When a Farmer Told my Wife to Stop Buying Firewood From Him. Because She’s Gay.

We live in a rural area where there are farmer’s who put firewood in bins to purchase on the side of the road. It’s labeled 20$/bin or whatever. My wife went to the same one, right up the road three times. The fourth time, today, the farmer came outside and asked her what she was doing. Clearly she was buying more firewood.

He was upset she swapped one large piece for one smaller piece in another bin. He said he’d seen her there three times before. She hadn’t swapped any pieces before. She said, “Yeah the big piece is too big, we don’t have an axe to break it down further, I’m sorry, I didn’t know, and it was just one piece for one piece…” he cut her off and started unpacking her car. She already had most of the bin loaded.

I asked what she did while he unpacked it. She said she helped him. Piece by piece. Silently. Side by side. Homophobe and homosexual.

He then put some of the wood back into a different bin. Which completely goes against what he had just said. She didn’t argue. She said she could tell he made up his mind before he even came down, and wanted to just get off his property as it felt unsafe.

When you are a minority you get a sense from when some one is just an asshole vs. when you are wrong yourself vs. someone who is homophobic. She said she knew he was homophobic and was looking for a reason to engage with her and cut off her business.

My wife is somewhat naive and very kind. She wouldn’t have misread that. I am very cynical and expect the worse. So I would be one to immediately assume discrimination. She’s not. So if she says it, then it must of been bad.

For her to be in tears when she was telling me. Yeah it was bad.

I don’t know how many more blogs I will have to write about the discrimination that faces my family in a supposedly blue liberal state. I don’t know how long it will take for people to get that this is an issue. It’s not going away. If anything it’s gotten worse since 2016.

It’s a heinous few seconds or minutes when some one lays his cards on the table and then you have to be in their presence. It feels unsafe, scary, and shameful. But I will not own that shame. I’m putting it back on the homophobes. Discrimination and hate is your shame. Own it. Because it was my wife who helped this man unload her car giving him back all his damn wood (yes the irony was not lost on us either) because he didn’t want a lesbian on his property and doing business with him.

These posts are hard to write. I hope they are hard to read. I hope they create change.

To my wife: We are now not supporting a homophobic person’s business. That is a good thing. I wouldn’t of helped him put the wood back which is why you are better than I am.

 

 

 

The 24/7 Shadow of A Homophobic/Transphobic/Racist/Sexist Administration on One Lesbian Mom.

I feel like every day there is so much happening that is appalling and terrifying. Today #45 lied about the “caravan of migrants” headed toward the US boarder and announced that his administration is pursuing discussion around getting rid of transgender definitions. Which is mind-boggling to me. It’s like saying we are going to get rid of the label female or male. You can’t just get rid of an entire population of individuals.

There is not a moment in my day that the shadow of a homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and racist administration running my country is not hanging over me. The worst part, and why those shadows never fully leave me, is because I don’t know who supports them.

Sometimes I do. I mean the big ass #45 sign’s give it away some times. But then there are surprises. The farmer across the street who is in the heart of Republican country put a lawn sign out for a Democrat. I was always scared of engaging too much with him because I thought he would not be accepting of our family. Though he has been nothing but kind to my family. Then I feel bad. Because I’ve missed an opportunity to engage with my neighbor due to my fear that he was another conservative farmer in my town.

Then I drive by a person’s house I know and see a Republican sign out front. And I’m thinking, wow. What. The. Fuck.

In the past I have always tried to be open and understanding of people’s views even when different from my own. But there is something different in the air for me now.

The further polarized the Left and the Right become the more I cannot ever agree with the Right. There are a few issues I consider non-negotiable: LGBTQ rights. This isn’t just about the right to be who we are, this is now about protecting my family. There are faces to this LGBTQ rights- they are my two sons, my wife, my niece, my sister-in-law, and my sister. These are real people. People I love and us all having full rights equal to heterosexual’s is 100% necessary and non-negotiable. For any one who thinks otherwise say it to my face. Please. Because to date, no one has. Say it to my two almost three year old son’s faces. Look into their eyes and say they don’t deserve rights and protection.

