.

Fast forward to 2012, and seven kids later. The description has changed.


I remember (sorry Mom) when I was in college, and I was home at my parents’ house.

I was in my mom’s room, looking for something in her underwear drawer.

I can’t recall why I was in there.  I must have come home for the weekend, and I needed a pair of socks or something.

Anyway, what I saw was depressing.

And, at the time, horrifying.

As I sifted through the contents of that top dresser drawer, I began to take a closer look at what was in there.

I picked up a pair of underpants, held them up and really looked at them.  The elastic in them no longer served its purpose.

I picked up another pair. The elastic wasn’t even elastic anymore. And it wasn’t even completely attached to this pair.

I moved to the bras.  There were dozens of spidery pieces of elastic sprouting out of the underband, and they were swaying in the breeze created by my frightened and shaking hands.

One even had a wire sticking out of it!

I shoved everything back in the drawer and slammed it shut.

I rubbed my cute little Victoria’s Secret matching bra and panty set on top of my clothes.  “I will NEVER have underwear that looks like that,” I said, out loud.

Well, here I sit at the computer, many years after that incident, wearing one of my two bras and a pair of maternity underwear.

The bra is black, and the underpants light gray. I ‘m not pregnant, and the underpants were actually white when I bought them.

Seven years ago.

It’s happened.

I’ve turned into my mother.

Right. down. to. my. underpants.

Something needs to done about this.

Right away.

Before Number 4 gets to my underwear drawer.