It’s morning. You have just fed the kids, and the little one is headed to the bathroom for her early morning visit. Everything is normal until…
1. You hear screaming coming from the bathroom, the unnatural, animalistic sort. This is followed by whining and moaning.
2. Enter the bathroom, slowly turning the doorknob. You are sure your child is fine, but those sounds…
3. You’re greeted by a pushing and grunting child. She is pale and hunched over. Something isn’t right. “Mommy, the poop won’t come out.”
4. You panic. Could it be? This has never been an issue before. Is she constipated? Bring your child water because that fixes everything.
5. The grunting noises continue, and they remind you of something. It takes you a moment, but now you are back to the four times you made those same sounds—the births of your children. And in a way, this painful endeavor probably feels equally as awful to your child.
6. Offer comfort with hugs and kisses. Yes, it is a bit weird to kiss and hug a child on the potty, but you’re a mother—what isn’t weird?
7. Look online and have your mind blown by the amount of suggestions to get a bit of poop to exit your tot’s digestive tract.
8. Realize how lucky you’ve been that after several children, this is the first time you’ve had to deal with this. You are a family who prides themselves on regularity.
9. Think back to the great C-section constipation of 2011 and the repeat in 2013. Pray for the sake of your child that this is nothing like that.
10. “What did it say online?” your child mumbles from the bathroom. You wish you had answers.
11. Reassure your child that all is well and Mommy will fix everything, even though you are sure this may turn into one of your biggest parenting fails ever.
12. She is crying again, but this time there are words: “Mommy, the poop is stuck.” “Stuck?” you ask, wondering if this is somehow worse than constipation and praying that it is not. “In my ass.” Damn, you have to stop swearing around her, a fleeting thought before you ask yourself an even more disturbing question: Will you have to pull it out the way you had to once (okay, so it was several times) for the dog? You used a stick, and it was disgusting. You are gagging now as you think about it.
13. Please, please don’t let it be stuck. I’ll be nice. I’ll start going to church. I’ll give money to the poor…please.
14. Realize you will have to examine your child’s back end. No biggie, you’ve done worse.
15. Panic when she continues to cry. Offer comfort again.
16. Tell her to take a break, because you could both use one.
17. Realize you have to use the toilet. Sit down. Hear child screaming that she has to use the toilet. Isn’t this the way it always goes? Get up quickly. Have another child enter the bathroom to hand you a Lego creation while the constipated child sits back on her royal throne hoping to make a gift for her kingdom. She asks for privacy. You leave the room.
18. After several minutes, enter bathroom wondering if you should advise your child to push. You decide against it as you imagine childhood hemorrhoids and wonder if that is even a thing. You vow to look it up online as soon as this ordeal is over. You should know in case this ever happens again. Child makes proclamation, “Mommy, it’s good news. My poopie that wouldn’t come out, came out.”
19. Child asks you to come see poopie. You get up and enter the bathroom for the umpteenth time this morning and realize you are examining poop for the second time today.
20. Feel grateful that her body did what it needed to so you don’t have to take additional measures (more Internet searching, home remedies, a doctor’s appointment or trying to dislodge the stuck perpetrator yourself). Your child wipes, washes her hands and flushes the toilet. All is well. Only eight more hours until your husband gets home and you can share the whole story with him.