*Note – If you don’t like hearing about poop or other things pertaining to the potty, you may not want to read this post. And you may not want to be eating anything while reading this post. Just a heads up.*
This mothering business is awesome and wonderful and precious and it’s the whole reason why I blog.
But holy poop (and I mean poop. Read on).
This mothering business is H-A-R-D.
I come to you tonight with some pretty raw feelings, friends. These last few weeks have not been easy for me as a mama. In fact, I have wondered on more than one occasion why in the world we prayed so hard to have kids!
I know, I know. Happy Home Fairy?!?! What are you saying!??! You are a FRAUD.
Ohhhh, but it happened. And it feels strangely therapeutic to share it with the thousands of you, sweet readers (who I pray won’t judge me).
It all began about a month ago when the Happy Baby started having the WORST constipation on the planet (or so I thought – keep reading).
I had just switched his formulas and his little body needed some time to get used to the new one. Meanwhile, about every couple of hours he would have these ‘poop attacks’ where he just needed to grunt and cry and push and be held for a good 15 minutes while he worked away.
Well, big brother started to get a bit jealous of all the attention little brother was getting so big brother decided to go park it on the potty and push his ever-living… POOP SACK OUT.
Yup, you read that right. My son pushed so hard that he had what, in the medical world, is known as a rectal prolapse.
Basically it means that the inner lining of his rectum fell out.
(Hey, I warned you at the beginning of the post.)
When I came into the bathroom and found him bent over with what looked like a brain hanging out of his body, I almost lost my marbles. Or my lunch. Probably both happened. I don’t really remember because I was in a self-induced coma.
Of course the Happy Hubby was not home when this seemingly impossible situation occurred. So I frantically called my mother-in-law who informed me that I needed to PUSH IT BACK IN.
Dear Mommy friends, I pray that you never EVER have to become as acquainted with your child’s physical insides as I did that fateful night.
So I mustered up every ounce of strength I possibly could and I stuffed that thing back in. Then I excused myself to the bedroom where I rolled into a ball and rocked back and forth for about an hour. I do not think I blinked once for that entire 60 minutes.
The doctor informed me the next day that she didn’t think the Happy Buddy was jealous at all. She thought he had really been dealing with some serious constipation too.
I brushed off her comment. He definitely had poop issues, but he was just being a big brother.
Several weeks have passed and he is still having problems.
I feel like for the last 9 days all we have done is hang out in the bathroom (note my daily posts dwindling to 3 a week – if I’m lucky. Poop is not very inspiring. Just sayin’.), with nothing to validate our time as well spent.
Long story short, we ended up at the doctor again today where I told her about the constipation and some other strange symptoms he was experiencing (I’ll spare you the details here as I am sure you are still recovering from the prolapse. I don’t think I will ever recover from that).
She nodded her head and then she started grilling me about the Happy Buddy’s eating habits.
And the more questions she asked, the more terrible I felt.
Doctor: How much water is he drinking?
Me: Uhhhh… I know he drinks some before bed and maybe at lunch time?
Doctor: What kinds of fruits and vegetables is he eating?
Me: Uhhh… do those squeeze-y things count????
Why couldn’t she ask me questions like, “How many fun activities did you do this week?”
Then to finish the whole conversation off with a punch to the gut she basically informed me that I needed to overhaul our son’s diet in order to get him regulated… OR HE COULD DIE.
I am not even kidding. Apparently he is not just constipated, he is OBstipated, which is way worse and means his bowels could literally RUPTURE and he could die.
Sometimes I feel like my life is a constant state of CRISIS. It started with the Happy Baby’s birth and hasn’t really stopped and seems to bop back and forth between children. Is this just me or is there anyone else out there who feels like they are always in a metaphorical ambulance?!?
Needless to say, I walked away from that appointment feeling quite defeated. We’ve struggled with the Happy Buddy being a picky eater. I’ve tried all the picky eater tricks out there. He gives me an appreciative pat on the back when I turn his grapes into a caterpillar or his apple slices into a sun, but he won’t touch ’em. He is too smart for the whole “Look at these magical little green trees!” bit. And I even bought that cookbook by Seinfield’s wife about hiding vegetables in everything, but he was not to be fooled.
This kid knows how to fight and, to be honest, I have let him win over and over because it is easier.
That is where the word FAILURE popped into my brain today as the doctor’s words rang in my ears… You are literally killing your son by giving in to his demands. You don’t know how to feed your child, or your family, for that matter (don’t even get me started on the Happy Baby’s eating issues).
Ironically we didn’t have any food in the house and I had planned to stop at Publix to get some things for dinner on the way home from our doom and gloom appointment. I called my mom as I drove to the store and basically said, “The doctor told me he has a condition that could make him DIE. I can’t believe this is my life!”
I was feeling pretty sorry for myself at this point. Why does it seem so easy for other people to get their kids to eat fruits and vegetables (or on a grander scale – simply keep them alive?)?? I follow so-and-so on Instagram and she posts photos all the time of cute Target kid lunch plates piled high with strawberries and broccoli and happy children munching away. Why do I have to stand on my head to get my kids to even open their mouths for something that is not beige?!?!?!
Seriously, when I get to heaven I am asking God why He didn’t make cauliflower taste like chocolate.
<<<<<<Insert gospel choir shouting “Amen!” here.>>>>>>
So there I am in the grocery store hating the fact that I bear the weight of responsibility for this precious, incredible, super strong-willed boy. Hating myself for letting us get this far down the road of picky eating. And hating that I have to make the changes and do the hard thing of teaching my child what is good for him in the way of asparagus and kiwi.
I mean, I already pushed the poop sack in, I kind of feel like I should be exempt from every other difficult aspect of being a mom.
And right in that moment when I was literally thinking, “You are the worst mom in. the. universe.” I looked up and saw this.
There, floating above the vegetables, no less, was a word from the Lord.
Who put a balloon in the produce basket I will never know.
But I know that my God cares about me and wanted me to hear that message in that moment.
Tears filled my eyes and I knew we’d get through this.
Just as with all the other hard mommy things He has seen me through.
He gives the grace and the strength to fail forward.
A little Miralax and hopefully we’ll be back in business. A little alarm in my amazing new iPhone to remind him to drink water.
Then we’re going to be making some changes around our Happy Home with regard to the way the Happy Buddy eats.
Veggie Boot Camp, here we come.
I am not a failure.
I am a special mom.
Special in that I am the mommy God chose to care for these completely amazing and complex children.
Not so-and-so on Instagram.
Unique and marvelous me.
Unique in my sins, yes.
But loved by a God who can redeem them and make a whole lotta good come out of something that seems so… well, poopy.
Like maybe one day I will be able to write a book for moms called How to Be Okay When Your Kid’s Poop Sack Falls Out.
“But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
*I sure would appreciate your prayers more than your advice in this. I am very fragile at the moment and being told more clever ways about getting picky eaters to eat will just overwhelm my heart. I feel so much better just writing this and knowing that y’all are here for me. I am also super thankful that you made it to the bottom of this post – hopefully without ralphing. Xoxo*