please don’t post a photo of your kid’s poop

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The truth is, I videotaped the whole thing. I couldn’t help it. Abigail managed, once again, to dig for ‘taters in her size 4 diaper. Duct tape wasn’t gonna stop her. The girl can houdini her way out of footed pajamas in the name of a decent deuce. And I just couldn’t believe it. That shit had to be captured on film. BAD MOTHER. Very bad. Why don’t you just give her a bit more attention? I know. I know I’m supposed to scold her with a deep voice, but not to give her too much attention, even bad attention. I should be mild mannered about it, or better yet, let her stew in it. Just stand there with two handfuls of dung, as she tries to brush her hair out of HER EYES. Instead?

I took out the video camera.

"That’s just about the last thing you should do." It’s called enabling, really. I mean, I’m pretty much teaching her to do it by whipping out a video camera. What else says, "all eyes on me" better than eyes and a video camera? But you know, I couldn’t help myself. It was that disgusting. I needed proof for one day. I don’t know that I’d ever need to hold it over her as some threat, since I’m just not the type, but I guess, you never know.

Admittedly, I so want to post this video so others can see exactly what we’re dealing with here, but I’m also very aware that things on the internet live forever, and I do think about the privacy of my sprouts. I believe that stories like this one are actually beautiful. You know, in that same way, when Robin Williams, in Good Will Hunting, says that his deceased wife used to fart in her sleep, one time to the point where she woke herself up. It’s the good stuff. It’s what makes you laugh until you cry, no matter how gross. It’s the misery we’re able to laugh at over time, the really appalling stank of life actually is worth capturing on film.

In other news, I think it’s time for a big girl bed, so she can smear her shit all over the room. Yesterday, I heard a THWUMP from her room, and assumed it came from downstairs, but then she emerged, red faced, running to my room. When I called her name, she ran to me, with that cry where no sound comes out. It was nap time, and she’d escaped. She fell on her face, and now her nose is bruised. It’s definitely time for a big girl bed. Though Phil thinks we should wait. "She now knows that if she climbs out, she’s going to get hurt. So let’s keep her in the crib. She won’t do it again." Booh. I don’t like that logic. Especially since, I was the type… AM the type, who even if hurt once, think, well this time, maybe I’ll be a better climber. This time, maybe, I won’t get hurt, and I’d risk it. If she’s anything like me, she’ll think she can outsmart gravity, and she’ll keep trying, even in the face of fear.

A YEAR AGO: The High Road Can Feel Kinda Low
2 YEARS AGO: Politics is Perception



  1. Crib tents! Must get them! My girls stayed in cribs till age 4 that way. I couldn't handle the idea of the poop getting all over the room!
    As for the poop, you must duct tape the diaper, and pin (use diaper pins) the zipper of the sleeper, then duct tape around the waist and thru the legs. It looks criminally insane but it works to stop the mess until they outgrow it. Good Luck!

  2. If you're going to post it anyway…you should post it someplace you can charge people to view it. The fetishists are going to get off on it anyway…might as well make some money in the process.

    Sorry. My capitalistic viewpoint was left on. (smile)

  3. I DO NOT think you should post the poop video…. first god-awful thought that went through my mind is the pervs who will want to see it. Do NOT DO IT. Also, there will come a time when they are ready to start sending out applications to prestigious colleges…. after, wonderfully high-paid jobs…..places on boards, maybe meeting and getting engaged to royalty… You never know. And, why would you have to put her in the position to have to qualify why when she was still in diapers, she enjoyed the feel and smell of a good load. Just hope that she never remembers this time in her life… and do not document it.

  4. Have you tried putting the footie pj's on backwards, with the zipper going up the back instead of the front?

  5. Stephanie, I know it is tough when you are in the middle of poop 'incidents', but I promise you it will get better. I am the mom of 4 children, three of whom have disabilities, and even though their doctors told me they would never be toilet trained, they are.

    While in the middle of all of it, I took things personally. I imagined myself the cause, and believed everything I was doing to try to 'fix' the problem was wrong. None of the doctors could convinc me otherwise. But time took care of the issue, and I believe it will with your daughter.

    I won't say don't take it personally – don't question yourself and your responses to the poop parties, because I believe any mother would also take it personally.

    As for the big girl bed, I say go for it. If you are nervous about her falling out, get a toddle bed, or put a mattress on the floor for a week or so. It won't take her long to figure out the edges and not fall out. The crib tent things never worked for me. My little climber, who just happens to be deaf and blind, figured out a way around that in one night.

    Sometimes, big girl things make little girls mature a bit :)

  6. I'm with you on the big-girl bed idea. It won't matter to her that she got hurt when she escaped; all that matters to her is that escaped. And like you said, she'll just keep doing it until she masters it.

