‘The day a small child pooped on my foot’

Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age. This week Amy talks about an unfortunate case of poop on her foot…

‘There’s no other way to say this than fast and brutal. This week, due to a series of bizarre and unrepeatable events, a small child pooped on my foot.

The child in question has: been potty-trained for 9 months but caught a wee tummy bug; is usually, obviously, dressed, but had been stripped to just a vest due to a series of spills; was sent to retrieve clothes only to be distracted by a Lightsaber (yes, really); screamed to get on the toilet but couldn’t get past her sister who was standing on the booster step debating whether or not to let me wipe her bottom; could have pooped at any moment as I swung her onto the seat, but finally could hold on no longer at just the perfect point to deposit a poop on my foot, as though it had been carefully placed there on purpose. As my foot grew warm and we all stared, I just couldn’t get my head round just how many things had to have happened to get it there. It was as though, that day my husband and I sat down and decided to give IVF a go, Fate decided there and then that this is where I’d end up. With a poop on my foot.

But I didn’t see it coming.

When she heard what had happened, one of my friends (while laughing, obviously, like the rest of the unsympathetic traitors) asked a question that got me thinking. Before children, did I ever imagine something like this happening? And the truth is no, of course I didn’t. And I didn’t see a lot of other things coming too. Did any of us?

First off, I didn’t see twins coming. After countless appointments and tests and scans and waiting, I found myself sitting in a small room listening as the doctor recommended 2 blastocysts be implanted into me instead of the usual 1, as they weren’t sure either was going to develop. Even as I said yes, I never imagined a scan 5 weeks later would show not 1, but 2 little heartbeats. Clutching my grinning husband’s hand, I just stared in shock. I was delighted, of course, but I just hadn’t seen it coming.

I didn’t see it coming when I got home with 2 tiny newborns and actually had to work out how to care for them. I didn’t realise how hard it would be to feed 2 children at the same time, and I never thought I’d spend so much time with my own milk dribbling down my front. My husband didn’t see it coming when a 3-week-old G projectile pooped on to his bare leg as he changed her nappy in just his shorts (still makes me laugh, that one). I worried constantly that the twins would be hurt, but didn’t see it coming when a 3-month-old T rolled off the sofa onto the wooden floor (that one still makes me shudder). I never thought I’d spend my days cleaning yogurt off the windows and giving small children my bank cards because at least they kept them quiet. I couldn’t have known that I’d have to spend months reassuring a shy little G who cried if anyone so much as looked at her, while watching after a T would who run off without warning after a dog or a car or a tree. Even when I knew I was going to be a multiple mum, I didn’t realise that I’d have to find a way to split myself in 2.

Or 3. I didn’t see M coming either. I had polycystic ovaries and had had wildly irregular periods all my adult life. After I stopped breastfeeding the twins, they came back regular as clockwork, but it still never really occurred to me that I’d be able to make a baby all by myself (well, my husband and I would be anyway). I will never forget the shock of seeing those 2 lines appear on that test when the twins were just 13 months old. I was going to be a mum to 3 under 2, but I just hadn’t seen it coming.

From that point on, I just accepted it. My life would no longer be predictable. I wouldn’t be able to predict that I’d become adept at carrying shopping while pushing a double buggy and carrying a baby in a sling. I couldn’t predict that M would be walking at just 10 months, and talking not much later, that I’d be helping her learn to count before she was even a year-and-a-half. I couldn’t foresee developing a system of grading volumes of pee when a smart little G started to abuse the potty-training reward system. In the past 4 years or so, I’ve predicted absolutely nothing. But this one still shocked me. Surely before one’s foot is pooed on, there should be some sign, some chance to change your destiny? Surely there should be some way to spare yourself the shock, the discomfort, the smell?

But there wasn’t. That day has joined a long list of things I didn’t see coming. A list that will do nothing but grow as these unpredictable young ladies think up new ways to shock the hell out of me. I guess all I can do is hang on and go along for the ride.’

Have you ever had any unfortunate potty accidents with your kids? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below or on Facebook.

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