WARNING: This post contains graphic details, the likes of which may be considered TMI (too much information) for some. Proceed with caution, and consider yourself warned.
Hope is in a stage. A little bit of a rough stage, I think. She is charming and fun and sweet and silly sometimes. And my mom recently marvelled at how "Hope is so easily redirected," for whatever that is worth. But then sometimes she is anything but fun. She is in the "No, I'll do it myself," stage. She is also in the I'm-so-frustrated-with-my-situation-that-I'll-HIT-you stage, and the I-don't-always-feel-like-taking-an-afternoon-nap stage too. She loves to use her whiny voice, and when we won't have it any more, she acts as though one of her constitutional rights has been violated and she's rioting on the steps of the capitol building, loud screeches and little feet kicking. It's really fun, folks. And although she's still Hope, and therefore often snugly, compassionate, and easy going, she is basically really, really egocentric right now. It's all about her (and truthfully, I'd love to have a day like that too... wouldn't you?!?).
Today was a pretty good day for her, overall. She went to preschool with Eva and then we were running errands. Aside from refusing her nap with loud screaming and tantrum throwing, it was easy to get along with her. It was a good day until the Terrible Twos took us down an untraveled and horrifying side street shortly after the nap that was not to be.
I was absent mindedly working in the kitchen, when Hope wandered in, wearing nothing but her birthday suit. She smiled down at Esther sitting in the bouncy seat, then squatted near her to give a little love. A moment later she loudly demanded that I wipe her butt. No "please" was offered.
We marched off to the bathroom where I found a very large quantity of defecation of the most ripe variety in the toilette. I also found that she was in dire need of help with wiping after this excretion. We wiped and clothed her, and I went back to the kitchen.
Moments later Hope was fiddling with the laptop sitting on the kitchen table. She accidentally popped off one of the keys, so I told her to get down on the floor to find it, please. The next thing out of her mouth was, "Mommy!!!! WHAT'S THAT???? Poopy?????"
As she walked toward me holding out her thumb and pointer finger, several things confirmed her finding. First, the seriously foul odor that was coming closer and closer to me by the nano-second. Second, the light brown, chunky smear on her fingers. Third, the open mouth, tongue sticking out, appearance of just eating a mouthful of oreos. Only it wasn't oreos darkening the spaces between her sharp little teeth. Yes, my daughter ate her own poo.
Thankfully there was no hitting, screeching, or resistance of any kind as I rushed her into the bathroom to do something about this. What does one do about poop in the mouth???
Forgive my little tangent here, but we have a major issue with eating non-food items around here. No, the pediatrician(s) do not believe that my girls have pica. Nonetheless, if there is someway to taste any new substance they come in contact with, they will. There is no end to the list of things they have tasted or eaten. Thankfully, kids art supplies are all non-toxic. I know from experience that large quantities of Rolaids are not harmful to two year olds. Salt on the sides of cars is not tasty like table salt. Magnets (yes, magnets!) can be chewed and swallowed. Polly Pocket shoes come through the digestive track in one piece, but really, really stink afterward. Oil based paint doesn't come off of teeth very quickly. Cod liver oil capsules by the handful leave a very strong odor. Sidewalk chalk? It's practically a food group. Paper? It can easily be mistaken as gum. After two or three years of Eva's tendency, I decided to turn a blind eye to eating any form of organic matter (besides POOP!), declaring to myself that I have bigger fish to fry and I was not going to spend my life spanking and giving time outs for eating dirt (or bugs or whatever). End tangent.
This was a new one, and the above tangent explains the motivation. Apparently for my first two offspring, if you don't know what it is, the only way to find out is to taste it. I receive a big fat F minus for my ability to train discerning palettes.
There was thorough hand washing and brushing of teeth. Hopefully, all is well that ends well. To be honest, I was relieved to see that -finally- eating some non-food item actually grossed Hope out. She thought it was disgusting. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth on her part. And I am glad. She's already immune to Hepatitis A, so she's in the clear for that one. She directed me straight to the little spot on the kitchen floor where her naked butt had perched, leaving the evidence of a big trip to the bathroom. She was very bossy in delegating the clean up task to me, and I was happy to be her Cinderella.
(My apologies for such poor manners in sharing this bathroom adventure.)