Yesterday, during snack, Manny pooped in his underwear. That's all he was wearing, which is the normal part. The poop part was, thankfully, abnormal. What was so amusing was that it took him by such surprise. How do you not see something like that coming? This is what I have always wondered about people whose butt crack (is there a polite term for this?) is visible. I think, do they not know? How could they not know? And yet, there it is.
This is what has turned me into a lifelong checker. Some people are always smacking their pockets to check for keys, wallet, or in my case before having kids who eat it, lip balm. But I am a perpetual "is anything showing" checker, which becomes a more intensive process when you are constantly crouching down in public places to gather up the thousand and one crumbs that came from your child's singular muffin or the smashed O's all around a table. An "O" looks so benign on the floor, almost decorative, a little piece of cereal that slipped through someone's fingers. But smash it? It just looks like crap.
So I whisked Manny away from his chocolate soy milk and into the bathroom to try and sort things out, so to speak. He went on to have a leisurely stay on the potty and Glory left her snack to come check things out. She could not get enough of the show and was standing as close as possible to the toilet. Manny said, "Don't eat it. It's poop." Glory continued to be mezmorized. Manny went on to add, "It's not a snack! It's poop!"
Of course, this made me snicker. But as I have thought about it more, there is some real wisdom there. How many times have I eaten a load of shit, to my regret? And often, I bet there's been a voice, internal or external, saying, "It's not a snack! It's poop!"
I've been thinking on this the last couple weeks. Some old triggers were triggered again that cause me to tell a story to myself about myself that's not quite accurate anymore and it certainly isn't helpful.
In the past, I have always eaten that story up, to my detriment. And I started down that path this time too. But I stopped. And I guess the celebration in that is that I'm starting to figure out when the stories I tell myself about myself are shit and when they're not.
All this daily refining- today was another walk through the fire- is changing me and I like it. It's so painful, but I like the result. I like being able to accept, the good, the not so good, and the really gross in me with less judgment, because who's got the time to sit around and brood too long about anything? There are three pint-sized people who are constantly reenacting the Three Stooges schtick and I'm the critic who's always saying it's not funny, especially when I'm the one who gets poked in the eye (this morning) and thrown across the room after tripping on a baby gate (this afternoon).
Incidentally, I still haven't learned how to wear attractive pants on a consistent basis, per my final 2009 post, which matters because unattractive pants (especially when you haven't been able to find your belt for three weeks) can lead to more butt checking, which is a ball and chain to the soul. How free do I feel when my clothes fit right? Like a bird. Like a really self-confident bird.
That's a big part of being a family. Helping each other sort crap out of our closet, but more importantly, sort the crap out of our heart. To be able to say, "that's not your story. That's shit. Your story is so much more nuanced and beautiful and broad and messy, but not in the can't ever get that stain out of the couch kind of messy, but in the this too, with time and attention and a whole lot of surrender, can be sifted and sorted kind of messy.
At least, that's the family Sam and I are trying to create. And since Manny knows poop when he sees it, I will try to heed his warnings. Literal and figurative.