Dear Jack: You Chose “Poop” as Your Theme for Dress Up Day at School… and Totally Got Away with It!

7 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday your class unlocked a special day at school due to your collective good behavior. Your whole class got to participate in “Dress Up Day”, meaning you could have worn pajamas or a hat, or something a little out of the ordinary like that.

As I got you ready for the bus last Friday morning, I saw that on your own, you decided to adopt the theme of “poop” for your special day with your friends.

You pulled out your poop emoji hat from your closet, the one you bought from a street vendor; as a souvenir at the Monster Jam truck show in Nashville last year.

Then you found the “pooping moose” key chain I got you as a souvenir several years ago when GM flew me up to Detroit.

It was clear: You saw “Dress Up Day” as the perfect subtle opportunity to promote poop awareness at school.

Just like the week before when you took it upon yourself to craft a real cobra head necklace to wear to school, you had used your own creativity once again; and never needed to ask Mommy or me what you should wear for this special event.

As I hugged you goodbye right before you hopped on the bus, I thought to myself, “Is there a chance he’s going to be sent home for wearing this to school? Or best case scenario, will he have to take off the hat and necklace as soon as his teacher sees what he’s wearing?”

Fortunately, that was not the case at all.

When you got home that day from school, one of my first questions for you was, “So what did your teacher think of what you wore for Dress Up Day?”

You smiled and announced to me, “She told me she liked it.”

Okay, then. Well, that’s that.

You went to school wearing a poop emoji hat and a pooping moose necklace and it was no big deal.

Good for you. You’re a creative kid!




This is 36: My Back Yard is Constantly Littered with Plastic Grocery Bags Filled with Poopy Diapers

It makes perfect sense, I’m sure. Actually, I’m confident that my story is not unique. It’s pretty simple and (assumedly) universal, really:

When our 1 year-old daughter has a poopy diaper, we reach for a plastic Kroger bag from underneath the kitchen sink, using it has an insulator for the smell. Then, without fail, I open up the back door and toss it towards the garbage bin near our fence.

Every couple of days, I have to take out a big bag of trash anyway. That’s when I pick up the 2 or 3 bags of poop to place them in the garbage bin.

What’s the point in walking out to the garbage bin every single time my daughter has a dirty diaper? That doesn’t work for the lifestyle of the Shell household. It wouldn’t be prudent.

On a daily basis, when we’re all home together, my wife is constantly running around the house in the midst of cooking meals and doing laundry, while I am constantly entertaining and occupying not only our daughter, who isn’t quite walking yet, but I am also doing my best to make sure our 6 and a half year-old son is keeping himself productive in some sort of activity.

It’s not worth the time to run outside for the sake of a dirty diaper that is already inside of a plastic bag. I’ve got too many duties that relentlessly need my attention, inside the house.

Besides, our yard is fenced in. It’s not like the neighbors can see the dirty diaper bags; not unless they specifically go upstairs in their homes then look over to our yard.

That would just be nosy.

Therefore, it remains one of our family secrets.

No one can see, so no one can know.

It’s not like I’m posting pictures of the dirty diaper bags on the Internet, bringing attention to it.

This is 36.

Dear Jack: You Bought a Poop Emoji Hat… and You’re Very Proud of It!

6 years.

Dear Jack: You Bought a Poop Emoji Hat… and You’re Very Proud of It!

Dear Jack,

For your birthday, you had been planning to spend some of your $100 shopping spree money at Opry Mills Mall on a poop emoji stuffed animal you saw at a candy store; of all places. But once we arrived, the poop emoji doll was gone. You ended up buying a holiday-themed big-eyed animal instead.

But I figured it was just a matter of time before you would find a poop emoji to purchase…

This past weekend as we were waiting at the crosswalk to reach the Bridgestone Arena where the circus was taking place, a street vendor selling “the same stuff as inside” happened to also randomly have a poop emoji hat, in the likeness of a stuffed animal.

Mommy suggested you wait until after the circus was over before you decided how to spend your remaining $11 from your birthday money; to make sure there wasn’t anything you’d want more once you got inside to the circus.

Dear Jack: You Bought a Poop Emoji Hat… and You’re Very Proud of It!

