The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Category: poop (page 3 of 3)

ASSuaging the Guilt

Hold it right there, bub. This is a two parter all about my bodily-fluid-filled Live Nativity experience at church last week. If you haven’t read the first part, click here.

Back so soon? So I can assume that you are up to speed then? You get a gold star, sugar. Let’s continue then, shall we? And now, the riveting conclusion to Urine Angel:

So, as you can see, I was feeling purdy dang guilty about my poor, sweet, six year old daughter Mini-Me shivering in a pool of her own pee pee and tears for possibly 15 minutes or more, alone, uncomfortable, and scared in a church powder room while I was outside learning my part as the Behind The Scenes (BTS) Mom for the Wisemen/King Herod scene. Well, my Mama didn’t raise no quitter, and I’m fixin’ to do the same with my brood. So I took my baby home, peeled her wet costume and multiple layers of clothes off, stuck her in a steamy bubble bath with a mug of hot cocoa, promised her it would all be better in the morning, and smothered her with love until she drifted off to sleep. The next morning I called the director of our Live Nativity, told her why Mini-Me missed the dress rehearsal the night before, and requested that I be reassigned to scene # 8, the big finale to the Live Nativity in which Mini-Me was cast as an angel.

The director was more than happy to recast me so that I could be with my Tinkling Angel in the stable. But apparently that clever crusader for Christ had a hidden agenda, which I learned the hard way a few hours later.

You see, once she got wind of my ability to clean up a messy situation, she knew I’d be the perfect person to supervise the stable scene.

Cue the baby donkey.


That’s right, people. We had a real live baby donkey in my scene.

I didn’t know much about donkeys before that night, but I do now.

For starters, I now know that donkeys like to kick. Pair that character trait with a stable full of animal loving children and you have yourselves a perfect storm in the making. I pretty much spent half the night keeping the kids from getting their teeth knocked out. I swear, if I had a nickel for every time I said, “Girls… please don’t hug the donkey from behind. She’s gonna kick you in the head,” I’d have at least enough for a Venti Latte.

The other main thing I learned about donkeys that night is that they poop A LOT. Good Lord Almighty… they surely are the most regular mammals I’ve ever encountered up close and personal.

So, in addition to running defense for ass-kicking in the literal sense, I also found myself on perpetual-pooper-scooper duty. You see, donkey poop is very stinky. I’m talkin’ STANK, ya’ll. And that cute little donkey would just lift her tail ever so slightly and let about a dozen or so sugarplum-sized balls of poop fall right out of her ass-ass and then she would stand right there as if nothing ever happened, stepping in it and thereby wafting the fumes everywhere. I was thinking that the donkey might end up kicking one of us at some point, and I didn’t want one of us to get kicked with a donkey-poop-covered-hoof, so I felt like it was the clear course of action. I’d much rather be kicked in the teeth with a clean hoof, than a poopy one, wouldn’t you? I mean really. But also, it was stench management. I just couldn’t have my audience focusing on the donkey stank and not on the message of our joyous scene!

DOH! Watch your step, Little Angel!

DOH! Watch your step, Little Angel!

Now, the two teens playing Mary and Joseph were just as cute as can be. Mary especially just captured my heart. She was so sweet and wholesome and good with the little angels. She would get up between scenes and high five the little ones and give them sugar cookies that she had baked at home and brought with her to share. But as cute and sweet and good as she was, there was no way on God’s green earth that she was gonna stop her texting and get anywhere near that beast of burden or his donkey-doody. And Joseph? Fahgetaboutit. He was all, “Uh, excuse me, Miss Iris? The donkey, like, pooped…” and “Uh, like, Miss Iris? The donkey totally, like, pooped again…. ” So clearly, it was me or nobody. And honestly, once you have a few babies, a little donkey poop is nothing. In fact, I’d venture to say that picking up after a donkey was perhaps the least repulsive thing I’d done all day. Yeah, motherhood… those with weak stomachs need not apply.


