kids listen at the darndest times

There must be some sort of rule on the internet that you can’t talk about every day things if they happened more than a week ago, because with the amount of information and communication that is generated by the bazillions of computer users out there, a week in internet time is about a decade in real life. Maybe if you remember the days of letter writing, rotary telephones and long distance charges, you can recall when you could talk about that day at the park you had last month and have it still seem relevant. Now, it seems like you want to talk about what you did yesterday, and people look at you like “Get with it. Haven’t you heard? It’s today already, so stop living in the past!”

That being said, 6 days ago:

We’ve switched Brooklynn over to formula as THE BUFFET is now officially closed for business. And it’s been fine; she isn’t a fussy eater and will attempt to chew on anything that comes close to her mouth, so taking the bottle is a success.

On THE BUFFET, our girl was regular. Twice a day, every day, ranging from green to marigold with a little cottage cheese thrown in for good measure. I know that all of the book and online sites about breast milk vs. formula talk about the different in stool consistency, color, and frequency, but I never really paid much attention to all of that. I knew it would be different, enough said.

It’s different.

I’m not sure what other babies are like while doing their business, but Brooklynn has always been what I would consider to be an intense pooper. What with the clenching of fists, bulging of eyes, straightening of legs, and loud grunting, she makes her activities known. It’s a little like that feeling of when you are on a long road trip and realized you just passed the last stop for the next hour and you need to use the bathroom, and 50 minutes later you are doing 20 over the speed limit and deciding if a cop tries to pull you over if it would be better to keep driving to the next town or stop and run in to the ditch because both might be considered fleeing an officer and would every one else in the car not talk to me right now I’m concentrating on driving without defecating at the moment!

Brooklynn channels a little bit of that intensity.

Since the switch to formula, she isn’t nearly as regular, which a little internet research indicates is ok. As babies get older, their bodies get more efficient at processing food so there is less waste product to push out, and formula does tend to gum up the system a little. As long as the consistency isn’t harder than peanut butter, we should be fine.

Wait, peanut butter? They don’t say if it the natural kind with the oil that rises to the top and has to be stirred back in each time you use it, because that kind is still kind of goopy. Or is the chunky kind, because that might be a little disturbing. Maybe it’s the standard creamy kind that, when combined with a couple of saltine crackers and no liquid to drink, can leave you chewing for the next half hour.

After going on a little over 24 hours with no messy diapers, we went on poop watch. We laid her on the floor. We kicked her legs for her. We tried to fold her in half. Gas emissions we had aplenty, but nothing solid. No peanut butter or anything remotely resembling it.

Last Friday, when we were putting Brooklynn in her favorite place, the bath tub, Rhiannon told that if she needed to go in the tub, that if the warm water helped her move things along, it would be ok. Just go.

We were almost done with the bath and we folded her legs up to her head one last time. As soon as Brooklynn’s butt hit the water we had bubble. And bug eyes. And grunting.

At this point, what do you do? You know poop is coming. The baby is in a contained area that can be cleaned. Do you leave her in there? Attempt to get her out and get a diaper on her before anything escapes? Run screaming from the room at the imminent horror taking place in front of you?

Now, I’ve had first hand experience with poop in a tub before, so what did I do? I held her feet up, you know, to keep her legs clean and all. Because we weren’t going to have to give her a bath again or anything like that. Brooklynn did her stuttering grunt, clenched torso so her little belly stuck out, and pushed.

Having been up close and personal with her poop for the last two months, I was a little surprised to see how solid it was. It held up nicely in the water, showing good buoyancy and slowly floated away. She pushed again, and the same result. A couple of pieces, holding together and floating around in the tub. It was a little like watching those Play Doh toys, that you would put the dough in, press down on the lever, and watch it slowly squeeze out the side in a long tube of some shape. Our shape was predictably round, and I have to say if I ever see a star or spaghetti string cross section of poo come out of her butt, I am just going to walk away.

By the end, the consistency was much more liquid and quickly dispersed through the water leaving us with a yellow-brown cloudy mess, punctuated by floating hazards. At this point, Brooklyn was either feeling much better and happy or just proud of her accomplishments and happy, so when I let go of her feet to try and figure out a good way to grab her out of the tub, she started to kick her legs around and have a grand old time.

We ended up filling a bath in the tub in our room and bathing her all over again. I scooped out as much of the solid as I could before draining the water and rinsing the rest down the drain.

She’s still only pooping every 24 to 36 hours, but we certainly have not told her it’s ok to go in the tub since then. Surprisingly enough, kids listen to their parents once in a while, and I’m not prepared to take that kind of chance again.