elephant poop

Sometimes I have stories I want to share but can't. The endings are unfinished. I don't always want the conclusion to be, "…and then a bunch of crappy stuff happened. The end." 

So I wait and see if an alternative ending presents itself.

Often, it does. 

Take this story. It is the day before we leave for our cabin trip…

It is early morning and we haven't started packing yet. I walk into the family room and smell…something.

It is not a normal smell. My disgusted reaction alerts my husband who hurries in from the kitchen.

He is just as revolted. So is the four year old.

What could it be? We look for moldy dishes under the sofa. Nothing.

It does not smell like poop. It is too atrocious. Too rotten.

But when there is an unidentified stench in the vicinity of a diaper-clad baby, I automatically check. I have to. 

The four year old jokingly asks if he pooped dead animals, based on my husband's smell description.

And the toddler answers affirmatively. Excitedly. 

Says he pooped elephants. We all laugh. I'm a little worried that this is a clever way of saying he pooped a ginormous amount. 

But the diaper was clean. 

I declare "no poops" and he responds merrily with "just toots" and we carry on. The smell has dissipated so we forget all about it.

Fast forward through a normal day.

It is now night. My husband is giving the boys a bath. 

I know what you are thinking. Nope. The bath was uneventful.

Actually, they get out of the tub and my husband asks me what pajamas to put them in. My husband understands that I have a very complicated system of clothing piles and suitcases going on and he doesn't want to disturb my delicate equilibrium. 

So I tell him to hold on just a second until I can come figure it out. 

Only I can't leave just then. I'm frozen because I'm doing math. Counting the days we'll be gone multiplied by the average times I'll have my clothes ruined and then subtracting three for optimism. 

But my calculations are interrupted by the call of doom. "Uh oh!"

I enter the dining room and the toddler is sitting on a chair. Naked. 


The stinkiest elephant diarrhea. All over the upholstered chair. And table. And him.

Oh, did I mention this was the night before our trip? On an airplane? Plus a long car ride? Winding up in a secluded cabin? 

See, this is where I could have ended the story with, "And then a bunch of crappy stuff happened. The end."

But that just didn't feel right. 

So we'll skip the trip story. I may actually share about that later. You know, when I remember it fondly rather than with promises to myself that I will never, ever travel again.


We've been back for a few weeks.

That pooped on chair? Still hanging out on our back patio. Uncleaned. I mean, we sort of scraped off the excess but then ran out of time to really deal with it before we left the next morning.

Did I mention that I upholstered it myself? With vintage Merimekko fabric that I scored for next to nothing? (my fellow fabric geeks are sobbing now)

Must rescue.  

I decide to try power washing it with the hose first.

So I do. 

As I'm standing there, I think back to the "elephants!" scene that started the whole thing. Perhaps I'm ready to share that story now. As closure. 

And I walk back inside where the rest of the family is playing a game.

Moments later, I'm puttering in the kitchen and the toddler walks in. 

The toddler says "Uh Oh" and grabs at his diaper with a distressed look on his face.

So I ask him if he pooped.

He answers with hippos. Hippos!

I panic.

Are you kidding me? Not again. We just got over being sick. How can this possibly be happening again?

I pick him up and carry him with the "hold-the-baby-as-far-away-from-you-as-possible-because-you-know-the-poop-is-going-to-ooze-out-all-over-you" technique. I know it is going to be massive. 

I see something drop out of his diaper. Oh boy. Here we go again.

But when it lands, the sound is unexpected. 

It sounds hard. Really hard. And it rolls.

Perplexed, I set him down gently to inspect. 

And seven little balls from the Hungry Hungry Hippos game drop out while he pulls at his diaper and bounces. 

The game they were playing when I walked through? Hungry Hungry Hippos. 

No, it did not occur to me.


And this is a much happier ending. 



Yes, my husband even saw him shoving them in his diaper. But I didn't have a chance to consult with him on the definition of "hippos" in a diaper. We are in full on "diaper stuffer" mode here. The hidden treasure inside each diaper makes changes much more fun.





This entry was posted in crappy pictures, diapers, messy stuff, parenting, sick kids, toddlers, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to elephant poop

  1. Nadina Barton says:

    this is so funny, i have had things happen like this only without the elephant description. love it. what am imagination that baby has.

  2. Naci says:

    Oh my goodness! This made me laugh so freaking hard!!!

  3. Heather says:

    hahaha awesome!!

  4. Misty says:

    I work in cube-land, and you make it very hard for me when I am giggling and co-workers are hearing me try to stifle my snorts :o) Thanks for adding some humour to my day!!

  5. Betsi says:

    Bahaha! Hilarious! I so look forward to your posts!

