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Do drug dealers know about this?

Sunday night I noticed how bloodshot Madison’s eyes were and, because we’ve all been passing around colds like notes in a boring history class, my first thought was: Oh, crap. Pink eye.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how contagious pink eye is or what a pain in the butt it is trying to make sure no one else gets it. Because the moment you tell yourself not to touch your eyes under any circumstances that is when they become itchy and watery and you get an eyelash in them. Then you reflexively rub them and spend the next few days freaking out, worrying you’re going to get pink eye too.

The eye doctor’s prognosis the following afternoon was a relief: an infection/irritation from contacts. The treatment? Eye drops, twice a day for five days. Unfortunately, she’d said, they didn’t have any samples so she’d have to write me a prescription, which I promptly went to fill at my usual pharmacy and was told they didn’t have it. The second pharmacy did have it (yay!) and they told me it would cost $186 (boo!). That was with a discount, by the way, or it would have been $239. Somehow that didn’t make me feel grateful to “only” be paying one hundred eighty-six dollars(!). For eye drops. To be used twice a day for five days. Does the math jump out at you too? That’s ten drops at $18.60 each.

ZyletLucas took the calculations further. The 5 mL bottle we got constitutes only 8% active ingredients. Let’s make it easy and round up to an even 10%. That means we bought 0.5 mL of active ingredients for $186. There are 3,785.41 mL to a gallon. (Thank goodness for free online weights and measurement converters.) Divide 3,785.41 by 0.5 and you get 7,570.82. Multiply that by $186 and you get a whopping $1.4 million. So, what did we learn today, class? One gallon of the active ingredients in the eye drops is worth $1.4 million. Think about that the next time you think buying a gallon of milk for $3.29 is expensive.

I’m wondering if drug dealers know about this. Instead of risking decades in prison and thousands of dollars in fines to peddle heroin in the streets for a couple hundred bucks a gram, they could be millionaires selling eye drops on the black market. I’ll bet they’d feel pretty silly if you explained this to them.

Anyway, since Madison can’t wear contacts for five days she has to wear her glasses to school. They’re an old pair with one badly scratched lens from the time she slept over at a friend’s house and the dog chewed them. I’ll give you ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-SIX reasons why I don’t feel that sorry for her, starting with the fact this is largely her fault for not taking proper care of her contacts.

Tuesday night I got an email from her high school. They’re usually just to remind parents about upcoming half-days or school concerts and the like. In other words, I usually send them to Trash unread. But this message was to inform me that Madison was “marked absent from one or more classes” and I should contact the attendance office. Instead of accusing her of ditching, which is what I naturally assumed, I asked her if there was anything interesting about her day she wanted to tell me. No, there wasn’t. I played her the message and she still didn’t confess. We logged on to her school website and found she’d been marked absent from English. That’s her 4th period class right before her 5th hour lunch. Highly suspicious.

Madison insisted she’d been present and would talk to her teacher about it. When she did so on Wednesday her English teacher admitted she made a mistake. The reason? She hadn’t recognized Madison in her glasses. I think that’s incredibly HILARIOUS. I mean, didn’t you think it was ridiculous no one recognized Clark Kent and Superman were identical except one wore glasses and the other had a curlicue of hair in the front? Well, apparently glasses are indeed enough to fool everyone in Metropolis and English teachers.

You can keep that disguise in mind if you’re ever on the run from the law for selling heroin. You’re welcome.

Remember P.E.?

P.E. equipmentP.E. started out fun in elementary school. It was like an extra recess and once a month – woohoo! – parachute day! This is how they get you, lure you in before they spring Field Day on you. Then you’re on the playground running back and forth to grab a pile of chalkboard erasers one by one, like anyone really deserves a blue ribbon for doing that the fastest. That was in addition to all the relay races and X-number-of-yard dashes you had to run. We were like race horses on that field. It was the one day a year the ambulatory kids envied the kids on crutches and in wheelchairs.

And what was with the shot put event? It’s not like I was in training for that. On Field Day I was just shoved into this contest for throwing a heavy metal ball the farthest into a sandpit. My spaghetti arms could barely lift that ball. For weaklings like me, it was like being slung into The Hunger Games, only instead of death the losers got white participation ribbons.

