A few nights ago the Bear and I had a special bonding moment that I might possibly remember and briefly retell when he graduates from university or something. Would you like to hear the tale?

Are you sure?


It all started with me busy in the kitchen. A lot of good things start that way. Some not so good.

The Bear was toodling around in the Living Room, why she has capital letters, I’m not sure, but let it be. Ahem. He was in the Living Room, occasionally getting scolded for touching Dada’s MacBook, but mostly thumbing through a Wonder Pets colouring book, assembling puzzles, chilling out max and relaxing all cool. As they say.

I back up to mention two important facts: 1. He pooped already that morning. 2. The very sophisticated toots coming from the Bear’s rear end as I fed him at dinner didn’t really concern me because, see fact #1. Okay so there are three important facts: 3. These days morning poop is the whole kit and caboodle and a second poop is highly unusual.

Now you know everything you need to know, so let’s proceed.

Being a pregger of sensitive nasal-capabilities, I caught of whiff of an effluvium rather different from the chilli I was attending on the stove. It was pretty unlike the rice in the rice cooker, too.  So I gathered the Bear’s pajamas, a clean diaper and a changing mat, and decided it was time for a change, and just past bedtime anyway.

Oh wait! Fact #4. Hero Hubs is away on an airport pickup. Stinker.

The Bear and I are now settled in ready positions on the carpet in our living room, I begin to take off a shoe to start the changing process. But soft, what sight from yonder shoe breaks? It is poop. On. The. Shoe. There’s poop on the shoe. Which means it left the nappy, travelled down the leg, and came to rest on the shoe.

I prepare for the worst by grabbing a page the Bear had tugged from an activity book. Sorry Bear, but this page has now become the landing spot for all things poopy.

As you might guess, with belt undone and trousers down, the discovery is, as I thought, poop past the knee of one leg, caked and dried on. I should mention here the Bear is a quiet pooper. He never makes the faces he used to make when he’s doing his business. He doesn’t often tell me he’s pooped either, even though he can. I find out by catching a whiff or making the discovery.

Three baby wipes into the attempted clean-up, it’s clear this job will take sixty-five baby wipes and since there are only 88 in a full pack my chances aren’t good. Time for plan B: getting hosed down in the bathtub.

Another edition of important facts which are important at this juncture:

1. The Bear used to love baths, but the new bathtub at this place is deeper and it freaks him out.

2. The Bear used to love the hand-held shower nozzle that creates maximum bubbleage from baby shampoo, but this new one also freaks him out and he hates it.

3. The Bear used to love laying back in the bathtub so that we could get his goldilocks rinsed without pouring water over his head, but for some reason, this new deep bathtub makes him like it NONE.

Back to the story, we’re heading up the stairs, me toting the naked from the waist down Bear who is totally upset at why he’s being carried at arm’s length while I’m praying the smells don’t combine with pregger nausea to make me throw up. (Important note for my one emetophobic reader: no v***ting will happen in this story. You can keep reading.)

We stop beside the bathtub, me starting the water, the Bear holding onto the edge, still slightly upset but okay with the fact that he’s going to have a bath. I’m waiting for the water to warm up when he starts peeing. And he’s peeing on the towel we’ve been using as a bath mat.

I whisk him into the tub in hopes that the pee will head down the drain faster than you can say ew, gross, and he is EXTREMELY upset that he’s been whisked into a tub with water still running at the other end.

I begin trying to balance keeping the poop-covered, peeing Bear in the tub while making sure the water does not get to scalding levels because it does that pretty quick in this place. He is rapidly trying to climb out, getting poop up and down the inside of the tub. I’m encouraging him that it’s okay, keeping him in the tub, and trying to avoid scalding. I’m concerned my neighbours are going to call child protective services because the Bear is screaming at the top of his lungs and crying as if someone is poking him with a cow brand or something.

The timer goes off for the chilli on the stove and I want to scream.

I don’t want to start filling the bath until I’ve rinsed the poop off, so I take the shower nozzle thingy off it’s handle and switch gears. The Bear’s emotions range from utter shock, to terror, to whytheheckareyoudoingthistomeI’minabsolutedisbelief. I give up on trying to convince him it’s okay and begin hosing his little poopy legs down with gentle determination. He is past disbelief and probably trying to find a happy place inside his little almost-two-year-old mind.

Finally his legs are poop free, I’ve switched back to normal faucet mode, the water is at a reasonable temperature and the Bear has calmed down enough to sit down and decide that it’s okay to be in the bath while the water’s going. He still seems upset with me for all this trouble but has calmed enough to let me begin to scrubbing the legs that had been covered with poop. I decide to make this the gentlest bath ever and not even rinse the shampoo from his hair with a cup. I’ll just use a wet wash cloth and I’ll be the nicest Mom ever.

As I get started with the shampoo I realise the ant hill dirt the Bear discovered when we were at the mission team’s cottages earlier not only found its way to new locations on the ground back at the cottages. It is also a new feature in Goldilocks the wee Bear’s hair. And that dirt isn’t coming out with a the gentle touch of a wet wash cloth. This boy has to be dunked.

I finally get up the heart to lay him back in the very shallow water and try to convince him it’s the same as it was in our old place and it’s just fine, but he remains none too convinced. He cries. I rinse. He wails. I repeat.

When he’s back to sitting on his bottom I wonder why child protective services haven’t arrived yet and then remember there might not be such a thing in South Africa. Shew.

At long last, we find ourselves atop Mom and Dad’s bed getting on a clean nappy and pajamas. The Bear giggling and pulling at his toes as if nothing ever happened, me wondering whether the wet spots on my jeans are water or pee. And after all the magic of the bonding adventure the Bear and I had just shared, my thoughts are troubled by one simple remembrance:

Oh no! I forgot to brush the Bear’s teeth.

As the absurdity sinks in, I think: this is motherhood at its finest.


Care to link up with a classic motherhood tale? Mrs. Goettsch? Mrs. Avery? Mrs. Dameron?