Secret Mommy-hood Confession Saturday

21 Apr

I’m pretty sure my sucky methods of potty training are going to force my son into therapy.

Back when we decided he was “ready” to be potty-trained, we took the week during Thanksgiving vacation to stay home, put him in underpants and take him to the potty on 30-minute increments after coaxing him to drink lots of water and eat more fruits and veggies. I thought for sure it was going to be months and months of cleaning up poppy underpants and washing tons of urine-soaked pants. I was pleasantly surprised. There were stickers and celebrations every time he pooped on the potty. I even pulled out a wrapped gift leftover from Christmas the first time he dropped a deuce in his little boy potty.

In one week he went from ten accidents a day to going consistently on the potty day after day.

I rejoiced! I felt free! We could go on outings during the day and I only had to worry about changing one diaper instead of two!

{I may have bragged a teeny bit on Facebook.}

Wow. How things can change in a few months. He did so well from December to the beginning of April. Today? He refuses to poo on the potty. And I can tell when he’s holding it in – he gets this “deer in the headlights” look on his face and I just know. His belly gets so distended after not having taken a dump for five days that we end up having to give him Miralax or a glycerin suppository to help him get it out. I push water daily and he is good at eating fruits and vegetables, even though he’s become a bit of a picky eater lately.

I tell him to go use the potty when I notice him holding it in. He refuses. I carry him kicking and screaming to the potty. I demand he does his business on the potty and to not come out until he does. I yell. It makes me so sad after I do, but I can’t take it back.

{Loud crying screams go on for 10 minutes behind the closed bathroom door.}

I have reverted back to Pull-ups because I am so sick of cleaning poopy underpants. I am so sick of potty training drama, I can’t stand it.

So yeah, that’s my Secret Mommy-hood Confession for today. Sorry for so many mentions of poop.

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13 Responses to “Secret Mommy-hood Confession Saturday”

  1. Jill @ Mommy Inconsistent April 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    I have to tell you, we dealt with this for about 3 years with my eldest. He would hold it for more than a week! If there are two things a child can control it’s his eating and his pooping. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had every emotion…I was so angry, I was understanding, I was sympathetic…you name it, I was it. We finally went on a waiting list for the children’s anxiety clinic at our local children’s hospital. We went to the “talking doctor”. We also chose to go back to pull-ups. It was totally the right thing to do because it stopped us from feeling so angry about the situation. No more buckets of poopy underwear in my laundry room sink that we would fight over whose turn it was to clean. I had a friend whose son did the same thing. And with both our boys it took them deciding for themselves that they were ready to stop holding. I learned it’s pretty common with boys. For my son, I think it took going to Kindergarten for the first time and the few visits with the “Talking Doctor” and he decided he would go. I was so happy and relieved because I tell you, even a trip to the hospital for an enema wouldn’t get him to go. Now he doesn’t go daily…he goes every few days, but he goes in the toilet. One thing we used was a small daily dose of something called ClearLax. I’m not sure if it’s like Miralax but it was supposed to make him go. But he still wouldn’t. He’d just go in his underwear. We even tried to not change him right away, but he’d still just sit in it. He didn’t care. I feel it was part control and part anxiety. He was afraid. Yes, he thought it would hurt and of course you can’t reason with such a young child that it’s hurting because he’s holding. OH, and there’s two great books you can get called “It Hurts When I Poop” by Howard J. Bennett and “Constipation, Withholding and Your Child” by Anthony Cohn. If you can’t find them, give me your address and I’ll send them to you.

    Good luck and know that it will resolve itself eventually. I know it’s a long road but it will be a distant memory. I’ve not met any adults or even teenagers who still withhold it that much.

    • BipolarMomLife April 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

      You are so sweet Jill! I will definitely look for those books – I’ve not heard of them. I’m getting desperate, so I probably will be using pull-ups indefinitely until he gets it. I’m going to have him try only the big potty tomorrow and from now on since he has gone on it several times. Oh, and I forgot to mention in my post that he’s been to the ER once already from holding it. Wasn’t a fun experience for either of us.

  2. snflwry April 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    My son did the same thing! But he wouldn’t hold it in, he just let it go. Poop, pee, both…it was awful. Part of his was having a new sibling, part of it was just not wanting to take the time to go, and the main problem was he thought we were going to put him to bed every time he went to the bathroom. We finally started telling him to “go potty and come back”. Somehow that helped. Good luck!

