I’ve referenced The Great Shit Event of 2013 on this site, but today (which is the anniversary), 3 years later, I’ve finally recovered enough that I can laugh at it instead of cry. No twist or surprising ending to this one – I’ve already given away what it’s about. If you don’t have autism in your world, you might think this is a unique crazy story. Nope – I think every single autism parent I know has at least one memorable poop story. Kim Stagliano even coined the term Crapisode – it’s defined in the Urban Dictionary as “An autism related event involving a child, poop, and typically the walls, carpeting and often the child him/herself.” Here’s my Crapisode story (really, here’s ONE of my stories):
I should start out by saying that when this event occurred, my husband and I weren’t getting out much. Still true today, but in April 2013 we had Christopher, our 5 year old with severe autism, a 4 year old, and a not-quite-one year old. We were exhausted (also still true today). But, on this Thursday night we were going to a rehearsal dinner for a Saturday wedding. We were getting out of the house! And there would be drinks! Needless to say, we were very excited. So what if I was still nursing – I was due a pump-&-dump night. So what if it was a work night – I was going to work exhausted every day anyway. This was going to be so much fun, we thought.
And it was fun. The rehearsal dinner was fun. The whole night… not so much. My mother-in-law had agreed to babysit. We were grateful, but she can’t lift the kids. And she can’t change them (we had two in diapers because Christopher wasn’t potty-trained yet). And she doesn’t really do too well on the stairs. So, we put them to bed early before we left and hoped for the best.
As I said, the rehearsal dinner was a lot of fun. It was great to have adult conversation. It was great to have no one crying in the background. It was great to get out of the house. I probably drank a little too much (I’m pretty sure I was kind of a lightweight since it had been awhile since I’d been out) and we stayed out a little too late.
When we got home after midnight, we knew we should go right to bed. But as we walked up the driveway, we could see my mother-in-law waiting for us at the door. She opened the door and stepped onto the porch, closing the front door behind her. “Don’t come in yet,” she told us. Alarm bells started going off in my head. I remember thinking something like “Please let it have just been a fire!”
Christopher had been running around jumping on his bed. He tends to do that before he settles down and goes to sleep. But, when he didn’t settle down after about 3 hours, she thought she should check on him. He had pooped, she explained, and took off his diaper and must have ran through… and played in it…for 3 hours. Now, people, a kid can do a lot with shit in 3 hours. She tried to wash him off but really couldn’t clean him so she wrapped him in a sheet and he was asleep on the couch.
Let me tell you – there really are things that can sober you up quickly. My husband drove her home while I went upstairs to survey the damage. The smell hit me before I even got to the steps. I imagined I was in a horror movie – if there was an audience to my life they would have been screaming “Don’t go in there!”
Now, imagine a murder scene. Like a really violent struggling one. But instead of blood everywhere, there is poop. That’s what this room looked like. I didn’t even know where to start. I might have just cried until my husband came home. Maybe I had another drink – I don’t remember. That part is kind of a blur.
Now if you know me at all (or if you’ve ever stepped foot in my house), you know that I do not like to clean. But I promise you I’m not exaggerating – this job would have made even the Clean House team run for the hills. For the next 4 hours we tried to detox that room, scrubbing and wiping so many surfaces, crevices… the ceiling fan! My husband was muttering a mixture of incoherent phrases (think the dad in A Christmas Story), curses, and things like, “I get it God – poop isn’t funny!” I brought up white trash bags to put the laundry in and black leaf bags for the trash. Anything that couldn’t be salvaged (or it just wasn’t worth it to) went in the black bags – pillows, toys, a tent. After the 4 hours, we had 11 white bags and 16 black bags filled. Seriously. And the room still looked horrible. Poop had been mashed so far down into the carpet I could barely make a dent in cleaning it. The smell was still unbearable. Christopher was still asleep on the couch. Since we had to be a work in a few hours, we decided to just shower and then wake Christopher up to bathe him. I’m not going to lie, the idea of getting everyone out of the house, turning on one of the gas stove burners, and throwing a dishtowel on it ran briefly through my head (okay, it played continuously through my head as I scoured that room, going through 8 rolls of paper towels and 3 bottles of cleaner).
There is nothing like topping off an all-nighter of unsuccessfully cleaning a room caked in crap with cleaning a screaming kid caked in crap. It was the same deal – scrubbing, crevices (ears? really?!), and crying (mostly me). When that was done and we got him off to school, we had to clean the whole bathroom and then shower all over again.
It was an awesome day at work haha! But, we survived. I have amazing friends who not only commiserated by sharing their own poop stories, but also had an organic carpet cleaning guy in my house the next day. I purged a lot of clutter that I probably would have otherwise kept way too long (who needs bed pillows anyway?). We even had a great (thankfully uneventful) time at the wedding two days later. This wasn’t our first (or last!) Shit-Capade, it was just the most eventful one (to date, knock wood). Just another day in the life of being an autism parent. Autism can be shitty. Cheers!
Anyone dare to share their own poop story?