Our children do some crazy things! They will test our limits and cause us to question why we ever decided to endure nine months of discomfort that would turn into nineteen more of pure foolishness. After we realize that we can not give them back once they arrive, we take a silent oath to accept the good, the bad, and yes, the crazy.
The curious nature of what something looks and smells like is mysterious for boys and disgusting for girls. Boys will emit gas into a perfectly clean atmosphere, stand there for a moment to witness everyone’s response to the smell, and if not affected by it, try again for good measure. They are consumed with the unnatural. They jump from abnormally high places, punch each other to see if the body is in fact limber, burp loud enough to break the sound barrier, and consistently analyze the color of poop.
One day, while grading a ton of papers at home, my youngest called for me. He always calls for me. He also expects me to come when he does.
“Mom!” he shouted.
“What is it?” I shouted back. It is never important, by the way. You have to know this.
“Come here! You have to see this!”
“Oh, my God, Core. What is it?” I had no intention of leaving my room. Everything was in its place and the papers were neatly organized into five perfect stacks. To move would mean creating a toppled mess, only to be set back by ten minutes. I needed that ten minutes! “Can you please come up here instead?” I yelled with the hope that he would indulge me for a moment.
“No! I can’t. Please come! I need you!” Yes, I sat and contemplated whether it sounded like the scream of “I’m dying” or “I just want you to come to me.” Knowing it was the latter, I went anyway. When I made my way to the bottom of the stairs, I did not see him.
“Where are you ‘lil boy? I don’t have time for hide-n-seek!” I was getting irritated. I opened the door to the bathroom, and there he stood, standing over the toilet and peering inside.
“Look.” He pointed into the bowl. “It’s purple!”
My first instinct was to slap a hole in the side of his head for making me walk downstairs to stare at purple poop. He was transfixed by this phenomenon, knowing that it could not have been normal to have that come out of him.
“You called me down here to look at dutt?” (That is what the folks from the islands call it.)
“What is dutt? I called you see my poop!” He pointed again. He was certain that I had not seen it the first time. “Do I have to go to the doctor for this? You could die if you have purple poop, right?”
“No. I could think of so many other things that could kill you right now, but purple poop is not one of them. I am going back upstairs. Flush the toilet and wash your hands!” I turned to walk upstairs. I heard him grunt, frustrated that I was neither fascinated nor moved with compassion. A few seconds later, he screamed again.
“SEAN! Wanna see some purple poop!”
“Yeah!” My oldest child jumped out of his bed, sped past me on the stairs and ran to see this scientific experiment.
I have no idea how long they stared at it, or if they even flushed the toilet when finished. What I do know is that “The Color Purple” used to be my favorite movie.
Laugh, people. It’s good for the soul!