Backward is the New Forward: Thoughts on Poo

“Uuhhh, Jeff?” I asked my brother pointedly, “Do you know that your kid’s got his pajamas on backward?”

I dunno; it didn’t seem like a completely stupid question at the time even though my kids wear crap backward all the time. Like hats. And pants. And pajamas. And attitudes. And actual crap. 

And it’s not that I care that stuff’s on backward. Anyone who’s spent 25 minutes with my family knows that.

It’s just that my brother and his wife are more fastidious than me. More organized. More disciplined. More apt to, you know, have kids who stay in their chairs while they eat and pick up their toys and keep their boogers to themselves. They’re just… nice, polite kids, and Jeff and Kim are… consistent, disciplined parents. Which is annoying, but what can you do?

In short, I have certain expectations of Jeff and Kim, and kids wearing pajamas backward isn’t one of them. (Psst… let this be a lesson to those of you who teach your kids manners and good behavior more often than just remedially; people will expect you to keep it up.)

Kim, though, had foot surgery a few days ago, and she’s been laid up in bed with waves of pain and narcotics ever since, leaving Jeff to manage the household on his own. “The household” equals three kids aged three and under, which neatly explains Jeff’s pilfering of her narcotics and washing them down with smuggled moonshine. (I KID. Everyone knows that stolen narcotics should never be taken at the same time as contraband liquor. Sheesh.) When I saw the backward jammies, I thought that, maybe, without the mama there to ensure the following of the rules, Jeff had become a tad lax. A bit lazy. A touch less like his wife and more like his sister.


And, in true Big Sister fashion, I thought it my duty to point out my brother’s shortcomings. Some like to call this Rubbing It In. I like to call it Gettin’ My Judgy On.

“Uuhhh, Jeff?” I asked my brother pointedly and maybe a little smugly, “Do you know that your kid’s got his pajamas on backward?”

And Jeff replied that, yes, in fact, he did know, and also that the pajamas were backward on purpose, and also that the zipper could hardly zip itself up the kid’s back so, um, doy, and also lots of stuff about “POOP, Beth. It’s because of all the POOP and the smearing of the POOP and the playing in the POOP and the general affinity of a two-year-old boy for his super cool POOP.

OH! Whoops; I really shoulda known. I mean, come on. Have five kids taught me nothing? Did I forget the toddler years so quickly? I really should have known.

In the writing of this, I couldn’t remember exactly what Jeff said (although all of the “POOP, Beth” moments were sweetly reminiscent of our myriad childhood heart-to-heart conversations if you add “you’re a” before the word “POOP,” and the word “head” right after it), so I asked for Jeff’s help with the remainder of this blog post. I thought it might be instructive.

So, without further ado, here’s the part of the post where Jeff explains the method behind the backward madness and also makes his sister proud by intuitively understanding that there are times when POOP simply must be capitalized (that’s right, Jeffy – that’s right) :

Our middle child (faithful to his gender) insists on getting his hands down his pants at any opportunity possible. He doesn’t allow minor nuisances to dissuade him, such as, oh I don’t know… the presence of POOP. In fact, if anything, the poop seems to remind him that there are happenings down there. There’s stuff going on. Stuff I WANT MY HANDS ON. Poop has taught him how to undo clasps, unbutton buttons and unzip zippers.

If only poop could teach him something productive. Like doing the dishes. Or mowing the lawn. (Come on, Poop. Help me out!)

And so, after the 3rd morning IN A ROW of having to clean up a nice, even coating of poop spread all over the child and his room, desperation set in. We thought about safety pins, but once poop teaches him to open them, there will be nothing “safe” about them.

My solution was going to involve a system of strategically interlaced zip ties (…oh, it would have worked…), but luckily, my wife is smarter than I am.  She asked a simple question: “Can he reach a zipper running down his back?” 

No. No he can’t.

Take that, POOP.

And that, friends, is how Backward became the new Forward.

Which seems like an appropriate development in parenting where Night is the new Day.

And Dirty is the new Clean.

And “Dear God, what happened to my life?” is the new Five Year Plan.

In conclusion,

Take that, POOP.

Beth (and Jeff)

The End.


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19 responses to “Backward is the New Forward: Thoughts on Poo”

  1. Not a jammy poop story but one I just remembered. When I was SICK preggie with my 2nd, I heard my oldest, then about 15 months old make a noise in her room. Since I REALLY COULD NOT get off the couch, I just “ignored” it. You know– I’m SURE it’s ok. After all, she’s only 15 months old. When I finally rolled off the couch and opened the door to investigate, there she was –cloth diaper in her mouth sucking off the brown stains that had withstood being hand washed in the toilet. (Oh my THOSE were the days!!! Give me those disposables ANY DAY!!!). After keeping down the initial retching, I had to pick up all those diapers, return them to the diaper pail, run and bath and WASH OUT her mouth. Still makes me queasy to think about it. Little did I know, it was only the beginning!!

