Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jonathan Swift & Me

Many many years ago, I was an undergraduate English major (please no comments on my subj-verb disagreements and varying tenses in this blog  as I'm the equivalent of an English major Sybil - schizophrenic and inconsistent).  For one class, we had to read Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" and write a paper.  I chose a paper on the scatological - which is basically the study of poo-poo.  Swift writes a lot about excrement and seems to love potty humor.  Many other students in the class wrote about English oppression, Irish suffering, and Swift's views on humanity.  I chose poop.  Quite prophetic, I think. 

I visited Jonathan Swift's grave at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin years ago.  Here was a man who wrote some of the most thought-provoking satires of the 18th century, spoke out against persecution, and had a deep regard for women and children.  And an affinity for poop.  What's not to love?

We are on day #3 of potty training, and poop, like in "Gulliver's Travels," is making frequent appearances.  Unlike my college professor, who viewed my paper as "a little gross," I am delighted to welcome poop in this manner.  I have gone seven long years changing diapers. Seven years of being able to change the nastiest of situations, wash my hands, and resume eating dinner.  Seven years of my own kind of oppression: never being able to have a cute purse because it couldn't hold diapers and wipes.  The bonds of Pampers are being unshackled and as God as my witness, I, nor my kin, will never go diapered again.

In an act of final resolution, my extra-tall changing table has been given away.  Off to my husband's brother, wife, and baby.  No looking back.  No surrender.  Elvis has left the building.  Jonathan Swift can stay.