Well, it’s Monday morning and that means it’s Mommy Monday. I sat down with my cup of coffee this morning and thought about all the possible mommy related topics I could talk about today. As I was lost in thought my son J, who is 3.5, came to me and said,
“Mommy I can’t sit down because I have to go poop and get the poopie out of my butt.”
This announcement should have taken me aback, or at the very least caused me to giggle in embarrassment, however since potty training, declarations like this are pretty much the norm in my house.
Now, I’m not going to lay out exactly what we did or even tell you what you should do. I’m a firm believer that every child is different and there is no one set way to potty train. I will, however, share with you the part of our journey that I hope doesn’t one day land my son in therapy.
We waited until J was three to really get the ball rolling. We had introduced the potty and the whole idea of if about a year before but he was just not ready, which was fine. Honestly changing diapers was probably the easiest part of parenting for me, and J never really fought me on it much. By the time he turned three he was done nursing, sleeping in his own bed for the most part, and was riding a bike so I figured it was time to ditch the last bit of babyhood and learn the potty.
When it came to pee, J caught on way quicker then I had imagined he would. By day three he was telling me when he had to go and sometimes even just going on his own. I was pretty amazed, and still am most days, at how long he can go without peeing. We didn’t really use any kind of reward system, just lots of praise and over excitement every time he went and that seemed to do the trick. I think in the beginning we had maybe three accidents total.
Number two, or poop as we openly call it in my house, was an entire different story. They say hindsight is 20/20 and let me tell you, they aren’t wrong. Looking back, I should have seen the signs that we would have issues with poop. He wasn’t regular, he would hide in his room when he pooped, and sometimes it felt like I was changing 3 or 4 poopie diapers in a row because that’s how long it would take him to get it all out. I guess I thought this was normal.
He didn’t poop or seem to need to the first two days of potty training. On day three, he asked for a diaper to poop in. I tried for a few moments to encourage him to use the potty, but it was clear it was not going to happen, so I reluctantly put a diaper on him and let him do his business. We operated like this for a week or two before I thought it was time we really push the potty. Spoiler alert, I was wrong. Really wrong.
I don’t know if there is a Guinness Book of World record holder for holding your poop in the longest, but if there isn’t, I should submit my son. He held his poop in for a total of 7 days. I offered a diaper, a pull-up, we gave him prune juice, apple juice, even MiraLAX. None of it worked. We even tried bribery with chocolate and toys and anything we could think of. He was not going to go. I’ll be honest, I was pretty impressed with his stubbornness.
He would clearly get the urge to go, but instead of just letting it out, he would concentrate and hold it in. I had never seen anything like it.
Finally, on the seventh day, after a week of meltdowns because his tummy and butt hurt, him not wanting to eat, and just general unpleasantness, he went. It was not on the potty. It was not in a diaper or a pull up. It was on the bathroom floor, standing, while he cried into my arms. It was like a scene from a badly written horror story. It took about an hour for him to get it all out.
From that point forward I stopped pushing the potty for poop. He would go in his undies, every time, and for me that was okay because at least he was going. Sure, we went through a lot of underwear (sometimes they weren’t worth saving), and yes, there was that time where he had climbed to the top of the tallest slide at the park and announced that he had pooped and I had to climb up there and get him, but it was still better then him holding it in. He didn’t want to go back to diapers, which was something that was recommended to me in a few mom groups, he wasn’t doing it out of spite which is something I thought for a moment, he was just getting the urge to go and going.
This lasted for about a month, and man I never thought I’d see the end of it. One day though, he sat down on his little potty, and pooped. I have never celebrated something like I celebrated that poop. I would have had it freeze dried and gold plated if I didn’t think someone would call the people in the white coats on me. After about 20 minutes of cheering and jumping up and down I asked him what he wanted, that he could have anything, and he said he wanted a Happy Meal so that’s what I got him.
Since that day he has faithfully gone on the potty every single time. Along the way I had made up a few poopie songs, one to the tune of Frozen’s Let It Go that went something like,
“Let it go, let it go! Don’t hold the poop anymore! Let it go, let gooooo. Let it go into the toilet! Here you stand, neeeeeeding to pooooop! Let it goooooo. Don’t it to bother your tummy anyway.”
I’m a writer but not a song writer okay and he loved it. To this day he still runs around singing it.
Somethings that I learned from this entire fiasco was that you can not force a toddler to do something they don’t want to do and sometimes trying will make it worse, singing about going poop at the top of your lungs, even in public, is completely acceptable as long as you have a small child with you, and to be thankful that I have hardwood floors and not carpet.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Mommy Monday post! If you’d like to follow me for some non-mom related blogging, head on over to my new blog, worddbyfallon.blogspot.com, and check it out!
Thanks for reading!
– Fallon xo