Then in sixth grade, when discomfort with our bodies and awkwardness around boys had peaked, we had a week of sex education. We were given information of such a sensitive nature that it required a signed parent permission slip. What did those sadistic gym teachers do then? They introduced square dancing. Every afternoon they played records in the gymnasium while we had to promenade, allemande left, and do-si-do with our partner. Because that’s exactly what we needed after embarrassing talk about anatomy, ovulation, and hair growth. Thanks for timing that just right, P.E. teachers.

Middle school offered a little relief but also a whole new set of problems. We were no longer co-ed but now we had to dress out in the most unflattering gym uniform ever designed. Seriously, it takes actual work to design a simple cotton tee shirt and pair of shorts that look hideous on every body type. Plus, we had to write our names on them in black marker. So when the 8th graders wanted to yell at you to get of their way, they could call you by name.

Even worse than the lame uniform, which we wore no matter how cold or rainy it was, we had to run a mile every week. Nothing got you out of this. I know because I tried. “Oh, you were absent that day? That’s okay, you can make it up at lunch.” Try skipping out on that and you’d be staying after school. You couldn’t just walk the mile either because my gym coach kept strict records of everyone’s times and expected you to do better each week. And if you didn’t? That’s right – you ran it again.

When you thought it couldn’t get any worse… BOOM. You got your period and it’s rope climb day. Because the ropes were only installed when they’d be used for P.E., lest the boys play on them unsupervised, this was necessarily a co-ed activity. The boys would shoot up and down their ropes like monkeys. Us girls advanced a few inches and hung there while the coaches barked at us to “just try.” We were trying – trying to look cute while dangling in the air without getting our hands calloused from the braided rope or letting the boys see up our shorts.

Finally, high school. Just this one more year and then we were done with P.E. for life. The activities were more of the same but the coaches were more lax. At least, my best friend and I got away with halfhearted performance. My daughter had it really easy. She was only required to have one semester of “traditional” P.E. The second semester was an elective of their choosing. It could be Yoga and Pilates or Aerobics and Nutrition. They could take a racquet sports class and spend their days playing badminton and tennis, or choose an outdoor recreation activity class and play sand volleyball and Frisbee golf. Or they could opt for women’s sports and bowl, golf, rock climb, and practice archery. That sounds so much better than the days of flag football on a frosty field that I remember.

I got to thinking about all of this the other night while laying in bed, pondering joining an aerobics class. It’s not that I want to exercise, per se. It’s that I’d like to tone my stomach and flabby arms and since that doesn’t happen while sitting on the couch eating Cheetos, I might have to join a women’s gym. If you would have told me when I was a kid that one day I’d pay to workout and hire a personal trainer, which is basically a P.E. teacher for adults, I’d have found the strength to hurl that shot put ball right into your face.

The Haircut: A Dramatic Production

“To cut my hair, or not to cut my hair. That is the question,” Madison said. Rather than follow the obvious thread about haircuts, I asked her which of Shakespeare’s plays the “to be or not to be” quote came from. She answered correctly and then I quizzed her on what she knew about Hamlet’s soliloquy. She was in no mood for a lesson.

“English Schminglish. Mom, MY HAIR. I’m thinking of getting bangs.”

Okay. I’ve always been liberal when it comes to hair. If Madison wanted to get a hot pink mohawk, I’d let her. I’d rather she express herself with a wild hairstyle than piercings or tattoos, which are NOT ALLOWED in this house. Since her taste leans toward what’s trendy, hair hasn’t been a huge concern. So, now she wants bangs? No big deal.


You’re familiar with the hormonal make-up of a teenage girl, right? Then you realize few things in life are more traumatic than a bad haircut and bangs cannot be undone. I will have to drive Madison home from the salon and live with her every single day until her bangs grow out.

I tried to plant a seed of doubt. “Your hair is so pretty. You want to change it? Are you sure you really want to do that?”

She was sure. Madison had already discussed her plan with a friend, who immediately turned serious. “I got bangs last summer,” she said ominously and pulled out her cell phone. ”This is a picture of me the day after my haircut.” The photo showed the girl using a headband to pull back her hair, camouflaging the bangs. “Don’t do it,” she warned. But even the friend’s admonition didn’t dissuade Madison. I ensured a “cooling off period” by making a hair appointment a few days out. And yes, she was still sure.

