• The Tale of Flying Poop Boy

    by Christy Sillman

    I totally get it. My now running 12-month-old, Noah, has spent his entire life craving vertical freedom, so there’s no way in hell he’s lying down horizontal and immobile again… even for a two-minute diaper change. We both dread the diaper change. It represents the parent-child power struggle that will last the rest of our lives. What he doesn’t get is that the longer he sits in poop, the more red and raw his bottom will get. So this is one of those battles I must fight.

    Noah is an excellent pooper. He’s a 2-3 times a day pooper… I’m very happy with this because it confirms we’re getting adequate intake to produce such levels of output, which is very satisfying for this Pediatric ICU nurse. But now this means we’re facing two or three gorilla wrestling matches a day.

    Several weeks ago, I had to change him in a Target bathroom and he screamed so loudly that someone actually came in to see if HE was ok. I confirmed that I was torturing my child with the dreaded diaper change and while this woman with good intentions grabbed my attention away from Noah, he flipped over and stepped his shoe-covered foot into the poopy diaper. I was sure this was the worst it would ever get… until yesterday.

    It started like any other morning. Noah woke me up to his sing-songy coos at 7 a.m., but when I entered his room, I could smell the stench that instantly wipes the sleepiness out of this mom’s head unlike any Folgers brew can. I tried the usual tactics: give him an interesting object to hold, turn the ceiling fan on, sing a happy song, gently lay him down… I could tell we were getting nowhere fast. I instantly regretted putting my favorite while long-sleeved shirt on before I entered the room. So I lamented the fact that this would be yet another challenging standing diaper change for which I’ve developed a knack.

    My husband Steve has called me a professional diaper changer, which yes, is an integral part of my profession, but what he doesn’t understand is that I change sick children’s diapers. Sick children are weak, and in the pediatric ICU they are really sick, and sometimes even sedated or gloriously chemically paralyzed. I don’t do spunky He-man baby diaper changes. It’s foreign to me. I can change blow-outs around femoral central lines (big IV’s in the groin) and still keep them clean. I can whip out a change on a super sensitive intubated baby… but I’ve never encountered the fight and strength my son has. It’s those damn steroids he got when I went into preterm labor.

    So yesterday, before I could even notice what was happening, Noah did what I have feared for weeks.

    He leaped off the changing table.



    I wrapped my white-sleeved arms around his body mid flight, redefining the term “wardrobe malfunction” but not before he landed NAKED BALLS directly on the corner of the table.

    I watched my son experience his first testicle slam.

    It. Was. Awful.

    Breath taken away, silent scream, red-faced awful.

    He turned to me, wrapped his arms around me, and said for the first time with true emotion “MAMA!”

    This is NOT how imagined my first true “mama”.

    I held his poop-covered body for a good 10 minutes while he screamed in agony, trying to stay strong and calm for my sweet boy. He ultimately ended up in the bathtub and we spent a good half hour cuddling diaper free.

    It wasn’t until I put him down for his morning nap an hour later that I even noticed the poop in my hair. Now I understand the necessity of the short Mom hairdo, though I will take poop in my hair over the Kate Gossling crap-do. Poop washes out — crap-do takes years, or expensive extensions, to get rid of.

    Noah survived, though I do think he’s got residual post-traumatic stress disorder as evident by his first night-terror last night, and his general whines whenever I go near the changing table.

    Online parenting threads confirm that I am not the only parent who wrestles a baby gorilla every day, but I’m praying that the alumni parent’s words of wisdom, “It’s a phase that will pass” is true.

    Until then, we’re doing all diaper changes on the floor. Time to invest in some carpet cleaner.

      • David Lacy

      • March 6, 2011 at 7:46 am
      • Reply

      Occasionally I actually LOL when I read a column. I did SEVERAL times with this one. Worth the wait, and definitely worth the hype! 😉

    • This was so funny to me. I could see it so clearly in my mind. Raising two sons myself , I can only say “wait there is more to come.”

      • Hank Fradella

      • March 6, 2011 at 10:57 am
      • Reply

      I laughed. I cringed. And upon completing my read of this great column, I said a prayer with two intentions: hoping that Noah soon comes to embrace the changing of the diaper; and giving thanks for never having had to change a diaper myself.

      • Weinshilboum

      • March 6, 2011 at 11:59 am
      • Reply

      Thanks so much for putting into words the unexpected struggles of being a parent. I can relate to virtually this entire column–except, thankfully, for the poop in the hair part!

      • Jesse

      • March 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm
      • Reply

      I loved this column. It was fantastic for all of its poopy glory. It reminded me of my own kids poopy blow outs, and the horrible hairdo I got with my set of stretchmarks and a C-section scar. 21 was pretty hot for me!
      I just wish there was a link to that bad Kate Gossling do. I don’t know who she is. J

    • Hilarious! And, oh, poor little guy – lucky him to have such a great mom (and writer!).

      • Misara

      • March 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm
      • Reply

      OMG!!! Christy this article was hilarious!! Mishan and I both laughed outloud!! Awww poor Noah:(
      And yes you are definitely not alone with the diaper wrestling matches. Merrisa will come up to a full seated position despite her little legs being held down! Lol!! Omg!! But she’s never leaped! Hahahaha!! awwww….. Thanks for sharing. You’re an excellent writer! 🙂

      • Tracy

      • March 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm
      • Reply

      Bravo Christy! This has to be one of my all time favorite columns…so very funny and brings back lots of those ugly poopy diaper blow out memories.

    • Good work, Christy! 🙂

      • Theresa

      • March 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm
      • Reply

      I’m with David. Totally laughed out loud a number of times.
      Also, I think I say this with every column you write, so just assume from here on out that every new column you write is my new favorite column of yours!!

      Oh. And while carpet cleaner is obviously a must-have for every mom (I don’t have a favorite) I will tell you that Oxy Clean spray is easily my most heavily used cleaning product. Between having two toddlers who refuse to sit at the table to eat (and I’ll admit it – my affinity for red wine) I use Oxy Clean on nearly a daily basis.

      Anyway, I adored this column! Also an interesting insight to mothering a boy. Thankfully I’ve never had to cradle a sobbing baby who just experienced his first “testicle slam”!

    • Yep, same thing happened to me. I was twenty-four before my right testicle finally dropped down where it was supposed to be. This is why I was a virgin until I was in my mid twenties-or was it thirties? I used to take my son into the yard and spray him down with the waterhose.
      Oh yeah, I am going to have to call you Christypoopyhair. LOL

      • Grandpa Mike

      • March 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm
      • Reply

      Hey, I changed a massive AM poop yesterday, on the changing table, and no flying excrement! SUPER GRANDPA!

        • Auntie Lisa

        • April 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm
        • Reply

        Grandpa Mike, you rock!

      • Margie

      • March 9, 2011 at 10:11 pm
      • Reply

      Brilliant article Christy! I sat on the couch with my new best friend Medela and simultaneously prepared my newborns dinner, read your article, and started one hand typing a comment as Medela pumped up the jam. I laughed enough times to interrupt Jerry’s nightly news coma to inquire what was “SOOOO Funny”… so I read him the article and he in turn laughed it over again with me a second time. NICE WORK.. we loved it!

      • David Lacy

      • March 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm
      • Reply

      This is not longer “The Tale of Flying Poop Boy” — it’s THE LEGEND.

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