Let’s Talk About Poop Logs: Our Potty Training Struggle

POSSIBLE GROSS OUT WARNING

If you’re eating right now, you might want to come back in an hour because I’m going to be graphic.  I will probably be using different words for fecal matter because first year English teaches you that the reuse of the same word is monotonous.  *side note: have you ever noticed how the word ‘monotonous’ is monotonous? Look at all of those O’s! At the most, its monotonous and at the least, it’s redundant.* Anyway, this is going to be gross.  If you have a strong stomach and choose to stick around while you eat, then be warned. This post might be a choking hazard.  Laughing and eating is not recommended.

Let the poop talk commence!

Background: My 4yo son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) with the Subtype Postural/Ocular Disorder and Self Regulation Disorder.  His language comprehension is low, also. The technical explanation is long and complicated, with lots of fancy words. I’m neither complicated nor fancy, so here’s the SuperJennie version… Part of his brain don’t work so it don’t understand what the nerves ar tellin’ it to do.  This makes his eyes funny, his hands wiggly, his senses dumb, and his sittin’ lousy.  And he don’t understand whachya sayin’. Wow. That was actually more complicated than the technical version… but the technical version isn’t as fun to read 🙂

Is it just me, or is this a freaky picture?

POTTY TIME!

So, when SuperJEM was a little over 3 we started potty training.  (JEM are his initials…yes, we knew JEM is an 80’s cartoon show about girl rockers… no, we didn’t name him after her… maybe, we thought you’d all just overlook it).  We went really easy on him and let him set the pace.  We talked to a dozen people, went to the library and got all kinds of books, made charts, got special seats, tons of candy and a big dose of courage. Things weren’t going well at the 6 month mark.  He had very little success with pee and no success with the poop. We were exhausted already!

We talked to a lot of people about it and determined he wasn’t ready so we backed off completely but then he started withholding.  Withholding is when the kid holds his poop in, which can be dangerous if it gets bad enough.  He would do everything possible to keep his poop in, even when we told him time and time again to just “let it out” in his diaper.  We gave him laxatives and he still tried to hold it in.

See how the prarie dog is peeking out of the hole? *wink wink*

Here’s where it get messy and gross.  His body would try to poop and he would try to hold it in so he’d be Prarie-Doggin’ it all day long. That’s when the log comes out of the butthole but the kid sucks it back in. *pause while you clean up the Coke Zero you just spit out over your computer screen* This meant he needed a diaper change because he’d still be a mess.  They were like Ghost Turds. Let me just describe what a ‘withholders’ crap is like.  It’s basically compacted sand. So every time you wipe their sensitive kid butts, it like using sand paper (whether your using TP or wipes). Do this 20 times a day and you’ve literally wiped off the first layer of their ass-skin.  He had open wounds like you wouldn’t believe. His pediatrician said it was the worse he’d seen but didn’t have any suggestions as to what we could do.  We had to keep him clean! So we work past the pain. I started putting him in the tub and rinsing him off in the shower up to 8 times a day.  We were REALLY EXHAUSTED NOW!

I googled Ghost Turd and this is the first image that popped up…LOL!

NOTHING motivated him.  We tried to bribe him with books, trips to the bookstore, trips to the zoo, going to the movies, big toys, little toys, quality time with us, game nights, visits with friends, we even tried a PUPPY!!!!! Nothing worked.  He literally didn’t give a crap.

Potty Training was becoming the hardest thing I ever had to do.  It was the most physically, emotionally and even spiritually challenging experience of my life.  That may sound overly dramatic to you, but when you’re baby boy is screaming his head off because his butt is an open, bloody, pussy wound, he’s literally scared sh**ful of sitting on the potty, and he still has to take a dump, you’ll realize what real drama is. I had no idea what to do and no one had anything to offer me.  I was on my own.

Me on a GOOD day.

The thing that really upset me, is that his pediatrician and Occupational Therapist were no help at all. They told me this was all do to his “disorder”.  He doesn’t have the core muscle strength to sit on the potty for long periods without getting exhausted or dizzy because of his balance issues. He’s also hypo-sensitive, which means his sense of  touch is diminished, so he cant feel the urges to push out his poop.  There are no books on potty training children specific to SPD, no articles (that I could find and believe me, i spent hours searching and emailing people), no advice… NOTHING.  Though I was alone in the area of ‘real’ information and help, I was not alone in my fear and frustration.  Many others have kids with Sensory Processing issues that are experiencing the same thing.

I love this Steam Punk Super Mom Picture
http://www.sheknows.com

HERE’S WHAT WE DID

1. We got over what other people thought about us.  We decided to do what was best for him, not what others thought we should do (because we were obviously doing something wrong Hahaha!).

2.  I prayed and prayed. I cried and cried. I prayed some more and eventually I taught myself to laugh about it.  Laughing really helps (just don’t do it in front of your kid ;), not very confidence building).

3. We took a break.  A LONG break.  We didn’t talk about potty training for about 6 months.

4. It occurred to me that since we really needed a diaper sprayer for our cloth diapering needs, we could use it as a bidet! The one that I got said it was both…  why didn’t I think of this before when my baby boys biscuits were bleeding?!  After suffering initial guilt over my obvious oversight, I just enjoyed no more booty wounds and the giggles that exploded from my 4yo’s joyful face as his bottom was sprayed with delightfully cool water.

We found a generic brand on ebay for $19.99

SERIOUSLY: if you have potty training kids. GET ONE! It’s great for spraying

them and all the poopy underwear!  WHY IS THIS NOT MENTIONED BY

PEDIATRICIANS?!  Plus it will save you hundreds of dollars on what you

would pay for disposable wipes.

