Sunday, November 30, 2008

mommy needs prozac (seriously)

Let the record show I have tried quite a lot...
To teach our children to correctly poo in the pot.

Now I'm reverting to poetry and rhyming prose...
Can you feel the desperation - who out there knows?

I probably should not write all of this or put it in verse...
For soon my words will be the subject of an adolescent's curse.

But I am desperate and do not know what to do...
How to convince my child that the potty is where you go poo-poo?

I have tried stickers, presents, candy and gum...
I have tried timeouts, scolding and a spank on the bum.

I have tried time and patience, understanding and praise...
I even created a video montage that became an internet craze.

Then there were suppositories, laxatives and an enema one day...
Surely that would solve the problem, at least that's what the experts say.

I know that telling my children the police would take them away had to be a sin...
But I was feeling rather hopeless and thought I'd soon be in the loony bin.

Last week I thought we were in the homestretch - heading for the final mile...
When suddenly my child has regressed and is now peeing on the tile.

Calls were made to specialists, behavioral therapists and more...
This is primarily about helping our child - and secondarily, saving our floor.

Is this a crazy power struggle or developmental delay?
Is it physical or mental, or variable each day?

If this is four, my body shakes with fears...
For what lies ahead in the teenage years.

I know I need to give up control, so please help me Lord!
Because I am tired and frustrated and going completely out of my gourd.

Daily I repeat the Prayer of Jabez and ask God to please bless me indeed...
A divine guiding hand on my heart is what I really need.

I have fully surrendered and am now waving a white flag of defeat...
I have resigned myself to poopy diapers and have retired the enema Fleet.

The appointments aren't until next year, mid January I think...
But at this point, *I* am the one that really needs a shrink.

As tides rise and fall and the day is filled with the sun...
Potty training, no - being a good mother, is the toughest job I've ever done.


  1. Jen, a neighbour of mine had a similar problem with her 4 yr old daughter. She got soooo sick of it. So when the nasty deed was delt she acted absolutely DISGUSTED with her daughter and made her wash her clean up her own soiled clothes. She wouldn't help, wouldn't touch her, just told her well go clean yourself up, I'm not doing it any more, your gross etc. It only took a few times and she used the potty. Don't know if you already tried this or not but it might be worth a go. You might need to clean up after she has but just don't let her see you doing it.

  2. Go to the toy store. Find something she WOULD LOVE FOREVER - like a barbie playhouse or something. SOMETHING HUGE WITH LOTS OF PIECES. But it has to be the MOST awesome toy ever.

    Buy it.

    Show it to her.

    Tell her each day w/poop in the potty she gets 1 or 2 small pieces.

    Tell her - At the end of a week or two, she can have the whole thing if she poops on the potty every day!

    Your rewards aren't big enough for someone of that age.

    My girlfriend did it w/the playmobil pirate ship - the $180 one. Worked w/out one accident after she finally listened to me and gave up on time outs and candy.

    Good luck!

  3. Your troubles with this issue frighten me to the very core, as I'm having my first baby soon. But I have to say, this was BRILLIANT!

  4. I am in the same boat. My four year old son will not poop in the potty either. My mother keeps telling me he will when he is ready. When will that be?!!!!!

    Keeping my fingers crossed....for the both of Canada.


  5. Jen. I'm so sorry you are going through this. Can you just please get an appt to a GI doc? Please? I really don't think it's a developmental delay. I don't think it's mental. I think it's physical. I've thought a lot about it and I'm certain that there is something going on there.

    GI doc. GI doc. Get thee to one.

  6. My kid just turned three and I'm pulling out my hair. He pees just fine, and he has pooped and did great, but he will hold it until we put a pull up on him. Not sure what to do. God bless you for fighting this battle for a whole extra year.

  7. well done. go get some prozac and get diapers with suspenders and some duct tape. hopefully january will come quickly!~

  8. Oh Jen I loved it. Especially when I know so much about your obstinate self,have you met your match? When you have been defeated, it will all end, just give up, but prepare for the teen age years. Your a poet and you don't know it. Aunt Grace

  9. Your a poet
    Don't you know it?

    From here to there
    Funny things are everywhere!

    (okay so I'm not as clever)
    Funny stuff. Eat chocolate - it's the same as Prozac
    Love, Marg.

