Potty Talk


Since the hooligans were hours old, the Wild Boar and I have always discussed, often in great detail, the poops of our children.

Sounds odd but I’m speaking of it in terms of health.

It’s a subject I never thought would be a part of my life.  As a parent you worry, wonder and think about it on a daily basis. 

Let’s face it, up until you have kids the only pooping habits you are concerned with are your own.

As soon as hooligan number one was born, the question of the day started with the nurses in the hospital. 

It’s the first time management of another human being’s poop is so important and falls completely in your hands.

Did he poop?

A lot?

How many times?

The pediatrician asked the same questions. 

How often?

What color is it?

And this is where life and marriage changes.  You and your mate are no longer discussing weekend plans but how many times a day your precious infant did the poop-de-doo.

The Wild Boar would always call me to see how my day was going.  Inevitably the conversation would always end up going something like this..

Wild Boar:  Did the baby poop today?

Me:  Yes.

Wild Boar:  How many times?

Me:  Um, twice.

Wild Boar:  Was it hard or soft?

Me: Normal.

Wild Boar: What’s normal?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

The point being, the pooping habits of your baby become a happy event.  You know if they are pooping, they are healthy.  And that doesn’t change as they grow older. 

As toddlers and as they age they stop necessarily pooping everyday (or hourly as an infant) and you find yourself wondering, “when was the last time?”

Even last night, one of the hooligans said, “I feel slow and sluggish”.  The Wild Boar looked right at me and said, “when’s the last time he pooped?” 

Thankfully, I really had no idea because my job as poop manager is more than over.  Thank goodness.

But this reminded me of earlier times when two kids were in diapers and I was fully immersed in Poop Management 101.

However, I often wondered and obviously still do if we were the only ones who had so many of these conversations?

Maybe because he was a doctor we talked about it more than other couples.  But really I have no idea.

Did you and your mate call each other during the day and ask if the baby pooped? 

I still find it funny and strange to this day.

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63 Comments

  1. Rita 1

    that the one thing chinese doctors always ask “how’s ur poop?” LOL

    Reply
  2. Philly 2

    Now that the kids are grown, we make sure the dog has pooped!

    #1

    Reply
  3. April in CT 3

    We don’t have children, but always discuss the dogs poop. How strange that you bring it up because I never really thought about it! LOL

    Is it odd that as I was reading this I swear I smelled the faint scent of a baby diaper? Have you installed the smell-o-vision plug in?

    Reply
  4. The Captain could care less, unless there was a problem.
    I was alone in the poopy patrol department.
    The joys of motherhood. (sigh)

    Reply
  5. We talked about it way more than I ever thought we would. And now Maddie feels the need to talk about everytime she has to go- in detail.

    Reply
  6. Lisa 6

    Oh Poop! A subject we know well in this house! You are not the only ones! When my kids were smaller we discussed their poop on a daily basis? My youngest child decided after potty training that he didn’t need to poop every day (which highly concerned us, but Doc said pooping every other day was OK). He still has poop issues. I have to ask him ‘when is the last time you pooped?â€￾ He’s 11 now, I sometimes am outside the bathroom door while he is on the pot asking….Evan? Did you poop? No answer…Evan? I eventually get a groan, hear a flush, and he exits the bathroom, highly aggravated, and will tell me “yeah I poopedâ€￾. Well I see no evidence when you flush mister!!!!

    My father-in-laws advice for everything that ails you…â€￾take a crap, it’ll fix itâ€￾.

    Reply
  7. Not having kids, the only poop we refer to is the cats, unless one of us has what my grandmother called the “trots”, in which case, great hilarity ensues all at the expense of the poor person who really isn’t feeling very well. Yeah, we’re a sick family:)

    Right now, we’re more interested in pee because one of our male cats went through a period a year ago where he just couldn’t pee, which is extremely dangerous to male cats.

    There, now you know way more than you ever wanted or needed to know about me (hee hee)

    Reply
  8. We must have skimmed that chapter in parenting. We did talk about lightly, such as with our first daughter when she became constipated. Other than that, we stuck to who had runny poo-poos and bargaining over diaper changing. TOG still maintains that poopy diapers don’t stink to a mother!

    Reply
  9. Sassy 9

    I was always the poop master when the kids were babies, their father had a very weak stomach and had very little to do with poop.

