Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Up To My Elbows In Piss and Shit

Sorry for the foul language. I usually keep it G or PG, but I've lost my voice already, so why not my language rating?

I had this post titled a couple of weeks ago when I first started to potty train JD. Here's what happened the day the title was originally formed, followed by Monday's events.

Upon JD's 3rd birthday in January, Wife and I finally decided that he wasn't the kid who would potty train himself, at least not any time soon. Time to start pushing a little bit. A couple of weeks of encouragement and putting him on the toilet, I decided it was time for a weekend potty boot camp.

We did a week-long countdown to 'no more diapers' and made a special trip to Target to buy big-boy underpants. The sofa was lined with garbage bags.

The weekend came and went and JD was no closer to being potty trained than before, except that he was more comfortable sitting on the toilet and I was doing even more laundry than usual. I continued the boot camp into the week and the week after that.

Two related problems. First, JD won't tell me when it is time to go #1 or #2. I have to anticipate, which means going to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. Second, and most importantly, JD doesn't care if he's sitting in his filth. Diaper or underwear, he will sit in it for as long as it takes me to recognize there is a problem.

By the way, do you have any idea how much harder it is to clean up a poop that was made in underpants as opposed to a diaper?

So on this particular day, JD pooped in his underpants. I took his stuff off cleaned it out, and then threw it in the laundry. Then Toodles needed a diaper, so I changed her. But I hadn't re-pantsed JD. While I was changing Toodles, I suddenly heard water pouring on the carpet. Only it wasn't water. And Toodles had pooped but her tush was red, so I let her air out. So I got up, put her diaper in the Dekor, got some towels for the piss on the carpet, and came back to the living room.

Toodles wasn't finished. She had pooped again. And rolled in it. Yikes.

Fast forward to Monday, two days ago. JD was no closer to being potty trained than before. While he is fairly dry most of the day and pees on the toilet when I put him on, he will not poop on the toilet, nor will he tell me when it is time to do either.

So everything was going great. We were going to the Museum of Science and Industry with our neighbors. I was on the ball: lunch was packed, clothes were ready; all of this before both the kids were awake. After breakfast with JD and Toodles, I brought JD to the bathroom, took off his overnight diaper, and put him on the toilet. He didn't need to pee. Must have just gone, I thought, letting him go to the living room without pants. I was going to clean up breakfast, then get them dressed.

It couldn't have been more than three minutes when JD came to see me and said, "Daddy, poop on the potty?" I was so excited! He finally told me he had to go! Then I looked at his leg and saw poop. Uh, oh. So I put him on the toilet, hoping he had only let a little out but went to find the rest. I turned the corner in the living room by the stairs and saw Toodles. She was playing on the stairs. She was playing in JD's poop that was smeared all down the bottom four stairs. Did I mention that we have wall-to-wall carpeting?

I didn't know what to do, but picked her up, took her to the bathroom, got her undressed, and into the bathtub. But she had been so covered that poop got all over the bathroom floor (tile.) At that point I started yelling. He asked me to get off the toilet and then I yelled at him. "No poop on the carpet! Poop on the potty!" Over and over. Screaming. Toodles normally ignores my yelling, but the combination of my yelling and being put into the bath at an odd time of day (normally night baths) had her crying.

I ran into the kitchen and wanted to break something. I knew that breaking something would just compound the problem. I didn't want to swear aloud, though I just wanted to scream, "F*&! F*&!" Instead, I threw a tantrum. Imagine a 6'5", 32-year-old man, jumping up and down, screaming, and stomping his feet. I'm sure it was a funny sight. Then I went back and saw the carnage that was my living room. It stank. More screaming at JD.

Of course, I know that it was partially my fault, not having put a diaper on him. It's not like he hasn't done that before - go pee on the toilet, deny having to poop, then poop in his diaper less than five minutes later. That's the definition of insanity - doing the same thing hoping for different results. I was screaming from insanity.

After telling my neighbor what happened, that we couldn't go to the museum, she took pity on me and offered to take JD to the park with her kids while I cleaned. Toodles went down for her morning nap. JD went to the neighbor's house. I got on my hands and knees and cleaned up shit.

As punishment for my screaming fit, I lost my voice. It is the first time in my life that I've ever lost my voice and it sucks. I sound like Peter Brady going through puberty.

The good news is, the neighbors also have a carpet cleaner, so I borrowed that and everything looks as good as new, maybe better. It certainly smells better. JD, however, is no closer to pooping on the toilet than before. He is not compacting his poop, which could have been a consequence. As with all other milestones, encourage and wait. It will happen when he's good and ready, not by pushing too hard. Just like a good poop.


  1. omgosh!!! what a moment for you!!! i love your last line. fingers crossed for the single, isolated scene and no repeats!! i'm preparing myself to attempt potty training for the first time with my 18 month old. good luck to you, though. :)

  2. Daughter is attempting to train our three year old grandson. She, however, is using pullups. Somewhat more containing than underpants. So far we have had only the occasional success with the pee..none with the pooh. Mostly he just wants to play in the water and rip up toilet paper.
    I do feel for you, I just haven't quite stopped laughing.

  3. After having 3 (now they are 19 1/2, 25, 28) usually they need to pee about 1 1/2 hrs. after eating... pooping well that depends on kids... to this day my son will go after he eats- just like the cat..omg, tmi., i know...
    have u tried the m&m trick? one m&m for pee, 2 for poop... it works, or the sticker trick same idea. it worked for my kids.

  4. Lol. I laughed all the way thru reading this. Not at you, but at the fact that I'd finally found another dad with the same potty & poop drama. Or is that dilemma.

    My 2 and a half year old daughter wont poop in the toilet. We've been emphasizing going to the toilet now more than ever so that she's out of diapers and potty-trained before she starts pre-school. Last week we got a breakthrough - she started to go wee-wee in the toilet. After the fanfare that surrounded her first successful toilet visit, she's been going ever since. And thereafter walks around the house announcing it to the world and seeking her "goodie" reward.

    Going toilet for poop is another thing. She just wont go. Not even with the promise of a bigger "reward". Sometimes I think maybe I'm pushing her about it. Then other times when I realize she's been carrying around poop in her diapers for a long time and she didnt care either way about it I get back to trying to get her trained.

    What drives me crazy, is that I try to time it too. I'll ask her very 30mins or so "Do you want to go poopie", she answers "No". This may go on for several hours, then soon as she's said her most recent "No" the unmistable stench of poop fills the air. Arrggggggghhhhhh

    I'm totally feeling you. But they'll get there sooner or later.

  5. Oh, I forgot to tell you on the phone. The first time Z decided to go on the potty, he was sitting there, trying to get it out. T was waiting patiently on the floor by him playing happily. D came running to tell me to get up, Z is going on the potty (I was napping). I walk in and Z is FEEDING T his first poop from the potty! I wanted to barf. To add insult to injury T had an allergic reaction cause Z must have eaten something he was allergic to.

    It will happen. hugs!

  6. Thanks for all of the suggestions and laughs. I am able to laugh about it now and I'm sure we'll have great laughs in the future. Especially teasing Toodles about playing in her bro's poop.

    As far as methods, we've tried rewards, getting him on the potty at the . . . regular times (and he is quite regular) but nothing has worked. Again today, he pooped about 5 - 10 minutes after having just been on to pee. He'll do it when he's gosh darned good and ready. :)

  7. Forgot to mention, my pediatrician told me that kids tend to hold the poop because for some reason they don't want to let it go... that its letting go a part of them.. yeah, i know peeing is too but poop is more 'personal' for them? my middle one had that issue ... we resorted to baby fleet enemas which she hated..the poor child was so constipated...