There’s an urban legend that women living under the same roof will eventually all get on the same menstrual cycle.  I cannot validate whether this is true or not given the fact that I’ve neither lived with a group of women nor menstruated.  I do have thin legs and a penchant for yoga, but that’s neither here nor there.


I have lived with a group of children, however.  As a result, I can tell you that they rapidly (as in as soon as they are born) get on the same poop cycle.  I never knew where the term “shit storm” came from until our second child was born.  The origins, no doubt, from a household full of children.  It’s not a gentle storm either.  It’s a violent, loud, hard storm complete with the shrieks of human suffering one would expect to find at the epicenter of a tornado.

It’s a violent, loud, hard storm complete with the shrieks of human suffering one would expect to find at the epicenter of a tornado.

It’s not uncommon to have a diaper blowout, a clog, and something unusual like a fecal stain on a sweatshirt…all at the same time, all in different bathrooms.  Their adorable little sphincters start firing at precisely the most inconvenient times – you’re running out the door for an appointment, the moment a phone call comes in from your boss, the two minutes before dinner guests are supposed to arrive and the potatoes are about to burn, etc.  You and your spouse/partner spring into action, dropping everything else, yelling horrible obscenities at each other in the process.


That said, you are fortunate if the storm arrives when you are home.  Any parent with multiples has been at the grocery or Target or the bouncy house when the dark and foreboding colon clouds roll in.  In this scenario, the best you can hope for is cleanish facilities, hand soapish and a somewhatish forgiving public.  The most likely scenario is a 50% chance of contracting something communicable, hopefully just a rash.

Regardless of the location, what’s up with the endless wiping?  Will they ever get clean?  It’s like their butts are Pez dispensers for poop candy.  Seriously gross and confounding, not to mention tough on the toilets.

A toilet after a shit storm



And the forgotten victim in all of this mess is the toilets.  I’ve frequently marveled at their durability, endurance and most of all their positive attitudes.  They never complain.  Ever.  Every ten years or so you need to replace their innards and maybe upgrade their seat (the “no slam” technology” available today is innovation at its best).  Thomas Crapper was definitely touched by the hand of God when he invented the masterpiece that bears his name (the technical name, that is).

There is no predicting the arrival of the shit storm, you can only be prepared for it to break loose at any given moment.  Stay relaxed, and save yourself first.  You can’t help anyone if you shit your own pants.  As parents we have no choice but to weather the storms and know that things will calm down when they leave for college, where a lifetime of bathroom trauma has prepared them for dorm living.