The Poo Lottery. In our house, it’s big news. Winning the Poo Lottery is the stuff of dreams. (For me at least, as my husband seems to fair a lot better than I do at this particular game.) I seem to find myself on the losing end of the Poo Lottery far more often than I’d like. Unlike the normal lottery though I can’t just choose not to buy a ticket. When that baby goes he goes, and somebody has to clean up the mess! (Not to mention the smell…)5 months ago we welcomed our first baby into the world, and with him came a whole new topic of conversation. I mean we enjoy a bit of toilet humour as much as the next couple but still, poo never really used to be a recurring topic of conversation for us. Then baby came along and BAM – it began. From the very first brown nappy at the hospital, to the most recent one to date.
“It looks exactly like tar!”
“Has he pooed yet today?”
“He’s going all red in the face – is he having a poo?”
“He’s not been since yesterday morning – we’re going to suffer if he doesn’t go soon!”
“That one looks like chicken korma.”
“Oh god, that was the worst poo EVER.”
“Either that was the most forceful fart in the history of humanity, or he’s just pooed on my lap.”
*walking into a room*“Oh my days, what is that horrific smell? Oh yes… he’s pooed.”
“I hope he doesn’t poo while we’re at [insert name of place you’d rather not deal with poo].” (Usually followed shortly after by a great stench and a hunt for the nearest baby change facilities.)
“IT’S YOUR TURN!”
The first poo was somewhat of a novelty. In the hospital, just hours after I’d given birth, we went together to the baby changing toilet to check his nappy. It was like a little adventure. Hubs and I, taking on the nappy. And lo and behold – there was his first little poo! It looked exactly like tar, just like everyone had said it would. It smelt rotten but in our still fresh, ‘we’ve just become parents to the most beautiful baby’ haze, the smell was met with laughter rather than revulsion. We laughed as Hubs began cleaning it up. We laughed even more as he wiped away the last bit and more and more started to come out, like play dough being pushed out of a play dough machine. How funny!
In the days that followed we marvelled over the changing colour of the excrement. From tar, to mustard, to korma. We would never again look at a chicken korma in the same way. (Chinese instead next takeaway night?)
Then as time goes on the novelty wears off and you find yourself willing the other person to get the pooey nappy. In our house, the Poo Lottery was born. After yet another pooey nappy that seemed to have been changed by me, I declared to Hubs that if this were a Poo Lottery then he was most definitely the winner because I seem to get all the stinkers. The name stuck. As did my record of losses!
The most surprising thing has been that this new hot topic of conversation has somehow evolved beyond the bounds of mere marital chatter. If you’d asked me this time last year whether I’d ever be openly bringing up the subject of my offspring’s poo regularly whilst chatting to a variety of people I’m fairly certain I would have said “I don’t think I will”, whilst secretly thinking to myself that I won’t become THAT kind of parent. *smug face* But now that we’re 5 months in I have to admit that I have become that person. And I hate to tell you but if you are reading this as someone who will become a parent in the future I am certain you will too.
You just can’t help it. I think because it becomes such a fixation amongst yourselves, it naturally starts to seep out into conversations with other adults too. In my experience parent friends will probably get it and even reciprocate. (Especially if their little ones are a similar age.) They may even share all their stories with you in solidarity, and you’ll find yourselves interested in their babies bowel movements too. A friend of mine once sent me a video rejoicing when her baby finally pooed after being clogged up for days. I was pleased for her, and happy to have been told the good news!
Most of your non-parent friends however will probably still be in the stage of their lives where poo is not high up on their list of go to topics of conversation. There will be the odd gem of a friend who ‘gets it’, but probably not many. If they’re good friends they’ll excuse your new-parent behaviour, even if they do open a WhatsApp message from you with a picture of your little darlings worst ever poo at precisely the moment they are eating their dinner. (That actually happened… ooops!)
So I guess that’s it now that I’m a parent. Poo is life. And life is fodder for conversation. Still, I’m hoping for that lottery win any day now…