It all started one night in December when I was way too tired. My husband was working late, and I was determined to take the girls to see the Living Nativity at a nearby church because I thought it would be good for them. My head was throbbing, there was heavy traffic, and I couldn’t find a parking space. The girls were laughing hysterically in the backseat about a joke that didn’t make sense, but used the word “poop” as the punchline.
I begged them to be quiet. I threatened them. I tried to distract them, “Let’s sing a Christmas song!”
Immediately, they started singing a song about poop.
That was when it happened. I snapped.
“You know, there’s a real song about poop,” I said, and even as I said it I knew I shouldn’t but I couldn’t stop myself.
The girls were suddenly completely quiet in the backseat and hanging on my every word.
“It’s actually about diarrhea,” I told them.
Then I started singing.
I parked the car and turned around to see the girls staring at me with wonder in their eyes.
“Mama, how do you know that?” they asked eagerly and softly.
I told them the story of the first time that I had heard The Diarrhea Song.
I was playing with my brother on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. I was about eight. We were vacationing with family friends and they had an older daughter. She knew The Diarrhea Song.
I still remember her singing it — the sun was gleaming on her long, blond hair and her voice was filled with confidence as she sang the lyrics to the best song I had ever heard.
Soon, we were all laughing and jumping in the waves screaming it at the top of our lungs.
“Diarrhea! Cha, cha!
Diarrhea! Cha, Cha!
You may think it’s funny, but it’s really dark and runny!”
We sang until we collapsed from joy and exhaustion.
And now, more than 30 years later, I was teaching this song to my own children.
My girls immediately started singing it. And they kept singing it for days.
As the weeks wore on and they invented increasingly horrible lyrics, I questioned my judgment that night. I felt that I had made a terrible mistake.
That was, until last week when my daughter had the stomach flu. It had dragged on for days and she was weak and tired.
In the middle of the night, she called out for me.
I ran to her.
“Mama, it’s true,” she said.
“What, honey?” I asked.
“The song is true. It says ‘No pain, no strain, just sit and let it drain.’ That’s just what it’s like. It just drains,” she smiled. It was the first time she had smiled in days.
“I know, honey,” I kissed her head, and I laughed.
Because diarrhea isn’t really funny, but The Diarrhea Song is hilarious.
Sarah Knight is co-founder of Mamas Against Drama and the mother of two young girls who know way too many lyrics to The Diarrhea Song. While writing this post, she Googled the song and found this amazing site: The Official Diarrhea Song website: The Authoritative Source on Everything Related to The Diarrhea Song—Maintained By Those Dedicated to Cataloging and Upkeep of The Diarrhea Song In All Its Forms.
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