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Friday, May 05, 2006

THE POO-LOG DIARIES

(not to be confused with the Princess Diaries)

For the past several weeks, Julie and I have engaged in a curious bedtime ritual. I read passages to her from this book about a guy who reads the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Usually I’ll include worthless little tidbits like “Rene Descartes had a fetish for cross-eyed women.” I do this because I believe our household should be up to date on the sexual dysfunctions of dead French philosophers.

Julie retaliates by reading passages out of the books that she’s reading, which all have to do with raising twins. She does this because, if my memory serves me correctly, Julie will give birth to twins in a few months. Now before you run off and take her side on all this, you should know that she only reads selected passages from her books. Passages she knows will freak me out.

Consider the following:

“Don’t be alarmed by the texture and color of the early poos. The very first poos (called meconium, for you trivia buffs) are dark greenish-black and have a tar like consistency. For Heaven’s sake, use petroleum jelly liberally, or you will be chafing your babies bottoms in attempts to pry the stuff off.”

Then later, after explaining that newborns poop and eat at the exact same time, they follow up with:

“Don’t forget to note on your poo log journal which twin output what following each feeding session.”

Where to start…

First, I do consider myself something of a trivia buff. However, I probably could have lived the rest of my days without knowing that meconium fact and still lived a pretty rich life.

Second, a poo log journal?

My first instinct is to go straight into Beavis and Butthead mode and note that “poo log” is kinda redundant. Sort of like “bottom butt.”

But I’m deeply disturbed by the poo log concept in ways that extend far beyond my normal immaturity.

Parents with small children can be peculiar people. They often seem to be living on a different planet, one where poo reigns supreme. On more than one occasion, I’ve been involved in an exchange that goes something like this:

Me: So how are you today?

Parent: Fantastic. Jeremy had three very good poops today!

The parent in this exchange seems oblivious to the fact that: 1) I did not ask about Jeremy and, 2) I REALLY didn’t ask about Jeremy’s poop. But it really doesn’t matter, you can ask a parent of a newborn about Euclidian geometry and the answer you get back will have something to do with poo.

Despite what this post may lead you to believe, I’m not a real scatological person. I make no apologies for it; I’m just not a poo guy. And the thing I’m least looking forward to about parenthood is handling another human being’s excrement. I understand that poo handling is part of parenthood and I plan on participating. But the idea that it takes over your life is not very encouraging.

Poo logs seem like the kind of obsessive-compulsive thing only the British would do. After all, the Brits invented a hobby called “trainspotting” that involves sitting by train tracks and writing down the serial numbers of the engines as they pass.

But the book says poo logs are essential for twins, especially nursing twins. It is apparently difficult to measure how much food a baby eats when they’re getting it from a teat. So the only way to keep track is to keep an eye on the poop. And when you’ve got two babies, you’ve got to write it down, because once you’ve seen one pile of baby poop, you’ve seen them all.

Actually, I’ve just been informed that’s not true. Turns out the green tar poop is replaced by something that looks similar to gourmet honey mustard. Human looking and smelling mini-turds don’t make their appearance until solid food is introduced.

I’ll agree to do almost anything if Julie will promise not to read me any more passages from that book.

4 Comments:

At 6:41 am, Blogger Winter said...

All I can think the entire time I'm reading this is.. Yuck.

p.s. Not because of your writing, because of subject matter.

 
At 7:42 am, Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Hmmm... perhaps you could start a poo blog?

 
At 12:32 am, Anonymous blurb said...

Your life, whether you like it or not, will be more about poop than you can know right now.

Fog of war, my friend.

 
At 6:20 pm, Blogger Matthew said...

what would you call that, a "plog?"

 

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