The other night I found myself, for the second time in a week, fishing a turd out of my twins’ bath while they looked on, helpfully directing me with points and grunts as to indicate the estimated location of the floater. Of course, it was a bubble bath, which made the activity all the more challenging. And I thought, with all the passion I devote to the most serious matters, I can not ever do this again. It’s weird that the turd in the tub thing is the one that puts me over the edge—I have, on numerous occasions, cupped my hands under a child’s chin to catch vomit of all colors and textures, without being truly bothered by it. I have slept in sheets soaked with pee that is not my own, too tired to get up and change them. A few days ago I used the Nosefrida snot sucker despite the fact that I couldn’t find the little square spongey filter thing. I’m not particularly squeamish. But somehow the indignity of fishing for someone else’s turd with a toy boat as if I’m playing some rigged carnival game brings up a question that is both indignant and philosophical—what am I doing with my life?
Of course, to guarantee that my vow of giving up turd fishing remains unbroken, I would have to approach the hurdle of potty training. But potty training is tiring. And our method of go-with-the-flow parenting isn’t prepared for the rapid of adding something new to the routine yet. About a year ago, I hopefully ordered an extra potty off of Amazon and even more hopefully set the two potties out in the bathroom, thinking that the boys might take some initiative and train themselves, but that hasn’t been the case. The potties have mainly attracted dust and dirt, that is, when they’re not being tossed about the house for use as footstools or hats. The “if you buy it, they will shit in it” philosophy of toilet training does not work, apparently.
So, thanks to our lazy approach, there is no guarantee that at the next bath time I will not find myself again parting mounds of bubbles in the search of an elusive dookie. But something I’ve found about motherhood is that somehow, despite the true belief that you cannot or will not do things ever again, you wake up the next day, and you are doing them. Until somewhere along the line you don’t have to anymore. The night waking, the nursing, the colicky crying— the routines of the day seem endless, until somehow they’re not. I guess it’s the best argument I can think of for not worrying about the future. Today, I may sigh and hold my breath as I gingerly reach into that bath water one more time. But tomorrow…maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I’ve done the work for now. Tomorrow’s turds…I’ll just leave that concern for a bright new day.