You want to really know how bad of a mother I am? Well, I'll tell you. My son has been potty trained since early June. He would have the occasional pee accident, but nothing major. Then, 2 weeks ago, he started pooping in his pants again. Every day, sometimes multiple times. But, he only did it at home. We were at Target, way in the back of the store and he told me he needed to poop, so we walked all the way to the bathroom at the front of the store, took care of business, no problem. My husband and I discussed it to death and decided he was nervous about school starting. Makes sense, right? Well, school started and the pooping continued, but not at school, just at home. I read all I could find on the subject. Some kids have encopresis, which is the inability to feel when a poop is coming. Ethan does not have this, as evidenced by the trip to Target. Some kids are constipated and won't poop because it hurts coming out. Not my kid - you could set a train schedule to his bowel movements. He's not sick, he doesn't have diarrhea, school started just fine, my husband and I aren't getting a divorce or bringing home a new baby, so I don't get it. Well, I think I do get it. I think he's doing it on purpose. And this is where I have issues. The pop-psychology default is, "Don't punish for potty accidents." I agree. I remember wetting my bed as a child and being spanked for it and how helpless I felt. But my son is not helpless. To further prove this to you, let me tell you about this weekend. On Friday after he had his daily bowel movement in his underwear, I had had it. I mean, I seriously HAD HAD IT. I asked him why he pooped in his pants and he said, "Because I want to." So I told him, "If you keep pooping in your pants, you cannot go back to school." It's true, in a way. They are required to be potty trained to go into the 3-year-old class. I told my mother-in-law about this and Friday night after we all gathered at the beach for the weekend she took him aside and told him she was very sad about his choice and that she didn't want to have to call the preschool director, whom she is friends with, and tell her he couldn't go to school anymore.
I know this sounds terrible, but it worked. He didn't have any "on purposes" all weekend. He used the potty and we praised him for being a big boy and he went to school all week and stayed clean and dry and then about an hour ago, he pooped and peed in his pants again.
I am at the end of my rope. Again when I asked why he did it, he said, "Because I want to."
Do you see what I'm up against? Judge me if you will, but I'm convinced he's doing it on purpose. It's a power struggle. And I'm tired of throwing away underwear!