The Fisher of the Turds

I’ve had quite a few titles in my life. Daughter, sister, best friend. Law student, wife, lawyer, associate, assistant attorney general. Staff attorney, independent contractor. Mother. Miss, Ms., Mrs., Esq. They all mean very little in terms of who we really are. Empty labels without the background.

I think cultures with more descriptive monikers are onto something. There’s something so special about a name or a title that tries to get at a person’s essence. Like Chief Sitting Bull. When I read that I feel like I know something about the man, though obviously, not having invented a time machine, I’ve never met him. I sense his essence in those words. Stubborn. Larger than life. Unwilling to be moved from his position easily. Because, come on, who can budge a bull if it wants to be sitting. Who would want to?

If I did have a such a title right now, however, I fear it would not be so grand. My days are consumed with the trivia and tedium of life with three small children. I am the diaper changer. The butt wiper. The Queen of Shit. Empress of Poo Poo.

Maybe I’m just bitter because we’re trying to potty train Gee again. Yes, this is the second time. If you missed the first go around, about six months ago, it was really, really fun, what with him peeing on the baby and me answering the door in my bra and the baby eating shit and all. It went really well. We decided to go around a second time starting the day after we arrived in the tropics. We took off his diaper, put him in pants and asked him to please not pee or poop on himself. He’s like 3 1/2, he ought to be able to understand simple instruction like, for the love of all that is holy, little man, put your stinking excrement in the specially designed receptacle, please.

I faced it with dread. I couldn’t even amuse myself with an island version of the Messter Map because my lovely scanner does not take well to being packed and shipped half way across the world. But, surprisingly, minus a few small accidents and the fact that there seems to be a powerful magnet between his hands and his newly accessible penis, all goes well. He is (whispering) potty trained. (Knocking on wood, throwing salt over shoulder.) Correction. He is pee pee trained. Although, given the level of my involvement, I don’t really get the benefit over diapers.

He does tell me, ‘my penis has pee pee in it and I’m gonna put it in the potty and get a treat.’ Fabulous. Except that if I would like any pee pee to actually make it into the potty (versus, the floor, the rim, the walls, the bathtub), I have to help. First, complete pants removal. There is no pee pee without complete nakedness. Don’t ask me, I’m just the Assistant Director of the Pee Pee.

He stands on the stool and waggles it in the general direction of the toilet. Sadly, he’s easily distracted. If he were a NASA scientist, satellites would be crashing into each other and plummeting to earth. Unless I am directly involved in the aiming process (I’ll leave directly to your imagination), the toilet might as well not be there, for all the urine that lands inside of it.

I have accepted, without good grace, any hope of getting all or even most of the stream into the toilet. Not on me is now my main goal. Why must I state the obvious? Gee, please don’t put your knee into the pee pee stream.

Why?

Why? Why? Because it rickashays up into my face, that’s why. It’s disgusting. Do I look like the Drinker of the Pee Pee? No. I am not. It is not a title to which I aspire, even if I were paid a lot of money and let’s say filmed.

So, I know you are wondering what worked. By what magic of motherhood did I convince this stalwart, stubborn boy, Mr. Sitting I Won’t Put My PeePee in the Potty But Rather on Your Floor, to use the facilities. Simple. We told him, from day one here on Gilligan’s Island, no pee pee in the general vicinity of the potty, no POOL.

GASP.
I know. Wicked Mother of the So Far West We Are Practically East. And your little dog too…

We made him sit on the side. We told him that boys that pee in their pants could not put their bottoms in the pool. We lied. The ocean, I let him have – hey back off greenies, whales piss in there, my toddlers’ pee pee isn’t making an appreciable contribution to the urine content of the briny blue. But no pool, and especially, no fancy pool with the slides and the teeter totter.

It took two days for pee pee success. Poop was happening in his night time diaper and you know what, whatever. Little Pick Your Battles, that’s my name.

After two whole days of complete pee pee in the vicinity of the potty success, I took them all down, on my own, to the little pool at our apartment. Call me Crazy Mother, or perhaps, Running Away Brain. Sitting Dumb Ass?

We were swimming not fifteen minutes, and by swimming I mean I was running around behind Cue like Mama Runs In Circles, trying to make sure he didn’t launch himself into the water, confident of my ability to be underneath him, no matter how far away I might physically be at time of launch, by the time he landed, while keeping a wild eye on the toddlers for any slipping under or imminent drowning, when He Who Shall Not Be Named but is generally called GEE shat in the damn pool.

Old Clueless Water Running Over Tired Rocks here didn’t catch on at first.
Me: Did you throw something into the pool?
Ess: No.
Gee: No.
Cue: GAH! Leap. Splash.
Me: (while baby fishing) What is that?
Ess: Nothing.
Gee: I don’t know. (??????)
Cue: GAH! Splash. Leap. GAH!!
Me: Is that a rock? Did you throw a rock into the pool? Where did you get a ro…

Well, shit. Literally. Not rock. Princess Shit For Brains. Not scissors. Not Paper.

