This dad’s truth stinks behind those Instagrams

…but keep staring until you see the beauty in the “mud”.

A poop explosion. That is the truth. By now, I seem to be making it look too easy to take care of two kids single-handedly while my wife is at work: Smiling to the camera while bottle-feeding the 5-month-old (Leo) with the 3-year-old (Emi) pretending to feed the stuffed animal in the back. Cooking beautiful bowls of ramen at lunch for the kid and myself [1]. Taking them to the zoo and enjoying the sunset at the beach. It’s a weekday fairytale…if you look through the social media [2].

The truth is a poop explosion and screaming kids. Leo had not been pooping for over a week (not uncommon for a breastfed baby), and we were counting down the explosion. I stimulated his b-hole this morning, hoping to see him poop BEFORE we left for the zoo. Didn’t happen. At the zoo, he started to cry very loud at the Lion’s Den, and by the time we were about to buy the choo-choo tickets, he was screaming. I thought he was hungry or over-tired. I was wrong.

I was at least anticipating THE possibility, so I didn’t have a mental breakdown when I picked him up from the stroller to hop on the choo-choo with Emi, only to see his back covered with a week-full of shit. Pardon my language, but it wasn’t poop. It was shit. So, holding up the screaming victim covered with the brown radioactive matter, I persuaded Emi to let the choo-choo go for now, and walked to the male bathroom.

And there wasn’t a changing table, of course. I almost wrote a letter to instruct the zoo on equal opportunity parenting, but Emi found a changing table OUTSIDE the building on the concrete wall (What do you do when it rains?). So, I stripped poor Leo in the cold air. And while he was shivering and screaming, I wiped. I wiped. I wiped. For the kids who don’t know how the poops of an infant without solid food feeding look like, they look like very runny curry. And it was covering the entire waist area, back, and front. I finally made my baby presentable. But how would I wash my hands? I cannot ask the 3-year-old to hold the baby.

But wait! One more issue. Where are his clean clothes I thought I packed? (No, sir. You didn’t!) So, poor Leo. He was half-naked while we walked 100 yards back from the bathroom to the stroller where I found his jacket to put on the naked tummy. Yup, still unclean hands, but let’s check off the most important agenda (choo-choo) for the lovely daughter who patiently waited for the poop-clear winter to be over.

That was the highlight of the day. Don’t let the Instagram pics fool you. But that is still not the point, I guess. My point is…you may not comprehend, you single young man, but kids are the best thing happened to my life despite the everyday hustle like above.

1: Yes, I cheated with Ramen Hero meal kit but I added some nutritious ingredients. 
2: Yes, it was a weekday. I can do this because I started my own data science consulting business in San Francisco Bay Area combining my Ph.D., software engineering, and a Y Combinator startup experience. Connect here.