To hide behind religious rhetoric honestly just pisses me off. “Well they shouldn’t pay for the sins of their parents.” “I don’t hate you I just cannot accept your lifestyle.” “If you were just roommates it would be fine.”

These are things people have said to us. So basically because we have lesbian sex in the privacy of our home we should be discriminated against? I mean clearly they’ve never had lesbian sex otherwise they would definitely think otherwise;).

The other stuff I’m non-negotiable on is abortion and the right to choice, birth control being accessible to women (you know in order to avoid abortions. Freaking morons), immigration, increasing access to healthcare, decreasing the control pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies have over healthcare, and the tiny matter of gun control.

I stated “immigration” as if every one would just know what I mean. It’s a hard topic. I see refugees brought here through programs that only offer support for 4-6 months then plop. Deal with life in the USA. Then these individuals have to have jobs and pay rent and navigate society when they can barely speak English, look like they are from the Middle East, and face instant discrimination. Do I think this is the right way? No. I’ve seen it totally backfire and cost our states and federal government thousands of dollars. Is there a perfect answer? I don’t think so. I think the United States of America is this huge melting pot of imperfect shitheads who are all descended from immigrants and/or native Americans. So to block out more shitheads when we have built our country on their backs? That doesn’t make sense to me.

I am descended of Irish and Swedish immigrants. My Great-Grandmother came from Sweden in her teens and my great-great grandparents on my Dad’s side came from Ireland. Both sides of my family worked to integrate into America and here I am. An Irish-Swedish-American-Lesbian-Wife-Mom-Nurse. Take that #45.

Abortion. I couldn’t have one personally. But I firmly believe in a WOMAN’S choice.

Birth Control. For real. I can’t even believe this is a topic for debate.

Guns are bad. Keeping it simple because we have stupid people running our country. Our ancestors who made the constitution were not thinking of machine guns when they said a right to arms. They were thinking of the freaking Revolutionary War they were fighting and England’s intent to take away their defenses. They were thinking of single load rifles. Not M16’s. They were thinking of war. Not classrooms full of our babies. They would be ashamed of the way guns have evolved and that we are one of the few countries to not protect our citizens from them.

Healthcare. That’s too much to tackle today. Maybe tomorrow. Suffice it to say our system is broken and is run by millionaires on the backs of people living paycheck to paycheck.

These are my non-negotiable’s. These make it very difficult to meet in the middle with any one who identifies as a Republican. Because they do not come to the middle either. The argument could be made for us to both meet in the middle. But as I said. These are non-negotiable for me and I don’t see that changing. And I would never give up the rights of transgender individuals in order to keep the LGB rights. We are all on the same side, same team, and I will stand for everyone who identifies anywhere within the LGBTQ spectrum.

So this is where we stand. A divided nation. Right and Left. Nurse. Farmer. Millionaires.

These thoughts and shadows feel hopeless. But then I have moments. Watching my son’s learn to ride their bikes this weekend. Laughing with my sister as we put the bikes together. Watching my niece with my son’s. Seeing that they don’t know that their families are “not normal” and having hope that our children can do better.

That’s one of my son’s in the picture. Kissing his bunny. Because all he knows is love. Thankfully at this age he has yet to encounter hate. Love is innate. Hate is learned. One day he will know it. I’m sure. But for now I relish in his kisses, his snuggles, and their endless, positive, and hopeful love.

 

 

But Why Are Kids So Anxious?

When I tell people I work in psychiatry and the majority of my roughly 400ish patient caseload are teenagers…I usually am asked a bunch of questions. The people asking are usually adults over the age 35. And the majority of adults who lead up to “But why are kids so anxious these day? Or so depressed? In my day we didn’t have all this school avoidance and depression. It must be the social media.” Or something equally enlightening.

Now I am only speaking from my little corner of the world and it likely is not generalizable to the entire population of teenagers. But here’s why the kids I’ve sat with say they are anxious and depressed enough that I usually start an anti-depressant (while ensuring they are engaged in therapy because I am a firm believer in both therapy and medication working together).

