Duck Poop

by Courtney Sirotin on January 3, 2012

Post image for Duck Poop

I suppose this is as good a place to start as any. I’ll begin this blog by chronicling the 3pm hour of my day. Consider this a fairly accurate snapshot of my life.

My 16-month-old son, Dylan, loves the duck pond near our house. The earlier part of our day had been spent doing boring things so I was looking forward to treating him to a duck pond outing. He’d had a really short nap in the morning and seemed a little tired but I decided to go for it anyway because 1) we were both sick of being in the house, 2) I was hoping the fresh air and fun would help him sleep better tonight and 3) I was planning to hit up a Starbucks on the way home. Coffee is a prime motivator in my life.

I grabbed an unopened sleeve of Reduced Fat Ritz Crackers as I was heading out the door. I don’t know how these crackers ended up in my house because I don’t like them and neither does Jay, my husband, so I’ve been feeding them to the ducks over the past few months. Dylan found the sleeve of crackers in my hand enticing and demanded to hold them. Since I was juggling him and a million useless things I seem to require to leave the house even on a short outing, I handed them over rather than start a fight (he’d probably win anyway). I was only hesitant in the first place because I had visions of him opening the sleeve of crackers and making a (bigger) mess of my car. To thwart such an event, I presented him with a snack to munch on during the 10 minute drive to the pond, figuring he’d lose interest in the crackers, which he didn’t want to eat as much as try to get the sleeve open by himself.

I heard the rustling of the waxy paper as soon as I pulled down the driveway. Shortly thereafter I began to smell the fake buttery smell of Ritz crackers. Not long after that came the sound of crackers crumbling into millions of little pieces. I pumped my manual breast pump in dejection.

(Side note: Yes, I am still breastfeeding my 16-month-old son. Yes, I still pump. No, he doesn’t drink pumped milk. Why do I pump? I don’t know…its complicated. I’ll get into it sometime soon. For now, just know that I kind of compulsively pump when I’m driving in the car.)

Here’s my pump:

We arrived at the duck pond and I tentatively went around to the backseat to retrieve Dylan. I was scared to look but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Most of the crackers were still in the car seat. He was busy crumbling them. I tossed as much of the mess as I could out the door and onto the pavement and dusted Dylan off, determined not to let the cracker snafu ruin our perfectly good outing. I was mildly annoyed with myself for allowing him to “play” with the sleeve of crackers when I knew it was likely they would end up in a pile in my backseat, but I know myself well enough by now to know that what separates me from most adulty adults is that I ignore my better judgment on a regular basis, so I shrugged it off.

The duck pond was hopping with birds. There weren’t as many kids as usual, which was kind of a bummer because Dylan likes meeting other kids.

Dylan is still learning how to walk, but he’s almost got it down. He started off holding my hand and doing his lock-kneed, Frankenstein walk toward the geese (who also inhabit the duck pond). He very quickly stepped in a giant mound of bird poop, but since we were on grass I figured it’d rub off soon enough.

Except, Dylan suddenly decided he hated walking and only wanted to crawl. It was simply too poopy around for me to let him crawl so I was forcibly encouraging him to walk. He wasn’t having it and proceed to throw a tantrum: arched back, kicking legs, going limp in mid-air…the whole deal. While kicking wildly he ended up smearing bird poop all over my clean, just-out-of-the-dryer yoga pants. Saddness. Here’s the poop on my knee. I’ll spare you the smear along my groin area.

I did my best to redeem the situation but I failed. I didn’t have any crackers left to offer the ducks, which usually keeps Dylan entertained, but a very mean man offered us slices of bread from his loaf. I say he was mean because he was balling up slices of bread and throwing them violently at the birds’ heads, but I guess he was sort of nice because he was offering us bread? Anyway, I took the bread but Dylan wasn’t interested. He was too intent on crawling in poop. I was forced to give up and bring him back to the car.

I took off Dylan’s soiled shoes and loaded him into his crackery car seat. Then he wanted to breastfeed. He was overtired at this point, wiped from his tantrum, and just wanted to zone out and relax for a minute, and that’s what breastfeeding does for him. I climbed into the backseat with him and leaned over his car seat to nurse him since he was already buckled in. I then sanitized both our hands just in case we came into any direct skin contact with the duck poop (should have done that first…oh well…) and climbed in the front seat. I decided to forgo the Starbucks because I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it with duck poop smeared on my leg.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

LOUIS November 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I love ducks and birds but according to the CDC, “Many germs that might be found in bird droppings can infect humans. Duck and goose droppings, in particular, might contain germs such as E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, or Cryptosporidium”

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