My mission was to collect my son’s poop.

The tools: one specimen collection container, a dozen tongue depressors, one fecal blood test smear, and four collection tubes.

Instructions: collect stool samples within twenty-four hours.

After his doctor’s appointment, we hurried home. I snapped a picture of all the tools and plastered it on Instagram with the caption, “This is one of those moments when you question why you became a mom.” I was going to get recognition and praise from strangers for the fowl battle that was up ahead.

When we arrived home, I went into his bathroom and opened the zip lock bag and placed everything on the counter then lifted the toilet seat to place the specimen collection container, aka the hat.  Okay, that was easy enough. I called for him to come into the bathroom and showed him the hat and explained his mission: poop inside the hat, don’t pee inside the hat or throw toilet paper in the hat, but most of all, don’t fucking miss the hat. He replied with a nonchalant grunt of okay.

While I waited for the motherload, I went along with my other tasks to get his chronic diarrhea under control. My quota for washing shit stained underwear had surpassed. And I knew my son was more than over the embarrassment of his continuous accidents.  As I was writing a grocery list of STOP THE SHITTING materials, my son screamed out, “MOM! It’s happening! Poop is hitting the hat!” I hurried into the bathroom to inspect his aim. Shit was on point.

He finished. Now, it was my turn. First, was the poop smear. Insert tongue depressor into the specimen then smear onto the test. Check and done. Next, scoop the poop into the test tubes. I opened a test tube and was unnaturally giddy to see a mini shovel. So, the shoveling began. And the gagging accompanied by dry heaving. The mini shovel happened to be designed by and for fucking ants. Barbie’s hands would have scooped larger amounts of shit. I began to work on the second test tube and thought about grabbing a measuring spoon out of the kitchen but the idea of losing any damn poop which would prolong the process quickly discouraged such thoughts. Three tubes down. One to go. There was a limit of poop for each test tube and number four had the highest limit. The hat resembled a bowl of chocolate cake mix that had been scraped out.

I washed out the hat (hazmat suit and eye goggles required) and told my kid I needed more of his poop. I waited. And waited. Did his chronic diarrhea resolve? More poop was needed. I wasn’t going to fail my mission. I’m sure he would taste chili powder in his oatmeal. I had to wait. By bedtime, nothing had happened.

I woke up to horrible cries, “DAD! I have to poop! I need the hat!”  The hat was being held hostage by his pooping father. This kid was either going to shit his pants or crap in the other toilet, ruining the mission. All because his father did not think to open the damn door and hand the kid the fucking hat. Of course, being the magically bad ass woman that I am, saved the shit by opening the bathroom door, pushing through the eye watering stank of my husband’s waste and grabbing the holy grail and placing it on the other toilet before my kid shit all over himself. And that shit was glorious. It was as if the Mississippi floodgates broke open. Number four test tube would join the other collection tools by the hands of his father. The gagging and dry heaving became a beautiful symphony as I sat on the couch.

So, mothers. Listen carefully. You’ve carried the precious cargo. You pee with every sneeze, cough, laugh, and fart. So, sit back and relax and allow your husband to do the shoveling.



About the author: Sara Green, I’m the mom who isn’t afraid to admit that my boys are annoying, gross, loud, and drive me to pour a bit more wine in my cup. My house is often untidy, cluttered with toys and games, beds go unmade and floors overdue for a cleaning. I like to tackle parenting with humor, confidence and pragmatic realism. My therapy is sharing witty and off-beat stories that are realist portrayals of life as mom. Follow me at Facebook:, Twitter: and Instagram:


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