I got a bidet after having a child, and it has changed my life.
Changing diapers was my way of showing love to my daughter; the bidet is my way of loving myself.
Now I talk to everyone about my butt and urge them to try a bidet.
Let me tell you about my bidet.
When I sit down, the seat is already warm. When I'm done, I can choose exactly how I'd like to blast my anus clean: icy cold to wake me up, for when I'm taking a poop after my infant daughter woke up at 5 a.m., or warm, or hotter still, the kind of heat that seems unnecessary but sometimes stings just right. I choose the angle and stream width. Holding the bidet's remote in my hands and pressing the buttons have a pleasant video-game effect — I press a button, and everything is a little better.
I am a bidet evangelist. Before getting the bidet and having a child, I didn't think too much about my butt. But when people come to visit now, I almost beg them to go try it out. I've never talked about my butthole so much or wanted to talk about it. But I feel like I have a secret. I now understand a mundane bathroom trip as something lovely. Yes, lovely.
As a mom, poop is always in my life
When I'm in the bathroom on the toilet, and my now-2-year-old comes in, the bidet can keep going with its work. She drapes her whole body across my knees while I sit on the toilet, and I love the weight of her and wonder what it feels like to be her: to love someone so deeply you want to hug them while they're pooping. My daughter on the other side of my body says, "Hi, Mommy," as if she missed me, even though I've been here the whole time.
And, of course, I realize I do know what that love is like. When my daughter was a tiny baby, everyone warned me about diaper blowouts, poop everywhere, endless laundry from baby poop, ending up covered in baby poop, and my entire house smelling like baby poop. People cried over baby poop and gagged over it. I understood it. I did — but I loved changing her diapers.
I loved the way her poop looked because it told me what she couldn't yet tell me herself: She was OK. And when she wasn't OK, when she had an allergy, I wasn't afraid to look for signs of it, like blood in her stool. I put my face right up next to it. I loved the way I could wipe her clean, tie everything up in a neat bundle, throw it away, and make everything better.
When she was so little, every cry was a desperate ask from a person whom I adored but whose language I couldn't speak. I yearned to know the right thing to do for just one task. Some days, the whole day was reduced down to the trash can slowly filling with diapers, pointless.
But most days, changing a diaper was a love letter. It did matter — our life, my daughter's life, depended upon it. Changing a diaper was my favorite thing: A dry diaper was the clearest way I could say, "I see what's wrong, and I know what to do." It was a practice in being gentle. It was care. It was love. I sang while I wiped, took my daughter's feet, and kissed them, the soles of her feet still as tender as the top, still so new.
The bidet is me loving myself
On my bidet, once I'm washed, I can hit the dry button, and a gentle Caribbean breeze fan of air dries off my butt while I wait. For a few seconds, I close my eyes.
I still haven't figured out how to put the joy of having children into words. It's easier to write about poop. So many people wanted to tell me how hard it was to have a child, and I know why they did. Some days, many days, I think I simply might not be able to do it. But then there is a diaper to change. I can throw it out. For now, I can make her feel better quickly and easily.
Then my daughter bursts into the bathroom while I'm on the toilet waiting to be dried because she just cannot wait for a second longer to see me. I pull her up onto my lap and love the way my arms can go all the way around her. She rests her head on my shoulder. The dry cycle finishes. We both feel better.
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