I have been writing in a personal blog since 2002. When I had my first child in 2005, my website became devoted to a fairly predictable series of topics: marveling over new motherhood, complaining bitterly about new motherhood, describing in excruciating detail my various encounters with sleep deprivation, feeding schedules, diapers, and so on.
There's been a lot of backlash against so-called mommy blogs over the years, with critics saying that parents routinely overshare and invade their children's privacy for the sake of page views. I've always eye-rolled this point of view, because I believe the positive outcomes of sharing our individual experiences far outweigh the bad. (Also, these same critics seem to have conveniently forgotten the decades-old paths forged by, say, Erma Bombeck or Shirley Jackson.)
That SAID, I wouldn't mind if we all agreed on one simple blogging rule for parents: NO WRITING (OR PHOTOGRAPHY) ABOUT POOP-EATING.
For those of us who write about personal topics in a public forum, we all have our own boundaries. What's therapeutic or entertaining for one person may be intensely uncomfortable for another, and of course there's no guarantee we'll agree with each other's opinions once they're shared. Welcome to every Internet comments section ever, right?
I'm not here to lay down the law or shame anyone. I'm just ... okay, maybe what I really want to do here is take a poll: on a scale of one to ten, one being "Meh, no biggie, pass the chocolate donut," and ten being "OH SWEET JESUS I JUST BARFED UP MY OWN SPLEEN," how do you feel about seeing a photo of someone's furniture finger-painted in human feces?
Look, we've all had disgusting diaper-related moments. What mom hasn't joked about getting peed on during a diaper change, or described what happens when a wriggly, bouncy child has a blowout while sitting in their exercsaucer? (Hint: HORRIBLE THINGS, that's what.)
I'm just saying that as much as I support every mom's right to tell her own story -- because that's the thing, being told you can't talk about motherhood is like being told you can't talk about your LIFE -- I am over here gagging weakly as I draw a shaky line in the sand: no poop photos, please. And please, god, I don't want to hear about how you knew your little girl ate her own poop because the evidence was stuck in her teeth.
It may be that poop-eating/poop-playing/poop-smearing stories are just my personal Kryptonite, along with photos of small children eating spaghetti sans utensils. ("OMG, so cute!" says everyone on Facebook. "OMG, put down the camera and give him a bath right this instant," I manage to stop myself from saying.) Lots of kids go through that unpleasant stage, and it's perfectly normal to laugh about it once the horror has worn off.
But ... maybe we don't need the visual to accompany the story, though.
Okay, let's talk kids and poop: does photo documentation gross you out, or do you feel like anything goes when it comes to sharing a funny-in-retrospect moment?
Image via billypalooza/Flickr