“I’m scared I’m going to get killed.” “I’m scared of a school shooting.” “I’m scared I won’t see my Mom again.”

Really sit with that for a minute. Because it’s not uncommon for me to hear this. Kids are scared of going to school and being killed.

And why shouldn’t they be? What have we as a society done to reassure them that they won’t be? We’ve created active shooter drills where they hide in closets and crouch behind desks. How terrifying that must be to think the only thing between me and a bullet is this desk.

I graduated high school in 2003. 9/11 happened my sophomore year. I lived about ninety minutes from NYC. One of my classmates went home without a Father that day.

Aurora, Sandy Hook, Pulse, Parkland, etc.

When I looked up a list of school shootings since 2003- well there have been 36 in 2018. 36. Sit with that number.

How can we expect kids not to be anxious?

Everyone younger than I am has grown up in a time when school and mass shootings are accepted. Our society isn’t even shocked by them anymore. They make the news for a week max, then we move on with no change.

Sandy Hook- the gun laws in Connecticut are supposedly some of the strongest in the nation, and I can tell you they suck. They do not keep guns out of kid’s hands. As just last year there were two teenagers playing and one shot and killed the other one accidentally. Guns are still here, even in Connecticut where a classroom full of our babies were killed.

Then let’s talk about social media. There are articles about these shootings posted all the time. Articles about how are society is moving toward The Handmaid’s Tale style life because our administration sucks. Articles about missing children, sexual assault, not to mention actual discussion and cyber bullying with their peers.

Then there’s the percentage of my clients who have been sexually assaulted and have not told any one. Ever. Because they knew the perpetrator, perhaps a kid in school with them or worse a family member. It’s rampant.

Throw on the massive workload at school where they are forced to be glued to screens for hours a day, regular pressures of sports and college applications, identifying as lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender in a time when we have the most homophobic administration imaginable; and being the generation to look at possibly the highest college tuition fees in history…yeah I’d be anxious too.

Teenagers today are NOT like teenagers twenty or thirty years ago. So don’t compare them to yourself. They are facing more danger and more pressures than we could ever imagine.

I went to school when Columbine happened. I remember making plans in my head as to how I would hide or escape. But it never stopped me from going. I remember talking to friends about it, but we never thought it would actually happen at our school. Well it’s happening in real places and real people are dying.

Instead of asking why kids are anxious we should be asking how can we as the responsible and intelligent adults in our society help them be less anxious? How can we make them feel safer, supported, loved? And why haven’t we started to do this already?

When a Teenager Called me “Wonderwoman” and My Twins Figured Out We Are a Family.

Two amazing things happened today. A teenage girl client of mine who struggles with self-esteem looked at me when I went to get her in the waiting room. I was wearing black leggings, black boots up to my knees with a short heel, and a green sleeveless top, loose-ish. It was humid today so my hair was a little (meaning a lot) wild. She hadn’t seen me in six months. I’d done a lot of hot yoga and eating quinoa salad since then. She smiled big, and said, “Wow you look like Wonderwoman! You are so cool.” I was taken aback. I just watched Wonderwoman last week. She was absolutely fabulous; obviously. Gorgeous, courageous, outspoken, strong, and very smart.

So in my head I was like Yes! Score! I AM WONDERWOMAN!!!

Outwardly, to my client, I smiled, said “Sweet, thanks,” and literally did a karate kick which caused us to both crack up.

I think as women we are always pressured to be better, look better, eat better, exercise more, talk less, wear more make-up, wear less revealing clothes…etc. etc. etc. And I’m at a point where I’m thinking, if the white dudes in this country get to do and say whatever the hell they want…hold my beer. I got this.

So I didn’t let my girl see me doubt her or me. I strode forward with confidence and I hope to be that woman that girls look up to. Through showing my intelligence, being opinionated, and wearing what I want, doing what I want, and being who I am meant to be…well that’s the message I want them to get. And she did. Which was profound.

