Monday, September 10, 2012

Here's the Poop: This Time Without the Plastic Wrap

For those of you wondering if there is an update to my earlier post Every Parent Has to Pull Plastic Wrap Out of a Kid's Butt at Some Point. Or Not.  Well, yes, in fact! There is!

We were the hosts of a guest dog this weekend. And now we know exactly why, in the words of Taylor Swift's current hit: "we are never ever getting a dog."Or back together. Whatever. Like I have time to listen to the radio or even know what Taylor Swift's latest single is. I definitely don't know that she's thinking about buying a $5 million dollar property across from the Kennedy Compound on Martha's Vineyard. Or that her friends are worried she moves too fast and smothers guys.


I've never had a pet. The fish from an ex that died the day after he called to dump me from a movie theater in Minnesota he had driven to on a road trip he was taking in a car he had just bought with his new girlfriend doesn't count. Nor do the two weed-addled hamsters - one blind, the other cruel - that I inherited in college. I think the cruel one killed the blind one and then died from boredom with no one else to torment. Or the blind one may have killed the cruel one as payback for years of torment. Or maybe I'm making this all up. College was a long time ago.

Either way, fish and hamsters and barely pets. You can spend time looking at them, or buying little plastic trunks of fake treasure for their aquarium, or researching cedar chips for their cage if you want, but they are pretty much as low maintenance as it gets with pets. At least in the poop department. Even cats use a litter box. Unless they are mad at you or old or sick. I plan to use all these excuses to poop on someone's bed before I die. (That quilt was made by your great-grandmother? Guess you shouldn't have stood me up for lunch last week! And that pile of urine in the corner? That's just my midlife crisis flaring up.)

Dogs, on the other hand, are high maintenance. They jump on things. They bark. They follow you around and chew on your shoes. They lick lotion off your legs. They eat giant, plastic-wrapped blocks of aged cheddar cheese. They escape and make you chase them like a crazy, frenzied manic all over your neighborhood. And they poop. And they poop. And they poop. And it smells bad. Like, way worse than any human poop. It's not their fault, really. I mean, have you smelled dog food? But still. It's pretty gross.

To be fair, I should admit that poop is pretty much what my life is about these days. Which is why I feel entitled to blog and whine about it all the freaking time. Asking if a certain three-year old someone has to poop, or has just gone poop, or wants me to hold her hands while she takes 2 1/2 hours to poop (I am not even kidding about this - that's what it took yesterday) and cries "ouchie" and looks like she's having a seizure, well, this is what I do.

But I have never once stepped in my daughter's poop. Not one time in the nearly 1,072 days she has been on this planet, and during which she has probably pooped roughly the same number of times. Possibly more. That special pleasure was reserved for this weekend, when our guest dog laid down a load the exact size and shape of a bratwurst in the middle of one of our kitchen rugs. (My husband keeps asking how I didn't see it. My answer: the rug is dark and patterned. Like poopouflage.)

If we are friends on Facebook, and you have not yet figured out how to block my status updates, you probably know what I now know: if you step on a fresh pile of dog poop, it explodes like a wet, overstuffed sausage. Don't tell me I've never taught you anything useful! And if you happen to be barefoot? It is hard to capture the full revolting magnitude of the smellsation (smell + sensation).

Here's how it went down.

I'd just let the dog out. Nothing. He runs back inside. I say "something smells like poop." The words are hanging in the air like a premonition when I step in it with my bare right foot. (Now I wish I'd said "something smells like a crisp new pile of hundred dollar bills!" or "something smells like diamonds!")

I freak out and yell at the dog. The dog hunkers down and pees all over the kitchen floor. I yell at the dog again and start to hop toward the patio door to open it (this situation's equivalent to locking the barn door after the horse has escaped) managing to step in the poop again with my bare left foot. The dog runs outside. My legs are spackled in poop.

Luckily our babysitter, who has a dog and is used to things like this happening, brings me a pile of old towels, with which I attempt to de-spackle my legs. She then distracts my daughter while I mop the floor. Our floors are made of Mexican tile, possibly the same hard, cold tile that Meg Ryan's character never had sex on with her ex-boyfriend in When Harry Met Sally. I can't be sure, but if so, I don't blame her. I know we haven't used them for this purpose, either. Hello bruises!

In addition to being hard and cold, these tiles are a pain to clean. They are handmade and the surfaces are uneven with divots that can hold pools of water for well over an hour after mopping. So I'm on my hands and knees, trying to dry the floor with more towels, totally pissed off that THIS is how I'm spending my time while I'm paying a babysitter (because I totally don't deal with enough crap - literal and figurative - on a minute to minute basis in my own life: thanks guest dog!) when my daughter decides she has to use the potty and takes off like a shot (because she never walks anywhere when she can run), hits one of those lingering wet spots, and wipes out, just like in cartoons where she flies up in the air and lands flat on her back, her head hitting the floor with the dull thud of a dropped melon.

It's a pretty sickening sound.

Luckily she is okay, her head (apparently) intact. Not so her dream of dog ownership.

Our plan on the dog front has always been to wait until our daughter was old enough to beg for one so that we could appear to give in. Now it seems we will have to revert to my parents's diabolical scheme. Whenever I would ask for a dog they would say I could have one "when I was my sister's age." My sister is four years older than me. Always has been, always will be. I will never be her age. Too bad I didn't take logic until college.

Of course, I say this now. Now that I have pulled plastic wrap out of a dog's butt AND stepped barefoot in fresh dog poop. It is hard to see what would better equip me for dog ownership. I already spend large chunks of my day chasing a wild animal around the house. She still chews on shoes, too, and makes a lot of noise when I leave, and wakes me up every morning begging to go outside. Recently, she started running into the yard and peeing in the grass. She likes to take walks. She's not a big fan of leashes.

But one miraculous day she will wipe her own butt. Here's hoping that I won't be standing in a pile of her poop when she does it.

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