    I agree, a poop pic would be hilarious.. but I agree, bad idea to post one. A separate question: Have you ever posted video of the babes being chit-chatty and playing? When I see their pics I often think "I wonder what their little voices sound like and what their personalities are like when they express themselves." They're just such cute little bugs.

  7. Posted by: Bill | Mar 5, 2009 4:12:41 AM

    Exactly why you should not post this video. Good God, the creeps come out of the woodwork. I didn't even think of this possibility (fetishists) I only thought that it would embarrass the tots later on perhaps. Seriously that comment freaks me out.

  8. Of course, post it. It's adorable and the stuff life is made of. Pretty sure Dooce would post it.

  9. Have you asked your pediatrician about this? You certainly don't want to handle it wrong, so it becomes an "Aha, I got a big reaction out of mom and dad" moment.

  10. I rarely comment, but a while back (at least a year ago if not longer) you'd written a particularly sweet post about the beans, and I wondered how many readers would feel inspired to have babies. You certainly got me thinking about it.

    I just found out that I'm pregnant. It feels very unreal for some reason – like it's all happening to someone else… and it's early days, so I want to wait a while before doing the happy dance. Either way, I wanted to say thank you.
    (I realize this is an odd comment on a post like this, but hey…)

  11. 2 words: Crib Tent. Your daughter is not ready for a bed in my opinion, if she is still smearing shit on herself.

  12. I truly feel sorry for your childen. Is there any possibility you use a pseudonym for you or the children? Because the poop stories are NOT yours, no matter how much you believe they are. How do you know your childen will grow up as crass and low-class as you and will ENJOY a less-than-flattering poo story? I'm no prude, and would be embarrassed if my mother shared this kind of story in polite company. Face it, that's what you've done. You are limiting those poor children. You don't have to wait for the bullies to do it – you've done the hard work for them. It makes me sad, though I suppose it's more than a bit presumptuous to be sad on behalf of someone else's children. However, you've proven time and again that you don't have enough class or dignity to do it yourself.

  13. Two words for you— VIRAL VIDEO..
    if you want your daughter to take the tour around the world in less than the speed of light and make the viral video lists along with the grown woman who threw a tantrum because she missed her plane.. then do post. But I would never forgive my mother if she did that…
    Forget the job applications.. just getting to jr. high would mean being put through hell. I wish mommy bloggers would understand that once and for all. It's so cool to get all these comments, and all these blog statistics, and have people drool over their babies and get laughs from them.. but some just don't have a limit. I just want to see dooce's daughter get through jr.high and high school. It just takes a mean kid with internet access to harass others.
    I just don't understand how someone is asking strangers if she should exhibit her daughter or if she should protect her. Arrgh!

    FROM STEPHANIE: Where do you see me asking that of people? I wasn't asking if I should exhibit my daughter. I was stating how a part of me would love to, but that I certainly know better and never would. How people miss this is beyond me.

  14. I am a HS teacher and just 1 video of a kid getting beaten up here and having it go round and round on kids' phones and youtube was enough for the kid to leave in humiliation and switch schools. I would not post it! But I would maybe try the mattress on the floor as a big girl trial bed. And jammies backwards with a zipper, duct tape and a safety pin, too.

    FROM STEPHANIE: That was my point. Of course I wouldn't post it, for that exact reason. As I stated, this stuff lives out there forever.

  15. Please, please, PLEASE — DO NOT POST a video or pictures of flinging poo.
    And can we get a new blog topic ????
    Please ??

    FROM SK: If I had planned on posting it, don't you think I would've posted it with this blog entry? Duh. I wasn't planning on it. I get irritated when people miss that. It was the whole point of this post.

  16. I hate to tell you, but the poop digging? You're going to be fighting her about that for a while. I hope not, but…

    My two-year-old, in her big girl bed, has been smearing poop on the walls of the room she shares with her seven-year-old sister. I thought it was just me! We've tried duct tape. I've heard about putting them in a cold shower to clean them afterward (sort of a shock to help them remember not to do it anymore, I dunno). Tried the jammies backwards AND safety pins. I guess my kid is just MacGyver because it ain't workin'. Good luck!

  17. Get the footie Pj's. Cut the feet off. Then put it on her backwards (so zipper is in back.) There is nooo way she's getting out of it. Can't dig in that get up.

  18. People are missing it becuase it seemed like you wanted people to egg you on. To goad you into posting your video. From your comments, it sounds like that wasn't your intent. Still, its the way it came off to some.

  19. Stephanie,

    I used to watch two-year old twins who would throw poop at each other during their nap time. Somehow, they would wake so quietly and destroy the entire room– even climbing out of their cribs and tip-toeing around in their own shit. Eck.

