A while ago, I was walking through a store and an old man - probably in his late 70's - walked past me and just let it rip. His flatulence went on for so long that I stood there expecting his intestines to just tumble out, but no. He just looked up, sort of grimaced and carried along his way, as if no one around had just heard his blowhole explode.
While this moment could have easily just been chalked up to an extra spicy burrito from the Taco Bell, it made me start to think about age. We start life not caring about what people think about our bodily functions and essentially, we end life in a similar manner. Babies will cry, burp, pee, poop, spit and not blink with worry. Old people seemingly do the same. However, somewhere along the way, in the middle phases of life, we develop a shy nature or a sense of shame about the things that expel from our bodies and I, for one, am 'effin grateful.
(Constipated face is somehow adorable when your age is calculated in months.)
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was on my early morning walk into work and I called home to talk to my mom. When she answered she told me that she was in the bathroom helping my 22-month-old nephew, use the potty. She explained that he was constipated and having a hard time going. In most normal conversations, when someone brings up defecation, one tends to hang up or gag. In this case though, I said, "Aww, put him on the phone!" and the call went like this...
(Please note that as you read this conversation, do so in obnoxious baby talk voice)
Me: "Hi Jayden - are you going potty?"
Jayden: "Uh huh..."
Me: "Does it hurt?"
Me: "Aww, baby - it'll be ok. Just push a little. Come on, you're a big boy!"
Me: "Did you get it? Did you do it? That's a good boy! I'm proud of you!"
(When you gotta go, you gotta go!)
My mom got back on the phone, explained that Jayden was all good and we said goodbye. As I hung up the phone, I realized that I was smiling with a sense of accomplishment. And then, I realized that I had just talked someone through a shit. I was like an emergency phone operator for bowel movements and I didn't know how to feel about that. I have always been so prudish when it came to things of that nature and yet there I stood, in the middle of a busy, city street, giving someone pointers on one of life's most basic functions.
(Thank you for calling 911, what's your emergency? Ok, you've gotta # 2? Ok, ma'am - ma'am, I'm gonna need you to calm down! We aren't going to get anywhere if you don't relax yourself into this!)
So, as I continue to ponder the spectrum of life and the ups and downs that come with bodily functions, I've decided that sometimes "poop happens" and I need to just learn to roll with it. If Jayden ever needs another "Constipation Coach", I will be there baby-talking him all the way through it (up until the age of 4 - beyond that, he is on his own!) but, I do hope I never encounter another hot-winded, elderly man!
(Have you read my book yet? If not, check it out here!)