  2. This is too funny!! We have had to do this with both of our children for the same terrible reason! And it never fails, when we have company over and they see the kids in their pajamas, they get so concerned. But once we explain the reason they understand the genius behind the concept of backwards jammies! Power to us Momma’s and our brilliant poop-problem-solving ideas! 🙂

  3. I love it when “we” the parents get it figured out and administer a solution to the problem, no matter what kind of poop the kid is in.
    Score one for the parents!

  4. “Our middle child (faithful to his gender) insists on getting his hands down his pants at any opportunity possible.”

    Aint THAT the truth. ’nuff said.

  5. Beth, I have to admit, and am embarrassed to do so, that, even as a full-time elementary school teacher and mom of twins, I have never followed/received a blog………until yours. I know every time I open it I’ll laugh and know you’ll hit the nail on the head. You are a very talented writer and comedian! 🙂 Thanks for giving us all a daily smile and dose of ‘your not alone-ness’.

    • ahhhhhhh…….busy teacher reading blog at lunch and can’t spell ! sorry:

      ‘YOU’RE not alone-ness’ ;P

      • English is fascinating. I would argue (I do it all the time) that either “your” OR “you’re” would work here. Either it’s “that state in which you are not alone” (the “you’re” version) or it’s “that state of not being alone, which is yours (the “your” version). Or I guess it could be the “I’m just making crap up” version. Something else I do all them time. =)

  6. Okay, I want to know how he got the feet to go one way and the top to go the other way. Someday I’ll share my poop story. It involves a toilet training 2 year old and her crawling baby sister.

  7. Been there. Done that.

    I laughed out loud when I saw that picture and called my husband to come over to see. Around 2 yrs old, our quadruplets discovered the joy of poop smearing. I can think of few moments worse than walking into the nursery after ‘naptime’ and discovering four filthy, stinky cribs and kids covered in their own poop. A true low point. We tried everything (up to and including duct tape) and ultimately ended up with the backward sleepers. The only difference is we just cut the feet off completing the, “Dressed by a crazy person” look.

    The fact that I was able to laugh at the picture is evidence that everything really does become funny given enough time. Well, that or misery loves company…

    • I like to think there’s not much that can make my eyes wide with horror, but “quadruplets” and “ocean of poo” (which I suppose isn’t technically what you said – but really!) did it. Although it was more giggly horror/glee. Thanks for sharing, Beth – it’s all about PERSPECTIVE.

  8. Becoming a parent is not only a complete lifestyle change, but also a comfort in conversation change. Friends that you would wait for them to leave your house to poop, become your listeners about your children’s poop. I took a poop diaper to the doctor to make sure it was ‘normal’.. I was so excited the first time my oldest pooped in the potty I texted a picture of it to everyone I knew. Being a parent revolves around poop for the first couple years. This post was hilarious, and I am sure that there are so many parents going through the same right now. He is probably doing it because of your wife’s surgery, and he needs to get the attention back! Poor kid. Doesn’t know what kind of ammo he just gave his parents for the future!
    Thanks for sharing your brother story with us Beth! Quck recovery to your SNL!

  9. a) this post is hilarious, i have been slammed lately and haven’t kept up, must jump back in 🙂
    b) dear lord in heaven, they need to potty train that child right away, what are they waiting for???!!!! lol
    c) totally agree with barbara, perfect blackmail pics for later…heh heh… 😀

  10. I think you should start a new line of children’s clothing ( you know – in your spare time) that involves zippers in the back when the pjs are on correctly – I’m sure that you can come up with a cool designer name and all that.

    (thank all the gods there are that my youngest poop smearer is over 35 years old now and dealing with this on his own. I wish I had taken pictures of him in the POOP years)

    Just think of this as ammunition to be pulled out when the teenagers are unruly. 🙂

  11. If its alright, I’m totally going to do this on my 17 month old daughter. My son never ever played in his poop or took his diapers off because he has always hated getting dirty but my daughter is another story. She totally doesn’t mind getting dirty. I’ve given her more baths out of necessity in her 17 months than I’ve given my nearly 5 year old son in his almost 5 years. So it looks Luke backward will become the new forward in our house too. At least at bedtime. Thanks for the idea!

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