Scared Abstinent

by Janelle Hanchett


I’ve been told that many programs exist to educate young women on the perils of early motherhood. You know, avoid teen pregnancy and such. I’ve only heard of this sex education because I went to a Catholic girls’ school. We don’t talk about those things there. Plus, none of us were going to have sex because we were saving ourselves for marriage.


Now, I imagine that much of this teen-pregnancy/smart-sex/use-protection-or-die education centers around the economic burden of motherhood, the extreme responsibility, the destruction of one’s social life, and perhaps the reality of missed or limited opportunities facing a girl who’s 15 and pregnant.

This may work. But I really believe there is a better way. When I think back to my teenaged self, so cool, so hot, so together and omniscient, I can’t help but think my sorry ass would not have given two shits about economics or social life or responsibility, because I didn’t really know much about those things. I had no perspective. I had no idea that not leaving your house for 2 months or talking only to toddlers would make me want to crawl in a hole and wither. I had no idea how hard it is to pay only the really late bills because the current ones still have a tolerance window (I mean bills don’t even become real until they’re a month late, right?).

However, there is one thing I understood, and that’s humiliation. I understood that. That hit my fragile egoic self where it hurt. I also understood things that are fucking disgusting. For example, dog shit.

And so, I propose that we tell young girls stories like the one I’m about to tell. We could compile our stories and market the anthology as The Best Birth Control Ever.

It would be like that camp they send disturbed youth to – the one where they attempt to shock them into obedience – they yell at them and take them to prisons and abandon them in the wilderness, doing their best to scare the living shit outta them until they snap out of their delusion and realize they’re ruining their lives. It would be like that, only for motherhood.

Remember Laser? Oh yeah, sweet little bundle of Labrador. Sweet, psychotic bundle of holy-fuck-what-was-I-thinking-getting-a-puppy. Yes, him.

Anyhoo, we were in Tahoe.  We went to the grocery store. Mac, the older kids and my mom went into the store for supplies and Starbuck’s while I waited in the car with Georgia and both dogs. While I waited, I opened the door next to Georgia’s car seat so I could play with her and prolong the point at which she loses her fucking mind because she realizes she’s trapped in a seat and there are things happening without me damnit! While standing there, Laser was sort of jumping on the seat next to her, on the other side of the car. I ignored him. At one point, however, he put his nose across Georgia’s lap and I noticed some brown stuff on it. I thought it was peanut butter.

[Warning: this story is disgusting. Remember: SHOCK TREATMENT. We’re going for shock here people. If we sugar-coat we won’t be as effective.]

I leaned over to see what was on his nose and I realized in a moment of horror that it was not peanut butter  at all. It was poop. It was dog poop. I determined this thanks to my keen olfactory senses. The  next few moments happened in slow motion, but so fast I couldn’t believe it was happening. It was like a car accident. Time slows down but it’s moving at lightning speed.

I look at the seat under  the dog. There is a giant pile of dog diarrhea. My heart stops. Things are dire. Life and death, Janelle. Don’t fuck up. I assess the situation. He’s about to step in it. I must get him out. I bolt to the other side of the car, open the door.

My whole life is hinging on the successful removal of this dog from the car, but I cannot allow him to touch the pile of shit. I cannot fail! I grab his leash and try to pull him toward me, but because the dog is fucking idiotic, he of course flails, steps in the poop and SLIDES ACROSS THE SEAT, dragging the pile of crap across my entire seat and his body. As he jumps out of the car he brushes against me and drags the back of the leash across the morass of excrement.

So there I am, dog shit on my arm, my shirt, my hand. A puppy hopping around psychotically, covered in shit. Holding a leash covered in shit. Staring in awe and wonder and shock at the most enormous pile of dog diarrhea I’ve ever seen, covering the better part of the back seat of the only car we have – the one we need to DRIVE IN and SIT IN.

And I’m stunned. I’m paralyzed. There is no way out. I’m only in survival mode now.  I’m trying to move the dog away from me. He’s jumping on me. Georgia’s yelling. I’m holding the leash out. I have no idea what to do. There is no solution. If I put the fucking dog back in the car we have more shit in the car. But I have to get this off of me and I have to clean my seat.

FYI, there is something infinitely disturbing about being covered in animal excrement.

I hear a noise. I look down. Laser is vomiting. You think I’m kidding? NO. NO I’M NOT. Evidently he ate half of a bully stick, WHOLE. He ralphs ALL OVER THE GROUND NEXT TO ME and almost immediately begins eating it.

I pull him away. He pukes again. Tries to eat it. And I want to die.

So yes, that’s right people. I was standing in the Safeway parking lot covered in dog diarrhea with vomit at my feet and a shit-covered dog attacking me, next to a car doused in crap. And I was alone.

