Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the case for chocolate

We've hit a phase where children who have to go potty, will resist going potty until the last absolute possible second. Even more than the girls, the boy is especially guilty of this action.

It is particularly bad if he is engaged with something. You name it - a toy, a book, a game, a dead fly. He will squirm and cross his legs and bounce. But if I ask him if he needs to use the restroom, he'll say, "NO. NO. I'm fine. I'm just .... dancing."

I try to coax him to just go sit and try, but he won't listen. Until another few minutes have passed and his dancing turns in to a full body convulsion and he screams out in a panic, "I HAVE GOT TO GO POTTY!!!" and then his arms start flailing around in the air and he gets hysterical.


To help encourage the children to use the restroom - before their bladder explodes - I have initiated this little game of asking the kids if perhaps the food that they eat changes the color of their "output." If they have orange juice for breakfast, as soon as I see them start to do the potty jig, I will tell them, "I'll bet that your pee-pee is going to be orange today. Quick, let's go check!!" Or, if they eat blueberries, I'll suggest that maybe it will turn blue. Watermelon surely will make it pink. This almost always works and the kids will excitedly run in and see if perhaps today they will see a new color.

They never do.

(Except for that day they drank their body weight in carrot juice.)

A few weeks ago, we went to a birthday party. At that birthday party was a cake. And on that cake was some themed character, I can't recall who. But it was lavishly decorated in blue and yellow frosting. The kids loved it and ate at least two pieces, each.

The next day we went out to a restaurant for dinner.

While I brought the girls in the bathroom to wash hands before we sat down to eat, they both informed me that they needed to go potty. So they did. As I'm standing outside of their stall doors, fighting the urge to rush in and lift them up and down off the commode in my expedited fashion, I hear Elizabeth yell out, "Oh my gosh! My poop is GREEN!" Just then Carolyn yells out, "Oh my GOSH! My poop is green, TOO!"

Surely the kids are just kidding around I think. But when I go in to help them flush, I take a quick glance and sure enough, their poop IS green. Think Kelly Green. Saint Patrick's Day Green. BRIGHT green.

My first thought upon seeing my children's BRIGHT GREEN poop was that they must be fighting something. Maybe they had some kind of virus?

The girls wash their hands and we rejoin Charlie and the boys at the table. The situation is forgotten until later, when we are walking out to the car. I catch sight of a bright green car zooming out of the parking lot and I remember.

"Charlie, it was so weird, when I took the girls in to the bathroom they both went poop and it was bright green. Like grass. I don't remember ever seeing anything like that before." My husband looked at me with a surprised expression and said, "Really? That is crazy because William went poop and his was bright green, too."

We continued walking to the car, quietly debating why our children's poop was bright green. They certainly didn't seem sick and their appetites were just fine. When I asked Charlie if they'd eaten anything unusual in the past few days he said, "The only thing that I can think of is the cake that they had at the party." I stopped in my tracks and said, "You mean the birthday cake with the blue and yellow frosting smothered all over it?"

He gave me a puzzled look and said, "Yeah. Why?"

The light bulb went off.

"What happens when you mix blue and yellow?"

The kids, who were listening to all of this, yelled out "YOU GET GREEN!"

And THAT is why our cakes will be frosted with chocolate, forever more.

I've since discovered this website, which included a piece written by a guy working towards a degree in biochemistry. He conducted a study while he was in college and recruited several students that would eat various dye-laden food and then record what color came out the other end. My conclusion that the green poop came from mixing blue and yellow was erroneous. It actually had to do with the metabolism of blue dye.

Suffice to say, you can find anything on the internet and the blue Buzz Lightyear cake we had considered for the children's birthday is downright out.

I dunno. There just seems to be something unhealthy and toxic-like going on in your digestive system when bright green poop is produced.

Wouldn't you agree?


  1. My kids poop CRAZY colors when they have too much sugar - particularly too many fruit snacks. We've seen green and even a shade or two of blue before. ICK!

  2. When I was pregnant the 1st time, I had wicked cravings for awful, sugary drinks, like Hawaiian Punch and Kool-Aid. One day, after drinking a giant blue drink for breakfast (healthy!), I had the green "surprise" and almost had a heart attack. I actually called my doctor in a tizzy about the green poo. Luckily, being OBs, they were used to hormonal and crazy.

  3. Oh.
    I can't stop laughing.
    That's hysterical.
    And such a great case for eating organic.

  4. I seem to recall orange slice & bake Halloween pumpkin cookies causing green poop when my kids were young. So, various colors can effect poop color.

    For a more natural way to color poop, try several pints of blueberries...

  5. I'm always a bit alarmed when my stuff changes color. It's funny how your kids think it's awesome. :)

  6. Yes. My mom would NEVER buy store-made cakes that had brightly coloured frostings, especially those blues and reds. Now that red dye is such a big deal, I can see she was really on to something! She just thought those colours seemed to fake and unnatural and she didn't want us to consume them, she didn't know she was really pioneering a whole mother movement against red dyes!!

  7. Yes I agree!! The blue Koolaid Jammers do it too. We bought them for camping and I thought our kids were sick or something! Turns out my friends had more experience and knew right away that's what the green poop was from! It's a disturbing shade of green, eh?!

    I do not buy them at all for the exact same reason. That should NOT be happening inside of you. Ever.

  8. Wait! Could this be the start of a new T-shirt slogan?? "Show Us Your Poop!".

    We'll make a fortune. Wait...Nah, you're right, it's a stinky idea.


  9. Get them eating beetroot - that makes their poop BRIGHT red. So much so, when I forgot that I had eaten beetroot a day earlier, I panicked the following day and wondered if I should book in to the Emergency Room!!

    I don't know if you get the Berocca vitamin supplement over there, but if so, have a tablet of that and get the kids to inspect your pee the day after. BRIGHT neon yellow. Too cool ;)

  10. Too funny. Reminded me of when my boy was small. I'd made a birthday cake for hubby in the shape of a football helmet and put the logo and colors on it. The color was a deep, deep blue. Needless to say, I was a little freaked out the next morning changing my son's diaper!

  11. My boys were at a birthday party a few weeks ago and there was a red elmo cake. Imagine the fun phone call from daycare that my one year olds had red poop! As we were having the conversation on if I should rush to pick them up and take them to the doctor for this abnormal red poo, it hit me that they had eaten the elmo cake. Like you I think there is a reason I prefer chocolate or something homeade :)

  12. We stayed at a hotel over the weekend and they had fruit loops at the free continental breakfast. This is something I don't buy for them at home but since we were on vacation I let them have it. All of them were pooping green the next day! I was a little alarmed until I remembered what they'd been eating.

  13. When my daughter is around blueberries, she will eat her body weight in them if she can. And then she will have green poop! The natural way!

    I think you are brilliant for coming up with a way to get them excited to use the bathroom.

  14. i'm cracking up. being a sitter for so many years, i can read this without being grossed out... AND i can relate. haha. now i know what those kids have been eating!

  15. My son does the exact same thing -- waiting until he's about to explode before rushing to the potty! I will have to try your idea of asking about colors -- LOL. I loved the story of the green poop though -- that just had me cracking up!