I could tell for the last 20 minutes of the circus that you were distracted: You just wanted to get back to the street vendor to buy that poop emoji hat; assuming there was still one left.

The nice vendor man smiled and said, “That’ll be $15.”

We thought it was only $10 because earlier we had heard him name the prices of the light-up toys.

He saw that you had 11 one-dollar bills as you looked down into you vinyl skateboard-themed wallet.

“Oh, you’re using your own money? I’ll give it to you for $11 then.”

Needless to say, Poopy (as you’ve named it) has been a main character in your world since last Saturday. Poopy goes with you everywhere in the car and sleeps with you in the bed each night.

Dear Jack: You Bought a Poop Emoji Hat… and You’re Very Proud of It!

Not to mention, Poopy has made an appearance in your artwork at school. Not only did you do a profile picture of Poopy, but you also drew one of your classmates- with Poopy instead of the girl’s actual head.

Dear Jack: You Bought a Poop Emoji Hat… and You’re Very Proud of It!

She apparently liked your work. I’m almost surprised you didn’t tell me that other friends at school requested you to draw them with Poopy heads as well!




The Shell Diet: Fiber from Whole Grains, Fruits, Veggies, and Much Less Meat

Build your meals on fiber from fruits, veggies, and whole grains, not meat or carbohydrates.

1) Eat less meat: Most of us have grown accustomed to building our meals based on meat.  We’re accustomed to “getting full” instead of “staying regular”.  By eating more than 4 to 6 ounces of meat per day (the size of a deck of cards, or your hand not including your fingers), if nothing else we’re giving our bodies too much sodium and making ourselves at least a little constipated.  (Ideally, you should be “going #2″ at least once a day”.)  I make it a daily goal to only eat meat in one meal of the day, typically either lunch or breakfast.

2) Replace meat with vegetables and whole grains:For breakfast, here is what I eat (click here).  For my other meatless meal, I make sure it’s filled whole grain (wheat) rice, pasta, or bread and vegetables or fruit.

3) Whenever you’re hungry (not bored), eat. If you get hungry in between meals or after a meal, it means your body is craving and needing more fruit, veggies, or whole grains.  Not processed snacks, ever.

4) Don’t eat too much at once. By putting your two hands together to make a bowl, that gives you an idea of the amount of food you should eat in a meal.  Any more than that, and there’s a good chance of you’re overeating, and that means you won’t poop at least once a day.

*But wait, there’s more…Go back to the main page of the The Shell Diet by clicking right here.

dad from day one: Diaper Duty and Sleeping Arrangements

Week 3.

Men aren’t supposed to like changing diapers.  And I suppose no one truly likes changing diapers, but something I have learned in these 3 and a half weeks so far is that it’s really not that bad right now.  He’s still in the “yellow, seedy poop” stage.  So I can’t honestly say that the smell is difficult to deal with.  The hardest part about changing his diapers is taking off his clothes and putting them back on.

The way I look at it, despite all that my wife does for not only our son but for us as well, if there’s one thing I can do efficiently, it’s to change his diapers.  Granted, as much as my parents and sister and her husband have helped out as well, it’s not like I’m changing the majority of his diapers anyway.  But if nothing else, I have learned that a dirty diaper is not something I fear or have any valid reason to avoid.  Though I do prefer it when he’s wearing a onesie: easy access.

In theory, Jack would spend the majority of his sleeping hours in his nice crib.  But in reality, during the day he sleeps wherever he ends up falling asleep.  Sometimes it’s his sock monkey bed, sometimes it’s the papason chair, and sometimes it’s somebody’s arms.  It’s funny how it’s an infant’s full time job to sleep.  When he wakes up, Jack typically goes through a 15 minute stretching ordeal.  I love how he is essentially exhausted from sleeping all the time.

I have always secretly wanted a fur coat- the chic yet manly kind like Rocky Balboa had.  That appears to be in the genes as Jack loves to be wrapped up in the finest, softest materials.  Jack lives such a glorious, pampered life.  He has an appreciation for the finer things in life.  But he also isn’t above loudly passing gas when people hold him.  That’s good- it shows he’s culturally balanced.