I am a big fan of pooping. Always have been.
Quite frankly, I am a fan of pooping because I have been a good pooper for most of my life. Regular, good form, minimal effort. I think good pooping is very important. I highly recommend working on becoming a good pooper if you aren’t one already. You know, drinking lots of water, upping your fiber intake, exercising—all the usual healthy stuff.
Because a good poop is a lovely thing to experience.
I’m also a fast pooper. I can be in and out of that bathroom for my once daily in under two minutes. Yes, that record-breaking time even includes a thorough hand washing. I’ve always prided myself on being stealth in the bathroom.
There was a time when I became a fake slow pooper.
Honestly, I had no choice.
I was a stay-at-home-mom who had two kids less than two years apart. I found my husband was almost as tired as I was at the end of the day, and not a fan of stretching his patience when the kids were running at full force during cranky time. Our cranky time was the two hours before bed—right when he got home from work. Every single night from dinner to bedtime was my worst, hardest, most sanity-challenging time of the day. When my beloved would walk in the door amidst cranky time, I wanted to toss the kids at him and hide in a closet until abouuuuuuuuuut one minute after the kids were asleep.
Normally I persevered and just tried to make cranky time into family time. I’d put a smile on my face, act pleased to be scraping mac and cheese off the wall while getting alphabet blocks tossed at my head and asking my betrothed how his day was. But I got desperate. I needed a little break in the middle of cranky time, so one night I told my husband, “I think I need five minutes upstairs” (translation: I’m off to poop). He dropped his bag and looked sidelong at the baby as if he wanted to ask me to take her with me, so I dashed away in a flash.
Once upstairs, the plush carpet muffling the chaos below me, I slowed my pace. I strolled into the bathroom, locked that door (Ahhhhhhh…), sat myself down in the quietest room of the house, and plucked a new glossy magazine from the pile.
Oh—I didn’t actually have to poop. That need was taken care of about 12 hours earlier. But I sat there on the closed toilet all by myself and enjoyed every damn second of not being touched, talked to, or cried on. After a little breather, I put the magazine back, flushed the empty bowl to keep up the façade, washed my hands, and headed back downstairs. No one was to know I was faking it.
I dove back into the melee with a clearer head, possibly not even skipping pages of the bedtime stories that night (for once).
After that first experience with successful fake pooping, I really wanted to do it again. I liked the way it felt. I totally could stop at any time. It was just a little white lie—I wasn’t hurting anybody! I mean, I did maybe hear my kids giving my husband a hard time, but surely it wasn’t quite as bad as it sounded from up there in my tiled sanctuary.
So I did it again.
No, not every night. I spaced it out throughout the week, sometimes doing it upon his arrival, sometimes a little later. I’d give myself a good 5-10 minutes to escape into fashion magazines’ delicious style spreads, or have a fun romp through a celebrity gossip rag, then pretend to wash up and calmly take my recharged self back down to the pandemonium in my kitchen. I’d have the energy to push through that last hour or so of my motherhood responsibilities without needing to build a tree fort and go on strike, like many a made-for-TV-movie mom had done before me.
The problem was I married a pretty smart guy. It didn’t take long for me to believe he was onto me. I sometimes got that questioning eye from him when I came back down, since in our almost decade-plus-long relationship he had never witnessed me take more than two minutes to do my bathroom business. But I didn’t care—it wasn’t like him to question a woman’s bowel movements. He was not one to talk poop; that’s more my style. And if I’m not starting the conversation, there’s no way he would.
Ah, the perks of marrying a gentleman.
But I wasn’t always successful in my fake slow pooping endeavors. There was one night early into this game when I tried my escape and the baby was crying so much I had no choice but to take her with me. The problem? I really did actually have to poop that time. The plan was to simply pop upstairs solo and take my time going in peace. Unfortunately, that was not an option.
Up the stairs I ran with twenty screaming pounds of barnacle baby under my arm, writhing like a pissed-off football. I had to sit there, pooping, with her on my lap freaking the freak out in what I then realized was quite an echo chamber. I had to hold her with one arm while wiping, flushing, lowering the lid, and spraying the Febreeze all with the other one. Still unable to release the tiny crying beast, I then had to hold her while doing the one-hand-at-a-time washing up. Which of course splashed her, making her cry even more. By the time we got back downstairs, we were both delirious and covered in flop sweat and the clear snot of disappointment.
I looked at that experience as penance for all the fake slow pooping I had slipped by my accommodating husband up to that point. He may have had his suspicions, but he never let on, so karma stepped in on his behalf.
Not that I let that discourage me from continuing my fake slow pooping endeavors in the future. Hell no. I kept that charade up until my kids were old enough to recognize that I needed a small break from them every night after dinner in order to be someone they actually wanted to tuck them in at night. Now we all have glossy magazine time in separate corners of the house each night, and I never (okay, rarely) have to pretend to be a slow pooper anymore. It’s a beautiful thing.
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