This post will be presented in two parts. Part one is family friendly and my usual sappy fare. Part two is not for the faint of heart or those easily offended by scatological references of the poo variety.
Consider yourself warned. Which is more than I was.
The night before Jordan's first day of school.
If I'm going to get this weepy the night before school starts, Lord help me when I actually have to drop the Monkey off tomorrow morning for the real thing.
Today could have been like any other day, except that I knew we were on the eve of something big. Today Jordan was still my baby. Tomorrow, I send him out into that big, big world...the first step of the journey being preschool. We did our usual rotation of activities...indoor play gym at a new drop in center, lunch, nap, afternoon in the park, playtime on the deck while dinner cooks...meal, post-meal delays, bath, pajamas, meds, stories. I did the mommy thing all day, while trying not to stare too long at my monkey and wonder how two and a half years passed by so quickly.
Once he had sort of chubby baby cheeks. Today, I looked into big dark eyes, fringed by long lashes, and chiseled features. Once he babbled odd sounds consisting of gurgles and coos...when he wasn't screaming with colic that is. Today, we had discussions at the table, while looking at pictures in the newspaper circular.
"What's on sale at Kohl's this week, Monkey?"
"That's a blender! That's a mixer! Those are two different types of vacuums. Just like Jordan's vacuums!" (He hasn't quite got the hang of the personal possessive pronoun yet).
This kid is such a goofball. When left to his own devices on the deck, he chose to don the plastic pool inflatable star, and dance around while pulling grape leaves off the vine to shred. That was his idea of "making dinner." I half expected him to whip his socks off and start stomping on the grapes, ala Lucille Ball.
Yet, he can be so serious too. Throughout the day, I mentioned the word school, and reminded him that it would begin tomorrow. I asked him if he knew what he would do at school - not expecting him to actually answer me. But he did. After a moment's thought, a pause to look up at the ceiling - he stated that school would consist of "circle time, "art class" and "cubbies."
Before putting him to bed tonight, I read him two stories. One was "The First Day of School." Appropriate enough. The other was "Please and Thank you are good words to say." Because he is in desperate need of some basic etiquette.
Even as I read him the school book, and pictured him in his own classroom, I felt that lump in my throat start to rise. Pictures of Jordan laying immobilized on a hospital bed with tubes sticking out of his body contrasted so vividly with the earnest little guy sitting on my lap listening intently. He stared at the pictures in the book - little kids enjoying various activities in a classroom. I read the words on the page, but my own thoughts couldn't have been farther away.
He will never remember what he went through that first month..or the months that followed. But I can never forget. And every step forward from that rocky beginning is such a stark reminder of how far he has come.
My baby, the one the doctors told me would die, is going to school tomorrow.
The other Jordan
Now that I've regained my composure, let me share with you a more telling story of what passes for fun around here.
Does anyone else out there have parents who shared with them particularly disgusting poo stories from their childhood? For some reason, mine did. One story in particular always comes to mind, because my dad must have told it to me a thousand times - the glee in his voice never dimming once.
"Ohmigod..you were such a disgusting baby..yadda yadda yadda....there you were in the crib. You had taken your diaper off and smeared your own poo all over the walls. And you sat there looking so happy!!"
Or something like that. I could never figure out why he would tell me this story, why it was so shocking that a baby could get herself all messed up with some disgusting substance, or why a parent would find the whole episode so revolting and strangely amusing at the same time. I also assumed I had been left in my crib too long by myself and that my fecal artwork was my own immature way of protesting my incarceration.
Now that I'm a parent, I have my own share of poo stories which I intend to regale my children with. In particular, the Little Monkey's catalog of poo notable events continues to grow, and I look forward to that day decades from now when he brings home that special girl, with whom I will share the following:
See picture above.
Why is Jordan in the closet? Yes, that is my closet. He's trying to hide from me. Why? Because he has a poo. A BIG one. A big one so big, I could smell it all the way from the kitchen... a good twenty five feet away. When confronted with the obvious, he denied my accusations and RAN away.
"No poo in diaper!"
Then, he tried another tactic.
"Ocar pooed!" (Oscar..the dog. Jordan can't pronounce the dog's name, but he has no qualms about falsely accusing him of the crime.)
Then he just ran.
As you can see, potty training is going smashingly well. So well, I have basically about given up hope, and pray that the saints in preschool will take pity on me and train this child... because I have no idea how to.
So, I scooped him up and carried him upstairs, careful not to smoosh his bottom half which was sagging from the weight of that poo.
I unceremoniously stripped him of the diaper and stared in awe at the canonball sized lump that lay there in front of me. It was so friggin' big, I shuddered at the thought of the kid actually passing a monstrosity like this out. I also had no desire to leave this beast laying in the diaper pail. So I cleaned him up and put him to nap. Then I carried the diaper to the bathroom, intending to flush the poo down the toilet and throw the diaper away.
Long story short. The beast was so freakin' big, it plugged up the toilet.
Part of the problem was that it was completely misshapen. It literally was shaped like a bowling ball...and about that big. I panicked when I realized the water was not going down, and visions of me mopping up a poo bathroom paralyzed me with indecision. The Gods must have heard my prayer because finally the water went down, but the beast remained. Now what??
Five flushes later, it disappeared.
All the while, the demon lay in his crib laughing. I kid you not. He knew. And he was amused.
Just wait, Monkey. When you bring her home, it is I who shall have the last laugh. And it shall be a big one.