Log.

I felt a brief flash of an intense emotion that I’m not going to describe as hate for my baby boy, whom I love with all my heart, but certainly for his errant excrement, now sitting innocently on the ledge seat of the smaller, jacuzzi-like pool. I ran through my options and they were few. The turd needed to be retrieved quickly before it fell off the ledge to the bottom, disintegrated into many small pieces, or got noticed by someone else, the most likely candidate being the maintenance guy who cleans the pool with religious fervor and would most likely ban us for life. I had nothing to use for retrieval operations and running to the apartment for tools, like Tupperware for instance or a plastic bag, would take too long. I had to take my entire entourage or risk a child drowning because I was squeamish about a turd in the pool.

Was I Mother or Tiny Squeaking Mouse? I went in, bare-handed. It was a perfectly executed one scoop extraction WITH squirming fifteen month old baby on my hip. I managed to dump it into the pool toilet (thank you, gods, for the pool toilet) and wash my hands seventeen times still clutching the unhappy baby. I earned my new title, is what I am telling you, in a trial by water. Crap infested water.

And then, the triumphant Fisher of the Turds surveyed her unhappy tribe.
Ess: Can we swim now?
Gee: I all done, momma. Can I swim too?
Cue: GAH!!

I let them swim in the water Gee had just used as his personal toilet bowl. For almost another hour. Fecal coliform is good for you. What was that about worms?

That is how I earned my title: The Fisher of the Turds.

Finally, about this whole title thing. There’s a reason that we don’t do this in English speaking cultures. Descriptive titles are uglier in English than in other languages. Take Chamarro, for example, the local language here on Saipan. In Chamarro, Turd Fisher is Taki Peskadot.

Pretty. Melodic. You can call me AnyMommyTaki.

42 Responses to The Fisher of the Turds
  1. Connie
    November 17, 2008 | 5:33 am

    That was so freakin funny! Are you sure it wasn’t a Baby Ruth?

  2. Robin
    November 17, 2008 | 9:07 am

    You are so my hero.

    And I’m never ever ever telling you about poop-training not one but both of my children – each with their own equally horrifying stories. Can anyone say “power struggle”?

  3. miko564
    November 17, 2008 | 10:52 am

    Now I’m in love with Connie, ’cause she got to the Caddyshack reference first…

    According to my wife, the aim of the adult male of the species is not much better with age.

  4. Vodka Mom
    November 17, 2008 | 11:29 am

    and now I am giving YOU 100 points for touching the turd.

    (SHould I tell the story of finding a piece of shit on my carpet at school? maybe later….)

  5. Joe
    November 17, 2008 | 11:51 am

    I’m going to ask the wife if I can move out of the house during the potty training months. I just don’t think I can handle that.

  6. Renée aka Mekhismom
    November 17, 2008 | 12:46 pm

    This story had me in stitches AnyMommyTaki. Hilarious! I do not look forward to potty training and it is set to commence any day now. If your experience is any gauge of what I have to look forward to – Lord,give me strength.

  7. butwhymommy
    November 17, 2008 | 2:04 pm

    Wow, bare handed. That is truly impressive.

    We are a week in to potty training and so far so good (except for the poo I dropped on the dining room floor – oops).

  8. Kate Coveny Hood
    November 17, 2008 | 2:07 pm

    I often long for the day when I don’t have to actually touch poop. Even with diapers – stuff falls out and must be retrieved.

    I love the image of Gee putting his own knee in the stream. We don’t have that problem with Oliver – but the twins tend to stick their own heads in the stream to get a better view of the “PEE PEE!” Maybe you should ditch the stool. Oliver turned 3 1/2 in October (meaning – he’s the same age as Gee) and he’s always stood on the floor. Of course his penis has to be above the rim of the toilet bowl, but if it is, there is much less room for error.

  9. PsychMamma
    November 17, 2008 | 2:14 pm

    These are the things that age us beyond our years instantly. I totally understand that horribly embarrassing trumped horribly disgusting. Ugh. Again, I admire your fortitude. You definitely deserve some sort of award.

    Congrats on the pee pee training! Although, this is yet another time when I am SO thankful to have a girl. All that distracted “waggling” might have pushed me over the edge.

    P.S. “Little Pick Your Battles” sounds like a very, very wise mommy.

  10. Carolyn...Online
    November 17, 2008 | 2:33 pm

    Awesome. And really, who hasn’t fished their kid’s log out of the local pool bare handed? It can’t just be you and me.

    As for Cue, put him in a life jacket, let him go nuts, and get on with your life.