I took her to Great Clips and sat there like a person waiting for their loved one to come out of surgery. I read my Kindle, kicking my leg nervously, fidgeting. When it was over I asked, “Do you like it?” Stupid question. She’s not going to say no in front of the stylist but I was looking for any signs of drama coming. Pouty face? Teary eyes? Nothing.

Then we walked out the door and the very first thing she said to me was, “Can we go to Target and get some headbands?”

Uh oh.

Madison with bangs poster

Target was just a short walk around the corner in the same strip mall. Of course I said we could buy headbands. I had a teenage girl with haircut-regret. Get me headbands, STAT!

Before we even made it inside the store, paranoia was setting in. She thought everyone was staring at her.

“No one is staring at you,” I said. “How do they know you got a haircut? As far as they know, this is the way you’ve always looked.”

She pointed an accusing finger. ”That guy was staring at me.”

“Well, you’re beautiful. People will look at you. There’s no reason to think they’re staring or attribute it to anything else.” It’s true that she’s beautiful but flattery at this stage is very important.

Once inside Target, I rushed her to the hair products aisle. Bows. Elastic hair bands. Barrettes. Hair clips. Headwraps and headbands. Thank God for the headbands.

“Does it look all even?” she asked.

“Yes, I promise you. They look fine.”

Without a mirror, just by simply running her fingers along her bangs, she was sure they were a jagged mess and declared she was NEVER going back to that salon again. And now what was she going to do? How was she going to even them out? How was she ever going to show her face in public again? Who was going to be her friend now that she has these rugged hairs on her forehead?

I kept her from an emotional breakdown using distraction. “How about these headbands? Do you like these?”

She found a few she liked, some black and some brown. I’d have bought one in every color of the rainbow to make her feel better. Yes, she was warned. Yes, she’s old enough to have to live with her decisions. Yes, I’m her mother and not her friend but we’re both girls and girls do not let each other deal with a bad haircut alone.

When we got home she asked her Dad, “How do I look?”

Lucas thought it over for a second and then blurted, “You look like a Russian spy.”

WHAT?! Alright, I could kind of see what he was talking about. Long and straight, dark brown hair with bangs to her eyebrows. Like Angelina Jolie in Salt.

I was extremely concerned about Madison’s reaction to this brutal honesty. And do you know what she did? SHE LAUGHED. She actually thought it was funny. Now if I had said that to her, things would not have gone the same. Not even close. But Madison and her Dad have a relationship where he gets a free pass for these kinds of comments. Maybe because sometimes you really do need someone to give it to you straight and sometimes you need someone to lighten the mood with humor. Pretty soon she did feel better and by the end of the night she was embracing her new Russian spy alter-ego, Natasha. She decided her bangs were straight after all and the Great Clips boycott was canceled.

You know what I think? I think next time Madison wants a haircut her Dad can take her.

That Famous Lipstick Trick

Nothing goes with being grounded like watching The Breakfast Club. That was true for my generation and I’m glad it’s still true for gen-Y. Except when they watch it they don’t have to rewind a tape or watch the edited version with commercials. (Like everyone doesn’t know John Bender has weed.) The irony of watching high school kids in Saturday detention while I was actually grounded was totally lost on me.

Breakfast Club

So anyway, Madison was grounded and she’d been pouting hanging out in her room all day watching movies on her computer. Then we all had to go somewhere and we had the following conversation in the car:

Madison: You guys interrupted me in the middle of watching The Breakfast Club.

Lucas: When I was your age, Madison, not only did we have to go to Blockbuster to rent a movie on VHS, but we didn’t have a VCR. So we had to rent a TV/VCR combo also. I remember watching it like eight times in one day. I used to be so in love with that girl.

Madison: Which one?

Me: Molly Ringwald?

Madison: Who is she?

Me:  The princess.

Lucas: No, not her. I mean the other one.

Me: Ally Sheedy?

Madison: Which one is she?

Me: The weird one. The dark-haired girl.

Madison: Ew!

Lucas: Just wait. She blows that other girl out of the water.

Me: No way. Molly Ringwald is so much prettier.

Lucas: Not even. Just wait until you get to the end, Madison. (to me) I was the same way with Mary Stuart Masterson.

Me: Who?

Lucas: Mary Stuart Masterson. The drummer chick from Can’t Buy Me Love.

