A few months ago you started getting interested in the toilet. It began with opening and closing the lid, but quickly lead to you trying to reach your hand in to splash around, and throwing things into the bowl—the largest, a tube of toothpaste, which you timed perfectly with my flush, was never seen again.
One morning I asked you if you wanted your own toilet, to which you exclaimed, “Yes!” So the two of us went to the store to get you your very own throne. When we got home, I took it out of the box and placed it on the floor next to you.
“This is your toilet. Do you want to try it out?”
You excitedly said you did, so I took your pants and diaper off, and set you down on the toilet.
“This is where you poop. To poop, you push, like this” and I made an expression like I was trying to go No. 2.
You immediately grunted, showcasing your very best poo face, which looked surprisingly realistic. I asked, “Are you really going poo?”
“Yeah,” you responded. Then you stood and walked away, leaving your very visible mark at the bottom of your new toilet.
The next night, as I was getting you ready for bed, I knocked over the humidifier in your room, spilling water all over the floor.
“Oh, shit…” I murmured. Immediately realizing what I said, I cringed and held my breath, hoping the new word would go unnoticed.
You were laying on the floor with your mom, getting your diaper changed. A few seconds went by, then…
I turned your mom, thinking, “Oh, shit…”
When I was a toddler, probably a few years older than you, I was playing with my sisters and some rocket ships we had, when my sister Tricia called out, “There’s a meteor coming!”
“Oh, shit!” I exclaimed. I guess my vocabulary hasn’t expanded all that much in the past thirty years.
When my dad got home from work, that night, he washed my mouth out with soap.
Afterwards he ask, “What do you have to say now?”
“Thank you,” I responded.
He said in that moment he felt terrible, and decided to never try that type of punishment again. After all, it wasn’t like I had pulled that word out of thin air, I heard it from someone, just as you unfortunately heard it from me.
A week has gone by since your first successful poo, and so far you’ve held off a repeat performance of potty time or trying out your new expression. The other day you did go streaking out of the bathroom, pausing by the front door just long enough to drop a duos. “Oh, shit,” I thought. But no worries, by the time I ran to the kitchen to grab some paper towels, the dog had successfully spit shinned the contaminated area.
The past few weeks were filled with quite a few “Oh, shit” moments. There was the day you wouldn’t stop slapping the dog… The morning you wouldn’t stop grabbing handfuls of dirt from our potted plants and throwing it on the ground, just so you’d have something to sweep up with your new broom… And the nights you wouldn’t stop throwing bowls of food off of your high chair…
By the end of the week I was at work, feeling tired and sick, so your mom sent me a text message and a picture to cheer me up. The message said, “Now I know why I haven’t been feeling well all week,” and in the picture was her hand, holding a positive pregnancy test.
“Oh, shit,” I thought. “We’re going to have another baby!” I was instantly happy, then felt sad, briefly, feeling that the new baby would take up too much of my time and result in me missing moments with you. Moments that result in scrubbing green smoothies from the ceiling, or removing entire rolls of soaking-wet toilet paper from the toilet bowl. But then I smiled, imagining how much fun it will be to watch you interact with your little brother or sister, and smirked as I wondered just how many “oh-shit” moments the two of you will create together.
Congratulations, Arlo, you’re going to be a big brother—and an amazing one at that!