...because we all have our motley moments!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another Bad Mom Story

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!

8 comments:

Donna said...

Absolutely no judgements allowed here!!! This does sound like willful behavior. What are some of the "big boy" things that Ethan enjoys? TKD? Staying up later than little bro? Watching big boy movies? Tell him that since he is choosing not to use the potty like a big boy, he will not have any big boy privileges until he makes big boy choices.

Liz said...

Thanks for the vindication, Donna. When Todd gets home, the special Thomas the Tank Engine roundhouse that Ethan got this summer (coincidentally, for being a "big boy" and giving away his pacifiers) is going away for 3 days. If there's an "on purpose" during those 3 days, TV privileges will be revoked, and we'll go from there.

embowling said...

You are so not a bad mom. Seriously.

In our house, when there was willful pooping, we would calmly say, "oops, looks like you need to be cleaned up!" and dump them in the cold shower, all the while singing "rub a dub dub! let's get that poopy bottom clean!" all happy and stuff.

It gets out some of your aggression, too.

Maria said...

You are so not a bad Mom. I was going insane with the same thing. I knew she was choosing to poop in her panties. So, I basically decided that my nerves could only handle one destroyed panty a day (along with all the poop that came with it). I just put her in a BABY PULLUP for the rest of the day. No yelling. No drama. The next day she started with a new panty as if yesterday never happened.(By the next day, she forgot what happened the day before anyway). Eventually she forgot about the power struggle and started pooping in the toilet. Thank God! Potty training is NOT FUN!

Alicia said...

No judgement, just tons of support. It will pass, and sadly it will probably manifest itself into something else!

Lindsay said...

I did the same as Maria. I took away the struggle. I just used a pull up for my own sanity. I wasn't going to fight it. It's a little different since he can't wear them to school though. So you may need to do the other route. Take away something every single day, or reward something everyday. For example if you stay dry and clean all day then you can watch a Thomas movie before bed, or eat a cookie after dinner, whatever. However if you poop or pee in your pants I will take away a toy, or you will go to bed BEFORE Micah. ect....

Karly said...

Both of my boys have regressed in this way for a period of time. Either willfully or out of sheer laziness or for some undiagnosed psychological reason. No matter the reason...it was maddening!! And so gross to clean up! They both outgrew it, and so will your little guy. And he'll probably find another way to drive you crazy, like mine do. :) In the meantime, sounds like some great ideas, and GOOD LUCK!!

Liz said...

Thanks, everyone, for all the support and great ideas. Last weekend at the beach he had totally embraced being a "big boy." Here's hoping he does it again soon!