Madison: I’m going to watch that too!

Me: (to Lucas) You’re thinking of Some Kind of Wonderful. (to Madison) I saw Can’t Buy Me Love in theaters when I was in SIXTH GRADE. I’m glad to know the classics aren’t dead.

Lucas: Have you gotten to the part where they smoke weed yet?

Madison: No.

Melissa: You know, I always had to watch it on TV. They never show that part.

Madison: I know they dance. I saw it on a preview.

Lucas: Did you know Molly Ringwald was supposed to dance by herself but she was so embarrassed they made everyone do it?

Melissa: Really? That’s funny.

Lucas: Have you gotten to the part where he says “Neo-maxi zoomdweebie?”

Madison: No. Who says it?

Me: John Bender.

Madison: Who’s he?

Me: The criminal guy.

Lucas: Neo-maxi zoomdweebie. Didn’t he just make that up?

Me: Yes.

Lucas: On the spot?

Me: I don’t know.

Lucas: Have you gotten to the part where she does her trick yet?

Madison: Who?

Me: Molly Ringwald. THE PRINCESS.

Madison:Gees! You don’t have to yell. What does she do?

Lucas: You have to watch it.

Madison: Tell me.

Lucas: It’s a visual thing.

Madison: TELL ME!

Me: She puts her lipstick between her breasts, leans over, and puts her lipstick on. There. Now you know.

Madison: (demonstrating) Like this?

Me: (to Madison) YES. (to Lucas) I wonder how many girls watched that and actually tried it.

Lucas: Probably an entire generation of girls.

Me: I didn’t. Oh my gosh! Am I the only one?

And people, I did go to camp in seventh grade. We didn’t do that. We did, however, eat copious amounts of Fudgesicles and spend most of the time looking for a date to the banquet held on the last night of camp. My date looked like Matthew Lawrence. Totally better than learning how to put on lipstick with my breasts.

Down at our Rendezvous

A blog I was reading the other day made a reference to Three’s Company. A few months ago I met a man who looked and dressed like Jack Tripper’s friend Larry. (It was all I could do not to ask if he was going to the Regal Beagle later.) In both cases the theme song got stuck in my head, except I never could understand the words.

I’m not especially bad at understanding lyrics. To this day I can do Paula Abdul’s rap from “Cold-Hearted Snake” and I know all the words to R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” which I learned in case of an emergency impromptu karaoke performance. Like if I was being chased by gun-toting thugs and escaped into a karaoke bar and had to sing because no way would they attack me on stage. While the audience gave me a standing ovation I’d slip out the back door and the bad guys would be delayed weaving through the crowd. It could happen.

Anyway, the theme song. The beginning I got: “Come and knock on our door… We’ve been waiting for you… Where the kisses are hers and hers and his, three’s company too.”

Then I heard, “Come and dance on our floor… take a step at us nude…” I know “take a step at us nude” makes no sense but with all of the sexual innuendo in the show I guess I thought it fit. The rest was gibberish to me, “we’ve got all of the space that needs a face, three’s company too. You’ll be that da-da-da da-da-da calling for you. Da-na-na betty-boo. Three’s company too.”

If that song was going to be in my head then I needed to know the right words. So I Googled it and I can’t believe I didn’t do that the day Google was invented because that was seriously bugging me. The mistaken lyrics are actually, “Come and dance on our floor… take a step that is new… We’ve a lovable space that needs your face, three’s company too. You’ll see that life is a frolic and laughter is calling for you. Down at our rendez-vous… Three’s company too.”

If you know me well then you know exactly where I went with this next… What’s a schlemiel and schlimazel? Is Hassenfeffer Incorporated an actual business? You guys, I’m going to clear up the mystery of the Laverne & Shirley theme song for you right now. The beginning is an American-Yiddish hopscotch chant. A schlemiel is an inept clumsy person. A schlimazel is a chronically unlucky person. Think of it like this: a schlemiel knocks over a glass of water and it lands in the shlimazel’s lap. Hassenfeffer isn’t a corporation. It’s a German stew made with rabbit meat, onions, and wine. Ew.

Now you’ll have this information in case you’re ever a contestant on a quiz show. It could happen.