  6. Danielle says:

    I laugh for your elephant poo but I weep for your Merimekko…

  7. rachel says:

    fair warning: in the not-so-distant future, you may find yourself uttering the phrase: please don’t put marbles in your underwear.

    you know, one of those awesome parenting instances where you find yourself saying the strangest things you NEVER, in a million years imagined would come out of your mouth.

  8. Shannon says:

    That was awesome. I love your blog! I am always laughing so hard my husband looks up from his computer like “what is wrong with you” and then I show up your drawings and he laughs too. Ah, the joys and sorrows of parenting.

    Anyway, I am a fellow fabric geek and yes, vintage Marimekko is a MAJOR tragedy. 🙁 A few tips, we had pee on my beautiful Anthropologie upholstered chair the other weekend (don’t ask) and I actually got it clean by mixing Mrs. meyers hand soap with hot water using an electric mixer to form a foam. Mrs. Meyer’s is all natural so I wasn’t worried about it staining. At first, it didn’t seem like it would work, and then lo and behold, it came completely clean. Try it, maybe.. one can hope for you!

    Good luck!


  9. Oh, boy. I don’t miss Little-Kid-Parenting one bit!!

  10. What happened to the fabric? Did you manage to save it after all of that…which btw made me feel a little nauseous. That’s one way of keeping people from sneaking in the back I suppose. 😛

  11. Jessica says:

    I actually started cracking up and had to explain to my husband what was so funny!

  12. maggiemoo says:

    Yeah…like get the pliers off of your winkie….(you’d think it would hurt!)

  13. Rachel says:

    When I upholstered our kitchen chairs, I also put a layer of clear vinyl over it. I hope that makes any impending elephants on the chair easy to clean up.

  14. gypsyel says:

    Like Shannon, I have some advice on the chair. I have used hydrogen peroxide to remove many various protein based stains. I have never had it damage fabric BUT it never hurts to do a spot test. Because of the age of the fabric, maybe dilute the HP to say 25%, see if it does no damage, then try 50%?
    If possible, pull the cloth off the seat and put the cleaning agent on the side opposite from where the stain came from, then use water pressure to move the cleaner through the fabric and the stain (hopefully lifting away the latter)

    My offspring is now in her early 20’s. Thank you for helping me not be pushy about grandchildren- I can relive the delights and horrors vicariously with your help!

  15. Chelsea says:

    I do not even have children but I just love your blog. I will certainly keep these things in mind for when I DO have kids. Keep posting, you are very entertaining!

  16. Chantel says:

    Absolutely hilarious! this blog was just shared with me and I am only disappointed that I hadn’t found it sooner. It feels so good to laugh! Oh and I am right there with ya- thankfully my toddler who just turned two, is learning to get the poo in the toilet. Slowly but surely. : )

  17. Thanks for making me laugh at work once again!!
    Love it!!

  18. I’m confused, what was the smell from the beginning of the story then?

  19. Danielle says:

    Yes! Or “Don’t lick your baby brother’s head!”

  20. vanessa says:

    Just toots! The bad smell was a gas precursor to the upholstery blowout.

  21. Thank you for the laugh, it was needed!!! And your poor chair!

  22. Oh my goodness, that was the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

  23. cathy o says:

    chiming in with more love and thanks for your blog descriptions of MY life with older child and toddler child, and another suggestion to save the chair: Nature’s Miracle. Pet stores carry it–it’s a enzyme liquid that eats up organic material. We’ve had very good luck in saving a brand new mattress from an angrily pooping cat. Deep-set stains and stench? Gone.

    Good luck, whatever you do!

  24. Nikki O says:

    marry me. i am in love with this blog. 🙂

  25. Amber Dusick says:

    Thanks for the fabric commiseration! That is close to what I wound up doing. Dr Bronners soap (similar stuff) worked for me.

  26. Amber Dusick says:

    The fabric & chair is just fine after lots of water, Dr Bronners and bleaching out in the afternoon sun.

  27. Amber Dusick says:

    Thanks for the HP tip! I’m sure I will need it in the future.

  28. Amber Dusick says:

    Thanks for the reminder about Nature’s Miracle, we had a bottle but ran out ages ago. That stuff is great!

  29. nopinkhere says:

    I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hold it anymore and had to take a bathroom break in the middle of reading. I think I was laughing so much because my 2yo recently had diarrhea. We’d come in to see her standing frozen saying “poo” over and over while the dogs licked her legs. Yum!

  30. anna says:

    I know this is not a beautiful suggestion, but I cover my chairs with a clear plastic you can buy with the fabrics at JoAnn’s or something. Again, it’s not pretty, but it will help my fabric endure the little kid phase, and hopefully some day I can leave them uncovered and no one will destroy them with various things like poop, markers, paint, crayons, etc. etc. You get the picture! 🙂

  31. Rainyday says:

    What made this even better (didn’t think that was possible, did you?) was that I had just finished cleaning up our Hungry Hippos game before I sat down to read this.
    When my oldest was a baby, hubby and I used to say that he’d pooped a whole village and would add on surrounding towns, depending on how large and smelly it was. No idea why that saying started, but it stuck for quiet a while.

