The Art and Science of Shoveling Shit

I love my life. I have great kids and a wonderful family…but there are some aspects that are not so pretty and nice, like dog duty/dooty. But when life, or the dogs for that matter, give you a yard full of steaming piles, you have to make the best of it. Or at least try to make something of the stinkin’ piles…so I decided to give it a creative twist.

I shovel so much shit that I have it down to an art form, a science. I have an exact routine; from the best way to hold the shovel for maximum turd scoopage to the proper cursing of having such a nasty job. 

Even the kids know the routine. I grab a plastic grocery sack from the cupboard and Collin knows what time it is. “Dog poop,” he says, one of his limited phrases that is clear, it’s right up there with “me, too!”

He usually takes the sack from me and I go to the garage for the “shit shovel.” By the time I’m out and across the yard, Collin is already next to a pile yelling with excitement as if it were Easter morning and he found a candy filled egg.

I’m getting real good at shoveling shit, though, and I have it down to a science. It’s best to use the shovel with the somewhat pointed end. If you angle it just right and scoop from the bottom, aiming for the middle as best as you can, this will give you the maximum amount of turds per shovel, usually about five to six for small dogs and three to four for larger loads. And don’t forget to bend at the knees, nobody wants an aching back.

The technique is different if the grass is long and in need of mowing versus if it is short and burnt to a crisp, like it is now with the hundred degree weather we have had this summer. It’s much easier to clean up in the burnt grass. The turds dry up pretty quick and are easily scooped. If you run across a fresh pile, it is best to wait until it is dried and shriveled up. Otherwise it just smears and gets stuck to the shovel. 

You can also collect information as you lift a pile onto the shovel. This one is blue, dang dog must have eaten a piece of sidewalk chalk the kids left out. What the heck is that? I don’t even want to know what the dog ate on that one. We once found a small Squinky toy, which is a little rubber figure less than an inch tall. It came out squeaky clean, but there’s no keeping it now. I hurried up and dumped it in the bag before any of the kids saw it and tried to keep it.

You also have to have the right amount of cursing under your breath with your head turned so the kids wont hear you and go repeating, “Damn, dogs. This f*cking sucks. This is a bunch of shit. Why do I always get stuck with this shitty job?!”

We shovel up shit so often, the babies are even trained to locate piles. They follow behind and point. The other day while playing out in the yard, I found Mallie squatting down and examing something in the grass, her hands on her knees. When I went to see what she had found, she was just staring at shit. Ugh! Get away! Don’t touch it.

It’s a shitty job, but somebody has to do it…and in this house, unfortunately its me.


My Baby Turns 3

I can’t believe my little Collin just turned 3!

I think back to when I had him and how much he has changed. It’s amazing how they grow so fast. I want to catch every little memory and keep it, like collecting butterflies in a jar. But since I can’t, I will settle for pictures and writing the little things down. 

Happy 3rd Birthday, my crazy little Collin!


Creativity Always Wins: The Poop Monster Saga

How can one sweet little boy turn into such a little stinker in a matter of minutes?


When you tell him he has to poop in the potty.

But tonight was a night for celebrating and extra cookies. If you are a parent who has recently been doing the potty training thing, you will understand and find humor in it. If not, you will probably find a post about pooping quite boring. But sorry, I don’t care… Because this is a happy time for Mommy!

Collin is pretty much potty trained, and a good thing because he’s gonna be three in less than a week. But for some reason he just wont poop in the toilet. He will whine and cry for a diaper. I have done everything imaginable to get him to just SIT on the toilet, besides tying him down. And I am so sick of skid marks in the little Tansformer underpants and cleaning up turds. I am tired of cleaning the damn carpet. I am tired of extra unnecessary laundry. I am tired of trying to bribe him to just to take a crap in the toilet. And as much as we love books around here, reading doesn’t work either.

But he finally did it! And it wasn’t with bribes, it was with creativity and I guess a little fear, as much as I don’t want to admit the last part.