    Their mother finally bought crib tents to 1)keep their poop contained and 2)keep them in their cribs. They worked wonderfully and they put off buying bigger beds for a while. Here is a site where you can purchase them:

  20. I chuckled when I read that comment the other day about mommy blogging and poop. Point taken. However, writing about motherhood without mentioning poop would be a bit like writing about dating without mentioning sex. Yes, it would make certain people happier if you left that part out, but it wouldn't be very authentic.

  21. "But you know, I couldn't help myself. It was that disgusting. I needed proof for one day. I don't know that I'd ever need to hold it over her as some threat, since I'm just not the type, but I guess, you never know."

    I cannot wrap my head around why you would videotape this. Ever. Above is your exclamation, but still, I just don't get the need. If you never know if you would use it to blackmail her, then yes, you ARE the type.

    Please rethink this and erase the film. Dignity. Hers, not yours.

    FROM SK: I would never blackmail a child. It was a joke. Some people said I should hold off on piercing her ears, to use it as a bargaining chip when she's older. It's NOT the way I work. I also have video of a good 7 minute poop she took as an infant. It was just gross, and funny, so we taped it. It would only ever be to show her if she herself is a mom, or wants to see what she was like as a baby, along with all the other video of her speaking, and interviews, and singing, and holding hands with her brother. It's just a part of it. THAT is why I had to videotape it. It's part of her childhood, and I want to capture it for her. Not use it against her.

  22. No more poop posts! They (1) are just gross, really gross, (2) make you sound like a bad mother who not only does not discipline her children but in fact encourages this "funny" behavior,(3) are repetitive, and (4) are gross, really gross. Make it stop!!!

  23. This entry had me giggling. One, her pride in her poop. And two, your exasperation causing you to bring out the camera. It strikes me as so funny and true to life. It also seems natural as a photographer that you would reach for a camera.

    People should lighten up. Poop, puke, motherhood, and shallow threats of revenge seem to go hand-in-hand.

  24. Ok…I wasn't going to post…thought it was a humorous blog entry, a silly and sweet diversion from other things in life….and then all these people start raggin on you not to post the video/picture/whatever…



    Thats all I wanted to say. Thank you.

  25. So funny. The reader comments are almost as funny. I mean, for everyone who has EVER posted here, you must have some sort of voyeuristic tendencies to spend reading Mommy blogs anyway. I can see why Stephanie posted this. It made her laugh, and it's not as if she can share the video with anyone other than Phil. Stephanie deserves to laugh. I'm sure she wasn't encouraging the behavior, just discreetly taping it. If the idea of anyone else's poop but your own grosses you out, you probably shouldn't be surfing the net and should probably cancel your cable television.

  26. You didn't mention this, but I'm wondering if videotaping actually made you less angry at your daughter. When my kids were toddlers and having insane tantrums, I would videotape them now and then — not for blackmail but because, as you wrote, it documented a small part of who they were at that age. The thing is … the camera was always jiggling because I was laughing so hard! My frustration dissipated, the tantrum wound down, and the visuals (one: naked but for a ski hat, throwing a chair against a wall and screaming) are priceless.

  27. OK, a little perspective. Obviously, you won't post the poop-video. Wayyyyy too many wack-a-doodles sitting in the dark on the other side of a flickering screen. But, you WILL laugh one day at this, and so will Abby.

    When my oldest son was about 13 or so months old, he started climbing out of his crib. (His nickname IS MacGuyver). We put a tent over the crib… he figured out how to get out. Then we put a twist tie on the zipper to the tent… STILL got out. OK… here's the part that's sure to get a reaction, we put one of those hook things on it that is sort of like a big J with a clasp. He couldn't figure it out. (believe me, if an emergency happened anyone could use their bare hands to rip through the mesh on that thing…) He relented and eventually it became his little hidey-hole and he even wanted a blanky over the top. One night, he was sick. Darn if that little bugger didn't connect real quick that puke gets mom and dad in there in a hurry and gets him out of bed and snuggled. Soooooo, he starts getting 'sick' very frequently!! I watched him one night. He was sticking his hand in his mouth to make himself sick!!!! Like you, I was so horrified that I was speechless. I figured I completely destroyed his psyche and was raising a potential serial killer. I called the doctor, no advice. I got to the point where I just didn't know what to do so I videotaped it one night. So began my journey of putting the curse of my hoping he has a child just like himself, (like my father did to me, and his father did to him and so it goes) :)
    He's 8 now. He loves to hear stories of when he was a baby. He. Laughs!!!! Best part? He can't believe he did that stuff. That's when the videos come in handy. He wants to see them, he gets a kick out of it… quite impressed with himself he is.
    Keep in mind, this is also a boy who broke the childproof locks on the utensil drawer so he could get a knife in order to pry the childproof cap-things out of the electrical outlets so he could plug the vacuum in the wall. The kid is a whiz with a screw-driver.