  32. eValerie says:

    I laughed so hard that there are tears running down my face and dripping off. Ohhhhhh!

  33. Krissee says:

    Ok, I’m feeling a little better now. I spent this afternoon cleaning poop of the tunnel slide at the playground and then changing my daughter on a picnic bench. I swear parenthood makes you apathetic to body fluids.

  34. julie says:

    Such a good laugh! thank you thank you… my baby’s 16 months old and she’s never had diarrhea yet, knock on wood!

  35. Bryna says:

    I found you via the Parent’s Magazine contest! Love your style! 🙂

  36. It feels so nice to know that I am truly not alone. I really dig the art work, it’s exactly how I draw 🙂

  37. Amy says:

    This is a funny one because I was just thinking to myself, I cant wait till you start having crappy blogs on potty training your todldler! And also I spent time today cleaning poop off EVERYTHING at someone’s house I’m house sitting for today. Bad idea on diapering delay on my 1 year old!

  38. Amber Dusick says:

    Thanks for telling me! I had no idea I was nominated!! Took me forever to dig around their site to find it, but I did. Yay!

  39. Melinda says:

    Lol!! That’s great and brought back some memories – can’t say I miss the diaper stage. The Hippo part is hysterical!!

  40. Joel Kohler says:

    I’m concerned. If we follow the logic, then “Uh oh, hippos” means “Something associated with hippos is in my diaper”. But if “just toots” is his description of the source of the smell, then what item associated with elephants is missing? And where did he put it? If you find it, can you tell me where it was? Because that may be the same place my youngest manages to stash his sippy cups full of milk. Search though I might, I never see them again until a week later, when he wanders into the living room sucking on a cup full of cottage cheese.

  41. Megan says:

    “We don’t eat the dog’s paws!”

  42. Angela says:

    The Little Green Machine (from Bissel, I think) is amazing at getting poop out of upholstery. A life saver. I had an elderly dog have “elephants” all over the inside of my car. And this little machine saved me!

  43. Marta says:

    Lol, I did not see the hippos game coming at all.

    I don’t handle poop well so that chair would have been sadly in the dumpster if it happened to me.

  44. Jennifer says:

    Oh.My.God. i think this is one of the funniest stories you’ve written, so far. Both my husband and I were laughing so hard, we were both crying. “You pooped elephants?” We LOST it!! Thank you so much for sharing your life with us! It helps me prepare for my future! (I have a 9 month old right now)

  45. dawn says:

    oh my!!!! i’m laughing hysterically right now!!!

  46. Karen says:

    I’m crying from laughing so hard. So awesome.

  47. Dallasmom says:

    I’ve said a lot of things I never thought I’d have to say, like “Don’t wipe poop on the walls,” “Don’t wipe boogers on the walls,” “Don’t climb up the outside of the house,” “Don’t give your sister stuff she already owns for her birthday,” “Don’t climb up the outside of the stairs,” “Come out from under the clothing rack when everyone in the store is looking for you,” “Don’t throw beans,” “Don’t hide in the cubbies,” and the list goes on and on …

  48. Dallasmom says:

    Hilarious post! Yes, you do find some interesting things when changing kids’ diapers! One time I found a lot of “processed” sand in my son’s diaper after he had played in the sandbox at Sonic and apparently eaten some of it.

  49. eandjomomma@yahoo.com says:

    Haa, Haa, thank you, thank you! I was laughing so hard, I snorted all over my computer screen!
    Freakin funny; elephant poops, dead animals,pooped on vintage fabric, hippos. It makes me miss those days.

  50. Thanks for such a good laugh…twice, once for each reading. I’ve been through many “hold-the-baby-far-away” incidents, usually they didn’t end as nicely.

  51. crowprints says:

    Holy Cow!!! I’ve never seen your blog before but it’s now at the top of my list. My 4mo old is down for a nap and I’m about to poop myself for trying not to laugh so loud I may wake him up!!! Keep up the drawings, I was in TEARS!

  52. christina says:

    “please don’t lick your sister’s diaper.”

  53. Amy@GrowingLikeTrees says:

    I had to come read the comments to just see if you managed to salvage the vintage Marimekko. I’m sooo glad you did!

  54. Mama Mo says:

    Hahahaha! I rarely laugh out loud reading blogs, but tonight I snorted trying to hold in the laughter for fear of waking the babies.

