Disclaimer: For those of you who don't want to read blog posts that include minimal details (only what is necessary to effectively tell the story) about my children's bowel movements, you might want to stop reading now.
For the rest of you...
I should have seen it coming.
Last night, between dinner and bedtime, Ivie had to go poopy three times. After the first time, it took all I had to get her to flush the toilet. She wanted to leave it in there to "show Daddy," who was out of town for the night. It clearly doesn't take long for a child to realize which of her parents gets excited about the size of her poopies! She quickly tired of the trips to the bathroom, though, as the second and third times, she said, "I have to go poopy, AGAIN!" in an exasperated voice.
Fast-forward to 2:15a. I finally pulled myself out of bed after listening to Ivie whine, on and off, for about 15 minutes. Each time she cried out, she went immediately back to sleep. But by the third or fourth time, I realized that I wasn't sleeping anyway, and the whine sounded a bit sickly, so I went in to check on her.
Given the incidents of the last hour and a half before she went to bed, I should not have been surprised when I walked into her room and all my senses were immediately overtaken by the horrible smell. It was BAD, people. At first, I thought she had thrown up. But after walking over to the side of her bed near her head (she had fallen back to sleep by this point), there was no sign of anything on her pillow. So I did what only a mom would do - I stuck my nose up to her bottom. No mistake about it - nasty diarrhea.
So I ended up having to wake her. No way I could let her continue to sleep in it. As I changed her pull-up, it was obvious that the mess had taken its toll on her bottom. It was raw, and the poor thing couldn't help but cry as I cleaned her up. I kept trying to encourage her softly (so as not to wake up Macie next door) that it would be over soon. Here's how our conversation went:
Mommy: Sweetie, I'm so sorry it hurts. I'm almost finished, and then you can go back to sleep, okay?
Ivie: Okay. Then will you put my blankie on me?
Mommy: Yes, of course! Listen, Iv, I'm going to put some Butt Paste on your bottom so that it won't hurt when you wake up in the morning, okay?
Ivie: [with a pouty face and a shaky voice] Okay, Mommy. You be gentle?
Mommy: Of course I'll be gentle. It'll make your bottom feel all better.
Ivie: Okay, Mommy.
Don't you know that some of the most cherished conversations you'll have with your kids will happen in the dead of the night? After settling her back in under her blanket and holding her hand until she dismissed me from her room with her standard, "I love you, Mommy," I went back to my bed.
And, at 2:45a, I lay awake for another 15 minutes, not able to go back to sleep. All I could do was think about how I wouldn't have traded that brief conversation for anything in the world. Because out of it came the knowledge that my usually-independent, sometimes-defiant child absolutely knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that she can put her life in my hands and trust me explicitly to do whatever I can to ease her pain. Even if she doesn't necessarily agree with me in the heat of the moment (when the Butt Paste burns a bit).
I'm glad I'll have this blog post to share with her someday when she fails to understand that Mommy knows best...