Do you know what? There is a little too much poop in my life right now.. and far too much poop eating for my liking. Yes, you read that right. There is considerably too much consumption of faeces for my tastes in my life. Let me be entirely clear, too much poo eating is ANY poo eating. THERE SHOULD BE NO SHIT CONSUMPTION IN MY LIFE!!!
Don't worry, dear readers, it is not I who is devouring brown nuggets of nutty delight. Not at all. No way. Not ever. Well, possibly in exchange for several million pounds and instant access to a stomach pumping device. But from day to day, no, I am not eating poo... So, who is, you are all screaming at your screens? My child. And dogs.
I know that dogs have slightly less discerning taste buds than our own. Or just different tastes. I know that dogs love a bit of fox, horse, or cat poo.. but for my taste it is taking it a little far to discover how much they enjoy the excrement of a human. How did I first discover this, you might wonder? Around 3 years ago we were on holiday in Cornwall. We were staying in a lovely cosy self catering cottage set on a farm, the only other building nearby being the farmhouse. Not surprisingly, the farm had two dogs. These dogs were very friendly and roamed free. They were often to be found outside the backdoor of the cottage looking for a playmate or some attention. They were adorable. Now, at this time, Ethan had not long been potty trained and was still using a potty in preference to the loo, especially for No.2s. One evening he had taken himself off for a poop. Pooing in a potty had been quite a thing to get used to for Ethan, it took 6 weeks before he would go anywhere other than in his pants. So, at this stage, whenever he "produced" we were very full on with our praise. It was not unusual for us to encourage him to go around the house and show off his full poopy potty to anyone who was there. Ethan had just evacuated his bowels and was proudly making his rounds of the cottage. He had shown Pete and he'd come into the kitchen to show me, carefully cradling the potty so as not to spill it's precious load. At that very moment, the farm dogs came bounding to the door. In a split second of stupidity, I said to Ethan "Oh look! The dogs are here! Why not show them your poo? I bet they'll be impressed!". What was I thinking? Honestly! As soon as had he placed the potty in front of the dogs they were lapping away at the contents. There was nothing I could do. It took seconds and it was gone. The dogs were smacking their chops. Flecks of faeces were being flicked around the door frame. I was both mortified and hysterical. I couldn't believe we'd just fed two dogs our son's excretions. It was an event that has stayed with us all.
Fast forward to now; this years school summer holidays has once again brought us the joy of toilet training, this time, of course, with Felix. Felix has been out of nappies for nearly 3 weeks now and I must say has done very well. However, it has not been without event. We have been lucky not to experience many accidents; whilst he is young, especially for a boy, at 26 months, he is very much ready for it. That, though, is an aside to this tale. I am here to weave missives worthy of Point Horror fiction.
We are still in those early stages of potty/toilet training with Felix. The stage where the potty has to be on hand, easily accessible and visible. This week we are dog/house sitting for my parents and I have to tell you that in just three days there have been 4 'dog eating from the potty' instances. The first was at the weekend when my brother's new pup Monty was visiting. Felix had done his business but before I could reach the potty, dear little Monty was over there filling his face with fresh faeces. It only went downhill from there. On 3 occasions since I have discovered my parents dog, Alfie licking his chops after chowing down on some potty sausages and pee soup.
The thing is, I can forgive the dogs. They are, after all, dogs. We all know they go mad for a bit of fox poo. I suppose it's not a great leap to indulge in child poop. However, I am considerably more grossed out when my own child eats their excrement. Yup, that's right. Felix has eaten some of his own poo. Not just once either. The first occasion was in the bath. He'd gone through that right of passage they all go through, the bath poo cloud bomb. Ethan and Felix were in the bath together. I had popped out to grab something and suddenly I heard yelps of "MUM!! Felix has done a poo in the bath!". I rushed back in to find that Ethan had leapt out and was scrubbing himself with a towel whilst Felix sat with, frankly, a psychotic look on his face surrounded by poo, a handful of which he was fisting into his mouth with gleeful abandon.
Obviously I was completely disgusted, told him that "WE DO NOT EAT POO!" cleaned him off and removed him from the bath and hoped the matter was over. I was wrong. It seams to me that children have very different taste buds to us. In fact, research supports this. But how can anyone not be bothered by the taste of poo? It's not like it smells good! I have since discovered Felix sampling his own delicacies on a few occasions.. sometimes it's a quick finger up the bum and a lick. I've even found him dipping his hand in his wee and licking it off. He seems to delight on my disgusted reaction so it's got the point where I no longer react. What can you do? He's the same with pretty much everything. This child has not grown out of putting everything in his mouth and I'm not sure he ever will. Stones, slugs, snails. They all get put in the mouth over and over. He actively seeks out sand to eat by the handful. Crayons and pencils. They are like sweets to him. Anything he can find on the ground or from a bin. Old plasters. Fag butts. I have to watch him like a hawk. If nothing else, I reassure myself that his immune system will be amazing when he's older!
When I became pregnant 7 years ago I had no idea of the journey I would take. All I can say is thank goodness I have a strong stomach. Now, where's the potty? I fancy a snack!