Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Gross Life

In many ways, this has been the best summer I can remember.  Both of my children are old enough to enjoy being outdoors and playing, and they play really well with each other right now.  The weather is perfect: too hot for me, but warm enough that we are in the kiddie pool and on the slip n slide every day.


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We cook outside and we eat outside, which means I don’t have to wipe down the table as often.  There are fresh fruits and vegetables every week in the farm box and my garden is growing in amazingly well this year (my black thumb has faded a bit to grayish-green, I guess).


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We’re also getting shit done, you know?  The roofers come in ten days, I have been painting the trim on our house, we’re finally paying money to have our carpets professionally cleaned (hoo, boy, do they need it!), and I’m working on a bathroom remodel that, bit by little bit, is progressing.


But you know what’s not progressing right now?  In fact, someone is actually regressing, and it’s casting a pall over our summer days.  Charles.  It’s Charles.  And I hate to think that someday he’ll read about all this and be totally embarrassed, but eh, it hasn’t stopped me before.  And more than anything, I could use some reassurance that we’re doing the right thing and maybe that we’re not alone.


About a month ago, Charles started having poop accidents.  He’s always had pee accidents, and I’ve always attributed it to being a boy and waiting too long – and that’s exactly what it’s always been: he doesn’t even really realize that he has to pee until he’s leaked and it’s a total emergency.  One thing summer has been great for is that I let him pee in the flower beds (what!?  It’s good for them!) and since that is novel, he tends to pay attention more and go when he needs to.  But the pooping, my God.


He’s not constipated, we’ve ruled that out.  And for the past two years, he’s told us when he has to go and has then gone on the toilet, no accidents, not even a smear.  Oh, sure, he has trouble with wiping and often gets poop all over his hands, which he then wipes on the bathroom wall, but that’s a different issue altogether.


(Are you laughing at my troubles, mom?  Because cleaning poop off of the walls is not funny.  Not funny at all.)


But now, now, he has a full-blown, smelly, disgusting accident in his underwear almost every day.  It’s not ALL the poop… no, that kid’s intestines are voluminous, and he routinely fills the toilet immediately following our “sniff, sniff… Charles!  Go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW!” but it’s enough to be disgusting and require a clothing change and yet another lecture/beating of my head against the wall (not one of the poop-coated ones, though).


We have tried: a sticker chart with ultimate reward after so many stickers (he wants a Transformer); a reward for a “clean” day (a video or game on my phone); a small reward (candy) when he goes poop on the potty and not in his pants; setting a schedule and making him go every afternoon whether he claims to need to or not; and just last night, consequences for pooping in his pants.  Pretty harsh ones, too.


Of course, I know that I shouldn’t “punish” him or shame him for these issues, and I don’t, of course.  We don’t talk about it in front of his friends and I don’t get down on him.  I tell him I’m disappointed when he poops in his pants but I tell him I still love him always will, and when he is clean, I tell him I am proud of him.  But he’s not getting it.  So last night, Tony and I told him that unless he could go today and tomorrow without pooping in his pants, ONLY pooping in the potty, then he could not go camping with us and Grandma and Grandpa this weekend. 


Camping is a Big Fucking Deal to Charles.  He will be devastated if he cannot go, but I don’t know what else to do.  He has to understand that pooping in his pants is a Big Fucking Deal to me.  And can you even imagine cleaning up an accident while camping?  *shudder*


And lest you think there is some unresolved psychological issue, we are working on that, too.  I can’t fully rule it out, but we have talked with his teachers and the director of the preschool.  We have talked with Charles about the things that make him sad, happy, worried, and scared.  Everything seems to be just as it was two months ago.  I’m stumped as to the cause of this backsliding into incontinence.  Is he just too excited about summer activities to want to take a break to go poop? 


Shit.  Literally.  Mama needs a drink.


Julia said...

I've had one poop in the pants incident, and let me tell you, that was enough for me. Like, forever. I'm sorry, so gross. Has anything happened lately to him? Any incidents where he felt out of control? Maybe related to separation anxiety? I obviously have no idea at all, but maybe if there's a root cause you can hunt down, you can address that and then magically the poop issue is solved! (wishful thinking...)

Jennifer L. said...

This is exactly why I'm stalling on potty training! Diapers are so much easier than dealing with accidents. Best of luck to you!