When we become parents we know there are givens. We know we’ll be up nights with inconsolable crying. We know there will be bumps and bruises. We know there will be first smiles and first teeth. And by God, we know there will be Poo. Add animals to the mix and Number Two instantly becomes Number One on your list of Immediate Concerns. You think that as your child ages, Poo will become a thing of the past. Unless you’re a special needs parent. Now, luckily for us, my son is mostly self-sufficient at recognizing this need when it arises. I say mostly because every so often it catches all of us by surprise, including him. Coming home from a restaurant with his grandmother last night, he experienced one of these poo-mergencies. When the two of them reach our house, they find it empty as my husband and I are still at dinner. And that’s where we are when we receive the call that we must ask for the check, bolt down the rest of our meal and push the legal speed limit to get home. When we arrive, I notice a large, patty-shaped pile in the entry way. Evidently, his poor grandmother had tried to lift my 65-lb spastic son and carry him to the restroom. Since he was wearing shorts, the offending material simply slipped toward the nearest exit, shooting down the abbreviated pant leg. Closer inspection of this circular mass reveals (in the absolute dead center) a large paw print. Further poo-sleuthing determines that the carpet runner in the hallway is now embellished with several canine tracks, ground in to the sub-atomic level by an effusive Ilia when he rushed to greet us at the door. As we make our way in, we hear much giggling and splashing. We round the corner to the bathroom to find Cole’s grandmother dousing his nether regions with buckets of water as he sits atop the throne. Dirty wash water covers every conceivable corner of the bathroom. The mound of his soiled clothing stands on its own; a testament to his intestinal fortitude. We relieve Grandma and apologize profusely. My husband then sets about getting Cole into the tub but has his own ADD moment and decides mid-way through this process that he’s going to do a thorough, fiber- by-fiber rinsing of the thickly coated clothing in the toilet. Becoming completely engrossed in this lolla-poo-looza, he turns our smeary kid loose on the floor. More swearing and splashing ensue. Our son now decides to have an Impaired Executive Function Moment and completely flip out that his clothes are being laundered in the loo. Father then loses his grip and begins screaming. Child follows suit. The dog decides this must be the perfect time to demand a treat and begins barking loudly to ensure we don’t miss this urgent request. Furious, my husband grabs the soaking wet clothes and as he heads for the washer, he flushes the toilet. Which overflows. Hours later, the entire bathroom has been sanitized, mopped and re-sanitized. The clothes have gone through two hot water bleach cycles, the dog’s paws have been scrubbed and the child is now sparkling clean, pyjama’d and tucked in. Husband has gone to bed with a headache. And I am here, alone, shaking my head with wonder at how so small a child can produce so much mayhem, so much insanity, so much chaos. And so much poo.