Of late, Abby has made a habit of talking about poop. I've read it's supposed to be one of those signs of toilet-training "readiness," though my actual experiences with her have indicated that she is anything but. In Abby's case, I think she just finds the concept of it interesting, especially since she hears Mommy and Daddy talk about it so much (in our clearly futile attempt to get her thinking about the possibility of leaving diapers behind).
So it was, a couple of weeks ago, that a red flag did not go up when it should have. Really, the first clue for me should have been the relative calm and silence in the room. It was far too quiet for far too long, but I had just spent about 60 minutes trying to soothe Mia into a blissful sleep, and I was too tired to pay much attention. I was also pretty well rooted in my seat on the couch, which has as its greatest disadvantage a huge blind spot just beyond the end of the IKEA shelf that divides the room in half.
Still struggling to catch my breath from the rocking, bouncing and patting workout I'd just completed to secure and maintain the happiness of the sleeping baby on my chest, I elected to assume that my two eldest were simply playing nicely, for once. When Abby started talking about poop, and how Michael was covered with it, and how it was "everywhere," I figured she'd taken her fascination with the stuff and applied it to some fantasy play.
(Really, what was I thinking? Looking back, that was a little too involved an imagined scenario, even for Abby.)
This was not actually the case, which Tom's expression upon coming down to collect Michael for his nap clearly communicated.
"What is that he's playing with?!" Tom exclaimed. "Is that... poop?"
My head shot up at the question. "What? Was Abby playing with her diaper again? Did she get it on Michael?"
"No- maybe it's chocolate," Tom said, hopefully. But as he sniffed the air and gingerly approached, he suddenly reared back in disgust. "Nope. Not chocolate. Poop. Gracie poop."
Suddenly, it all made sense. Every cat who's ever owned me has at least once gotten a little dingleberry stuck and tried to eliminate the problem by knocking it off somewhere, usually on a bedspread or bit of clean laundry. Gracie, being longhaired, is more prone to it than any other I've encountered, but I've always had the fortune of discovering her leave-behinds before the kids do.
That was not so on this occasion. She had apparently discarded her hanger-on against a toy dish, which Michael had found and positively coated with the stuff. He then proceeded to paint his cheeks like a warring Scotsman from Braveheart.
It was disgusting.
Abby, at least, had had the good sense to stay pretty uninvolved, though she did somehow manage to get a bit on her hands, judging by the smell of them.
Needless to say, showers were quickly taken, babies scrubbed, toys and other contaminated items discarded.
Miraculously, the rug was left unscathed.
The next time Abby starts to talk about poop, you can bet I'll be listening.