Poop Problems, Continued

My younger daughter’s clothes come home from daycare tucked into ziploc baggies. She is back in pull-ups, sometimes in a diaper.

I am discouraged.

The doctor says she is fine, no motor problems. We know that she can poop on the potty; we don’t know why she’s not.

Control. Attention. Motivation (lack thereof).

The doctor says pull back, all the way back. Don’t talk about the potty. Let her poop and pee where she likes (keep her in the pull-ups or diapers). Give her a week, a month. She’s 3; she’s done it before; she’s decide to do it again.

I am fine with this advice. I am tired of the constant monitoring, the constant asking, being told no, the accidents, cleaning pee off the rug and poop out of underpants.

Dan does not like this advice. He wants us to press on, to find the thing that motivates her.

I am afraid if we keep pushing, she will keep pushing back.

Daycare is of like mind with Dan. Kate is on the path to potty training — for six weeks or so, she was proudly, successfully, willingly, cheerfully using the potty.

And then she stopped.

Not coincidentally, it happened about the same time that we told the kids I was having another baby.

Kate can’t control that I am having another baby. She can’t control that I am more tired, and less absent a mommy than usual. She can’t control that in the “big kids” room, she is one of the youngest of the big kids, and sometimes her big sister doesn’t want to play with her.

She can control whether or not she is going to cooperate. She can control (to a certain extent) where she poops.

Dan and I are at a loss, and are trying to find a strategy that we can agree on.

I am tired.

The First of Many of “Those” Conversations

I have switched up the girls’ bedtime routine a little bit. Bun wasn’t dropping off right away in any case, and it saves me one up-and-down the stairs trip.

I take them together, now, after our nighttime treat and video. We all pile on my glider for a book (lately it’s been “On the Day You Were Born”, which is beautifully written and illustrated — we’ve read it so many times that I almost don’t cry when we reach the end — oops, off topic here…), then I send Monkey to wait in her room while I sing Bun a lullaby and lay her in her crib.

Then Monkey and I brush our teeth, she goes potty, and I sing two lullabies to her before lots of hugs and kisses for the night.

Last night, Monkey decided to go potty without me, which is not unusual.

What was unusual was the way she was standing in front of the potty with her legs and her, ahem, pudenda pressed up against the bowl.

“What are you doing?” I asked. My bewilderment was already giving away to suspicion that I knew exactly what she was attempting to do.

“I’m standing up to pee,” she replied.

Of course.

“Honey, you can’t stand up to pee. Girls have to sit down.”


I got her sitting on the potty.

“Do you sit down every time, Mommy?”

“Yes, I do. Girls have to sit down.”

Pause. I knew it was coming:

“Daddy doesn’t sit down every time.”

“No, honey.” It was my turn to pause. How much do I explain now?

“See, honey, daddy has a penis. That’s why he can stand up and pee.”


That seemed to be the end of the conversation. But I’m sure we’ll have many more like it in the years to come.

What would you/do you/did you tell your daughter?

I am 20 away from 100 things about me. I have definitely hit a block, not only in terms of what else there could be to tell you, but also in terms of time. Way, way short on time. Stress, though? Got that.

I Feel Your Pain

I meant to post yesterday, but I was woozy from the cold medicine and, since it was Ash Wednesday, the fasting.

Yeah, I fast on Ash Wednesday. I’m Catholic; it’s Lent. Get over it.

Anyway, I was reading around yesterday, and I have stumbled onto several posts that could have been written by me. Which makes me glad to all be in the same basket as you:

First, over at the weirdgirl, she makes a potty training break-through (well, her son does)… shhh, don’t jinx it. And she wonders who out here yells. (Psst, I do. Sometimes I just blow my top.)

Monkey, too, has turned the corner on the potty training. As a matter of fact, I think I can safely say that she is no longer in training. She is a Big Girl who goes poop and pee on the potty. (Having said that, I am sure we will regress when mommy goes back to work in 10 days.) The problem now? When we are at home, she doesn’t actually tell me when she is going to the bathroom. The problems with that? Well, there is the too-much-toilet-paper-in-the-toilet problem, which is closely related to the what-do-you-actually-do-with-all-that-toilet-paper problem?

I have explained to her that she needs to tell me when she is going to the bathroom so I can help her wipe up and put her pants back on. The last conversation went like this:

Me: You are only 3. You can’t go to bathroom by yourself.
Monkey: No, you can’t go to bathroom by yourself.
Me: I am 37. I do go to bathroom by myself.
Monkey: I am 37, and I go to the bathroom by myself.
Me (silently wondering when Monkey because a parrot, and kind of a sarcastic one at that): No, you are only 3. And if you keep going to bathroom by yourself, you won’t get any more m&m’s.
Monkey: (silence)

Okay she may have gotten the message. Although now I wonder when I stop giving her m&m’s for pooping and peeing in the potty. When she turns 4?

On the potty training note, I want to thank MaryP for the advice she has graciously given. I love this story and her attitude about it. That’s what I wanted my attitude to be. I’m not sure how successful I was, but, ultimately: Monkey is a Big Girl now.

On another note, Chag writes about a tragic haircut. As I was recently reassured by my stylist (who makes house calls, God bless him) all kids cut their own hair at some point.

I am cool with that. What I lose my s&*t over a little bit is Monkey cutting Bun’s hair.

It happened when Monkey was busily doing arts & crafts on her own at the kitchen table, i.e. cutting up a lot of paper and gluing it together. Bun and I were going back and forth between the family room to play and the kitchen to check on Monkey. At one point, I was still in the family room and Bun was checking on Monkey.

Monkey came running into the family room brandishing her safety scissors and a lock of fine hair. Bun followed looking faintly puzzled, one hand to her head.

Me: Is that your hair? (silently, That better be your hair.)
Monkey (proudly): NO!
Me (voice breaking): Did you cut Bun’s hair?
Monkey: Are you crying?

Monkey got a five-minute time out, and lost her scissors priviledge for a week.

Bun will get an envelope with her lock of hair. On the outside of the envelope it says, “Bun’s first haircut, courtesy of Monkey” with the date.

I can tell where the hair is cut. You have to look for it if you’re not me.

And then, there is someone NOT feeling my pain. While I am quite jealous of all the healthiness, I still heart her because she gave me one of these:

Valentine Blog Love

So I forgive her.