Friday, August 31, 2007

A Yucky Day

As I hit the publish button on yesterday's post, I thought I was likely jinxing myself by expounding on my LOVE of this age. I reminded myself that I was not superstitious and pushed through. It appears that was a mistake.

I know many people read this blog for encouragement. Today I am not feeling very encouraging. I am writing anyway, because this is, afterall, a remembrance for my family...and I think it is important to fairly represent that some days in the trenches are just plain difficult.

My day started at 5:28 as K woke up bright eyed, bushy tailed and demanding my company across the hall. The kiddos have baby gates across the doors to their rooms, so rather than rolling over to find little people at my bedside, we have early morning yelling. The problem is that rather than waking up slowly and easing into my day, I must leap out of bed with shushes before the whole crew is awakened.

I tried to settle K back down, even taking her back to my bed with me, but she had taken a bit too much of a nap yesterday---so it wasn't happening. By 6:10 when my hubby was leaving for work, all 3 children were in the bed giggling, wrestling and squealing. They maintained that energy level for the next 7 hours.

Oh, the energy! By 8:15 I had called 2 different friends to invite them over for a playdate...and P, who has decided to boycott the potty suddenly, had already been through 3 pair of underwear. A friend of mine brought her son over to play and I couldn't help but notice the look on her face as my screaming, running, dressing up, demanding tornadoes quite literally bounced off the walls. P went through 3 diapers in an hour. My friend commented, "If I were you I would be an alcoholic."

Hoping that a change of scenery would bring some relief, we loaded the children up and took them to the pet store and to "Old McDonalds" for lunch. In an hour and a half, P managed to go through the diaper he was wearing, a back up pair of undies I had in the car, a diaper I borrowed from my friend and ultimately was commando while I tried to get the other two corralled and to the car. (Have I mentioned that 80% of his accidents were poop because he has started trying to "hold it" so only a bit comes out at a time?)

As I was trying to cajole K & R down out of the farthest reaches of the play place, I started sharing my feelings of overwhelming frustration with 2 friends who were also there with their children. Just as my tears started falling, my running boys had a head on collision and both fell to the floor crying. Suddenly, I was on the floor of McDonald's (still crying) as I comforted two crying boys. It was a new low in my "I-have-it-fairly-together, considering" public persona. As I wrapped my arms around P to pull him closer I realized he had wet his pants again.

I cried all the way home, honestly believing that if I could just have an ice cold Diet Coke it would somehow make everything OK. (I am on day 12 of my caffeine free month.) I bathed the children and put them down for naps, then took a much-needed shower of my own. As I sit in my chair, in a silent house, sipping a caffeine-free cup of green tea I pray the worst is over.

Does anyone have any experience with potty strikes? P hasn't had a healthy BM in days. He is literally (hand pressed over his rear-end) trying to "hold it." The result is small, but potent accidents several times a day. I have tried putting him on the potty for extended periods of time, but he waits for clothing before he goes and is very secretive about it. He is not a candidate for the bare bottom approach as he insists on wearing clothes.

I have tried talking to him with positive reinforcement, asking what is wrong, pleading with him to use the potty. I am baffled, frustrated and honestly tired of cleaning up this mess!

Edited to Add: Just in case anyone else is struggling with this, I found this article that looks very helpful. It appears I just need to lay off him a little. I think this has all gotten way too emotional.

And then, for the perspective God gave me after some quiet time, go and read this excellent piece by Ann. Just the perspective shift I needed. It really is all about perspective, isn't it?


dbm said...

Just a quick note to say hang in there. I know that you know it will pass but sometimes it seems the light is at the end of an endless tunnel. I'm sorry you're struggling with the potty issue. It is so frustrating when you know they know what to do. One of my boys, who has always struggled with constipation, still has a difficult time making it to the toilet before the poop is already escaping...also in little bits as he holds it as long as humanly possible for fear of having a painful BM. What works for us (sometimes) is for me to be very aware of where he is and what he's doing all the time. I know that if he gets very quiet and stands somewhere off alone that the poop is coming and I rush to get him on the potty...when we manage to make it there and the poop gets in the toilet, I make a big deal out of that and he seems genuinely happy that he made it (albeit with help from mom) to the potty. We also have limited his dairy consumption, increased his water intake and give him a probiotic daily. This all seems to help with his constipation. I hope that things get better after nap :) I'll say a little prayer for you all...


Chrissy Maestri said...

I actually laughed out loud reading your blog today! I ran across it after being contacted by a mom of triplets. She had your family listed on her blog and I love reading it. I have identical twin girls who are 3 and a little boy who will be 5 in Nov. (21 months apart). Since D is a little small for his age and R & J are very tall for theirs, we are CONSTANTLY asked if they are triplets. I actually feel like I really do have triplets most of the time. My girls would not poo in the potty for months after getting the pee pee down. I tried EVERYTHING! After J had held it for 3 days her pediatrician recommended Miralax and that helped temporarily. The funny thing is they were both doing the exact same thing, pooping in their panties every time. Very unladylike I might add! They actually finally progressed to only going at night after I put diapers on them for bed, then one night R got up and told me she needed to go to the potty...and she poo'd! I was so excited! J was already asleep so she missed the big celebration, but the next morning when she learned of what R had done she went 4 hours later! I was shocked! I have no miracle recommendations. All I can say is he'll do it when he's ready. I put them back in "baby diapers" for awhile, and called them that the entire time (which they didn't like at all). Email me if you need to vent or can think of anything to ask ( I do know how hard that time was. The good thing is, that horrible time finally passed too! :D
Hang in there! It'll be better very soon!

girlymama said...

