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defective yeti's Excrement Adventure

I knew that fatherhood would involve poop. I had no idea of how much, of course. If I had, I might never have signed on for this gig.

Parenting tip:
Eggshell = healthy,
Sunny Lime = sick.
But you get use to it -- blasť, even -- a fact that is disquieting in its own right. Worse, the diaper changing procedure involves so many herbally scented creams and lotions that, after a while, you begin to a conflate the aroma of fresh poop with a host of other, previously pleasant fragrances. They just all get lumped together in a region of your brain labelled "things you smell while changing diapers," which your mind eventually just abbreviates to "crap." I can't tell you how many times I've caught a whiff of some emanation from The Squirrelly's nether regions, whisked him off to the changing station, undressed him, found him clean, and only then recognized the offending scent not as human excrement but of lavender.

Sadly, once you reach this state you pretty much smell poop everywhere. One day you find yourself in a restaurant sitting near a guy who just received a cup of chamomile tea and thinking, "Jesus Christ -- something in here smells like shit."

Update: From the comments:

"But have you memorized the different colors and textures of snot and what they all mean?"
No, but The Queen has. She doesn't even use a thermometer any more. We picked up some paint cards from the local Home Depot, and now, when she wants to know if The Squirrelly is sick, she holds those up against his nose one by one until she finds a match.

Posted on December 13, 2004 to The Squirrelly


Don't worry. This too shall pass.


Posted by: edith on December 13, 2004 9:39 AM

I often "sniff test" my work clothes several times due to this very real dilemma.

Posted by: Mike on December 13, 2004 9:57 AM

But have you memorized the different colors and textures of snot and what they all mean?...thekeez

Posted by: Jeff Keezel on December 13, 2004 10:20 AM

You know what totally smells like poop and I never realized it until I became a parent? Popcorn. The other day I was sitting with some people and became convinced that one of them was farting and then realized I was smelling the bag of popcorn they were eating.

Posted by: Marianne on December 13, 2004 11:54 AM

god you're fucking brilliant. you need to have your own latenight talk show. Re place Conan when he takes over Leno, seriously.

Posted by: mego on December 13, 2004 1:02 PM

My diaper issue was that, in general, I have a horrible sense of smell. Peaches, flower, perfume, all of them are barely discernable to me. However (or should I say "butt"), poop is one smell that I can detect better than the average person. So, after decades of not smelling much of anything, suddenly I was assaulted on a regular basis by my darling daughter's excretions.

Ahh, the joys of fatherhood.

Posted by: The Other Mike on December 13, 2004 3:54 PM

That's so funny! Just today I was using the ladies restroom at work and all I could think of were dirty diapers. The bathroom didn't stink in the least (of poop, anyway) then I realized it was the lysol disinfectant spray. You know, the one that daycares and pre-schools everywhere use to 'sanitize' with. Especially for spraying down the changing table.

Posted by: Jasper on December 13, 2004 5:18 PM

bwahaha, I just went to Slate after reading this. The headline:

What The Donald Smells Like.

Posted by: greg from daddytypes on December 13, 2004 7:09 PM

Nether regions, not neither regions. as you have in this sentence "I've caught a whiff of some emanation from The Squirrelly's neither regions"

Posted by: SpelCheq on December 13, 2004 7:31 PM

Spelcheq: Yeah, but what a brilliant sentence it is! Why nitpick...

Matthew: It's a bit strange but I don't find myself being as poop-wise as you are. Yes, I've had the traumatic moments--often caused by her drive to crawl, crawl, crawl! at every moment even before mom hasn't quite finished the job.

But perhaps my husband is doing more of the changing. I think he cried a little the day she first ate solid food.

Posted by: Miel on December 13, 2004 8:24 PM


"Sunny Lime"


Posted by: Mollie on December 13, 2004 11:28 PM

Believe it or not, I work for one of the major infant formula manufacturers and our scientists actually do have poop color cards, similar to paint color samples, that they use for referencing the effect of ingedient changes during clinical trials. I put a call in to see if the colors had those cool paint sample names, like "sunny lime." If not, I'll nominate you to name them.

Posted by: Scotty on December 14, 2004 9:51 AM

Scotty--that's really strange but somehow unsurprising. 'Sunny Lime' is a good name but don't they usually have these exotic names like "Tahoe Green" or whatever? My friends unfortunately painted their living room a color that they will soon discover exactly match newborn baby poop as they are expecting.

Posted by: Miel on December 14, 2004 2:15 PM

i am in agreement with marianne - popcorn - especially the microwaveable variety - smells EXACTLY like breastfed baby poop (the yellow, mustard+cottage cheese variety).

Posted by: domin8trix on December 14, 2004 7:10 PM

My uncle, when he asks for mustard in a restaurant, always says "Not the brown stuff, the baby-shit yellow stuff." Makes a burger mmmm-mmmm good.

Posted by: Davey on December 15, 2004 4:06 AM

Ugh....another reason to thank Jesus I'm never having a child.

I can't handle my dogs poop.

Posted by: mark on December 15, 2004 6:30 AM

I don't have any babies yet, but I'm familiar with this phenomenon. Like any variety of Lysol, Fresh Rain Renuzit, and its other predecessors, thanks to some very authentic citrus air freshener, the smell of oranges can now be added to the list of things that smell like shit.

In other news, Fritos smell like sweaty feet.

Posted by: Cobra Death Match on December 15, 2004 6:40 AM

Papaya. Once babies start eating solids, particularly (suprise!) a lot of fruit they get horrible fruity smelling diapers ... and papaya tastes exactly how those diapers smell. I can't eat it anymore - I just start gagging.

Posted by: Keiric on December 15, 2004 1:01 PM