But here’s the thing, like most parenting tasks, picking up donkey dung is tricky. I did not want to have MY pearly whites knocked down my throat by this ass while I was doing the dirty work, no-siree-Bob. So, I had to hold the donkey by the head, turn her around, and scoop with one hand while I held her head with the other. That takes skill, I tell ya. Who knew I was such an ass-whisperer? And all of this had to be done quickly, in between scenes, while keeping the little angles from wandering off or spilling hot chocolate all over their white sheets. Oh, did I mention that I did all of this with a kitchen towel on my head and a bathrobe over my coat so I would blend in with the cast and look like a shepherd? Shoot… if my life were any more glamorous, I’d be signing autographs at the Piggly Wiggly.


My daughter and I were out there for 5 hours, freezing our tails off and bringing joy to the world. Between the tinkle trauma the night before and the mountains of mule mess, it kinda sucked for me, actually. But Mini-Me loved it, and that’s what it’s all about. We totally bonded, we got to experience the thrill of not giving up when things got messy, and we got to learn about the real meaning of Christmas and even more about donkeys. By the way, donkey coats are surprisingly soft. I would have thought that they’d feel kinda wiry or coarse. But no. Soft as a bunny. Just a joy to touch and a nice natural hand warmer too.

My family members who did the guided tour said that our scene was by far the best, and then they swore that they weren’t just saying that because Mini-Me and I were in it. I’m so glad I signed my baby up for this and got to be there with her to see her shine in her little halo and make the audience giggle when she upstaged Mary every time with her enthusiastic singing and improvisational dance moves.  We’ll definitely do it again next year and now that we’ve survived it once, we’ll be even more prepared. Of course, with my luck and skills, they’ll probably throw in a couple of spitting camels and some sheep with irritable bowel syndrome, but that’s fine… it will just make me feel more at home. Bring it on, beeyotch.

I hope ya’ll are having holidays filled with joy and love and the kind of messes that make family time so memorable and funny for years to come! Seasons Greetings to you and yours!

with love,

The Bearded Iris

©2008 The Bearded Iris

Crafty Dog

This is my dog.

As you may recall, he looks nothing like Gwyneth Paltrow’s lady parts.

This is my jar of Crayola Crayons.

Isn’t it pretty?

And this is what happened when the two got together for a little intestinal par-tay.

Not my favorite way to start the day.

At least this time we didn’t have to go to the vet.  My vet is on speed dial because of this dog and his dietary habits.

Listen, this dog is trouble. He eats ANYTHING. Socks. Little People. Cat litter. He has a special affinity for dirty tissues….he’ll watch you blow your nose or wipe a kid’s nose and he’ll follow that dirty tissue with his chocolate brown eyes.  Then he’ll wait until you are distracted and he’ll snatch that booger-bundle right out of your hand.  He can wiggle his snout into the tightest or deepest of pockets for a tissue.  Then he’ll gobble it up and poop out a folded swan napkin the next day.  Not really sure how he does that, but it is a sight to behold.

That reminds me of the time the kids and I were stringing popcorn garlands to hang on the Christmas tree. Oooh-weee, that makes me sound like such a good Mommy, doesn’t it?  Well don’t kid yourselves, I was probably drunk while we were doing it.  Anyhooo, we were using upholstery thread and real sewing needles and listening to The Chipmunks Christmas album (which is probably why I was drinking), and the next thing I knew, Klepto starts crying, “Mommy!  My popcorn is gone!”  That dog was stalking her…like a lion on the savannah, waiting patiently for her guard to be lowered, and then, the pounce and the dash.  That so’mbitch swallowed her whole garland: popcorn, thread, and needle, faster than you could say “Turn that God-awful music down and pour Mommy some more eggnog!”

