Showing Your Kids How to Deal with Poop

We all know the famous bumper sticker. There’s a reason why “sh%* happens” can be found anywhere classic bumper stickers are sold.

We all have our stuff to deal with. And the other day, I had to deal with some. Literally. From our next-door neighbor’s dog. The kind that’s been marinating under the snow all winter, too.

We had the chat in the fall, and my neighbors, who I’ve written about here before, said they would be more aware of where their dog is doing his business. Not sure if these particular pieces of businesses happened before or after this chat, but none the less, here they are for me to deal with.

When these little poop piles were brought to my attention, I have to admit that I immediately wanted to pile it up on their step. Who wants to deal with this sh%*? I don’t own a dog.

But you dads and parents know, little eyes are always watching. Even when you think they aren’t, they are probably more likely to be watching and listening.

Enter the serenity prayer:  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Pause. Breathe. How do I want my son to remember this moment?

Five plastic shopping bags in my hand, I asked my son where the poop is? The yard was saturated with spring mud. He didn’t venture too close but waved his hand around in the general direction. I used every bag, and without commenting, brought them to the garbage.

I don’t remember exactly what comment he made, but I believe it was something about making the neighbors pick it up themselves.

A lot of prayer. A lot of restraint. The anger that I would have held if I would have made a different decision doesn’t exist. Disappointment that it even had to be done yes, but I’m not out to start a feud with the neighbors and make this a turf war.

My son may not even remember me taking the high road, but you could bet that he would have remember me making a pile of dog feces on the steps of my neighbor’s house if I went in this direction instead.

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