If every single woman in the USA identified with Wonderwoman we would all be better off. She runs into the fray when she’s being told to avoid it. She fights for the innocent, and she does not turn from the darkness. We need to be the light in a sea of darkness.

The other thing that happened today is my sons discovering they have a family. They were watching The Good Dinosaur (horrible Disney movie that clearly was made by someone who was tripping on drugs, but for some reason my son’s are obsessed) and the dinosaur Arlo, made the little caveman human, understand that he had a family who he missed and was trying to find.

My sons’ said, “His family,” and I said, “Yes, and who is your family?” They both looked at me. “Me, Mommy, and Jackson,” I said to Declan, and then I could see the lightbulbs going off and Jackson said, “Mama, Mommy, Decky, my fami-we”,  and I’m holding back tears of course, and I say, “Yes baby, we are all a family,”

Then they kept repeating it. Pointing at my wife, me, and each other, smiling, and laughing, and saying “Fami-we”. And I’m thinking, they are not even three and they get it.  Why the hell is it so hard for every one else? How could any one see that moment with my twins and my wife and think we are not an actual family because there are two Mom’s. Because if any right winged conservative tried to explain to my sons we are not a real family; my sons would stare at them like they were nuts and then continue on with the knowledge that their Mom’s and their brother is their family.

These moments in life last less than a minute maybe. But these are the moments of light that I cling to in these days of darkness. When sexual assault is normalized. When racism and homophobia are praised.

I embrace being called Wonderwoman because she stepped outside the boundaries of being a woman. She broke through people’s expectations and fought for what is right. And I will continue to fight for my family. Because my two year old twins get it. So I have faith that some day all people will understand that we are a family.

It’s not just love that makes us a family. It’s the bond that comes with the 2 AM puking. The year of breastfeeding. The cradling after a boo boo. The being there when they wake up, when they go to sleep, and every other second in between. The bond of family is the screaming in time-outs and the hugs afterward. It’s them knowing that we are their constants since conception.

We feed them, love them, provide for their every need. Our boys know that we are their family because they watched this stupid movie and they see the baby dinosaur work the whole time to get home to his Mom. They made the connection that they would want to be with their Mom’s too.

The boys get that we are a family because they lay their heads on our chests when they want a “big hug” and we tell them we love them every day and they know even when we lose our minds from the whole toddler twin thing, that they are loved. My son’s know we are all a family because we are all better when we are together.

 

How my twins and my whiteness got me out of two tickets.

I’m not saying this with pride. But on days like today, when they brought me to tears and I brought them to tears. Well I need to think about something other than them flooding my kitchen with the damn faucet when I was in the laundry room for maybe two minutes. And how Declan wrenched my freaking back because he didn’t listen to me, climbed too high at the playground, and then let go and fell and I caught him in one arm…all 37 lbs of him. Yeah that freaking hurt. It was a bad long day for all of us. So this blog post is not about that, it’s about something bigger and deeper.

The first ticket they got me out of…I was using my cell phone…on speaker phone about three or four years ago, when I was pregnant with them. Very pregnant. I had a big Jeep Grand Cherokee. The cop pulled me over literally as I was pulling out of the parking lot from work. I had some one on speaker and was switching it over to bluetooth and bam. Red lights.

I explained I was switching to bluetooth but I literally just got into the car. He asked for my registration. I looked at him and explained, “I have to get out of the car to get it. It’s too far, and I can’t reach the glove compartment because I’m pregnant.” This was not a lie. I actually couldn’t reach it over the belly. I leaned over to demonstrate.

The cop looked disgusted. Because who wants to make a pregnant lady get out of her car in the 90 degree heat, behind the psych hospital, and make me walk to the other side to find my registration. He knew it was going to be a shitshow. He asked me if I worked at the psych hospital, I said I do, I’m a nurse practitioner. He facepalmed. Because he knew that my co-workers would likely either be watching or coming outside and then berate him for making the pregnant lady waddle around extra in the heat. He likely brought patient’s to us. He knew my co-workers are mouthy.