    • BipolarMomLife April 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

      Thanks so much – hoping it’s not too much longer til he really “gets” it.

  3. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) April 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    You said deuce.
    I knew I loved you.
    Chunky did really well for a month and then got terrified of the toilet after he had the flu. Even the second time around when we tried, he refused to go poop. I don’t know what it is about them and not wanting to poop on the toilet.
    But we bribed him with ice cream or chocolate :)

    • BipolarMomLife April 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Thought you’d like that one. :)
      I’m bribing him with anything and everything these days. The kid is just so damn stubborn. Wonder who he gets it from? {me}
      PS. Thanks for the RT this afternoon. Love ya!

  4. Vanita (@VanitaCyril) April 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    girl we did that last year. it got so bad, damian would hold it in for 7 days, i had to take him to the ER cause miralax was not making him go. they gave him 3 enemas. one after each BM. it was not pretty. and then i had to give him one every day for the next 3 days. the neighbors thought something was wrong when they heard the screams and called the cops. after all this crap, i spoke with our pediatrician and he encouraged me to stop potty training and give damian his diaper. i waited 6 more months. when i realized damian started longing for other boys to play with (he has 3 sisters) i used that and milked it. i convinced him that if he learned to poopey in the potty he could go to school and have friends. i took him to the nearby elementary school during lunch time so he could see the boys playing in the yard. it took one week to get him trained after that. he never did poopey on his clothes. he peed every single time in the potty. this is recent. he still wears a diaper to go outside and to sleep, (bloody pullups are expensive!!!) but the rest of the time he does his business in the grown up toilet. yeah, he’s 3 and 1/2 but it was the right time for him. i’m glad we took the step back. our 2 year old sees him pottying and goes and potties too so it’s going to be much easier with her. i know it’s hard sistah and i’m sure people are telling you he’s getting big and should be potty trained, but go with what works for him and he’ll be less traumatized and so will you. for whatever reason, girls seem easier to potty train. my teens (girls) potty trained by the time they were 2 and easy peasy. having a son has been a whole new challenge. dropping by from Kim’s blog. glad i found you!

    • BipolarMomLife April 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      So glad I found you too! Thanks for writing – yes, it’s been a struggle and I know we have a long road ahead of us until he’s completely trained. I have a feeling his sister will be easier because she’s already interested and she’s only 16 mo…..or, maybe she just loves following us into the bathroom – Ha! I hear ya on those damn Pull-ups. I can’t wait until the day when I don’t have to buy them anymore. :)

  5. Charity C (@signingcharity) April 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    It is about time to start potty training for the last time around here. My whole being shutters at the year it takes to really get it down…

    Have you asked him why he won’t poo on the potty? I had an issue with that because my dd was afraid I was going to sell her to the gypsies while she went potty.

    • BipolarMomLife April 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

      I think he has issues because of having hard stools a few times. We’re trying to get him to drink tons more water and more fruits/veggies and it’s helping. I want to stay away from Miralax if I can because it’s just so messy {even though his pediatrician said to use it}. How did you work out the gypsie thing? That one would have been a difficult one for me to navigate. :)

  6. Tawny April 21, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Oh my gosh! I had the same problem with my little guy. He was going normally and then something scared him and he stopped and held it in. He was a stubborn little man. we’d end up forcing him to go after 5 days or so just because of health reasons. In the end it turns out that he was more scared of the little potty and sitting down on it. Maybe the weird pull out seat pinched his bottom once? I don’t know. As soon as we let him sit on the regular toilet, he was fine and started going again.

    Probably not the same situation with your little guy, but I’m sure it’ll work itself out… literally…

    • BipolarMomLife April 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

      Thanks Tawny for the suggestion of having him just use the regular toilet. I had always used the little potty because it has the pee-pee guard and on the big pot his pee sometimes sprays up. Need to show him how to point it down. Why is it that the moms always get stuck with all the potty crap {pun intended} when our men should be teaching their sons how to do their duty???


  1. This amazing community: Thank you Jill « Bipolar Mom Life - June 15, 2012

    […] wrote a few weeks ago about how challenging potty training has been with our son. There were times when I would yell, times when I would cry, and times when I […]

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