“Karen! We’re back!” Mrs. Nelson yelled as she and her husband returned from their first date night in months. Ever since Toby was born, almost two years ago, opportunities for romance had to be engineered and carefully choreographed.
“Um… we’re in here,” Karen, their 17-old-niece and babysitter called from their family room.
Walking into the family room Mrs. Nelson saw Karen’s worried expression and knew immediately that something was wrong. Quickly scanning the room for her child, she let out an audible sigh of relief when she saw that he was sleeping peacefully in his playpen by the couch.
“What is it Karen? What’s wrong?” Mrs. Nelson said in a calm voice, not wishing to spook the girl further.
“Well, it’s not a huge deal… I hope. I mean… well, I’ve just never seen anything like it and to be honest I was a bit scared. It’s just… it’s just not normal, you know?” Karen stammered as she made patterns in the carpet with her converse.
“Karen, it’s ok. Whatever it is we promise to not be upset or mad. Just tell us what happened, ok sweetie?” Mr. Nelson chimed in when he saw that his wife was beginning to get agitated while Karen stalled.
“I know, it’s just… I don’t really know how to say it. And once I do say it, I’m not sure you’re going to believe me,” Karen hesitated.
“Oh come on, of course we’ll believe you! You’re a smart and capable girl, so whatever you need to tell us, just stick to the truth ok?” Mr. Nelson said as gently as he could. Even his patience was beginning to wane (he had hoped this romantic evening would continue on into the bedroom once they could dispatch the babysitter and tuck the lil guy in bed).
“Ok, here it is. The truth. I gave Toby his bath and after putting on his pj’s I could tell that he was trying to… you know…” Karen squnched up her face and made a grunting sound.
“Poop?” Mr. Nelson offered.
“Yes, thanks. Well, after he had, you know… I began to change his diaper and that’s when I saw it. Aunt Jenny, Uncle Tim… Toby pooped a penny,” Karen looked like the weight of the world had just been lifted off her shoulders.
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson exchanged a knowing look and managing to stifle their laughter; Mr. Nelson gave Karen a hug and sat her down on the couch to explain.
“I don’t get it, you think this is funny? You’re not upset or even worried? I mean Toby pooped a penny. Doesn’t that freak you guys out, just a little?” Karen was truly confused now.
“Oh no, he’s been doing that for ages now. We’ve given up trying to keep things from him, he finds them anyway, almost by magic, and immediately pops them into his mouth,” Mrs. Nelson stated matter-of-factly.
“Yeah, the kid has a cast iron stomach and an the intestinal fortitude of a hyena. The doctor said that as long as it’s no bigger than a quarter, he’ll just poop it out, completely intact within 24 hours or so. Some of the bigger things, like the scan disk to my camera and grandpa’s hearing aid took a little longer to make it out, but even those things didn’t seem to affect our little guy. Of course we try to keep things out of Toby’s reach but even then, he averages about ten to twenty-six cents a month, give or take,” Mr. Nelson added, almost proudly.
Karen thought about this and immediately wondered if any of the change her aunt and uncle had used to pay her in the past had been…
“Don’t worry, honey,” Mrs. Neslon almost read Karen’s thoughts, “We would never use that money to pay you with. In fact, it all gets washed in the dishwasher and is donated.”
“Oh, well that’s pretty cool, I guess,” Karen was still a little unsure as she looked over at the sleeping Toby, “It’ll make for a great story one day, that’s for sure”.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Ok… how to explain this one (delicately). This morning, in my usual haze (I am NOT a morning person) I stumbled to my bathroom and turned on the shower. After the water temperature warmed to my liking, I shuffled/half fell into the spray and waited for the heat to wake me up. After a few seconds of standing in the jet of water, I suddenly hear a metaling clinking on my tile shower floor- an unfamiliar noise among my usual morning sounds. Curious, I glance down and there, between my feet was- a penny. What in the??? Where had this penny come from? In my confusion at the sudden appearance of this copper piece, all I could think was “Oh my God, I just pooped a penny!” Of course as I thought more about it, the true answer of how the penny came to be in my shower presented itself, but for the rest of the day all I could think about was “I pooped a penny today. Today, I pooped a penny!” And then I would giggle silently to myself. Ah… the musings of a small and easily-entertained brain.
Love & Squirrels.
P.S. The actual answer of how the penny found its way to the shower is pretty embarrassing… so I’ll leave it to your imagination.