He asked me to show him the bluetooth working, which I did. Then he said, “Just go.” but not a nice Just go. An I’m disgusted with this whole situation type of “just go”. I drove away.

Flashforward to Thursday. Yes the day after I wrote the horrible blog post about my horrible week leading up to Wednesday. Thursday morning I got pulled over for speeding. He said, “You were going 50.” I said, “Yes, I know I was, my bad, but I mean it’s a 40 zone…” meanwhile the boys are saying “Hi, Hi, Hi….” on and on until the officer says “Hi” back. He was youngish and smiling at me. It takes me awhile to register, but I think he was flirting which is weird because he clearly saw my twins in the backseat. I’m not used to being flirted with as a Mom.

He replied, “Actually it’s a 35 zone.” I said, “Well shit. My bad.” Because I did actually think it was a 40 zone. Then the boys get louder, and Declan says, “I scared Mama,” and I’m telling him it’s going to be okay, and then I look at the smiling police officer and do my best to look apologetic, and he asks me if I’ve gotten tickets before, and I say No. In my head I think ‘because I’m a nurse and I was pregnant’ but whatever. He lets me go, and tells me to have a “very nice day,” with a huge smile and a wave to my boys.

Now I’m thinking am I being punk’d? Because who gets out of a ticket with a smiling police officer? Then I think, well I’m a white woman with two toddlers in the backseat, in a nice car, wearing nice clothes, and then I’m like Fuck. White. Privilege.

I didn’t want a ticket. And is this only the second one I’ve gotten out of in my life? No. Unfortunately not. But the point is I’ve gotten out of them. And had I been Black or Hispanic or a man would I have gotten out of them? Hell no. I know I wouldn’t have. Had any of these officers known I am married to a woman…would I have gotten out of them? Who knows. I generally don’t wear my wedding ring to work so both times there was no obvious sign I was married.

I don’t know how to change this. Because, well for one thing I don’t want the damn ticket. But neither does any one else regardless of race or gender. It didn’t feel like a win as I drove away. It felt like a, shit, I suck so bad for using white privilege in this moment without even being aware I was using it. But that’s the point right? That’s why people who are not white get so pissed at white people for not even acknowledging that we have privilege and that we use it. It didn’t even hit me fully until I was pulling up to daycare. Where thankfully my two white boys are the minority.

I got out of the car the same time as a Black family, and that’s when it hit me. I thought what if it had been them who got pulled over? A Black Father and his daughter. Would he have gotten out of the ticket with a scared toddler making a scene in the backseat and a winning smile in the front? Probably not.

I’m not going to pretend I could possibly understand what it would feel like to a Black man to be pulled over by the police. Or a Black woman. I can’t. I can imagine it is fear and vulnerability though. The fear and vulnerability I’ve felt when I’ve been with my wife in conservative areas. The fear and vulnerability I’ve felt as a woman when I’ve suddenly realized I’m in an elevator full of men. I felt fear when I got pulled over. But not fear for my life. Fear of a ticket. A piece of paper, money, the hassle.

I can’t imagine being pulled over and fearing for my life. But I know that is the reality for many.

Like I said, I don’t have the answers, but I know this is a problem.

I always call out heterosexuals for not using their heterosexual privilege to advance LGBT rights. Well I’m not about to not call out myself when I’m using white privilege to my advantage without using it to advance the rights of all Persons of Color. This is a conversation that the hate in our country has sparked: finally. If there is anything good that comes out of the asshats in DC it’s the conversations around race, sexuality, gender identity, and that yes white privilege does exist.

As I said, I don’t have all the answers, but I will not remain silent or put my head in the sand and not acknowledge the problem. And that I too am a part of it. These are hard times and hard truths. But, perhaps Prince Edward says it best to Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale, “But you also tilt when you should withdraw…and that is knightly too.”

I know now is not the time to withdraw but tilting puts the knight at risk. It is a true fighter though, someone who weighs the options, knows they may fail, but tilts anyway. This piece was uncomfortable to write for me. Because it makes me examine my faults. No one likes to do that. But until we do nothing will change. So here I am, laid bare, tilting when perhaps I should withdraw.