    But oddly, now, i often get a running account of his bowel movements. I have noticed this same thing with going on with our friends…..is it a man thing? An old man thing? To announce their poops? Or is my husband ummmm……unique?

    Just between you and me, i`d rather talk about the babies poops.

    Reply
  10. LOL…We kept records of my twins’ intake and outgo in a notebook! Talk about anal…

    Reply
  11. I was an aupair for 2 kids with a dad doctor. And yes we talked poop… Thanks for reminding me what was long forgotten…

    Reply
  12. Barbie with a T 12

    Poop is a fact of life. No matter what stage of life you are in. From birth to the end of your life. When you go to the doctor for no matter what symptoms and he does a physical exam, there are always the gastrointestinal inquiry. How are your BM’s? When you get older, it is always a topic of conversation between two married people when one asks the other how they are feeling today. Almost daily in essence. So poop is a fact of life. Don’t forget, you also are in constant awareness when you have a cat or a dog as a pet. Almost as aware as you are of your children. So as life goes on, a person generally becomes involved in a lot more poops than their own. Gee, I didn’t realize I was actually an expert on the subject. You are on your way to becoming a poop expert yourself, you just don’t realize it.

    Reply
  13. The only talk we had about baby poop went like this, “Aw, SH*T! The baby pooped on me again when I was changing his/her diaper!” They have amazing aim even as tiny infants and they know that the moment you lift their little bottoms to put the diaper underneath is just the time to let it fly.

    No, we didn’t talk about it. I’m not even sure how aware dh was about baby/small child poop unless we were waiting for something to emerge like the time we thought ds had fed his 2 month old sister a penny. The hotline said she would just poop it out, I was skeptical. She was only 2 *months* old, not 2 *years* old! I actually found the slobber covered penny in the brown shag carpet, but I wasn’t convinced there hadn’t been another, so I watched her diaper for weeks until I was sure she hadn’t swallowed a penny. Boy were we surprised when she came to us one day when she was 13 and said she had pooped a penny. (Nah, not really. She never swallowed one.)

    I did notice when they seemed constipated or when they had diarrhea and I made adjustments for that. Isn’t it bananas or rice water for diarrhea and a little molasses water for constipation? That seems right, but it’s been awhile.

    Reply
  14. Leah 14

    Since I haven’t any children, but have taken care of others – , both the mother and I would tease the other and say things like, “What the heck did you feed that child yesterday!?” as one of us had to change the diaper’s from the previous night’s meal.

    This makes me laugh, 1) its normal to poop and 2) you should do this daily and I share my concerns with my fellow – hey did you poop today?!? and of course, yes we talk about the other child, the dog, and if and when he pooped…then of course where I live, one has to pick up said doggie poop.

    What lovely conversation to have with you all at this time in the morning… rofl!
    Have a good pooping day! lol

    Reply
  15. There has been plenty of “poop talk” in our house over the years! between the kids and pets–poop is a big subject around here. My husband and I have had some phone calls like that–but he’s sqeamish, so it usually stopped at “Did the baby have a dirty diaper? How many?” I don’t think he could stomach a conversation about color and consistency!!

    Reply
  16. my kids never pooped much, so yes, I was very concerned by their bowel habits.

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  17. Molly 17

    Oh Lord yes. Pooping is still more of a conversation piece in our household than I would like.

    Reply
  18. dlyn 18

    Extensive poop discussions are part of parenting! When the kids and grands were here for 3 months earlier this year, I was reminded of the intensity of poop-interest. Now that they are gone, I have to say I do not mind the dearth of poop conversations. We keep our poop to ourselves around here. :)

    Oh yeah – a little something for you on my blog today!

    Reply
  19. By the time I met my ‘mate’ the kid was approaching 5 so this isn’t a subject that ever came up.

    His birth mother decided shortly after birth that she really didn’t want kids. Discussion in the year we remained together was limited. Basicly he was either in day-care or I changed diapers. I did discuss poop with his day care person.

    Reply
  20. marye 20

    Cathy, my friend, you are weird. I have 8 kids and if we discussed poop all the time…
    ew.
    Maybe you can use this as a random fact because I just tagged you for a meme on Baking delights…HA!