And this, my friends, is my life. Two people asked me if I needed help. I said “um, yes. I need you take this dog and my life. Right now.”

All I could do was stand there and wait for help. I waited for at least 10 minutes in that condition, while people walked by, glanced at me, the dog, the vomit, heard the toddler screaming.

[I wonder how Snooki would have handled that situation.]

Finally Mac came out, horrified of course, bought upholstery cleaner and rags and disinfectant wipes. He held back the dog, tried to clean him, while I cleaned myself and scrubbed dog shit off my seat for AN ENTIRE HOUR.

Now, perhaps our teenaged wonder may read this story and think “Ah, that’s got nothing to do with motherhood. That dumb broad got herself into that trouble, buying a puppy and going on trips and shit.”

But to that I declare: IT IS THE FAULT OF MOTHERHOOD. Why? I’ll tell you why.

Step 1: Have a kid.

Step 2: Have another kid. Maybe another, to give the first kid siblings.

Step 3: Raise them for awhile.

Step 4: Begin doing things that families do, such as buy a fucking Labrador.

Step 5: Stand in vomit piles in a parking lot while covered in dog shit next to your desecrated vehicle.

You see? One thing leads to the next. And what’s the first step? Have a kid.

The jump from kid to dog shit is such a tiny one. And even if you never get a dog, kiddo, there will be excrement in your life and you will be covered in it. Absolutely more than once.

Are you gettin’ that? SHIT. On your skinny jeans.

And that, my friends, is why you don’t want to get pregnant as a teenager…because nobody looks cool doused in dog crap. Or kid crap, for that matter. And once that kid comes, there ain’t no going back.

It’s crap for you, baby.

That’s your future.

Choose wisely.

I’m here. Waiting. To shit on you.

  • Shan

    Aaaaahahahahahaha. *ahem*

    No, really. Aaaaahahahahahaha!

    • Shan

      Seriously, though. I have a recent poop story of my own. Nowhere near as craptacular as yours, but it also involved a poop stepping/eating/smearing dog. And Fynn freaking out, which kind of does get us closer to even. But I was at home, so you uh… win?

  • Jennifer

    I’m still catching my breath from laughing. That is a shitty story, friend.

  • Jack

    So glad I read that before breakfast! The cute photoof the dog at the end of the post made me laugh – oh the irony!!

  • Julia

    Our yellow lab will be 17 years old in a month. Abbigail Waggatail – with me thru 4 military deployments, 11 moves, hurricanes, earthquakes, imagined burglers, real burglers, her being my baby, her being ignored when I had human babies, them becoming her babies, her becoming their baby and along the way lots and lots of dog crap. Now she’s so old that she poops in her sleep. It just slides out and she doesn’t even wake up. Better than pee i guess. worst smell to wake up to at 3 am tho. and when I can smell it but can’t find it, I inevitably step in it.

  • Jo Eberhardt

    Oh, this is so funny. You know, in a “glad it was you and not me” kind of way.

    As for stories scaring teenagers abstinent, I could tell you about the day I was changing my son’s nappy and ended up covered simultaneously in poop, pee, and vomit. Or, I could direct you here. It’s not my story, but it a damn good (or, should I say, shitty) one.

  • dixiebelle

    This is so hilarious. I read it to my husband and we were both in tears. You poor, poor lady.

  • Shawn Van Deusen

    This is so true! As parents we lose all our dignity due to poop. Thanks for the early morning laugh. I love your writing. You let me know that there are mothers out there like me…trying to do the right thing with our families and creating great stories!

  • Renee'

    I read this at work and my co-workers thought something was wrong with me because I had tears running down my face. HILARIOUS! You really just “tell it like it is” and I love you for it!!!!

  • Claire

    Great Story – thanks for the laughs today!

    Speaking of Shit stories…
    My husband and I once took an 8 hour car trip with our first baby – who of course was in cloth diapers at the time since I hadn’t figured out the beauty of letting go of my OCD and freaking buying disposables at least for car trips for the love of God. At the end of the trip, in the middle of the night we arrived at the hotel and my husband was holding baby while I was collecting my haul of baby paraphernalia. Immediately – Poopslplosion – for which the cloth diapers have convenient leakage points – yellow breast milk poop goes all the way down his jeans and onto the floor of the parking garage. Awesome end to a long day…

    I love your scared abstinent story collection idea!

  • Stephanie

    And we saw the cutest puppy last night on our walk, too…

  • Nicole

    Too funny…what mim hasn’t had poop on them at some time or another. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Kelly

    I don’t know what I was thinking by trying to read that in a room with a sleeping baby!!! Wow, with a story like that, you would fit right in at our family holidays and the dinner table. No, seriously. Going to go dry my tears!

