Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Getting To The Bottom Of It

Yesterday morning I had quite a surprise.  James had got the kids out of bed (actually they had got him out of bed – they know not to disturb Mummy) and they were all downstairs doing breakfast things and James was madly trying to make up for not tidying up the night before.  That wasn’t my surprise, it was still to come.

James left for work and I was trying to work out my shopping list while the cleaners were cleaning my house (I know I am very spoilt but it does save my back from further damage).  I started to smell a curious smell and I had a pretty good idea where it was coming from.  I decided to wait until the cleaners had left before exploring further.

It didn’t take long for them to finish and then I was ready to tackle the interesting odour.  I had Kaitlyn bring me a new nappy and the wipes and got Abigail ready for the investigation.  I opened up her nappy and I thought I had entered the Land of Oz.  Her ‘output’ was bright green.  Now green is my favourite colour but this is taking it a little too far!!  I didn’t really want to look closer but I felt compelled to get to the bottom of this mystery.  It was then that I saw it, the tell tale sign, a crayon wrapper.  Now how a crayon can go through the digestive tract and emerge completely integrated with the surrounding matter and yet the wrapper can emerge intact I do not know.  But at least my mystery was mostly solved. 

I thought back to the previous day and wondered when did she get her hands on a crayon?  Then I remembered, we had gone out for lunch after church and at the restaurant they give all the kids a packet of 4 crayons and a paper place mat to decorate.  She didn’t get one of these packets but she sat next to Emily who obviously didn’t miss the green one.  From the looks of things in that nappy she ate the whole thing too.  You would have thought with all the pancakes and eggs and things on offer she wouldn’t have felt the need to actually eat the crayon.  Maybe a little nibble to see what it tasted like but the whole thing?  

We really haven’t had too many poopy issues of that type so far in our time as parents.  There was the time that Emily ate what looked like quite a lot of glitter.  That was interesting but I have to tell you sparkly poo doesn’t actually smell any different to the non sparkly variety.  It did make for a good laugh and she likes to be reminded that at one point in her life she actually had pink sparkles in her poo.

Then there was the time Emily learned to take off her nappy.  I can’t remember how old she was.  Old enough for it not to be cute but young enough to not get into too much trouble for it.  She was still in a cot so she must have been around 1.  I just remember going into her room to get her up in the morning and being completely horrified.  She had taken off the nappy and then used the waste material to paint her cot and the nearest wall.  I think I immediately panicked and called my mother that time.  I remember being with a friend who was looking after a little boy who did a similar thing.  Only difference was he wasn’t in a cot and he seemed to get an unholy delight out of what he had just done.

This was when we decided that a little duct tape can go a long way.  No we didn’t duct tape her to the wall (although in hindsight that might not have been a bad idea – just kidding) we used a little strip of duct tape and taped over the tabs of the nappy so she couldn’t get them open.  It worked perfectly and in time she grew out of the desire to remove her under things.

Kaitlyn never did any of that.  As far as we know she didn’t eat anything strange that came through her digestive system.  Mind you she has been our most stinky baby so we weren’t really hanging around her open nappies to see what may or may not have come through.  She may have had all kinds of treasures in there that we happily double bagged and disposed of as far away from us as possible.

In fact Kaitlyn has her own issues when it comes to poopy things.  I tried to explain it to the nurses at her annual checkup last week and they had to wipe the tears from their eyes so they could see their laptop screens as they entered the details for the doctor.  You see she doesn’t have a problem pooping as such but she does a LOT at once.  I mean, she can do more than me.  There have been times when we have all gathered around to look in horror at what just exited her body.  When I told the nurses that James has wondered on occasion if a small animal hadn’t crawled up there and died they were just about doubled over laughing. 

I wasn’t sure if they were quite understanding the sheer volume that I was talking about.    I explained that she usually does one that would be the same size as her arm from fingertips to elbow and even rounder.  Their eyes went really big and they started typing furiously, both of them.  One of them said “wow, if you lined that up along her body it would nearly reach from her bottom right up to her neck”.  I know I said, that’s what is worrying me.  It just doesn’t seem normal.  And the smell, lets just say that the dead animal idea was not based just on size. 

She is a bit scared to flush these behemoths away (she told me she thinks they are going to jump up and bite her) so she just leaves them there.  What this means is that after a short while the smell permeates the whole house. 

I made her come with me once so I could show her that flushing it away was not in the least bit dangerous.  She stood quite a long way back from the toilet bowl while I went in close and performed the flush.  Nothing happened, the thing just sat there while the water level rose and fell.  I had to do 2 more flushes before it slid away mocking me the whole way down.  Then Kaitlyn’s small voice comes from behind me “what if it gets stuck somewhere down there?”  I really didn’t know but I tried to be brave for us both and said that it would be ok, they never get stuck.  Gosh I hope I’m right.

She’s doing better about flushing these days, we keep reminding her that she really has to do it for everyone’s sake.  It would be especially embarrassing if she forgot while out somewhere or at preschool.

I had to repeat my story for the doctor that day and she agreed with me that it was not completely normal (she seemed to have developed a bit of a facial tic by then but she managed to get it under control).  She prescribed a kind of laxative drink that we’re supposed to give Kaitlyn each day.  I have purchased this product but I’m a little bit scared of what might happen when we give it to her.  I’m going to have to be brave about this.  I mean what could possibly go wrong?  At least its not going to turn her poo green.  Right?

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