    He's entering his school science fair this year. His project is going to be a fully assembled, hand cranked V-8 engine.

    Thing is, when Abigail has her own daughter some day and is sobbing to you because her post-partum hormones are just insane, you'll pull out a bottle of vino, and some videos of her. She'll laugh and know that she too, can get through it.
    'Cause really, poop happens!

  28. I agree – not sure how anyone could've gotten the impression you were actually going to post this or were asking for people's advice on that. Your post was clear to me! (and funny, at that).

  29. Some of the comments are here are ridiculous. Did any of you actually read the post? Stephanie is not going to post the poop video. And, I would have videotaped it too. Read the posts and stop being so damn critical. Life is funny. BTW, Stephanie, congratulations on the cover of The Austin Chronicle!

  30. Hey there! So glad you videotaped it, and also so glad you didn't put it on the 'net, although of course, I'm dying to see it. You will have to mortify her later when she's able to be mortified!

    And I'm of the don't get them out of the crib till you're ready to not rest at all school. You'll not have another peaceful night of sleep for a while. Unless you put a gate up at their door or lock 'em in with their poopy pants. Oh boy.

    Hope you've been well! : )

  31. STEPHANIE….have you actually TRIED the backwards PJ's/Sleep sack with the zipper PINNED SHUT??

    some other people have mentioned it and I mentioned it a while ago as well…but you never reply to any of us…you just say she gets out of anything. I don't see how she can get out of this if its on backwards and you pin down the zipper:

    they sell them in Toddler sizes too. well I know the XL fits the 2 year old twins i used to babysit and was actually a bit big on them.

  32. Yes you ARE, all a bunch of twits. Jeeezus, people can be so LITERAL. Lighten up and PAY ATTENTION.

  33. Oh, come on people, my first thought was: excellent blackmail material for when she's 16 and demands to stay out all night! >:D
    And I never realised exactly how gross toddlers could be. Thanks for the heads up ;)

  34. I want to know exactly how some of you suggest that Stephanie discipline Abigail for this.

    Scream and yell at her? Spank her? Explain exactly why we don't do this? Put her in time out? And how do you know that she's not already doing one or all of these things?

    She's two. She's NOT an adult. This is a phase and it will pass.

    The perfect parent DOES NOT EXIST. So jump off your high horses and stop being so judgmental.

  35. I agree.

    It's very obvious in the comments of this post who reads your posts and who has a sense of humor. Clearly I don't know you as a person, Stephanie, but in all the years I've been a reader, you've never presented yourself as someone who would intentionally hurt someone else – ie. YOUR OWN DAUGHTER.

    Lighten up people. This post was hilarious.

  36. Bahaha! Jodi, your comment cracked me up. I've done that before. Except my five year old had on underoos, black socks and a Spiderman mask while having a tantrum.

  37. Steph, I think you are making a big mistake going for the big girl bed. Keep her in there as long as possible. Your life will be hell. My son is 2.5 and he has tried twice with like 7 or 8 months between each attempt. Both times I think he hurt himself somewhat but I think it just scared the shit out of him. (He must have forgotten the second time he tried, like i said it was 7 or 8 months later.) My .02 keep em in there. I don't think my son would stay in his room… omg just the thought.

  38. Regarding climbing out of the crib, I'm with you: I would definitely think, "maybe I can do it better next time now that I know how it goes."

  39. YOur post reminded my of my now 9 year old who had poops so dry they would roll out of his saggy diaper like marbles. And the dog trailed after him snacking away until I noticed. He was also (still is) an acrobat– he crawled out of his crib at 10 months, crawled down the hall into the kitchen and pulled the cheerios out of the cabinet. He then gummed and spit out most of the box, to the dog's delight. Let me tell you, that dog is in heaven right now boasting about how good he had it! And the boy was on a mattress on the floor the next night. (We live in NJ– few chances of scorpions here!)

    I'd pay dearly for a (for private viewing) videotape of either at this point!

  40. Honestly, the sleep sack, backward, with a pin, works like a charm.

    And buy the crib guard thing and keep them in there as long as possible. Once they are mobile, OH GOD, they'll sneak out in the middle of the night and break your porcelain vase that you thought they couldn't get to.

  41. This is late as I am just catching up. But, I love those kinds of stories and agree they are endearing. I remind my husband, and he reminds me, of Robin William's fart story too. My gross out that my husband discovered…I pick my nose in my sleep–a lot! Luckily he finds this cute, at least for now. Ah love and being loved.

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