When baby number one was born
My poo experience started
Tonnes of black meconium
Squelched out each time he farted.
This grossly foul phenomenon
Developed as he grew
To high pressure liquid bombs
His aim was good and true.
One day I stood with trepidation
Backed against the wall
Grinning with a devilish glee
He let fire across the hall.
Although I jumped with lightening speed
Reactions way too slow
Clothes smeared in yellow shit
Was this how life would go?
Three years at university
Produced a learned thesis
None of it, oh none at all
Taught how to deal with faeces.
Number two arrived in no time
I know he couldn’t help it
But number one still wore his nappies
The house – you should have smelled it!
My second son, bless his heart
Did smooth ones, not grenades
But they had a horrid habit
Of oozing to his shoulder blades.
When the brown stain would appear
My husband, he would shout
“It’s going up, it’s going down
My god! I’m getting out!”
My two, they loved to crawl outside
One day I swear they did
Find a big cat poop just lying there
And smeared it from mouth to bib.
It really could have made me sick
But this urge I tried to quell
A pool of chunder on the deck
Would need cleaning up as well!
My man worked milking cows
His skill was true and tried
As soon as any cow tail cocked
Jumped swiftly to one side.
But tired was my man that night
When milking, was caught napping
Down his only new moleskins
A dairy cow went crapping.
At last the babies had their bath
Everything so sweet and clean
My husband came in from the farm
Cow excreta all over his jeans!
Despite my desperate efforts
My first stayed nappy clad
Toilet training without success
Was slowly driving me mad.
The laundry was a place of dread
The washing, I wouldn’t miss
Horrid bits floating in the tub
Wasn’t there more to life than this?
My third child came along too soon
It made me feel so blue
Oh why, I thought with deep despair
Did both boys still wear nappies too?
A great life event came in time
To stop me going dotty
I lifted number two right up
And found a poo there in the potty!
I tried and tested everything
It all took great persistence
From stickers, treats and lollies
To the threat “No toys at Christmas!”
Two years later I had it made
The loo battle finally won
Things were really looking up
My poo-filled days were gone.
What was that squashed under my foot?
I looked down with dismay
The rotten dog had left me a gift
I sighed and fetched my spade.
“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*
I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves – thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.
* Gloria Steinem