Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mama Bean discovered dish soap works on poo

We discovered this two ways, but the baby-related way is much more exciting. None of it should have come as a surprise. I am a former chemist, I understand how soap works. Different cleaners are tailored to their intended purpose. Bar soap for skin, laundry detergent for oil and dirt, dish soap for organic matter, like food. And poop.

The toilet in our over-50-year-old house tends to, um, clog. We bought a snake and everything, to no avail. Plumbers make snaking look easy, but it is not. Nor is it fun. I can understand why they might want upwards of a gazillion dollars an hour to do that with other people's shit on weekends. Anyway, the Great and Wonderful internet provided Papa Bean with a tip to use a cup or so of liquid dish soap, let it sit, then try flushing. We combined this with another tip to pour buckets of hot water (not necessarily boiling but hotter than you'd put your bare hand in) down the toilet, let it sit, then try flushing. We discovered the pipe in the basement where the toilet drains stayed hot before the clog, and normal temperature after it. We did the whole routine twice, and the second time the whole pipe got hot, so the blockage was dissolved or whatever by the combination of soap and thermal energy. Awesome!

Also, we got tired of baby poo staining Bean's clothes. The pigmented compounds in this stuff are astounding! They are utterly impervious to normal laundry detergent, stain removers, scrubbing, hot water, etc. Papa Bean asked facebook and twitter for suggestions. Responses ranged from let the sun bleach it out, to who cares baby clothes get stained that's life. S told us dish soap might work, so I gave it a try. It definitely works on fresh stains if you scrub them right away, and it even worked a little on older stains, including some that had already been washed and dried. Colour me impressed.

So far, the whole fecal side of parenthood has been okay. Bean doesn't poop that often, maybe every other day at most, which is normal for breastfed babies, and it means I don't have to clean up crap that often. When he was quite small, he had a few uber poop fountains that we just found hilarious, although it could have been the sleep deprivation and general Delirium. There was one week long stretch where we succumbed to first-time parent paranoia, went to see a walk-in doctor, got some glycerin suppositories, which worked beautifully, and haven't worried about it since. I will also adjust him if he seems especially fussy when working on farts or poops, and sometimes that encourages things along. Lately, his poop has been stinkier (milk poo doesn't really smell all that bad. Kind of yeasty. Yup, that's what I've got for TMI Tuesday, yeasty poo) and darker and runnier. It also smells vinegar-ish, and does seem more irritating on his little tush. I don't think he's sick or anything, and I don't think it's anything I have or have not been eating, but I am keeping mental track of it.

Can I just say something about the whole what-you've-been-eating-effect-on-your-milk thing? I hate it. I mean, I get guilt complexes about the most neurotic stuff, so that last thing I need is yet another blame thing wrapped around all the rhetoric and blame things already surrounding the Feeding of the Blessed Babies. When Bean is fussy, or farty, or burpy, or constipated, or whatever, I wonder why, because I've never had a baby, and these are the Mysteries of Motherhood. Possible reasons might be a) he's a baby, and b) he's never done this ingesting/digesting/egesting thing before either. We're all learning together. So don't jump the gun on me, and automatically answer my innocent wonderings with accusations of maybe it's all the milk/beans/broccoli/meat/wheat/etc. you've been eating. Maybe it is. Maybe I'll figure that out because I'm an intelligent, analytical person capable of recognizing patterns. Maybe I don't need you all up in my nutritional business! Maybe.... maybe I need to take a few deep breaths.

This is how we go crazy, isn't it? I know they're not "accusations" and I know folks are just trying to help. A mom can know many sane and rational things, and still feel otherwise. Anyway, I just try to be careful, when the tables are turned, that my offerings of concern or advice or things-that-worked-for-me don't come across as you're-doing-it-wrong or this-way-is-the-best-and-only-way. Because there are a bazillion ways to raise a child and still have them turn out spectacular. Resilient little buggers that they are. After all, anything that can produce the Most Staining Substance Known to Mankind must be made of pretty strong stuff.

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