My little girl just went on a potty strike. After nearly losing my mind, crying in frustration and having to apologize to her several times for losing my cool, I decided to go with the advice of a friend (who, ironically, doesn't have any kids).
She said, "She knows she's getting to you. Lay off. Pretend its not a big deal... until she goes on the potty. Then freak out!! That way the only way she'll get attention is when she goes."
It worked after two days.

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

(((Jen))) praying you don't have another day like that for a LONG time. And, I would have been right there with you begging for diet coke to be inserted intravenously at that point. :)

Sallie said...

I pray that the worst is over! I had this issue with my oldest son but he has autism so I can't say anything about your son cause I don't know the background. Anyway, just hope you fill better!

God bless,

Lolo said...

I read your blog fairly often. I work with young children. I have two bits of advice: 1) just layoff and they will start going to the potty again. 2)maybe P had a bad experience with BM on the potty so you might think about telling if you need to go poop just ask me for a diaper this work like a charm for 2 1/2 year old and they use the potty

Jenny said...

My son used to ask me for a diaper whenever he needed to poop. I hated it, but we had tried telling him "no more diapers" and he held it for 7 days. I decided it wasn't worth it to struggle with him. So, he wore underwear all day until he needed his diaper and then afterwards changed back into his underwear. It seemed silly, but it worked, and everyone was happy. 4 months later, he decided that HE was ready. It must have been a tough time because he's 8 now, and I still have very vivid memories of that experience!! ;) Good luck to you. Thanks for being real. I find that encouraging!

Emily said...

Hi. I love your blog so much...I was introducted to it by a mutal friend. It's just so wonderful and uplifting. I'm sorry you had a rough day...but it is refreshing to know that sometimes others feel the same way I do!
As far as potty goes. All I can offer is encouragement. I have a boy J, just a few weeks younger than yours. P reminds me a lot of J. After having the same experiences you're having with P, I ended up just stopping for a few weeks. After a few weeks, I gave it another go and it worked beautifully. I think that sometimes J just needs time to adjust to a change. Good luck!

Big Mama said...

I have no advice regarding the potty stuff. I will say that most of my friends with boys have had a harder time with the whole "poop in the potty" concept. He'll get it when he's ready.

Hang in there. On the bright side, you made me laugh because I feel your pain. I, too, have cried in a McDonalds while holding a crying child. It's a lovely feeling.

Stacitee said...

My daughter went on a potty strike once too. What worked for us was taking her to the pediatrician who talked to her about how important it is not to "hold it" and a very, very mild laxative the pediatrician prescribed (so she would really, really not be able to hold it). Then PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE for pooping in the potty.

Karen said...

I completely empathize with you on the potty situation. I didn't think my son was EVER going to go poo in the toilet. We would go through 10-15 pair a day, because he did just as you described. Hang in will get better. You might have something with "laying off" a bit - if there is less pressure, he might be more inclined to do it. Anyway...from one mom to another, I just wanted you to know I felt your pain - because, like you, I have been on the floor of McDonald's with my kids...only I think maybe I was crying louder than they were. :)

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

Yes, I, too, am sad to say that I laughed at your story, as well. What pathetic cyber friends we are, right?

Once when my friend saw the hyperactivity of my 1 child - count that - 1 (ONE)child, she said..."If I were you, I would self-medicate".

And you have 3. I don't even know what to say.

KT said...

My almost 8 year old has had issues in the past with BM. I have to really watch his diet to make sure he's getting enough juice and fruit and veggies. He was my first and I was such a new Mom who knew nothing about constipation and BM. If I look back to once he went on milk, he was always constipated and always had a hard time pooping. Once he got old enough he would hold it. Then once he started potty training he never went in the potty, he ended up going in his pants and boy was I furious. Mind you I still didn't know this was a problem, I thought it was him rebelling!!!! I didn't figure this out until he went into Young 5's. So that would have made him almost 5. He would be so constipated and holding it that I would have to keep him home from school because he was afraid to go, thought it would hurt and so on. I do use childrens laxative, rootbeer flavor, every once in a while. But it's not uncommon for him to go several days without a BM. He eats well with foods that should move him but that doesn't always work. He gets it from his Mother! Enough said. Advice I would give you is to ease up on him but also take note and see if this is really an issue of constipation or being afraid that it will hurt him. Benefiber also works, sprinkle it on his food or mix it in with his drinks. I also switched to skim milk.

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

Oh wow - you and me, both. Yesterday was a horrible day for us, too. William is currently on a poop strike, he is doing everything he can to hold it in, but it came out yesterday while he was in the bathtub - seconds after Carolyn threw up everywhere. I don't think that there is anything you can do to stop them from trying to stop the poop - if he doesn't want to go, no amount of cajoling will help. Rather, I've been loading him up with fresh fruit and prunes. I'll make darn sure that poop comes OUT.

I'm telling you, as I'm telling myself - we will get past this. We will survive. We will not turn in to alcoholics. At least I hope not!!