Friday, June 8, 2012

The One About Toddler Poop

It comes as no surprise to you that we sometimes have rough days here in the neighborhood. You already know whose fault it is, too. We've been trying to potty train Nathan. Yes, he's only 20 months and yes, that's really young and no, it's not because I'm an over-ambitious mom, desperate to drive her child to succeed. It's because Nate sneaks in the bathroom whenever Jon is peeing and stares and tries to touch the stream and Jon finally had enough and said, "That's it! He's getting his OWN potty!" So that's what happened. And he likes to pee in it. A lot. Sometimes I have to drag him away, explaining, "You've already peed three times in two minutes and you don't have any left, Son." He doesn't like being dragged away, no matter my sound reasoning.

Anyway, so peeing in the pot is going well. He did pee on my friend's couch the other day (FAIL). But mostly, he's good on the bladder control. Pooping, however, is TOTALLY another matter. As soon as he started peeing in the potty, he became terrified of pooping altogether. Now that he's naked or in undies all day, he's realizing for the first time that something comes OUT of him when he poops. He realized this when he pooped on the floor. Twice. And the patio. He freaked. Not. Okay. With. Nathan. In fact, he's pretty terrified and screams and wails when he feels it coming and even freaks out when I help him with his issues by putting a diaper on him. Not. Okay. With. Mommy.

Hilarious. I know. Laugh it up. Your kids will poop on your floor, too, one day. Then I will laugh.

Yesterday went like this: We had a nice morning and during his nap I prayed that I would start actually being patient with my son and stop acting like every bad thing he does is meant as a personal insult toward his mother. My job is to teach, not to react. But I suck at it, so thus the prayers. Fast forward to noonish - we're playing outside in the kiddie pool and Nathan starts kinda whining and bending at the waist and knees. He squints his eyes, "Poo!"
"Nathan, do you need to go poop on the potty?"
"Noooo" he whines and holds it in, quickly picking up a toy and pretending to be really busy playing.
*time passes and we go through this a couple more times*
Nate's dance gets a little more desperate. He starts shifting from one leg to the other, whining. He reached around and grabs at his clenched butt cheeks, "poo!"
"Do you need to go poop in the potty?"

I try to lead him in. Resistance! So I bring the potty outside. He pees in it and leaves. He gets the urge again, dances, whines and tries to drag the potty back inside, where it won't haunt him with it's incessant need for poo. So much panic.

"Nathan, do you want a diaper?"
"You have to poop in the toilet or in a diaper. Those are your only options."
"noooo nooo noooo!"
He starts to cry. I bring him inside. He starts to scream. I force a diaper onto his butt. He cries and tries to take it off. I force pants over the diaper, so he won't take it off. He whines and poops. I change him to intense screams of anguish, kicking and flailing. He kicks me in the throat and I make a mental note to bring that up at his wedding. I manage to diaper him. Now he's having a tantrum/panic attack/scream fest. I offer to pick him up and he hits me. I calmly ignore him and he poops again, so again, I change the butt to kicking and screaming and tears. He knows I'm the bad guy and that Daddy is out of town, so he starts to wail, "Heeeennry! Heeeeennnreeeeee!". Henry is unsympathetic and hides under the kitchen table.

We call my mom, because I have no husband at hand and I need someone who doesn't hate me to say something nice. She is shocked and positive that he must be in intense pain. No. He does this. He just hates poop. He screams for Grammy and finally poops again.... he loads that nappy up. Three dirty diapers in 30 minutes. Who says potty training saves diapers? I change him and put another diaper on, because, even though he's probably done, I don't want to even look at the toilet for the rest of the day. Good. He doesn't either. He gets happy. He is content to pee in the diaper for the rest of the day. I've maintained a semblance of composure and been patient throughout the tantrum.

One o'clock. Six more hours until bedtime.