I could probably tell you the last time four different people pooped. I could also tell you the approximate size, consistency, color and the amount of toilet paper required for clean up of said bowel movements. I don’t share this as a point of pride, but rather as an insight into the vast (and often useless) knowledge of a stay at home mom. Raise your (recently washed) hands if you’re with me, mamas.
The other day my oldest daughter (6) called to me from the bathroom. “I pooped!” she crowed proudly. “Good job, honey.” I responded absent-mindedly. But I thought about it later and realized that if she had not announced it… I wouldn’t have known. And how could that BE? A mere handful of years ago I obsessed and charted and examined and wondered and researched that same child’s bathroom habits routinely. Even after the diaper stage passed I was still helping her wipe. And then there was a phase of NOT pooping that required attention.
I was basically a poop supervisor for years, and I seem to have found myself demoted.
I’m not saying I want the job back. I have two other younger children who are keeping me in the poop business for the time being. But it was an odd (and somewhat gross) reminder of how my relationship to my children will change as they grow and become more independent. They will make their own sandwiches. They will reach things on the counter without a step stool. They will buckle their own seatbelts. They will not inform me about what happens in the bathroom. And if they don’t tell me about their poop, what else will they not tell me?
This morning my big girl asked me if she could make her own breakfast. She got dressed in clothes she picked out herself and packed her own snack for school. She attempted her own ponytail and tied her own shoes. I assume she went to the bathroom, but I don’t know.
It’s my greatest joy and my greatest challenge to watch her become her own person, her own “supervisor.”
But before I could get too sentimental my youngest daughter was sure to remind me that my position is still secure in at least one department for another few years. In an ambivalent sort of way, I was grateful to change her diaper.