    Reply
  21. jancd 21

    My oldest daughter liked to get on the school bus with friends, so she always walked to her house to get on the bus. This girl’s mother was a poop snoop and would always insist this kid poop before she got on the bus. The girl quickly figured out that if she stalled on pooping, they would miss the bus and the mom would have to dress and take them to school in the car. Kids are tricky and have fun with their parents.

    Reply
  22. Lol! I thought that we were the only ones who were obsessed with baby poop! Mr. SGCC and I have had many, many conversations on the subject over the years. Thankfully (or not), now our focus has turned to PMS, boobs and boys. Sheesh!

    Reply
  23. Jeff 23

    Awesome post. I’m a big fan of the poop topic. In fact I have a whole tag label devoted to just stories I’ve written about poop.

    I’m sorry to hear your days as Poop Manager are over. But I understand the pay isn’t that good anyway.

    Reply
  24. I raised the boy mostly by myself so I didn’t have to really talk to anyone about it, but I did always think it was funny when I’d take him for his check up and that’d be the first thing they asked … uh … how about how’s he been behaving first cause I have a been WAITING for someone to ask me THAT? 😉

    Reply
  25. Amanda 25

    HA! Yes this is a topic we still discuss (kids are 4 and 5), much too often. As a nutritionist, I also get to talk to adults about their habits in the bathroom. Good times.

    Reply
  26. Harmony 26

    This is great, we too talk much of poo! Before Ryder was one, I kept a schedule of all of his BM’s on our calendar (I have horrible time perception) to stay accurate…My husband loved it, he could come home check the calendar, and know that all was well.

    Reply
  27. Marcy 27

    OMG YES, we had those pooping conversations. Especially after we found out that our little bear would have constipation problems like her daddy. My MIL informed me that he has always had constipation problems. Thanks for sharing that MIL:))

    Even now , she is about to be 10 and if she mentions that her tummy hurts ,I’m like when was the last time you pooped? Was it normal? or like little nuggetts? If she says nuggett like she ges a big glass of apple juice then shes is ok within an hour or so:)

    Reply
  28. Lisa 28

    I love it! First time to your blog and it is about poop. You must be my kind of people! I have several favorite poop stories concerning dogs, kids, rabbits. One of the best was when my 2 year old got in on the reports: “I went poop. The kind of poop I did was “turds.” Thanks, honey. I’ll mark it on the whiteboard that chronicles the families daily “activities”.

    Reply
  29. Katie 29

    Never commented here before but I love your blog!

    I’m a new mom of a 3 month old, and I have never obsessed over poop this much before. I thought the world was going to end when my daughter went 9 (yes NINE)days without pooping. After she did, my husband and I had a little poopie party.

    Reply
  30. Alisa 30

    Pooping conversations ruled our first years of parenting. With The Girl, it’s still an issue. Poor thing. Now I’ve mentioned her poop issues on the internet.

    Reply
  31. Chinya 31

    Whew! Sigh of relief, we ARE normal (or at least slightly normal) we are always talking about poop. I even use to look in diapers to try and distinguish what that red or yellow stuff was (as in the skin of kidney beans and yellow bell peppers).
    On a serious note, turns out our son who is four years old, does have an issue with going poop. It’s a mental block he has set for himself since he was very little and still in diapers. We thought it a little sophisticated that he would generally only poop at home–but what that has turned into in recent months is him holding his poop until he can hold it no longer (this would go on for days). Fortunately no accidents (eeek!), but he was moody, refused to eat and very lethargic. Finally, after many a heated battles at the “throne”, my husband and I took him to his pediatrician who warned us of the potential seriousness of the matter. So we’ve been giving him a very gentle, natural lax. and documenting EVERY poop. We’ve had to take pictures and even do the stool collection thing for his doctor (ugh-daddy did that one). He’s always been a healthy eater (loves whole grains and can eat us out of house and home with the amount of fresh fruit and veggies he consumes) so his diet really did not need much adjusting. Lots of water and a consistent schedule has kept him healthy and the prognosis is something to be happy about!

    Um, thanks for listening! :)

    Reply
  32. My husband feels the need to tell me about each and every one of his poops…does that count?

    peace
    #2

    Reply
  33. Egghead 33

    Well we never talked about it much because I was the poop duty queen. However, I take care of my grandchildren all the time and we now discuss it all the time. Weird.