  • Candy

    I think anti-parenthood bootcamp is an awesome idea. I volunteer to send my “I have a broken ankle and 3 kids with the stomach flu and massive diarrhea” story. I would include the “washing machine full of washed, rinsed, and spun dry vomit” anecdote.
    I also think that on the first day all of the teens should be sent to the grocery store with a two year old. Who has had no nap. And, is hungry. Their goal would be to buy food to feed a family of five, for a week, with a hundred dollars, and make it home before the school bus. I predict half of them would be in tears by aisle 5.

  • renegademama

    Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your perspective. I’ve always been kind of “on the fence” about the word. Of course, I don’t have a child with Down’s Syndrome, so that could explain why I’m on that fence. I do, however, have a son with Dyslexia and he can’t read, so he is, I suppose, “retarded.” I am not offended by that word.

    On the one hand, I think context needs to be taken into account, and clearly I am not speaking of a person in a derogatory way – similarly the way people use the word “fag.” That word can be super derogatory or not at all, depending on the context. Also, the word “retarded” is so widely used to mean “misguided, goofy, silly, stunted,” etc., that I’m not sure it isn’t evolving into a different word — such as the word “queer” – used to be totally offensive – now used by homosexuals themselves as a term of empowerment. Also “dike” – a slur that has become a term some lesbians refer to themselves as, with joy! However, I was a little hesitant to put that word in. I have avoided that word in other posts because I’m on the fence about it and I know it offends some people. Of course, everything I write offends some people. 🙂

    And to be honest, I thought it was funny, and I was quite obviously not talking about my son, or anybody’s son, who could possibly be “retarded.” I was not and never would call a handicapped person “retarded.” That’s an entirely different deal. I realize the word has a history as a slur, but so does “fag, dike, bitch” and a whole slew of other words. I don’t do political correctness. I just don’t. The only word that will never leave my lips is the n-word (unless it’s necessary in one of my classes – I study critical race theory). I also don’t use the c-word, because I think it’s trashy. HAHA as if I’m not trashy in a whole slew of other ways…

    Anyway, thanks again for your comment, and I wish you the best.

    • carlisle

      So, I was looking up feminist blogs and websites a couple years ago.I found one that I sort of liked until I made a comment about the movie Avatar being FUCKING LAME. And about a dozen women ripped me a new one for using such an able-ist (whatever) word like ‘lame’, including women who were unable to walk. And then I got all pissy and commented, “Well, next thing you know, we won’t be able to use the term MORON because people with an IQ less than 70 will get offended. If they even have the goddamn capacity to understand.”

      Which got me banned, because apparently equality-minded feminists don’t use the offensive term ‘moron’ either. (but for some reason, bitch is acceptable in reference to women. Don’t they think female dogs might get offended?) And scrolling through comments on other articles, I realized how batshit insane they all were about words like that.

      I say retarded (and the variation, fucktard) and gay (to mean stupid because that’s just in my vocabulary) and lame and all sorts of shit. And I just wanted to share that I feel EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE lurking around on your blog, because you don’t give a flying fuck about impressing anybody, let alone pleasing everybody.

  • Bridget

    I thought my stories about being covered in kid shit would work as birth control for my own children. But this? This will work much better.

  • BonnyBard

    I’m hovering between step 3 and 4… after this story I’m getting a cat. And it won’t travel with us. Ever.

  • Lisa

    I disagree… I don’t think by telling teenagers we don’t enjoy ourlives and it all started with a child! Being a mother and wife has been the most beautiful gift I have ever recieved. Owning a pet is amazlying rewarding also. yep poop and all!!! I have been home a year and 1/2 with my angel ( didnt even drive the first year) and I don’t go ” crazy ” we spend tones of time outside! I meditate eat healthy & excerise… and teach her to
    Do the same – because within us is where our happiness starts!!!So before you count me in on being unhappy mother … i want to share that i love my life ! And won’t ever “scare” someone into not wanting the family life! I know a few young moms who strive!) not that In sayomg Encourage it – but educate with the truth of what safe sex is! Love your
    Life !!! And spread the love 🙂

  • Sarah O'Shea

    Can we ban Lisa? ^ Just Kidding, she must be the lucky mom who’s kids shit rainbows (or apparently valium). I think the c-word is okay as long as you follow it with the word “muffin”.

    • Nicole

      Hahaha! This whole comment is amazing.

  • Mary

    Haha! You guys are a bunch of weenies! I work at a 150+ dog daycare, and this is nothing compared to the things I’ve had to deal with! One day a dog ate another dog’s poop. He then proceeded to vomit that poop up, and another dog came along and rolled in the poop-vomit. Doesn’t make me love dogs any less, though. They poop, just like you and I do. Sometimes they have diarrhea, just like you and I do.