The Poopie Diaper Path to Enlightenment

“Mom, you need to wash my shirt.”

“Okay.” Don’t I always? “Put it in the laundry tonight.”

“No, Mom. You’ve got to wash it now.”

Now? In my magical washing machine I tote around in the car?

“Mo-o-om,” he whined.

I click the turn signal. “Why?”

“Because I wiped a BIG booger on it.”

“Max!” I clench the steering wheel. “I told you to stop wiping boogers on your pajamas.”

“I did.” He sounds indignant. “This is my shirt.”

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

My husband told me about a podcast where Jon Kabat-Zinn says children teach parents to be better people by pushing all their buttons.  Children are little yogis motioning us toward enlightenment on a path of broken Legos and poopie diapers.

Yeah, okay.

That’s a new way of looking at it.

I like new things.

But this parenting gig is hard. A new kid is not the same as adding a sassy pair of new boots to your shoe collection. The second time around with a toddler should be easier since Booger Boy prepped me. I figured since the new kid was a girl, I’d just have to adjust for bows and tutus.

Not so.

My son understands the meaning of the word no. Always has.  (He’s very verbal.)

Our fifteen-month-old daughter, however, has a mind of her own.  In one day, she

  • refused her high chair
  • grabbed her brother’s footstool and used it to crawl into a regular dining chair
  • insisted I remove the lid of her sippy cup so she could drink from it like a real glass
  • used the chair to reach the top of the dining table—where she danced
  • fell from the top of the tv table and bruised her head on the way down.
  • threw a tantrum in which she slammed her face against the tile floor and busted her top and bottom lips
  • propped her ankle on the edge of the crib as if she were going to climb out. Then she laughed, adjusted her leg warmer like a ballerina at barre and returned to marching up and down the length of her crib.
  • propped her leg up again on the Target shopping cart, this time in arabesque and grinned.  When I didn’t look at her, she changed legs, doing a grand battement in the direction of each corner of the cart.


Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Perhaps they are showing me a new way of looking at life. Perhaps they are my little yogis.  Maybe Max is teaching me that life can be icky but it’s nothing I can’t face after a good cleaning.  Maybe Alexandra is teaching me that life is unexpected.  I should just go with the flow, dance a little, and remember to smile.

Hmmm. I’m feeling zen already.

Brandi Barnett is the author of the young adult novel GLAMOUR. Check out Brandi’s Blog where she writes about the magic in every day life.
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  1. This was Hilarious! I think if I met Jon Kabat-Zinn on the street I would want to punch him in the face. Better yet…have him babysit a “spirited” toddler w/o getting frustrated, raising his voice or turning on Dora to keep them entertained for the afternoon.

  2. Ahhh… it’s a good thing little Alexandra and little Annaley do not live closer. I’m pretty sure they would exchange ideas to make sure we are more enlightened than ever.

    Breathe in, breathe out… I’m with ya momma.

  3. Annita Whisman-Rackley says:

    The old folks called it “paying for your raising.” When I started doing yoga and meditation, which I need to get back to, I realized that I had been a yogi ever since the day my dad left us. Although he returned, which is a wonderful event, I endured a childhood with two older brothers and a darling big bear of a hard-working, ill, and often grouchy dad. I was always outnumbered, always on the list to be the butt of a joke, a prank, or an insult, but somehow a ray of love shone through it all. As I watched them grow old and pass, I think my parents’ entire family was their path to enlightenment. Since I don’t have biological children, the Universe used my nieces and nephews to school me even more. As written by Tolkien (The Hobbit Walking Song)

    The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
    Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say.

  4. The ability to laugh at your challenges is a high level skill that will take you far in parenting. The ability to write about it elevates your skill set to a whole new level. Way to go Brandi for enlightening and entertaining us today!

  5. This made me (and my husband) laugh out loud! Our THREE boys definately push our buttons, although, I am not sure if we are better for it! ha!
    Ashley mentioned in her blog, “if you just pretend like your life is a sitcom, it makes the crappy/hard times seem less horrible. Funny and entertaining even.”

    I will take this blog and that comment into my day tomorrow!!

    Thanks Brandi for always bringing a smile to this mommy’s face!

    • Glad I can make you laugh through the button-pushing. 🙂 Also, thanks for sharing Ashley’s great quote. Life is easier to take when viewed as a sitcom. Eventually, there has to be a break in the drama.

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