What are you eating? When cleansing backfires.

One of the first things parents have to learn about raising little ones is that 99% of the little darlings love to put EVERYTHING in their mouths. I’ve had my share of excitement and hours of practicing the Captain-Hook-finger-in-mouth-swipe. Now I am in a precious stage when neither Firstborn nor Secondborn put things into their mouths.  It won’t last long, but OH, how I cherish it.


Until TODAY. This morning that beautiful list of ‘At Least I Don’t Have To Worry About THAT’ list became one line shorter. We’ve been potty training for the past 10 days. Unspeakable messes have been cleaned. At the beginning of the week I was ready to handle accidents like this:


Now I’ve given up. Bare bum, bare hands… it’s gross. My sister often says that children are microbes. It’s true. They are also disgusting little darlings.

Today as we went to have our first potty trip, things were going nicely. At the first command to accompany me to the bathroom, Firstborn obeyed. He walked in, stood by the potty, and didn’t struggle as I assisted his dropping trou. Then…oh then…(shudder)…then I turned to put the potty chair lid on and turned around to see something go into Firstborn’s mouth. Immediately I pounced and recalled my earlier mom-skills. Open, hook, swipe, flick.

It was SOAP.

christmas story eating soap

 My kid took clean eating to an entirely unacceptable level. I tiny square of pale tan bar soap that had rested untouched for weeks suddenly looked appetizing.  Now, I’ve only had my mouth washed out with soap once. I was a little older than Firstborn and had repeated a word that rhymes with “Cram it” to my grandmother. After my palette was thoroughly cleansed I declared rather unphased, “It tastes like bubbles” I said with a shrug.  My son offered me no such commentary. In fact, I’ll ask you to remind me of this when he says his first bad word without getting caught.

 No, my dear child was NOT the passive observer. He started weeping, screaming, and choking. As I tried to fish out the broken pieces of cleansing torture, Firstborn chomped down and refused to give up the soap. Instead he stood shaking, crying, and stunned.  Then he started coughing a deep, seal-bark cough. I could tell he had swallowed a piece badly and it felt as though it was stuck, but the sobs, gasps, and yells told me choking was not a hazard—thankfully. (Recall the Boo-Boo-Bunny googly eye issue of 2011. It’s in the archives!)

Now the dear was demanding to be held as he dripped soapy drool from his mouth. I had already showered and dressed for the day, as it was 8:30. Our Occupational Therapy appointment was at 9:45. Remember, the child is naked and coughing out that childhood attempt to throw up that they do so well. The likelihood I was going to be sprayed with some form of unpleasantness was 98%.  Like all good mothers, I thought it was best to sacrifice my cleanliness and outfit for the good of my melting down child who had just bitten my hand and was pitching a fit because I tried to remove soap from his mouth. This lasted 2 seconds. Then I dragged him to get his big boy undees on and demanded he drink something. He refused for 15 minutes as he spurted and sobbed. I finally just changed and prepped Secondborn for the outing and then realized Firstborn was reaching for something on the kitchen counter. It was a box that held fudge.

Epiphone!  Why on EARTH would my son eat SOAP all of a sudden?  Well, because at Christmas every year his grandfather makes ungodly amounts of homemade fudge that is a killer of self-control and skinny-jean-wearing-abilities. This year I demanded half-size bricks, which Firstborn has helped me eat in tiny portions. His favorite variety, peanut butter fudge, is the same color and shape as the soap shard in the bathroom.  I gave him tiny pieces to help him swallow down the soap. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Why not fudge to help the soap go down?

My child may have found the secret to a successful diet.

Soon all was well, both kids were in the car and we quietly traveled through the rain to our appointment. I found myself a little disappointed that Firstborn didn’t get the hiccups and erupt with bubbles. (Too much Disney?)

Sadly, three hours later I had to deal with the result of this full-body cleanse. NOT the best. I think this calls for some fudge.


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