He comes into the bathroom, “Poop, Mom. Poop!” Ugh! I resigned myself to cleaning up another mess, but he didn’t actually go. So I finally got my big girl pants/mommy britches on and quit giving in. “Don’t you dare get off that toilet until you poop!” He whined. He kept getting off. I kept having to get my tired butt off the Lightning McQueen footstool to put him back on. (Yep, I took a seat figuring it would probably take a while). “I don’t care if we’re here all night,” I told him. “We are not leaving this bathroom until you finish and go poop in that toilet!”

Needless to say, that didn’t work.

Until I spotted the Poop Monster right outside the door. (I don’t know where I come up with these ideas, they just hit me in the spur of the moment.) “Collin! Poop! You have to poop in the potty,” I said and glanced out the bathroom door nervously. “The Poop Monster is coming! He’s gonna…” (and I did have to think on this one) “He’s gonna bite your butt! You have to poop in the potty.” And I made all kinds of farting noises. “You have to do that to keep him away. And go poop in the potty before he gets here!”

You know, he looked a little scared. “Mom, shut da door! Shut!” he motioned at the door with his little hand. I shut the door. I didn’t want to totally scare him, even though it was a little fun – I’ll admit it. And so did Bradley, who was in the shower and couldn’t resist popping out from behind the shower curtain at that moment and yelling “Boo!”

“If you make the poop face and go poopy in the toilet he will go away. He wont bite your butt.” And needless to say, after the look of panic on his face (even though he was having fun too, we were fighting a monster!), and repeating the process several times with lots of fart noises, and urgently glancing out the door, he finally pooped in the toilet for the first time!

We cheered. We high-fived. He was so proud.

So creativity wins out this time. I couldn’t bribe the kid to take a crap, but I was able to scare the shit out of him!

What kinds of trials and tribulations have you gone through with potty training? What worked and what didn’t? What did you find yourself doing that you couldn’t believe you actually did?

I once bribed Collin that I would let him use my computer if he went…kind of glad he didn’t that time because I probably wouldn’t have a computer left after that one.

My other favorite “creative” story was with my nephew, Jonas, when he was two or three. He was terrified of fireworks and would freak out. I asked him if he knew who Tinker Bell was and he did. I told him that Tinker Bell ate a lot of beans and that was her up in the air flying around and every time she farted it made a big bang and all those pretty sparks. He thought it was hilarious and totally forgot about being terrified. He was just looking for the little fairy flying in the air with exploding farts.

Sometimes you just have to be creative. And even though I kind of scared my sweet little blonde boy; we had fun, it worked, and I should get a gold medal for best creative story for taking a shit.


The Death of a Toy Soldier

I picked up a dark green plastic army guy from the floor. I rolled it around in my fingers. A leg was missing and half of a small arm. As I twirled it in my fingers another leg fell off. “We have a casualty,” I announced to Bradley. It seemed appropriate since we were watching a G.I. Joe cartoon. I got up to throw it away.

“We have an injury,” I announced again, loudly so he would pay attention.

Brad yelled from outside, “What’s wrong?!” I can’t believe he actually heard me, he just turned off the lawn mower. He assumed it was one of the kids. Injuries are sort of common occurences around here with all these little ones (namely Collin).

I couldn’t help but laugh. “No, hunny. I was talking about an army guy. But way to be on the ball!”

I went to throw away the plastic toy. Before I plopped him in the garbage can next to the left over crust from lunch and dried out vegetables I announced, “We have a fatality, Bradley. He’s gone. There’s no saving him now.”

Just before I laid his battered plastic body to rest in the plastic cemetery (aka garbage can), I gave him one last farewell. “You led a good fight, soldier. May you find peace.”

Poor army guy. We sure do go through them. I think the dog chewed on that one. Lucky he wasn’t swallowed and left in the yard in a pile of poop. Garbage is a much better place to rest.

And I couldn’t help thinking about those toy soldiers in “Toy Story,” one of my favorite kids movies, and I really felt bad for the stupid plastic toy.


The Twins Playing Together

People always ask me if the twins play together. Most of the time they play side by side, which is pretty common for their age. They  also torment each other like all siblings do. But sometimes they play together and it is so darn cute. Check ’em out in action in the video.

***Warning: They are screamers. You might want to adjust your speakers.***