You ever just look at your kids and think, “Oh my god, I raised you”? And not in a good way. I mean, of course you have. This thought crosses your mind when they’re acting a fool in the store or decide to chuck their semi-hard water toy halfway across the pool, directly at a group of other people. It’s the moments that make you wonder if they came with some type of return policy, because maybe you’re in a little over your head. Somehow, some way, your parenting decisions led to your kid pulling a crazy stunt.
And if you are currently cuddling a sweet baby in your arms thinking, “Nah, that’ll never happen. I’ll raise this one right,” then I must assure you that yes it absolutely will. Like the time that my son threw a bag of dog poop, and I was caught between horror and uncontrollable bouts of laughter.
Where did I go wrong with my parenting decisions?
Like most families, our two kids have a handful of assigned chores around the house. One of those chores is to scoop the dog poop in the backyard. They’ve been doing this for about two years now, and except for the last month or so, I can count on one hand the number of times they scooped without arguing the whole. Dang. Time.
But I never thought it would come to flying dog poop.
That chore started off as it always did. I sent the kids outside with a firm reminder: the less you argue, the faster you get the job done. If you argue too much or start yelling, you’ll lose your allowance.
So of course they immediately started arguing and ping-ponging back into the house to complain about spiderwebs, bag-holding duties, what he said, and what she said. I yelled. I think my husband yelled. Just get it done.
When the backdoor slid open and my daughter reappeared I thought, this is it. This is how I die. Out of sheer frustration over getting my kids to just scoop the freaking dog poop.
“He threw the bag of poop!”
The poop hit the factitious fan.
To be honest, when you’re holding your baby boy in your arms, you never really think that he’ll grow up to fling around bags of animal feces. But hey, parenthood is full of surprises.
Shocked, not even sure what to say, we gave her a new bag and sent her back out with firm instructions: Scoop the poop that fell out. Throw the old bag away. Finish scooping, wash your hands, then go to your room.
The moment the door closed behind her we lost it, laughing so hard we could hardly breathe. “Who throws a bag of poop?” I choked out through the laughter. I mean obviously he was grounded and they’d both lose their allowances because they had done exactly everything we’d told them not to do. But hey, it was so absurd we couldn’t help but find it funny.
And then there she was, back at the door. “The pooper scooper isn’t working.”
Oh. Hell. No.
After insisting over and over that she had no idea what had happened and that a piece must have somehow fallen out, we finally got the truth. He threw the poop bag, so she threw the scooper.
Somehow we all survived.
I have never used the breathing techniques I’ve learned through yoga as deeply or intensely as I did in that moment. By some type of miraculous intervention we all survived this interaction.
The final verdict was that they were grounded, had to split the cost of a new pooper scooper, and lost two weeks of allowance.
It must have been the financial blow of ponying up the cash for the new scoop, because that was the very last time they argued over anything that involves dog poop. Sometimes I think about which of my parenting decisions led up to that incident and the years of bickering over a quick and easy chore. But maybe that doesn’t matter, because the way my husband and I handled it turned out to be a pretty great parenting decision in the end. Plus, we have a new favorite embarrassing story, and it all begins with dog poop.