  11. Valerie
    November 17, 2008 | 3:03 pm

    I'm dying. And maybe it it's a whole heckuva lot more funny to me now that my 3&1/2 year old boy is finally trained, after about 4 months of h-e-double-hockey-sticks. Seriously. Potty training was the biggest nightmare ever for me. Poo in underwear was the absolute low point — I just started throwing it away as if it was disposable because I got to the point emotionally I couldn't rinse any more poo out in the sink. No way, Jose.

    So thank you for such a good laugh. You're not alone. I could totally relate on every level. But hey, at least you are in the tropics as a reward. I think potty training on a beautiful island would be at least a smidge better than at home. ;)

    Off to post a link to this on my blog. Everybody (all 20 of my readers, haha) needs to read this one.

  12. KLS
    November 17, 2008 | 3:13 pm

    When I first started reading this, I was wondering why in the world you would undertake potty training in paradise – why spoil things? Then I got to the pool part – pure genius!
    Thanks for the laughs!

  13. Heather
    November 17, 2008 | 3:14 pm

    Oh I feel your pain. I did a blog last week about poop and potty training and now my son sits on the potty and plays ‘hide the willy’ which is great but every time he pulls it out saying “there it is” – I have to show as much excitement as if I had won the lottery.

    I have to say girls are easier and definitely not as messy and bonus, we don’t have to play ‘hide the willy’.

  14. Casey
    November 17, 2008 | 3:45 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to do that but the new title will surely jazz up your resume!

  15. Michelle
    November 17, 2008 | 3:52 pm

    Oh, I was so hoping for such a lovely story from the teasters you left. You poor girl! But hey … I trained Little Miss the same way — until you’re potty trained, no swimming lessons. She caught on ;)

    And have you tried the Cheerio in the potty trick to get him to try to hit it? The nakedness thing though… that’s normal apparently. That or my wee ones are from the same planet at Gee. Sitting on the potty, ALL clothes must be removed. I feel sorry for their teachers when they’re at school!

    But hey — yay to success!

  16. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner
    November 17, 2008 | 4:13 pm

    LOL!!! Great post! I’m Sitting Snot and Vomit Catcher (my daughter’s home sick today… oh, the joy.) Thank the Lord for hand sanitizer…

  17. Anonymous
    November 17, 2008 | 4:49 pm

    OK, you are much braver than I was! We made Cam sit on the toilet to pee until just recently. I wasn’t into cleaning pee off the bathroom. It was a little weird to have to remember to yell, “Push your penis down” every time he headed for the bathroom, but it worked for us. Now he sweetly asks me if he can do “stand up” instead of sitting down. Ahh, the joys of parenting boys! I’m so glad that Gee at least wants to go on the toilet!

    Truda

  18. Mom24
    November 17, 2008 | 5:04 pm

    You are truly a gifted writer. Oh my goodness, I laughed and laughed. Don’t hate me though, it was empathetic laughter. Take care.

  19. heytheredearheart
    November 17, 2008 | 5:11 pm

    Ha! Hilarious! Good to see that you’re trying new things on your island adventure (and picking up loads of titles). No potty training here yet. The incentives are frozen over!

  20. Kirsten / Mama Ginger Tree
    November 17, 2008 | 5:38 pm

    Oh my gosh. That was hilarious for me to read, but maybe not so much for you to live through.

  21. Lyndsay
    November 17, 2008 | 6:21 pm

    Just count your blessings that it was *formed* and *scoopable*. I had a much different experience.

  22. imbeingheldhostage
    November 17, 2008 | 7:11 pm

    AnyMommyTaki– you have me on the floor!!! If I wasn’t laughing so hard, I’d be kneeling in hero worship. You scooped bare-handed. You win. All awards go to you!!!

  23. livinginagirlsworld
    November 17, 2008 | 7:59 pm

    Thank you for my laugh. Hafa Adai (?) to you. And I hope that you gain a new, more flattering, moniker soon!

  24. Anna See
    November 17, 2008 | 10:01 pm

    This made my Monday so much better! Is that awful to be laughing my head off at your expense. Your rocked, momma! I am sending this to my sister right now. We went through the floating poop stage w/ our kids a few years back.

  25. Erin
    November 17, 2008 | 10:10 pm

    That was so funny, but poor you! I haven’t faced potty training yet, so I can’t even fathom how frustrating it is.

  26. Mags
    November 17, 2008 | 10:32 pm

    OMG…I can’t stop laughing. We’re through the potty training battles. But…now, all I hear is, “I’m done, can you wipe me?” I do it…and I need to STOP. I can just see my twins walking out of the school bathroom next year with their pants down to their ankles begging someone to wipe their arses. LOL

  27. Issas Crazy World
    November 17, 2008 | 11:04 pm

    I am laughing my ass off over here…mostly because it wasn’t me. Clorine, it kills all that stuff. And while it’s gross to think about, if it was still in log form, you’re probably safe. At least this is what I told myself when my kids dropped a load in my uncles pool.

