It’s all just plumbing at the end of the day

When there's a baby in the house, bodily functions are no longer ‘private’ affairs (from mum or baby), and that takes some getting used to.

Dad changing nappies

I decided that when our first (Georgia) arrived, I was going to be as hands on as possible. From the get-go I had no problem with the sick. Seeing it, smelling it, being covered in it. I could deal. Like most, I’d just clean it up and move on. The smell never fully goes away, but you get used to it.

Poo took a little longer. I found it helped to think of it as plumbing. It’s all just ‘plumbing’ at the end of the day… Food goes in, poo comes out. Plumbing. You clean her up, she’s happy and the cycle begins again.

When I thought of it this way it became almost bearable.

What started as a coping mechanism soon became an obsession. If it’s white going in, it’s probably gonna be yellow at the exit. Lots of green goo? Green poo!

It was strangely satisfying.

Code brown!

I noticed that whenever we traveled in the car for extended periods, Georgia’s pipes would get blocked up.

We’re talking no ‘code browns’ for a day, maybe even a day and a half after a particularly long journey.

With each hour that passed, that nothing passed, our concern would grow. Usually, just before that noxious thought of calling a doctor creeps in, we’d catch a tell-tale whiff things would be returning to normal very soon.

That is until one family holiday that changed me forever.

Where the hell is it?

When Georgia was just over a year old we went on a family holiday to Turkey. We were living in the UK at the time, so it was a four hour flight, no biggie.


The day after we arrived, as expected, Georgia was up to her usual trick. Hey ho, no problem, seen it before. On with the holiday.

Day 2 — still no poo from the little lady… hmmm.

Day 3 — nope, no poos… Georgia’s clearly not happy about the situation either and has stopped eating. But this is plumbing right? So where the hell is it?

Day 4 hit  — and that’s it. I make a hasty early morning call to a family friend back home, an experienced midwife who’s ‘seen it all before’. Her advice is unusual:

“Lie her on her back naked and gently bend both of her legs up and into her tummy – like a squat but lying down.”

So I do. And nothing happens.

“Just hold it there carefully, and wait…”

Georgia is as bemused as I am at this point. I feel a bit silly but soldier on…

Finally a little fart… errrm, good?

Then a solid little poo comes out. Excellent, let the holiday proceed!

Suddenly before you can say Mr Whippy an ungodly stream of soft-serve poo comes pouring out at a speed for which I am frankly unprepared: One nappy… two nappies… three nappies... by this point I give up worrying about the spillage onto my hands and just focus trying to contain the Tpoonami.

How could all this come out of one little unit?

It finishes almost as quickly as it began. Georgia flashes me a big “all better” smile before being whisked away by her mum for a bath and a nap.

I’m left behind, PTSD already kicking in. Just one thought enters my head:

“How the hell do we explain this to housekeeping?”

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