From Literal to Figurative

If you know me and have ever hung out with me, you know I have a tendency to be a number of things.   One of them being nearly a neat freak who needs predictability and warning, the other being somewhat sarcastic and a little bit of a minimalist (get it?).  I like things clean.  Picked up and uncluttered, wiped down and free of gross.  Whatever that might be.

My youngest son Calvin has introduced me to a whole new level of desensitization when it comes to the concept of gross.  From the copious amounts of spit up as a baby (until we realized cutting out dairy was a cure) to the continual unfurl of poop (until we realized cutting out food was a cure.  Kidding, only kidding.)

*Side note as I do not want to digress.: One way to know a dog is not part human lies in the fact that they will eat a poopy diaper.  They LOVE poop.  They eat it and roll in it.  Not human.

Okay, all humor aside, I am growing very very weary of poop.  It is literally exhausting me.

(****Calvin just came to my side all super smelly and needing another diaper change. Not kidding.)

You see, Calvin may or may not poop more than the typical 3.5 year old.  But I am still changing diapers.  Or cleaning tubs.  Or carpets.  Or a new one: highchairs.  He digs.  He spreads.  He may as well be nicknamed “Manure Spreader”.  “Hi, my name is Manure Spreader, this is my older brother Tiller.”  Seems about right.  And yes, I know he should not be left without a pair of pants on but he surprises you.  He is very stealth.  He will poop in the A.M.  Then we feed him and he needs a bath.  We wait on the diaper change because he usually needs a bath after he eats, too.  The stealth moves come in then because he is known to poop AGAIN in the tub, right after breakfast.  Right after pooping an hour ago.  Or if you get him out and put him in a diaper and onsie after that morning poop and bath combo he will poop again.  One must always be prepared.  (I am dreading, DREADING, summer clothing again this year and even more than last!) One must be grateful for lack of constipation.

I cannot possibly get the average person to understand what it is like but here is a little analogy (speaking of summer).  Parenting Calvin is to Wisconsin as the parent of a typical child is to Texas?  I don’t know, just pick a state where it can snow a bit now and then but it is usually warm.

Just as we have both summer and winter, both of us deal with poopy kids.  Evan and Nolan each gave me a time or two of cleaning up floors or tubs.  But that was short lived and for the most part we enjoyed summer, only dealing with the occasional discomforts.  Calvin is like our current winter.

The poop is relentless and a person has to work hard at reminding themselves to intentionally seek the positive.  Keep in mind I’m still talking poop here, not overall Down syndrome.

So, you have the summer people.  At times they may complain about the heat.  I even complained about the heat.  Before I experienced winter.  And now here is the winter person thinking about how the summer people have no clue what it is like in the wintertime.  I had no clue!  It is not a fault of mine, it was just my reality.  Maybe it’s a poor analogy, but after the big snowstorm of the season it seems to be on my mind.

Both summer and winter are work.  Both potentially enjoyable and at times frustrating and exhausting. Yet today I feel like I live in the North Pole.  Maybe I can go look for Santa.

Well, anyways, after Calvin decided to poop and play with it in the highchair today (I seriously thought it was just food, he is that messy, but I kept smelling poop and didn’t get where it was coming from) I just wanted to lay down and give up.  There are lots of moments like that if I were to be honest.  Before Calvin, they were few and far between.  Now they are weekly.  Even daily in his fits of frustration over having to do things I need him to (like get bathed or dressed).

I somehow (cough, God) persist.  What choice do I have?  I have 2 choices actually: Be a miserable jerk or focus on the positive.  I choose the more enjoyable way of living and therefore have to speak the positive (Like, “Heck yeah, he’s not constipated!!” Or, “Look at that Hand-Eye coordination!!”)

Search for those blessings.  Call out for grace, both for us and from us.  After all, we have a responsibility to ourselves and others.

Today, interestingly, after I cleaned up the feces mess and delivered the diaper to the garage (in a bag so the dog won’t eat it), I found my package I ordered on Wednesday.  This is no average package.  This was what I felt was a true gift from our God.  Inside was my ChocoPerfect bars.  The best sugar (and dairy and gluten) free chocolate I have ever had.  And with 100% sincerity I felt as though Someone was trying to give me a hug.

I have learned a lot so far in my marriage and having 3 children, namely the third little one.  The thing that I have learned is I HAVE to have a belief in something greater than myself because I would fail, wait, I do fail, as a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend.  But that failure would have permanent implications.  Without Jesus my failure would knock me down and I would not have any reason to get back up.  I fail over and over and I want what is easy.  I want what requires nothing from me.  I battle each and every day to give it all up and be free from the burdens of my life.  For some reason I had to go through some very challenging things and I will have to again. I have to wake up each and every day with the knowledge that my day is going to be full of poop.  Litterally and figuratively.  And I’ll tell you what, I think the literal is training me to deal with the figurative.  It is working.

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photographyilisa ailts