    Reply
  34. Tipper 34

    I don’t remember talking about it with hubby-but I do remember Granny asking about it! I’m glad my days of being poop monitor are over too!

    Reply
  35. I’m surprised and relieved (no pun!) that we’re not the only ones with poop talk around the house!! I have a specific column for poop categorization on my daughter’s feeding log…which is publicized under a magnet on the fridge :-)

    Reply
  36. Mrs. L 36

    I was once invited to join a “Bunco” group. All the women had young children except me. The ENTIRE evenings conversation was about the kids pooping. Every time I went to a different table…”my kids poop was runny today, how about your’s etc etc”. I did not return. Thankfully I’m still friends with some of these women.

    Reply
  37. Shirley 37

    Poop makes a huge difference in our well being! We have always talked about poop issues at our house. First off, I always had them (one way or the other) until I found out I was gluten intolerant (gluten is wheat, rye, and barley for those who don’t know and other foods like oats through cross contamination) and went gluten free. No longer having poop issues unless exposed to gluten is a fabulous thing! Now I lead a celiac/gluten intolerance support group so I talk about poop more than you can imagine with new members or folks who possibly have gluten issues. LOL Usually, we use the term bowel movements though. 😉 Frankly, I don’t even give poop talk a second thought any more.

    My son is also gluten intolerant, but even before I knew that the doctor had me track his BMs as a baby and toddler. We had more than one trip to the ER when he was young due to severe constipation. Now that he’s in college, he still eats gluten even though he knows it screws him up.

    Note: Anyone who has BM issues (constipation, diarrhea, or alternating), should consider gluten as the possible cause. The gluten syndrome ranges from gluten sensitivity to intolerance to celiac disease, but anyone who has these issues should not eat gluten. I’ve been gluten free for five years now and I never knew it was possible to feel this good.

    Reply
  38. I don’t think my husband even knew his babies pooped. That was entirely my department. Yes, I’m old.

    Reply
  39. Of course dear, and to this day. If the girls are complaining with a “tummy ache,” my first question is, DID YOU POOP? Those old people with the castor oil for every remedy had something going on. I can’t wait to see what Coffee Bean says, you are speakin her language now girl.

    Reply
  40. melissa 40

    *laughing*

    No, it isn’t just you.

    Reply
  41. Cara 41

    This was such a timely post! I was just laughing with my husband last night about our poop conversations. Seriously, what HAPPENED to us?! We probably talk about it more than other parents b/c my 10 month old is seeing a GI and we’re supposed to really be monitoring and tracking the poop. But still….poop poop poop.

    Also, I agree with Shirley about the gluten intolerance/ celiac disease. This is what we suspect is causing my son’s issues.

    Reply
  42. Cass 42

    Oh I can’t wait until the FH and I talk about a good BM at the end of the day.

    Reply
  43. I’M SPEECHLESS.

    I have no kids (yet?) and therefore do not discuss their “poops”.

    I do wonder however if this was the first ever blog post about POOP????

    Reply
  44. leslie 44

    Oh yes yes yes..poop was always a BIG topic of conversation, espically when the kids were lil babies!
    Now its…”mom, my tummy hurts.” Me, “go poop it will feel better!”
    ANd often from my 5 year old, “mom, go look in the toilet and look at how long my poop is.” and strangly from my 3 yo old daughter..”Oh, here comes a big one” or “oh here comes a little one”..and she refers to The big Poops as “daddy poops” and the medium size poops as “mommy Poops” and the little rabbit sized terds as “baby poops”!
    As I am sitting here cracking up laughing typing this, I actually cant believe I am sharing the poop info of my home! LOL LOL LOL LOL

    Reply
  45. medstudentwife 45

    We have no children and currently no pets… so no poop talk.

    I just hope that when Fidel finishes med school he won’t start asking me about my poops :S

    Reply
  46. Kristin 46

    Oh god yes. Poop was, and is to this day, a topic of conversation between me and my husband. I mean, come on, we sniff our kids to find out which one pooped!

    (oh, hi, came over from Cass).

    Reply
  47. Erin 47

    My boys are five and three and I still am the poop manager. Because they are both prone to constipation. Also to not wiping properly. Sigh.

    Someday I won’t care. And then what will I have to live for?

