If you would have told me when my son, Cody, was first born that he would still be wearing Pull’Ups at age four, I would have laughed and told you “Over my dead body.”
If that were the case, lets just say, I am lucky to be alive.
I also would have told you that I wanted just one child. Funny how things change! When my son reached about 2/12 years old I decided I was dang tired of changing diapers- not to mention spending money on them-so I decided it was time to start potty training him. I was a little worried about trying to potty train a little boy, as I had heard stories of it being notoriously difficult, but my theory was that if he wasn’t ready yet I would back off, I wouldn’t push him. After all, we still had lots of time…or at least it seemed like we did. That very next day I went out and bought him a cute little potty, some big boy Lightening McQueen underwear and a box of training pants. I even fashioned a rather delightful potty chart out of some computer paper and Crayola markers, if I do say so myself. I was determined to do this, and do to it as painlessly as possible. I promised myself I would not pressure him nor would I get disappointed if things didn’t move along a quickly as I would have like them too.
If you would have asked me two weeks into things if potty training an almost three-year-old boy was difficult, I would have said “No way! This is easy peasy!” Little did I know… Within a week of potty training 101, he was already a natural. He rarely even had any accidents during the day, I think it was because he just felt so independent and grown up peeing and pooping like a seasoned champ. I thought I was the potty training queen, and would often “Pfft” at all those other mom’s that claimed it was so difficult. This was a cakewalk! All was well and dry for the next few weeks and I thought I was home free. I dreamed of the diaper-free days ahead. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
The day of reckoning started like any other day, Cody woke up, still dry to my pleasure, and I herded him off to the bathroom to take care of his morning business. As I was in the kitchen whipping up breakfast, I heard a wimper from the bathroom. Hmmm. As I cocked my head and listened a little more, the whimpers quickly progressed to true tears. I rushed in the bathroom to see what the trouble was. There on the potty sat my little fella, red as a tomato with his veins bulging out of his little neck, crying and pushing with all his might. “M-m-mommmmyyyy, my p-p-p-poopy hurts my bum…WAAAA.” Uh oh. After a good 20 minutes of pushing and encouraging and back rubbing and tears, my poor little guy finally ejected the biggest poop I had ever seen escape his little body, and it was as hard as a rock. (You know, the old wrap-your-finger-in-toilet-paper-and-poke-it-to-see-how-hard-it-is, trick) No wonder the kid was crying! This thing was colossal.
A few words of encouragement and one racecar sticker later, we were finally out of the bathroom, after a good half hour. The next day or two were uneventful, and he continued to pee like a big boy. He didn’t have another poop for the next few days, probably because the last one cleaned out every last bit. Later on in the evening as I was sitting on the couch I noticed Cody standing in the corner, three shades of red, looking rather tense. “Honey, do you need to poop?” I got up and went over to him, ready to usher him into the bathroom, thinking it was a little strange that he didn’t tell me he had to go, as he had been doing so well. When I was less then a foot from him he let out a shriek, “MOMMY, DON’T. TOUCH. ME! ” Whoa. “But you have to come sit on the potty,” I reasoned with him. He wasn’t having any of it. As soon as I attempted to uproot him from his spot, I realized it was a big mistake. He started screaming like a banshee, crying and trembling, the whole nine. What the H? What was wrong with my pro potty user? Then it clicked. The super poop from the other day. That HAD to be the reason for this behavior. I finally managed to get him into the bathroom, which was goo because there was no way I was cleaning poop off of the carpet. Except, when I tried to sit him on the potty, he would make his whole body go stiff, making it a near impossible feat. Clearly he wanted to be left alone (As if his screams of “Leave me ALONE!” were any indication.) So I told him that I would be close by if he needed me and to call me in once he finished pooping in his potty. I figured if I left him alone he would eventually go. Well, about ten minutes later he called out “Mommy, I’m done!) I trotted on into the bathroom to congratulate him and help him wipe. However, as I bent over to empty out the potty, I noticed something was missing…Huh? No poop? Crap! (No pun intended). Then I spotted it, smack dab in the middle of my bathroom floor. A perfectly formed piece of fecal latter.
Cody continued to pee in the potty with no problems, whatsoever. Number two was another story. Things continued in much the same way for quite a while. He had no qualms about peeing but when it came to pooping he would tense up, stand in the corner grunting and yelling and crying. I would always try to coax him onto the potty. It would always end up on my floor. I talked to his doctor, to public health nurses, and to other parents. They all assured me that it was quite normal for a child to do well and then backtrack. But this was not just him regressing. The small bout of constipation clearly traumatized him. And I have no clue how to reverse the damage. I thought the birth of my daughter might help. I hoped that him being a big brother would encourage him to be the big boy and show he how using the potty is done, but really he was just ticked off that sissy could wear diapers to poo and he couldn’t.
Cody has just recently turned four and I wish I could tell you that the phase has passed and he is back to peeing and pooping in the potty, but that would be lying. And truthfully, I am probably making things worse by resorting to him wearing Pull-Ups again, but I got sick and tired of finding poop on my floor. And every other surface. One time a piece of poop was even discovered in my fiancees work boots. I thought it was pretty funny. Unfortunately, at six in the morning getting ready to leave for work, he failed to see the humor in it. When later confronted, my son innocently told me that he put it there because he wanted Daddy to stay home. Aww, I guess it was a sweet gesture.
As the days and weeks keep passing by, I find my self getting more and more stressed over this potty training dilemma. I now feel that I am on a deadline as far as how soon I have to have Cody FULLY potty trained. You see, my son is set to begin Kindergarten in September. And do you honestly think I am going to send him to school in a diaper?