When I called the vet I learned that the needle wasn’t really the most dangerous part of this equation…it was the thread.  Apparently, if your pet doesn’t pass the thread all at once, it can cause the intestines to bunch up and lose blood flow.  If that happens, the animal will die.  So there are two choices, poop out the thread, or perform surgery.  Time is of the essence in a case like this.  It has to be passed within 24 hours, or the risk goes way up.  And intestinal surgery is risky at best due to the high likelihood of infection (poop = bacteria).  The vet advised that I “watch the dog closely for the next 24 hours and if part of the string comes out, no matter what, DO NOT PULL IT.”  Um, yeah.  Santa is practically on his way and Dr. Doolittle wants me to drop everything and focus on my dog’s pooper?  I believe my reply was something like this:

“Hmmm, interesting idea.  Or, how ’bout this.  Why don’t I bring him to YOU and you all can watch him for the next 24 hours while I wrap presents and bake cookies.  It is five days before Christmas!  I have more important things to do than wait for this asshole, pardon the pun, to poop out my Martha Stewart Homemade Christmas Garland.  I’ll see you in five minutes.”

Lord, I know that sounds very insensitive, but seriously, I didn’t ask that dog to eat the string and I shouldn’t have to be held hostage by his butt-hole five days before Christmas while we wait to see if he is gonna live or die.  That is not the Norman Rockwell painting I envisioned when we rescued this beast from the Humane Society.

Long story short, we got our Christmas Miracle that year.  The dog passed the garland: thread, needle, and all. He didn’t die.  And that was a “Good Thing.”

In summary:

Microwave Popcorn:  $2.49

Upholstery Thread: $0.99

Sewing Needles: $0.49

Vet Exam and Radiographs: $128

Not having to watch my dog pass that nasty garland or tell the kids that he died 5 days before Christmas: Priceless.

© Copyright 2008, The Bearded Iris.

The Accidental Tomato

There is a rogue tomato in my garden this year. I did not purposefully plant this tomato; it just showed up one day. This does not really surprise me….I am learning to expect the unexpected when it comes to gardening, children, and hair color from a box.

What does surprise me is that this lucky tomato has not been trampled by dogs, plucked by kids, or mistaken for a weed by my husband. The fact that it is surviving and even thriving in my clay-packed Southern soil is the true miracle here.

I am so grateful though that this tomato showed up when it did. It has been a very long summer at home with my beautiful brood of human and non-human dependents. So discovering this gift one day and realizing its source provided me with hope. Hope for getting through the summer and beyond. You see, this unlikely gift, as small as it may be, sprouted from a steaming pile of shit. Literally. Worm shit to be exact.

Long story short: I have worms. They’ve been living in a box under my deck for almost ten years, through good times and bad. They are the easiest, least demanding pets I’ve ever known. I toss them some kitchen scraps once in a while and in return they poop out a glorious cornucopia of organic goodness. Affectionately known in the trade as “Black Gold,” it is THE mack daddy of natural fertilizers. It is cheap and green, and you know it must be easy if I’ve been able to sustain it for nearly a decade.

So back to the tomato. Sometimes, you get a few undigested seeds in the vermicompost (a.k.a The Shit). And sometimes, if the conditions are just right, and you’re lucky, one of those seeds might actually grow into a pleasant little surprise such as my accidental tomato. Of course, it helps if you are paying attention and actually notice the surprise gift when it arrives, but that is true of anything.  Like the phoenix rises from the ashes, in my yard, a beautiful tomato has arisen from The Shit.

And speaking of The Shit, I have a fabulous new friend, Laura.  She is another accidental tomato in my life. A few weeks ago she was little more than an acquaintance.  But then one day, she sent out an email to a group of people about her new blog (huh? what’s a blog?). And by some lucky happenstance, I was one of those people, AND I didn’t delete the email or lose it to my spam filter. But luckier yet, I actually read this email, went to the aforementioned blog, and discovered that we were probably cut from the same cloth.

If you knew me, you’d know that this alone is a lot of steps for me. But wait, there’s more. I then reached out of my too-much-summer-with-the-kids-stupor, and actually replied to her email about how much I enjoyed her blog (unbelievably without frightening her), and an Internet-based friendship was born. Three weeks, hundreds of emails and Facebook exchanges, four margaritas (on the rocks, with salt please), and one life-changing book exchange later, I have me a new BFF. And so today, life is pretty good.  Three weeks ago, not so much. But sometimes when you least expect it, even when it feels like you are surrounded by nothing but shit, a random seed can sprout and turn into a wondrous gift. You just have to be paying attention.

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