    Reply
  48. Kristen 48

    OMG – I am laughing so hard. Before I had kids, but was an Aunt to many, I used to get annoyed by how often bathroom talk would come up at family events. It seems like that was all my sibling knew how to talk about was their kids poop!
    Now, as a mom, I TOTALLY understand all the poop talk, and no, you aren’t the only couple doing this. In fact, we just had a nice poop conversation this evening when hubby came in the door. LOL

    Reply
  49. I wish we didn’t have those conversations. My husband will call me from work and tell me if he had a particularly satisfying dump. I, however, do not tell him such things… I’m lying.

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  50. You’re right it is a bit strange! We just have a cat and now that I think of it, we talked about his pooping last night, because he had been sick, but we normally don’t!

    Reply
  51. Cassie 51

    ROFL! Any time one of the kids (including the 21 year old!) doesn’t feel good we tell them to go sit on the toilet. They also get the customary cold washcloth across their forehead.

    Belly hurts? Try and poop and when you’re done maybe lie on the couch with a cool cloth on your head.

    Broken arm? Try and poop and here’s a washcloth.

    Brother hit you over the head? Go poop and then get a cool washcloth for your head.

    Pretty much, a stint on the toilet and a cool washcloth will clear up what ails you in our house.

    Reply
  52. Paula 52

    Oh lordy, does this hit home! To this day, I can’t look at “grey poupon” because of it’s history as a description of our children’s, um, bowl movement. Now a days our conversations stem more toward who clogged the toilet, and can hubby man take care of that!

    Reply
  53. Erinn 53

    We too, did, and do, the poop talk. It’s a sure sign of good health or not.
    Keep up the poop talk and thanks for giving me one of the best laughs I’ve had all day.

    Reply
  54. We started out with twins and had another 17 months later. A fourth followed six years later and then along came number five three years after that. Just thinking back on those years makes me feel all pooped out!

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  55. grace 55

    i don’t have kids yet, but boy oh boy, do i look forward to their pooping escapades.
    it seems that my family can’t spend any amount of time together without mentioning bodily functions in some way. i think we’ve offended more than our fair share of guests… :)

    Reply
  56. Honeyb 56

    LOL, My kids are too old (or maybe its me thats too old?) but I can’t remember if we talked about them pooping! LOL

    Reply
  57. I never thought of it this way. I love your noble genious yes I hate seeing a movie after I read the book etc because I have already pictured people.
    I don’t want to see Twilight for this reason. Yes its a bit juevenile but my inner teenager loved it.
    But you get my point. I am from Bay Area and I am new to blogging so I am sorry I didn’t know of BogHer until it was too late I could have popped in for a visit. Oh well.

    Reply
  58. EW 58

    Worse-we discuss the DOG’S poop.

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  59. Familia 59

    oh, my, yes. we had this conversation just this evening before dinner (at least it wasn’t during dinner!). one hadn’t pooped all day and the other one was doing so at exactly the moment that we were having the discussion.

    Reply
  60. Honor 60

    Kids? No.
    Animals, yes.

    With 2 ferrets with digestive disorders and a dog with pancreatic insufficiency, poop becomes as important as anything else.

    I too, never imagined the Boy and I having the indepth conversations on our pets poop that we have, almost daily.

    It’s not even bizarre to me until someone else points out that normal people my age, even with pets do not discuss animal excrement to the extent we do.

    Reply
  61. Off all of the posts to coment on it would be this one. When our daughter was almost 3 she had a terrible time with this routine function and we saw many doctors not to mention one $800 diaper change in the emergency room one night. Turned out she was thinking in her mind that this was sort of like letting go of a body part! So she would hold it for days and then we would end up at the hospital – often. We read everykind of book and still so many problems. After a while she just grew out of it. We asked that “Did she poop” question daily, everyone that knew us did. She is now 16 – lovely and she poops great!

    Reply
  62. Oh yes. We actually dealt with a “very common” issue when it comes to toddlers pooping (or not pooping, as the case may be), so it’s been on the forefront of our minds for quite some time. Thankfully, things are running much smoother now (so to speak), but it’s still a daily question. 😉

    Reply
  63. Lisa 63

    Thanks for the link, Cathy! A strange, yet common thread runneth through the fabric of parenting!

    Reply

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