The Great Bathtub Disaster

“Mommy get up! I wan’ Mommy get up!”

It was only 5:00 a.m. and my two-year-old was patting my face with her open palm.

I tried to negotiate for five more minutes.

She wasn’t having it.

Leone yelled so loudly that she almost roused James, who can sleep through a dynamite explosion next to his head if it’s first thing in the morning.

I stumbled upright, cursing myself for staying up late playing hearts with friends and reading the second book in the Hunger Games.

The heat doesn’t go on until 7 a.m. and it’s COLD in our house.

So I suggested a bath.

The warm water was almost as cozy as the bed. I slid down until I was lying on my side, with even my face partially submerged, Leone happily playing by my side.

That’s when it happened.

Leone was as shocked as I was.

We looked at the brown gunk that was now floating around the bathtub and neither of us, at first, was sure what it was.

Leone started doing poop in the potty at seven weeks and hasn’t pooped her pants since she was about 11 months old. She hasn’t EVER pooped in the tub.

In twelve years of parenting this is the first time I’ve had to deal with fecal matter in the bath water.

I hustled us both out of the water, my brain buzzing with questions: How to clean a mostly diarrhea poop out of the tub? How to keep the more solid pieces from going down the drain?

In the 19th century classic, The American Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child suggests spicy peppers in the morning to liven a phlegmatic disposition.

I’ve got a better Wake Up Fast Method: lie in the tub with your mouth partially in the water when your 24-month-old daughter thinks she needs to fart.

Related post:
Of Goose Poop, Doctors, and Bend

Has this ever happened to you? Is this the most disgusting thing you’ve ever read? Will I get an e-coli infection? Will you send chocolate (as long as it’s not in packaging)?!

Receive updates when I publish new posts. Your info will never be shared.
Categories: Uncategorized.


    • Same thing happened to us when we were babysitting a friend’s daughter. We were put her in the tub with our son (both were preschoolers and knew each other well). When it happened, our little guest denied it was her. But we knew better. Thanks for the memories, Jennifer. Gah.

  1. Kate

    That is SO disgusting… I hope you both took a good long shower after that one. Hopefully she’s learned and it won’t happen again!

  2. Sue

    Good morning! Wow, I thought there was nothing worse than my alarm clock at 7 AM. Boy, was I wrong. I’m kind of half curious about how you got the poop out of the tub, but the smarter part of me doesn’t want to know. I”m sure you won’t get an infection!

  3. Lauren

    Wow! I just read this, so this information is too late. But a small amount of bleach in water would have been fine for cleaning. As far as E. coli, it is likely that you and Leone have nearly identical intestinal microbiota. You probably weren’t going to get E. coli, but of course washing your mouth out/not swallowing the water was a good idea.
    What a morning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge