When you become a parent, one of the first things they teach you in the hospital is how to collect data on your specific baby's poop. They give you a chart, and teach you to gather data with the level of stringent detail expected from today's top climate scientists-- and with rather more stringent detail expected from climate scientists employed by the Koch Brothers. Dutifully (pun intended) when Millie came home from the hospital, I conducted this scatological census with a level of organization and scientific competence that would have astounded the Honors Chemistry teacher at my high school.
The results? I don't know if Millie is any better off for it, but I'm definitely more neurotic. I'm also totally fascinated. For instance, if someone said to me, would you like to see a graph of Millie's poops per day over the last 45 days? I would say to them "OF COURSE I DO. Who wouldn't want to see that?!" I don't have an i-phone--so I have no idea if this already exists--but I think a really great idea for an app would be one that creates color pie charts and graphical analysis of your baby's poops.
Here's an idea of how baby-poop charts would compare with other areas of scientific research:
For those of you without kids, baby poop is BRIGHT YELLOW. Luckily for me, Millie's grandmother was able to warn me about this before it happened. "Now the next time the baby poops" she said when Millie was just a few days old, "it will look like expensive Dijon Mustard." WHAT? Sure enough, It looked exactly like the fancy sandwich mustard I put out for my most impressive guests. I wonder how many frantic phone calls pediatric offices receive from first time parents who are unprepared for this phenomenon. "Yes Doctor, we can't be sure but--we've just changed the baby's diaper, and we think someone must have been making fancy sandwiches in there!"
Now, some of you will accuse me of Shaky Science---simply because these charts are completely made up. To you I say---" how dare you question my results?" Also, I say "When you have baby poop on your hands, you can't worry about nit-picky details like 'significant figures' or 'actual data.'" Personally, I think I have a bright and shinning career ahead of me at a Koch-Funded think-tank. Or--- if they're not hiring-- there's always a future in jet ski sales.