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If you're having a rough day, read this: I Tried to Rationalize Sanitized Poop.

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I am in no way saying that any one mother is more stressed than another. No one person’s stress is more, bigger, or worse than another — we all have struggles and carry them differently.

Speaking for myself, I’m a working mother. I’m currently bringing my mask-clad children to school everyday living in a constant state of happiness and worry. I’m peaceful, but vigilant. It’s nuts.

I’m making lunches every day, cleaning and filling water bottles. Conducting daily health checks for everyone. Living on a razor thin line of our current reality and its uncertainty. All of this could change in a blink.

Within this reality, I’m also back on a college campus. I’m planning and prepping for a return to whatever the new normal will now be. All while feeling hope and happiness with a side of fear and worry.

My current brain feels like a Firefox browsing session with 74 tabs open all at once. Twelve still haven’t fully loaded and I’m not even running the most recent version. I’m trying to get my brain to function properly and actually work, while also getting it to calm down enough at night so I can sleep.

I say this, to give perspective of a recent morning.

After I got home from dropping the kids off at school, and before my work day started, I decided to throw our dog’s bedding in the wash. There was nothing wrong with the bedding, it’s just that he’s a dog, and well, his bedding should be washed once in a while.

A chore I’ve done countless times.

However, when I opened the washer door this morning and began pulling items out to transfer to the dryer, my heart stopped. A cold wash of panic flooded my chest. I blinked rapidly.

Next is the inner conversation that unfolded:

What the hell is that?
Is that poop? Oh my god, how did poop get in the washing machine?
Ok wait. The wash cycle did start, right? Yes things are damp. Ok, so...
Oh my god was there poop in his blanket? How did I miss poop in his blanket? This is so gross. Holy crap.
Ok wait. How did poop survive the wash cycle? Is there something wrong with my dog? Do I need to call the vet? Why is Toby producing poo that can withstand the spin cycle of my Whirlpool Duet?
Ok well, if it did survive the wash cycle, does that mean it’s sanitized? Can poop be sanitized? No Mel, I don’t think that’s a thing. Poop is poop. Washed or not. Seriously, Melanie?

Alright, so, is my washer ruined now? Oh god should I tell Brian? He’ll lose his mind if he knew Toby shit in the washer. I can’t tell him yet. But, how am I supposed to explain why the washer is out on the curb?
I do not want to have to buy a new washer. Please Little Jesus help me understand what is happening.
I have work to do. The last thing I feel like doing right now is mitigating the damage of a poop-filled wash cycle. I guess I can run a hot water bleach cycle? I honestly don’t know if that will even make a difference.
You know, I’ve really lowered my standards lately, so maybe this is a sign that they need to go even lower. I mean, honestly, if I can look past a poop-filled wash cycle, think how easy my life would become. That would be a pretty enviable level of bliss.


Nonetheless, I had to address the situation at hand. I opened the laundry cabinet and pulled out a pair of rubber gloves. I carefully reached in to remove the poop and was — delighted!

Turns out, it was little brown balls of stuffing. That’s right, from the many times I’ve washed Toby’s bedding, the bottom of his bed split open allowing for stuffing to fall out. I guess the spin cycle rolled them up into little fuzzy poop-shaped balls.

So, if you’re having a rough day, remember, there’s a woman out there who actually tried to rationalize the existence of sanitized poop. Bottom line, you’ve got this. Hang in there y’all. xo

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