  10. I really miss that video. I know you had to take it down but Holy Moly, it was one of the best pottying videos ever made!


  11. Anon @ 2:11: We've done that. I've had her clean up her own mess and I've told her it's dirty. But I haven't told her that "she" is dirty because that's crossing a line, in my opinion.

    VHM Princess: We've done it. We've picked out toys. We bought a big BIG elaborate toy that is currently sitting in our garage, but she KNOWS it is there and what she needs to do to get it.

    Michele: The appointments are scheduled. I've got her going to see a behavioral therapist, GI specialist AND an orthopedic. The fact is, she started peeing on the floor last week, which is BRAND NEW and lends more support to the "behavioral" argument.

    Auntie: ME obstinate? Do you not see the irony that her name is GRACE?!

    Leann: I opened the video up to public view again. Hopefully, the crazies have passed. If you click on the hyperlink in this post, it will take you directly to the video on YouTube.

  12. Have you just tried putting her back in diapers? Don't make a big deal out of it. Ask her to tell you if she needs to be changed, but don't even ask her to use the potty. My younger son (now 15!) was pee trained at 2.5, but would always ask for a diaper for a bowel movement. When he got dressed in the morning he'd wear underwear, but when he wanted to poop, he would ask me for a diaper, go behind the chair, do his business, and then ask to be changed. Underwear went back on. I think this went on for about six months; one day he started using the bathroom. Changing one diaper a day didn't bother me and it wasn't worth the effort of nagging him when he wasn't ready.

    My older son wore diapers until he was 3.5, but was then trained in a day. I figured I got off six months earlier with Jack.

    Good luck. I hope something/everything works for you.


  13. ((((Jen))))

    My only other thought.....has she ever had issues when she was a wee preemie? I'm just wondering if it is something physical like that.

    I say continue with the pull-ups and cleaning it up herself. Down to helping pull the sheets off the bed.

  14. Our son learned when he was 4 1/2. It pretty much happened overnight and I think the biggest thing that helped was us stopping pestering him about it, us consistently giving him M&Ms when he did (and only when he did), and him just finally being ready to do it.

    He just managed to get himself nighttime potty trained a few weeks back the same way.

    It's frustrating but the calmer and more casual we were about it, the quicker it seemed to happen. And when it did, we quickly forgot the whole incident and moved on to learning the next thing.

    I think us parents sit around saying, "Do you need to go? Why don't you try to go? Just go already!" and expect it to work but I remember the drug tests in the military where more than half the people couldn't get themselves to pee no matter what just because they knew they were being told to do it.

  15. J--Grandma suggests maybe spending some serious individual one-on-one time with your holdout. You've probably already been doing this, but she asked me to throw it out there. It's so easy to feel displaced in a large family, and with no outlet for expressing a complex emotion like that, a small child might have those emotions manifested in any number of strange ways . . . like peeing on the tile. Imagine when you feel out of control---you focus on things that seem to have nothing to do with it, like cleaning your house. What does your little one have control over? Her body, and that's about it.

    Love and respect,

  16. We had similar problems with both of my younger 2 - dirty pants for months and months - they were 2 and a half years age difference so it felt like just as no.1 got it sorted, no.2 started the party! My recollection was that with both if them, I tried EVERYTHING - you've done the lot! At which point I had to step back. I told the child that they were 4 years old and perfectly able to poo in the potty, that I had full confidence that they would at some point and that I no longer had anything more to say on the subject. It took real self-control (not something I'm known for around here!) but I never again said a single word as I cleaned their backsides and underwear, only asked them to put sheets by the washing machine in the same way I would if we were doing a bed change and that was it. It wasn't a disapproving or angry silence, just a total lack of interest or opinion.
    It took 10 days with no.1 and 3 with no.2. They both tried talking about it with me to get me to provoke a reaction and I changed the subject (or once locked myself in the bathroom to cool down!).

    If it is a behavioural issue you are dealing with then removing your ego (in the freudian sense of the word) might help to free up the emotional space that surrounds this issue. If it's physical it won't help but it will remove the emotional baggage that goes with it. Also it could be a behavioural issue that has become physical because the 2 can be incredibly closely linked.