    Also, do you have a life vest for the baby? Or for all of them? Might make it a more enjoyable pool experience for all of you.

    Our deal right now is the, did you actually wipe conversation, which unfortunately for my ferret smelling pre-schooler is a mostly no answer.

  28. Deece
    November 17, 2008 | 11:22 pm

    OMGosh! That’s hilarious! And terrible. But hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing. And feeling your pain. While laughing.

    Yes, potty training fun. We’ve been doing it with Jacob, who is four months older than Que. Yeah.

    Last night before lying down to susu (or nurse, literally “breast” in Chamorro), I asked Jacob if he needed to pee in the toilet. He whined and said, “no pee pee ina bathroom, pee pee ina diaper”. The kid just wanted to susu – don’t waste time in the bathroom, mom.

    Then around 5:30 this morning he woke up to go “pee pee ina toilet”. I was tired. I said, “pee pee or susu?” He replied, “susu ina bathroom”.

  29. TMCPhoto
    November 17, 2008 | 11:41 pm

    I have a daughter so no spraying pee in my training stories but a friend of mine did use a wine cork in the toilet to help with aiming. It won’t flush down the toilet because it’s so buoyant and her little boy made a game of trying to hit it with his pee pee. She said that she cleaned a lot less once the cork was in the pot. As for the poops, you have my undying worship

  30. For Myself
    November 18, 2008 | 1:26 am

    To the Fisher of turd:
    You may be a wisher
    To end the absurd.
    “May my hands one day be clean
    Of the poo yet unseen.
    These bystanders sitting poolside, unsuspecting
    Not noticing the floater – the log not detecting!”
    Alas, the brown chaos will end,
    The emotional scars you will mend.
    One day soon you will see
    Not one discussion with short people of poop or even pee!
    In the meantime…buy some stock in Purell!
    xoxo

  31. phulmaya
    November 18, 2008 | 2:48 am

    You may not post again without pictures of kids. Is that clear? I miss those little buggers! Am so impressed – I just bought underwear again today for H and now just have to find something he really, really loves to deny him until he pees in the potty.
    miss you@

  32. Pam
    November 18, 2008 | 3:18 am

    You are too much!! Love it!

  33. Jessica Lynn
    November 18, 2008 | 3:25 am

    Oh my goodness! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. My husband is probably wondering what is wrong with me. =P

  34. Smalltowngirl
    November 18, 2008 | 4:04 am

    Oh my! This was too funny–I am impressed you came up with a plan to get it out of the pool so quickly!!! I hope the poop training goes a little better from now on….or at least you go to the pool prepared with something to get it out besides your hands!!!!! For my son, all of a sudden it just clicked and no more accidents. Hopefully that will be the case soon!

  35. luna
    November 18, 2008 | 7:48 am

    of course I was also thinking caddyshack.

    that one comes out for his prom, right?

  36. Jo
    November 18, 2008 | 9:37 am

    Thank you, thank you!!! I really needed a good laugh today.

  37. Tracey
    November 18, 2008 | 1:53 pm

    Oh, the things we find ourselves doing as Moms!!

    And wait: you DON’T aspire to be the drinker of pee pee? Why ever NOT?

  38. Gayle
    November 18, 2008 | 9:00 pm

    Oh, Fisher of the Turds you are my hero! I’m not so sure I wouldn’t have left it! I hate potty training. For all I care he can wear diapers until he’s ten. Really. No, not really, but I’m in no hurry. Some days Lucas decides he’s going to wear underwear and use the toilet. (He does this all himself). He sits on the toilet backwards, leaning forward and things naturally aim down. He came up with this one one his own (I don’t think he was hip on my helping him aim). He would be potty trained if I wouldn’t put diapers on him. I hate poop and poop accidents I cannot stomach!

  39. Jennifer H
    November 19, 2008 | 3:34 am

    You just trumped my vomit-from-pool removal.

  40. Kmommy
    November 19, 2008 | 6:04 pm

    Hilarious!!! OMG! I’m just still trying to imagine the bravery of taking 3 children of those ages to a pool by yourself! And turd wrangling with bare hands. Oh my. You deserve an award for that!

  41. andrea
    November 19, 2008 | 6:49 pm

    Fantastic! Love your descriptive tale…funny how as mothers we find ourselves seeing/smelling/eating things we wouldn’t have gone near with a ten foot pole prior to mommyhood:)

  42. Eudea-Mamia
    November 19, 2008 | 10:05 pm

    Brilliant!! I’m only laughing because I’m living it.

    Last night, I replaced the regularly scheduled Daniel Craig fantasy with a potty trained fantasy.

    Two butts, no wiping. I cannot even imagine the joy. What will I do with all my free time?

    Em

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://anymommyoutthere.com/2008/11/fisher-of-turds.html/trackback