I also know I need to switch to bluetooth before putting the car in motion and apparently I need to be more aware of speed limit changes on back roads. My bad.

p.s. the picture- of course they had to hold hands and walk down the brick path at the playground today after he wrenched my back, and look all cute and stuff. They know how to play me.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Days with Twin Toddlers: Puke, Bees, Emergency Department, and Thunderstorms…

It’s literally only Wednesday.

Let’s start on Sunday.

“Boys we are going to a big store, and you can’t jump on the couches, we have to be good boys in the store.” They looked at me and nodded. Then came the furniture store. They ran around like maniacs. I finally rounded them up in front of me, “Guys, what’s going on?” My Declan, “Mama say no jump. We run.” Perfect. Played by my two year olds.

Followed by a trip to the diner where my Declan started acting sick. He nestled in on my chest, and started to look pale. I’m thinking shit. We have got to go. The week before his brother had acted the same way about a half hour before he puked. So I take him into the car. We sit and wait for my wife and his brother. He just lays on me like when he was a baby. It was actually a beautiful sweet moment. Followed by us trying to fly home, but not beating the puke. He threw up in my brand new car. Not a little bit. A LOT. We pulled over and stripped him down. It was in his hair, on my shirt, my legs, his legs, his shirt. My car. All over my car.

We made it home and survived Sunday. And tried to clean the car.

Monday: Declan was feeling much better. They are home with me on Mondays. I brought them to the town beach where we were going to meet my mom. I stopped and got them doughnuts. We pull up to the beach and I get them out and we go to the playground. There are a few yellow jackets flying around. Then my mom arrives and I give them each a half doughnut. We are swarmed. 4-5 yellow jackets dive bombing each individual. To the point we are all running, then I take the doughnuts, throw them toward the water. The boys are screaming, the seagulls go nuts, we get to the car. The boys are yelling, “Mama not nice!”

I’m not kidding. This is actual reality. The seagulls screaming. We were screaming. Then I finally get in the car, doors closed, and there’s a damn bee buzzing around. Boys start yelling, “Bee NOT NICE” and I’m opening the doors and windows trying to swat it outside. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to leave, car shut tight, faint vomit smell still lingering…bee free.

Tuesday: Thunderstorms after bedtime but right at that sweet spot when they weren’t sound asleep yet. Yeah. That was horrendous. Me sitting by the crib and them falling asleep but magically waking up every time I try and leave the room. SO much thunder.

Wednesday: This takes the cake. I get up, shower, dress. Get the boys up. They go in and pee pee on the potty…yes we are doing that now most of the time…but still wearing pull-ups. I walked with Declan to his room, changing his pull-up, I look up (less than 60 seconds have passed), there’s Jackson on the counter that he’s never been able to reach with the childproof cap in one hand, the bottle of Benadryl in the other, gulping it down.

I’m pretty sure I screamed. Then I was next to him grabbing the bottle, I almost flung it, but realized that was totally irrational and needed to take a picture of it. I took a pic, I think I was still yelling because both boys were crying, then I’m sticking my finger down his throat, he gags, refuses to puke. Of course now he’s really sobbing, then I’m screaming at my wife on the phone because she doesn’t remember the volume that was in the Benadryl bottle from, I don’t know, 8 months ago whenever we used it last.

This is when knowing too much as a former pediatric emergency department nurse sucks ass. I think I should call 911, then I think, they will take me to the nearest hospital which doesn’t have a pediatric specialty. Nearest pediatric hospital is 25 minutes away. And if I call 911 what do I do with Declan? I’m there alone with two kids. The ambulance won’t let us all ride with them.

I quickly made up my mind. Onset of liquid Benadryl will be about 35 minutes. I threw some diapers in a bag grabbed some cereal bars and threw the boys in the car and drove. Didn’t count on rush hour traffic. Took a solid 35 minutes. His lids were heavy by the time I pulled in.