  17. Jen, if she was potty trained already and has reverted to peeing on the floor then it's definitely behavioral. I would just put her back in diapers until shes ready on her own to use the toilet. I think it's great tha you're bringing her to some specialists. You're a good Mom who is having some struggles. Don't be so hard on yourself.

  18. Very entertaining! (Although I understand the situation is not.)

    Here, four-year-olds would already be in Junior Kindergarten in the public schools and they'd be expected to be going to the bathroom on their own. How do they handle this situation at your Montessori school? Does someone there change diapers? (I'm just curious, no backhanded comments from me, I do promise that! I don't have kids of my own, and I can completely sympathize that this is not easy! Please don't read this the wrong way, it's just strictly curiosity!)

    You'll get there and this will one day just be a bad dream, good plan on all the appointments you've booked. There must be something else going on.

    Best of luck! And thanks for an entertaining poop poem. LOL.

  19. I love your poetry!

    Have you tried making her wear a diaper all the time? It worked for my son- call us cruel but we told him that big kids poop in the potty, babies wear diapers. Unless he pooped in the potty, he had to wear a diaper... Like a baby. Tough love, a little mean, but it worked.

  20. ON the funny side you really are a fantastic writer and apparently poetry writer, its so funny even though I know in all actuality it isn't. Its common for some kids to get into holding it, some actually have a blockage and they really can't tell when they have to go and have accidents, they don't know what the normal feeling is or that they don't have it. Also after holding it for a long period of time the GI doctor will actually probably put her on something (mineral oil or something like that) and it takes months on it for her body to retrain itself to goingin a normal fashion. Good luck though, the peeing sounds very behavorial but probably caused by the frusteration of the pooping, the fleets probably took her control away. Good luck but hey two out of three ain't bad, I'm sure Henry will be really really easy, I hope.

  21. I have no words of wisdom to share... But I'm right there in the throes of potty training woes myself. I've got a 4.5 year old who still pees in his pants (day and night) and then 3 out of 4 of the twins are still in diapers. Someday we will look back and laugh. I hope.

  22. I really feel sorry for you, not only because this is a crappy situation (get it? Crappy?), but because everyone is telling you what to do. I don't think any of us can know what to do.

    MY advice? Let go, and let God.

    And maybe drink some more wine.

    And then ignore people when they lecture you about drinking and breastfeeding. HA.

  23. You are so talented. We got off lucky with Chase so I'm not help, but I certainly hope ya'll find the answer soon!!

  24. I agree with some of the other posts, have you tried making her clean her clothes? In other posts you've said that they all call you when they're wet because they know it's uncomfortable and that you will take care of it. But if you didn't, maybe that would get her to start going by herself?

    There are a few good ideas on this site (although you've probably tried most, if not all!)

    Good luck!

  25. I am of no help sorry! I loved the poem. I have had that song stuck in my head randomly since the first post. Thanks, thanks alot! Its back!

  26. A lot of times for kids this age, potty stuff is the ONLY thing they have true control over. Your kids have been thru a lot of changes and while sometimes that can be a cause, other times it's just simply that they are not ready to make that final decision to go on the potty. I know you've had lots of advice, but I just cannot fathom the thought of telling your kid that they are dirty (which I was so glad to hear you say you would not do), putting her back in diapers, or even making her clean herself up (help? probably. do it all? no). Poop is nasty...I have three kids of my own...I've been in your exact place. For me, I blew up, freaked out, did things I'm not proud of...but in the end, it really was patience and letting my little one do it when he was ready and willing that won in the end. I was so upset with myself for being so impatient with him. I know how frustrating it is...and probably even more so for you because you have others of the same age that are trained-so you know it's possible...but I feel bad for your little one just because I just wonder what she is thinking (not saying anything bad about you at all! You seem like a wonderful mom...but it makes me sad at what MY son probably felt as I was not the best mom during the poop I think I'm extra sensitive to what I probably put him thru and would hate that for any other kiddo). Either way-I hope this gets resolved soon...for everyone's sake. Just try, as hard as it may be, to be patient until you can get some help from the doctors.


  27. Pardon the pun---but this too shall pass.
    Greetings from Florida. Jim is sick and I do not have long distance so call me.
    that is so uncomfortable to loose urine on the floor thru your underwear---I do not think she can help it.

  28. What a great poem! I know it comes out of frustration, but it was really well written and had me laughing!