After working in day care centers and preschools to support my way through six years of school, I thought my days dealing with poop were finally finished. I started my first job as a Speech Language Pathologist and figured I have a master’s degree, so I won’t be changing any diapers until I pop out my own babies, right? Wrong.
Less than a month into my first job I had a terrifying encounter with the bowel movements of a four year old. I should probably preface this story with the fact that I work with children on the autism spectrum, many of whom have challenging behaviors. I digress… My session with this particular student began by her attempting to claw my eyes out and she managed to scratch my nose. After cleaning up the blood and her hands, she immediately stood up and yelled, “POOPY!!” Oh boy! This was my very first poopy diaper situation at the new job and no one decided to warn the new girl that my student throws poop. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
We made our way to the bathroom and got everything set up. The second the diaper was removed, her hands were in the poop and moving faster than anything I have ever seen. She was like a machine gun shooting poop instead of bullets. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that there was feces everywhere in that room. Miraculously, I didn’t have a speck on me!
After reigning in that situation, I felt pretty confident with my ability to handle distressing situations involving excrement. That is until last week…
Typical Wednesday afternoon, I go to pick up one of my little guys from his classroom for speech. For the purposes of this entry we will call him Daniel. Some days, Daniel is very excited for speech and others he throws himself on the floor and tantrums until I carry him to our designated “speech corner.” This was one of those difficult days and I swooped in to carry him over; he calmed down the minute he was in my arms. After settling Daniel into his chair, I sat down next to him to begin therapy. A moment later, I dropped something onto the floor. And that’s when I saw it.
Oh. My. God. Whatisonmyclothes. No. No. NO. Pleasetellmethatisnotpoop. No. No. It’s absolutely, positively, 100% shit.
As I stood staring down at myself in horror, Daniel sat angelically staring at me like his poop wasn’t all over my pants and shirt. When asked if he pooped, he pleasantly responded, “No,” while he had smears up to his shoulder blades.
I am not a mom, so I am not accustomed to dealing with this nor do I really want to deal with this until it is my time for children. It took over 20 minutes to clean him off (there goes my beautiful speech session) and I immediately left to go change. Did I have extra clothes with me? Of course not. Thank goodness I live close to work and was able to rush home to throw my clothes into the wash on the sanitize cycle.
When I began my career, I knew speech language pathology encompassed targeting a large array of needs, but I never expected to have feces thrown at me or have it smudged into my khakis. I am now a pro diaper changer and can dodge the messiest of missiles. Although I am on the road to being ready for anything by the time motherhood comes my way, maybe I can stick to providing therapy rather than clean-ups in future sessions? Here’s to hoping!