Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why their wives will be potty training them

I am a patient person. I am consistent and reliable and patient and I love my children dearly. In my work life I've helped dozens of adults and children learn to use the bathroom independently, whether for the first time or re-learning following a car accident or stroke, etc... I know what to do and how to do it and I am excellent at teaching my children new skills.

But I quit. These boys will never be potty trained.

Tyler is almost ready. I know he's at that place that if he just paid attention one time he'd get it. Just once. One day hopefully it will just click for him on its own, preferably before college. Fingers crossed. He's just much more excited be to be able to stick his hand freely down the front of his shorts and check out the neighborhood. I guess it's the little things in life ;)

Dax, on the other hand, is not ready. Not even close. He's so stinking smart, though, and I know with him things will just click, too, one day, and it will all make sense. He just seems so desensitized to discomfort and doesn't know that wet or dirty is bad when it comes to pee or poop. Doesn't bother him at all. Couple that will a g-tube liquid schedule which causes him to pee a lot in the morning and overnights but not so much in the afternoons, as well as a poop schedule that, Miralax or apple sauce or prune juice be damned, leaves him pooping a small country every three days whether we want him to or not, and, poof, you have a recipe for difficult toilet training.

Of course, I blame the mother. I haven't spent nearly enough time working on it, and my work schedule sucks, therefore we're left with endeavors into potty training that are fit into when it is convenient for me. That doesn't work in the potty world, and I know better, but you work with what you got.

Fast forward to today. I'm refreshed from a recent vacation, as caught up as I ever get, and I thought, "Today I will get the boys potty trained."

Our early interventionist told me earlier this week that she knew of someone who'd ditched undies and just used pants because there was more of a sensation of pee running down the legs, so I break out the shorts and pants. I strip down the boys and start pumping Dax with fluids via tube and tossing Ty a sippy cup any time he looks my way. We get on the big potty and play. I put a potty chair in the living room and have them sit and play. I put in Elmo's Potty Time video and we sing and sit on the potty and we dance and sing and play.

Meanwhile, both boys wet their pants. No biggie. We're just getting started. They'll get this today!!!

Dax comes over and he sits on the little potty, and it was then that I noticed a smell and saw a little poop smear on the seat. Holy crap on a cracker, I've actually just caught him right before a third-day poop!

I grab him up and we ruuuuuuun to the big potty and I sit him there and he starts immediately trying to get down. He cries, and he fights, and he screams, and he cries, and he flails, and he cries...

(I should add here that, historically, Dax has always had to squat to poop. You can sometimes tell it's about to go down (pun intended) by watching him bounce up and down into the squatting position for a bit, or if he comes and gives you a big bouncing lap dance.)

I know potty training time should be fun, but I also know that, for Dax to be successful with this particular poop, he's got to stay on the potty until he's finished. So, I hugged him and kissed him and I sang to him and we made poopy faces and I taught him to put his feet up on the toilet seat and hold on to the kiddy handles and push and we yelled "Out, poop, OUT!" and we yelled "Poop KING!" and we yelled "Get OUT of my belly!" and I gave him tummy massages and squeezed his stomach and after over 20 minutes of almost continuous crying on his part, and me agreeing it was time to fail so he wasn't scarred by the potty for life, I picked him up and carried him over to the diaper basket so he could exorcise the demons.

And that's when the shit hit the fan.

Not literally, but close.

Dax's feet had not even hit the floor yet when he pushed himself into a squatting position and shot poop across the carpet and onto the couch.

It. Just. Kept. Coming.

Tyler, of course, immediately steps in it.

I picked Dax back up and ran back into the bathroom, putting him back onto the potty, ripping off his poop-covered socks. I clean Ty's feet, get him out of the living room, and lock the gate, letting him run his newly naked hiney around the kitchen while I tend to poopapalooza. I got Dax's butt cleaned up, get him down, and then let him run around the kitchen while I venture into the living room to assess the damage. One plastic bag and 20 wipes later I was almost ready to get the carpet cleaner out and life would be good again.

But wait.

When I walk back out into the kitchen, I find Lola the bulldog licking the floor and Dax's leg. He has pooped again, and peed this time, and she is cleaning it up for me. Dax slips down in the pee/poop/dog slobber puddle. I pick him up and clean him up once more.

As I went to get a diaper to put on him, he pulled out his g-tube. All the fluids I had been forcing into his tummy? Squirting out onto the floor with that lovely stomach acid smell we all know too well.

Lola came over to help clean that up, too.

I diapered up the boys, I got his g-tube put back in, I wiped off any of the various residues, I cloroxed the floor, and I scrubbed the living room floor and couch. I got the poop off my phone, off the counter top, off the little potty chair, off the baby gate, off the wall, and any other place with evidence.

Then I had a pity party and showered.

And now I'm eating the M&Ms that were purchased for their potty training successes.

My treat for a dismal potty training failure.

The spring. Maybe I'll be brave enough again in the spring.


Christy said...

GOOD LORD. Make it a double, lady.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but I read your blog frequently and this had me in stitches. God bless you for your patience and ability to laugh at frustrating situations. Good luck - I know they'll get it one of these days.

Only the Sheppards said...

Fingers crossed! Sometimes I wonder!

nikicrowe said...

Well, as I was potty training my daughter for the um....28th time, I gained a new appreciation for our great dane, Henry. I would spend hour after hour watching my daughter for ANY sign of moment down south. So of course the exact moment I step into the kitchen or the bathroom to use the potty myself, the little insect would poop..On the floor. I would hear a "mommy...I go potty!!", only to run in and find nothing.. Except my dog licking his lips. You know things aren't going as planned when, after the 8th time, you think "well, that's 1 less mess to clean up. Thanks Henry"....