    Thank you 🙂

  55. Jen Allyson says:

    My (adult) nephews taught me that if you have a cool story that ends lame, you can just end it by saying “… and then I found a 20 dollar bill!” and everyone is like “reall!??” and they think it’s the best story ever. I tried it and it’s so true! But hippos are good too.

  56. Krista says:

    Tears are pouring down my face from laughing so hard

  57. Kristin says:

    I, too, was going to remind you about Nature’s Miracle. As a parent who does Elimination Communication with her kids, and who has a very old, incontinent dog … we buy it by the gallon. Although at our house we don’t call it Nature’s Miracle. We call it Pee Eraser. And you have to say “Eraser” like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    The poop … I walked by the front room one day to see my daughter, just cruising, had made it halfway across the room from where I had left her, standing at the front door. I was impressed. I walked back by, more slowly this time, to see her little diaperless self had left a little stinky present there at the door. Then I realized it was on her fingers. And the dog’s bed. And the wall. And the art cabinet. Lovely. I picked her up, holding her at just that length away, and dumped her into the tub. She screamed the entire time. I dried her off, still screaming, unrolled gobs of toilet paper to pick up the poop and start the clean-up process, when I realized …

    The poop was gone.

    And the dog was smacking her lips.


    In other news, when you said kids turn into assholes when they hit their third birthday, all I could hear was Ed Rooney’s secretary, Grace: “Nnn Nnn Nnn, what a little asshole.”

    Thank you again and again for reminding us we are all going through the same shit together!

  58. Jordan Foutz says:

    I love how the chair sits outside in stinky chair triage/purgatory waiting to be cleaned. I’m pretty sure we have a space cleared in the basement or garage JUST for those purposes. You are my peeps.

  59. Lydia says:

    I just got on here to find out if it came clean (since I’m back reading). Thank goodness!!! Happy it came out!

  60. rachel says:

    Adopt me. Please?

  61. Lisa says:

    Can’t. Breathe. Laughing so hard. Tears. Oh! Oh! My stomach hurts from laughing so hard! Okay… (sigh)… breathe…. Whew.
    So I found your blog recently by typing in “crappy pictures” into Google. No, I had never heard of your blog before and wasn’t looking for your blog. (yeah, don’t ask…) I spent the next hour reading your blog and giggling. I bookmarked your page and showed it to my hubby that night. I left the page up last night and woke early this (Sat.) morning to hear my hubby trying SO hard not to laugh, tears running down his red face, holding his belly with one hand and his other hand over his mouth… Okay, I had to see what he’s laughing at… I get my coffee, sit down and start reading about elephants and giggle. I hit the hippos and about lost it. There’s coffee soaked bits of toast laughed out all over the desk now. (oops) lol.
    You are friggin’ hilarious! Can’t get over how creative you are with this blog. SO cute. SO exactly, perfectly accurate. It’s like you’ve had a video camera watching our life! LOL! Funny thing is, our kids are now 18, 15 and 11… it’s still RAW in our mings. LOL!
    THANKS for such a great laugh… continually! 🙂

  62. chanel says:

    I bookmarked your page and showed it to my hubby that night.

  63. That was awesome. I love your blog!

  64. That was one of the funniest stories I’ve ever read. Ever. Thank you

  65. Natalie says:

    That was so, so funny I was literally bent over my kitchen table crying with laughter so hard my cheeks ache. Seriously.

  66. I love your crappy pictures and stories!!! Thank you for brightening so many people’s days! 🙂
    I have heard a similar story about myself and some blocks in my diapers, so this one really cracked me up!!!

  67. Jodi says:

    I absolutely love your site and am so glad I found it off a friend’s recommendation!! Just read about the elephant poop, I laughed so hard my cheeks were hurting and family members were looking at me weird. Thanks for all your posts, this one is the best one, if I had to vote on one!! Also makes me remember all those days fondly and remind me again why I stopped at one. My son is eight now.

  68. “That pooped on chair? Still hanging out on our back patio. Uncleaned. I mean, we sort of scraped off the excess but then ran out of time to really deal with it before we left the next morning.”

    You have totally just given me license to stop feeling guilty about doing this sort of thing far more often than I’d like.

  69. Michelle says:

    I was just laughing so hard my stomach hurts. The way you describe these things is just too funny!!!!!

  70. Heidi says:

    Oh deer, I’ve laughed and cried my eyes off reading your blog! Just found your blog yesterday by accident (not a bad one, a good one, and therefore I spent my evening @ work reading it and wondering how incredibly FUN it would be to have kids!) and it rocks! The Marimekko-part of your post touched my finnish inside, glad you got it cleaned! All the best for you, I’ll be watching you!


  71. Tarryn J says:

    LOL love the story, put a smile on my face 😛

  72. Solo cute I’m 10 years old butt this is funny:-D !!!