I suppose no-one is really 100% prepared to be a parent before they actually are. But I'm still surprised by some of the things I've had to do in this job. For example:
There was a recent shigellosis outbreak at the daycare. Now, I don't know if "outbreak" is really the right word, but apparently a kid or two came down with this thing, so the daycare decided to aggressively tackle it. I guess it is a serious illness, in that it causes severe diarrhea. This is mostly an issue for toddlers, and our kids never got sick at all, but we still had them tested.
Oh yes, the test.
The daycare sent the girls home with two plastic vials and instructions on how to fill them up. It was rather ingenious, if disgusting. The plastic cap had an attached spoon with a serrated edge. The deal was that you took some of your kids poop, scooped it into the vial with the spoon, sealed it up (tightly!) and shook it so whatever chemical was in the vial would mix with the poop. Then the health department comes to the school to collect these poop vials and have them tested. I suppose the one consolation is that I don't have the job of opening a couple dozen vials of poop in a lab somewhere.
Anyway, we told the kids we needed to collect their poop, and to do this they needed to poop into a bag. They were, of course, delighted by the prospect. So every time they felt the urge, one or both of them would start shouting, "Daddy! I have to poop! Get a bag! Get a bag!"
What followed was a farce of me trying to strategically position a plastic shopping bag under a tiny butt without dipping it into the toilet water. Of course, there were several false alarms and I ended up holding a bag full of farts.
Finally, Macey crapped into a bag, then I scooped the poop into the vial. This same kid just puked on me recently, so I've had the full spectrum of bodily fluids.
I should mention that The Scientist manged to miss the poop-scooping duties for BOTH kids. She claims it was innocent, but I think otherwise.