Alert Status: Orange

Growing Up Austin Day at the Park(Before you think Sparkles and Buttercup have a rare skin condition, they have partially worn-off temporary tattoos on their legs.)

Moms and Dads have a warning system that they develop and evolve over the years. Mine goes something like this…

Green – All is well. No immediate threats. Proceed as normal.
Red – Possible immediate hospital visit and/or other insurance claim. Drop your coffee and address the situation right away.
Orange – Something unusual makes you say, “Hhhmmmmmmm.” Set your coffee down and investigate.

Blue Eyes will tell you that my sensitivity for the Orange status is off and some times the kids cut their own hair or take a bath in Calamine Lotion on my watch, but he will need to get his own blog if he wants to write about that. AND, I would argue, by evidence of this very post, that I can’t be THAT far off.

After our picnic on the bleachers, Sparkles and Buttercup are playing on a playground, on the other side of the play scape, and I’m sitting at a picnic table.

Sparkles comes to me and asks for a wipe. You know, a diaper wipe. I don’t carry a diaper bag anymore, since Buttercup has been wearing panties and using the potty for a few weeks now. But I happened to have one. As she walks away, I say “Hmmmmmmmmm, why does she want a diaper wipe?”

Status Alert: Orange

I get up and walk to where they are playing.

Buttercup’s panties are around her ankles.

She is squatting.

She is in mid-poop.

Status Alert: RED. RED. RED. Flashing lights. Sirens. RED. RED. RED.

I take the wipe from Sparkles. I swoop in, using athletic moves that my body has never known, and I catch the poop in the wipe before it falls to the ground.

Yeah, yeah, about David Freese as the World Series MVP. I don’t know if he could have handled this catch.

I can feel the warm poop through the wipe. That is a strange feeling that I hope I don’t feel again for a long time.

(But it reminds me a lot of our play date last Friday when Buttercup comes up to me, arms wide, saying “Pick me up!” So I pick her up and hold her close, only to realize, because of the warm, wet feeling on my side just above my hip, that she probably meant to say “I just now peed in my panties.” Potty training is such a mix of joyful expectation and extra laundry.)

Blue Eyes is right about one thing. The Orange state is harder. It takes experience and intuition to know when something isn’t quite right. Like when water is running in the bathroom for to long or there is a little sound coming from the pantry when the door is closed.

We are back to Green for today. I’ll let you know if there are any changes.


5 Responses

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  1. Sydney

    So funny!!!! Those are some parenting skills, I may never achieve that level in my life (to catch poop). Good effort on this one, hope things stay green for at least the day!

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  2. It has been green FOR TWO DAYS because I’m in out-of-town for work, so you might need to ask Blue Eyes. But my work is Red. Oh, no.

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  3. torie

    OMG, I laughed out loud. I needed that. The Orange level is truly a gift. A four year old asking for a wipe when it is clear that it is not for getting something sticky off of their hands is definite orange! Orion did that once and turns out it was to clean up ALL of the LOTION that had been squished out of the bottle and on to the floor, bed and little brother!

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    Carol Reply:

    My girls like lotion too. And squirt bottles. If the ever made a squirt bottle that could squirt lotion, they would go nuts.

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  4. Sara S.

    Man, I’m not looking forward to potty training!

    [Reply]

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