Fava Beans and Chianti

Lucas and I had this conversation today:

Me:  “Whenever I put on lotion by rubbing my hands together I always think in my head, ‘Ahhh, everything is going exactly according to my plan.’”

Lucas:  “That’s funny. I always think, ‘It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again.’”

I give him a blank stare.

Lucas:  “Didn’t you ever see Silence of the Lambs?”

Me:  “Yeah, once. Cowering in a sleeping bag.” I know it’s something about Hannibal Lecter and I vaguely remember something gross about fava beans and chianti.

Fava beans and Chianti

Lucas:  “Seriously?” Then he briefly explained about some psycho and a woman he held captive in a well.

Me:  “Does she get away?”

Lucas:  “You have to see the movie.”

Me:  “No, you have to tell me. Does she get away?”

Lucas:  “Yes, she does. It’s a happy story.”

Me:  “I know it’s not. You’re just trying to trick me into watching it.”

Lucas:  “No, really. It is. She gets away. The bad guy gets his just desserts. The person you’re rooting for gets rewarded. It’s a happy story.”

I consider this for a moment. I mean, it’s weird that someone would call Silence of the Lambs “a happy story,” right? So I say, “Thanks for giving me material to write about.”

Lucas:  “What do you mean?”

Me:  “I’m going to blog about this so psychologists and psychiatrists all across the country can leave me a comment with your diagnoses.”

He capitulated. “Okay, so it’s not a happy story, per se. It’s not a movie you would take the kids to. The bad guy is evil but it does have a happy ending.”

Okay, I’ll settle for that – a happy ending to a creepy story. But I don’t think I’ll be putting on lotion again any time soon.

Nap Time with the Choates

I’m militant about nap time. No matter where I am with the kids or what we’re doing, when nap time is approaching I go home and put my kids to bed.

The first step in trying to get Hudson and Jolie to sleep at the same time is to get Hudson down first. He’s three and sleep-trained so this is the easy part of the process. Except it wasn’t the other day.

Hudson and Jolie

Sometimes he plays dumb to be funny. So as I walked him down the hall to his bedroom he pointed to the closed bathroom door. “It’s this one?”

I laughed. “No, Hudson. That’s not your room.”

Then the linen closet. “It’s this one?”

“No, not this one.”

Then my bedroom. “It’s this one?”

“No, not this one either.” Another closet, another bedroom, and we’ve made it to his bedroom. Then Hudson pretended he forgot how to lay in bed. He laid sideways, dangling his legs hanging over the edge. “It’s this way?”

“No. Lay with your head on the pillow.”

He put his head on the pillow and his legs straight up in the air. “It’s this way?”

“No, silly. Lay down the right way.”

Jolie was nodding off in my arms and I was anxious to lay her down. There’s a short window of time wherein if you don’t put her down she gets a jolt of energy and starts fighting the sleep. Then forget about her nap for another hour. So I’m feeling the pressure like the timer on a bomb is running out. After another minute of Hudson’s feigned ignorance I said, “What is the matter with you? It’s nap time! Go to sleep. I’ll be back to check on you. I expect you to be laying down with your eyes closed.” When I came back I found him under his bed with his legs sticking out like the Wicked Witch of the East when Dorothy’s house flattened her. But he was asleep so, yes, I absolutely left him there.

One down and one to go.

Except… KABOOM! Timer ran out. Bomb detonated. Jolie was awake and wanted to eat because Mommy gets no rest. After I fed her and was attempting to rock her to sleep, Madison decided she wanted Jimmy John’s for lunch. It’s a gourmet sandwich place that just opened in our area. It’s also her favorite place in the world to eat and the best part is they deliver.

“Do I have to tip them?” she asked.

“Of course.”

“Is $1.50 good? I mean, this is just a sandwich.”

“How much is it?”

“Like $5.50.”

“Yes, that’s fine.” I said.

Madison decided to order online so she could get an order number and track the delivery of her sandwich. You know, GPS that BLT.

Online ordering required a bunch of redtape. Create an account. Enter email. Confirm email. Choose a password – at least eight characters using a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers.

“Wait, why are there terms and conditions?”

“There always are. Just check ‘accept.’” (And that’s how I taught her to arbitrarily sign away her legal rights.)

Then she had to choose the Jimmy John’s nearest to her location. “Mom, which one of these is the closest to us?” She rattled off addresses like I’m Google Maps or something until I heard the one that’s a few miles away.

Moments later: “My log-in failed!” Frustrated, she considered giving up but she’d already invested so much. She had to assess her financial situation: could she afford this sandwich with tip? Then she had to Google their website, create the account. Email. Password. She tried again and was successful.

“Wait! This says they reserve the right to make changes to any order.” This is a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo just to order a sandwich. Such a litigious society we live in that there might be lawsuits over a BLT. But Madison doesn’t take this threat lightly. “If I get a different sandwich I’m not paying for it!”

“You won’t. They just say that just in case.” She looked skeptical but she was hungry and with the order submitted there was no turning back. It was a wait-and-see situation.

Five minutes later she looked panicked. “Wait! I didn’t give them my address.”

I wondered how she could complete an online order without entering her address. “Call them. They probably think the order is for carryout then.”

This was upsetting news to her. If she wanted to call them she’d have done so in the first place. But call them she did and I completely tuned out that conversation because I wasn’t willing to expend any more effort on her lunch. Remember, I was still rocking Jolie. Still waiting for some peace and quiet.

Then what happened? Jolie just fell asleep when the doorbell rang. Do I have to explain what happens in a house with two dogs when a stranger rings the doorbell? Barking. Startled baby. Crying. More rocking.

But Madison got the BLT she ordered. Jimmy John’s didn’t exercise their legal right to make changes to her order. So at least someone was happy.

How My Son Got Poop on His Face

Potty training. It’s not for the chicken-hearted. I’ll gladly sit through a screaming toddler’s haircut or give a teenager driving lessons but please don’t send me into the bathroom with a two year-old to coach him through a bowel movement.

The awful irony about Hudson is that he hates to have a poopy butt yet doesn’t want to go in the potty. When he feels the urge coming on he finds a private spot. Sometimes it’s in the game room or the kitchen. Sometimes it’s behind the couch. You can hear him grunting and you just know he’s pooping. When I ask, “Hudson, are you going poo-poo?” he yells back, “Go away!” Then I try to coax him out with, “Don’t you want to go in the potty like a big boy?” No response.

(I know, I know. I could forcibly set him on the toilet but I’m trying not to make the potty training process traumatic. Plus, Hudson always seems to go Number Two when I’m making dinner or feeding Jolie or doing anything that’s hard to walk away from, as if he plans his bowel movements like secret operative missions.)

As soon as he’s finished doing his business in his hiding place he strips off his shorts. Then he’ll come out walking with his legs apart like he’s straddling a horse. “Mommy, I’m poopy,” he’ll say regretfully, like it was an unexpected, unavoidable accident. Then I clean him up and change him. That’s the best case scenario. It can go worse.

Like the other night…

I was feeding and rocking Jolie. Lucas and Madison finished washing the cars in the driveway and were going to take Hudson swimming. While I was distracted with the baby and Lucas and Madison changed into swimsuits, Hudson sneaked off to the hallway to make a quick poo. Afterwards, he stripped off his shorts and his diaper. (They don’t make the adhesive on that tape strong enough, do they?) He dropped his diapey on the floor, scattering poop balls.

Poop balls. On the floor. Seriously, how does Hudson’s poop come out in perfectly formed brown balls like Whoppers?


His yucky business complete, Hudson was making his way back to the living room when he felt kind of “sticky” so he wiped his butt with his hands. He wiped his butt. With his hands. Then, in a fateful coincidence, he got an itch on his face. So he scratched it. With poopy fingers.

He came in the room, riding that ghost horse, arms outstretched like Frankenstein, and said, “Daddy, I’m poopy.”

Lucas sprang into action. Madison, who always walks into a room with impeccable timing, noticed her half naked brother’s awkward gait and the brown smears on his face and you can literally read in her face that she’s making the horrible realization. “Wait, is… is that… that’s not chocolate?”

“Nope, ” Lucas confirmed, going to work on Hudson with baby wipes.

“Ewww!” Madison ran out of the living room like she was escaping a burning building.

Once he had wiped the yuck off Hudson, Lucas went back to the scene of the crime to clean-up the poop balls. Eventually, the three of them made it to the pool.

Wow. I just wrote an entire post about poop. If this wasn’t a mommyblog before it sure is now.