Parenting & Relationships

New Mommy Files: Sh*t Happens, Part Deux

Written by Amy McAloon

At some point every day, I lock eyes with my daughter. We gaze into each others’ eyes and just as I start getting caught up in the “moment,” I realize, she’s caught up in a “movement.” Baby isn’t throwing loving looks my way — she’s using me as a focal point while she works things out.


The first time this happened, we were in the kitchen. Baby was safely locked into her high chair and I was at the stove mixing a delicious breakfast concoction for her. I was stirring the pot of whatever fruit I’d decided to cook into her cereal that day and glanced over at her. She was staring at me… Then she was smiling at me…

Wait. Was she smiling?


She was working it out.

Watching another human go poo, no matter how young, felt sort of creepy and weird. I couldn’t help but feel like I should go fetch some reading materials for her– maybe close the curtains and shut the door on my way out of the room and give the poor girl some privacy.

Apparently, I’ve gotten over that initial weird feeling, because I’ve become somewhat obsessed with Baby’s bowel movements since introducing her to the world of solid foods.

One too many bites of banana and somebody call a plumber because Baby’s pipes are clogged! An extra spoonful of apricot puree could mean six diaper changes in three hours. I’m constantly boiling, mashing, slicing and dicing my way through her mealtimes in search of the perfectly balanced diet to make Baby regular. When Baby’s on schedule she’s happy. And when she’s happy, I’m happy.

A few things I’ve learned while cooking up my po(o)tions:

  • If I feed Baby apples, she’ll work hard at pooing a black pebble.
  • If I feed Baby avocado, I’ll work hard at cleaning up the mess.

When I go out, the first question I’ll ask Baby Daddy upon my return is if she “went” – and I’ll ask for details. Color? Texture? Was she in pain?

Baby Daddy has told me he feels like an animal tracker having to constantly peer into her little piles of dung: “Yup – I can see that she had blueberries for breakfast yesterday. Sweet potatoes for lunch. And a… LARGE FEATHER for dinner??”

A few weeks ago I was changing Baby and during my usual creepy mom inspection, noticed a large feather in her diaper. A feather large enough to use as a quill to pen my memoirs: Motherhood: a Scatological Tale.

To be clear: Baby is not a cat. She is a human.

We do not own a bird. We haven’t been to any farms where Baby could have sucked the feather off a goose… I suppose those down -illed accent pillows weren’t such a great idea after all.

About the author

Amy McAloon

Born in Montreal, Canada, writer and artist Amy McAloon discovered photography when she was 13, after her father bought her a little point-and-shoot. Eventually the automatic was tossed aside for an old Nikon FE, and the two have been best friends ever since.

Amy went on to study writing, fine art and black and white photography in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. After a few years spent traveling through Central America with her battered Nikon slung over one shoulder and a notebook tucked away in her camera bag, Amy enrolled in a photojournalism program in Victoria, B.C.

Since then, she has lived and worked as a writer, reporter and photographer in New Mexico, Florida, California and Belize. She now makes her home in Montreal with a loving partner-in-crime, a beautiful baby girl and a hot new Nikon D7000 DSLR.