Parenting 101: O.P.P. (Other People’s Poop)

Talking about No. 2 isn’t something I like to do.

I don’t need Mr. T to know my bodily business. When we moved in together, I would wait until he left the house before I’d go. I couldn’t stand the thought of him knowing I had to use the bathroom.

It’s a common problem for many women in new relationships … and for me 10 years in.

I don’t need to know when Mr. T goes, either. I want him to keep that sh*t to himself. (Hee, hee. See what I did there?)

But I’m all up in my daughter’s diaper. I’m studying her poo. I’m working on a Ph.D. in Baby Bird droppings.

Doctors say it’s typical for new parents to be preoccupied with their baby’s bowel movements because it’s a way to tell whether Little One is healthy. 

I’ve taken preoccupation to a new level. 

I document how often she goes, and I analyze every dirty diaper. I’ve donned a latex glove and squished the poo to determine whether it was too hard.

You’re repulsed. (I hope you’re not reading this during breakfast.) I apologize for that.

But I’m not ashamed of what I’ve done. My obsession helped relieve my daughter’s 10-day-long case of constipation.

Because I document her doo, I recognized pretty quickly when Baby Bird got backed up. Concerned, I called her doctor’s office. They suggested I try giving her the Ps — prunes, plums, pears, and peaches.

No luck.

I tried baby yoga poses.

I tried motivational speeches.

She and her bowels just weren’t moved.

After more than a week of irregular activity, I called the pediatrician again.

A nurse listen to my concerns and assured me I was doing all the right things (the speeches were a new one, she said). Then she said Baby Bird was experiencing a normal digestive-system change.

At the end of the call, she mentioned trying pear juice “if you’re really concerned.”

Three days and 6 ounces of pear juice later, Baby Bird had several poo-plosions and I had a much happier child. It’s been business as usual since then.

Why am I telling you all this? It’s not to solidify my reputation as a strange, obsessive parent. My previous posts did that.

It’s because I know there are new moms and dads out there who, like me, don’t fully trust their parental gut. You sense something isn’t right with your baby, but the doctor says otherwise so you go along with it.

Don’t. Push for answers. Refuse to be dismissed.

Baby Bird’s constipation was nothing to make a federal case about, but the incident made me realize that I’m my daughter’s voice right now, so I can’t be afraid to speak up. Her doctor’s office said her problem would resolve itself, but I live with her. I could see her discomfort, and my gut told me something needed to be done.

I’m sure Baby Bird’s bowels are thanking me for my persistence.