Now I can tell you that drive, that 35 minutes was pure torture. I couldn’t cry, because they were already upset and I was trying to calm them down. I gave them their bars, and literally called myself the worst mom in the universe in my head a million different ways a million different times. I was picturing every kid who overdosed I ever took care of…yeah those weren’t pretty images. I kept asking my son if he was okay, he kept getting more and more cranky and tired looking.

We pulled up, my wife met us there, and I walked in to see the smiling face of a nurse I used to work with in the other children’s hospital. “Hi! It’s okay. It happens.” My eyes welled up, and I was so relieved. Relieved I made it there, relieved to see a friendly and familiar face, and that my baby was in the right place if he was going to have any type of reaction.

It was actually an easy Emergency Department visit. We watched a movie and they monitored his heart rate. He took a nap curled on my chest, and walked around like a drunken sailor when he woke up. It was kind of funny but also made me cry to see him walking drunk. Worst Mom ever award. I’m a freaking nurse. And my kid got into medication. I can’t even process that right now. I can say the healthcare providers we saw were great, and never made me feel like a bad Mom. They provided constant reassurance that these things happen, and twins, but seeing him so tired and out of it. That broke me a little.

We came home. He recovered. Acted fine by dinner time. And then Declan says, “No drink medicine,” I say, “Yes baby, that’s right, no drink medicine,” Declan says, “Unless it’s in a cup.” Facepalm.

I am dreading Thursday. But really what else could possibly go wrong…

The Terrible Truth About Pooping with Toddlers.

Everybody poops. So let’s get that out of the way. It’s just not something we generally talk about as a society (unless you work in healthcare in which case we are ALL aware of our poop schedules including when/where and if there’s enough roughage in our diets…but that’s another story).

There are many things no one tells you when you decide to embark on a parenting journey. One thing was the no sleep and exhaustion that just takes over your body for years. Another thing is that you will never poop in peace again. Or at least not for a decade or two.

Starting when they are newborns. Because they will inevitably start screaming mid-poop. And there’s nothing you can do. Because seriously, mid-poop. Nothing else to do but let them scream. It leads to a lot of not relaxing, stressful poops. Which is the opposite of how a good poop is supposed to feel.

That quintessential image of a person on the toilet with the newspaper. Ha. Good luck with that. More like, an inner dialogue of, ‘Shit, get out, get out, please be an easy one or two wipe clean-up, they are screaming, shit,’ And an outer dialogue of “Okay baby, it’s okay, Mama’s coming, stop crying pllleeeeaaaaase.” They never stop crying. Until you are done.

Then they get older and bigger. They understand what poop is. They learn to flush toilets. They also start walking, talking, and the worst….opening doors.

So sometimes I try and sneak away, say “Mama is going pee pee” while they are eating breakfast. Thank God they are obsessed with breakfast. It can buy me a few minutes. Then, with two two year olds you have a couple options.

1- Door closed and locked and deal with banging and yelling that ensues because God forbid they not be allowed into a space where I need to be for just a few minutes.

2- Keep the door open. Allow one or two toddlers to join me, chat and babble while you are pooping, and then fight and beg to have them leave the bathroom so you can wipe.

I guess the third option is to just allow them to stay there while you wipe. But then they inevitably try and look into the toilet while you are wiping or they want to hand you toilet paper, or they are trying to flush the toilet, or they decide in that moment to wash their hands and want your help…trust me, get them out at the very least while you are wiping.

Trust me. A lot comes along with kids. What no one tells you about is that you will never poop in peace. Ever. Again. So enjoy the silence, the closed doors, the magazines, the time on your phone scrolling facebook or whatever it is you do with those moments on a toilet. Treasure the quiet relaxing poops of today.

Because if your future holds children, you will never know that peace again instead just accept your poop time will be anxiety-provoking with loud little people screaming or banging on the door, and if you keep the door locked and you have more than one…occasionally you may come out of the bathroom to find one of them bleeding and guaranteed on a daily basis one of them will be crying and blaming the other kid for hitting/kicking or taking a toy. It’s a gamble either way.

To toddler parents everywhere….May the Force Be With You.

To future toddler parents. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.