All the books I mention are available on Amazon.com

5. I found ONE book that helped me understand Potty Training Kids with Sensory Processing issues.  The Potty Journey: Guide to Toilet Training Children with Special Needs, Including Autism and Related Disorders …whew, that was a mouthful. But this book really helped.  We didn’t need to do the full strict program because once we started it, JEM led the pace and we were able to follow his lead.  I highly recommend this book to every parent.  All parents! This system is good for any kid, especially one with a need for routine and structure.

6. We eventually found something that motivated him.  We still offered him a puppy, but he asked if he could go to karate instead.

7. My husband took a week’s vacation to help.  We stayed at home and he helped my son.  My son identified with him better and within a couple of days, he was actually POOPING IN THE POTTY.  *Dads, you are amazing! Without you guys, our kids would suffer.  Thank you guys for laying down your life to be a present, loving husband and father.  You all deserve more than just one day of acknowledgement.*  Thank you, SuperHubby for all your sacrifices.  I love you so much!

THE LOW DOWN

In short (LMBO…nothing about this has been short), we did whatever we needed to do.  All other ‘priorities’ took the backseat.  The house was a mess, but patience and endurance were gained and we now have a child that goes to the bathroom (most times without being asked.)  That part literally happened over night.  We started the program and after a few weeks, I heard him go into the bathroom on his own and actually poop in the potty! Once that was going well, he started peeing in the potty! He still has accidents, but he’s not withholding and he’s excited about being a big boy.

MY ENCOURAGEMENT

I wanted to write about our experience to help all of those dads and moms out there who are having a difficult time potty training their kids.  I went through a very deep depression that year.  My baby wasn’t sleeping, my toddler wasn’t pooping and I was beyond exhausted.  So if you’re struggling, please reach out to someone.  It may sound pathetic, but social media changed my life.  I was able to receive understanding and encouragement from people who empathized with us. Don’t be afraid to join online groups or get on Facebook or Twitter.  There might be a lot of Bull Doody out there, but there is also a wealth of information.  Use discretion (lots of it), be cautious, be honest.

I have made some excellent friends on Twitter. Sure, I’ve never met them and its not the kind of friendship that is intimate. But its one full of shared interests, laughter, omg’s, acceptance and encouragement.  I’m so thankful for their kindnesses.  It really got me through a dark time.

I don’t want to diminish the love and understanding from our closest friends and advisors. They are the foundation of our lives. Well, actually God is the foundation, but they are like the stones we build around us to protect us and give us peace. Thank you all so much for loving us, supporting us, and encouraging us.

JEM 1 month… I can’t believe how much he’s grown!

ITS ALL GOING TO BE OKAY, my mantra. 😉 In the end, he’s my precious little baby boy and I love him with all of my heart :’) *happy tear*

Please comment below if you have any questions.  I will try to help as much as I can.  Love to all!  I’m listing resources for Sensory Processing Disorder, for groups I’m a part of and for books/materials.

PEACE! …I don’t mean in the gangsta way, I mean, literally.  Have peace today 😉

RESOURCES

Potty Training Related:

The Potty Journey: Guide to Toilet Training Children with Special Needs, Including Autism and Related Disorders by Judith A. Coucouvanis

Scared To Poop: A Guide to Overcoming Constipation and Stool Withholding in Children by Kathleen M. Diehl (I haven’t actually read this one yet)

Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi (this is good for little kids…2yo)

It Hurts When I Poop! by Dr. Howard J. Bennett, MD (this book is awesome! and for older toddlers who withhold their poop)

Sensory Processing Disorder:

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation (should be in your Bookmark’s Bar)

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensational Kids by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA

The Out of Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA

Tool Chest: For Teachers, Parents & Students A Handbook to Facilitate Self-Regulation (this book was written by an OT for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder and contains physical activities to help SPD kids. It’s like OT in your own home)

Groups and FaceBook Follows:

The Mother Company

https://www.facebook.com/TheMotherCompany

https://www.facebook.com/sensoryprocessingdisorder

Diaper Sprayer/ Bidet

PS… This took me five hours to type, edit and post, so please be kind.

Balancing Wifedom, Momdom, Frienddom & Everything Else

 

Great idea #1: Let’s start the blog with a confession!  I struggle with depression.

Great idea #2: Set everyone at ease! I find things to help me overcome the blues.

Great idea #3: Discuss these effort I make? Being thankful!

I’ve struggled with depression my whole life.  I get really high highs and super low lows and since I became a Christian the lows happen less often. They do still come around when the monotinaity of life hits hard and I find myself reeling from boredom’s round house kicks to the face. So…Ive had to come to terms with the fact that, despite how I feel, I have responsibilities.  But it doesn’t mean I cant have fun!

Balancing being a woman of faith, a wife, a mom, a friend, a maid, a cloth diaperer (mega-launderer), a teacher, a secretary, an artist, a comedian and all the other things I’ve been blessed with, is overwhelming.  After our second son was born I felt like I was going to crack under the pressure.  Everyone was patient in the home and helped me through the post partum blues.  Just when I felt like I was going to lose it, I decided to get back on Facebook, start a Twitter account, and create a blog. Adding some new roles to the already long list. However, it’s been a lifesaver.

I have found a community that I can be myself in.  I have a large group of supporting family and friends, but most of the women don’t share my love for film and NerdGeek culture.  Thanks to my best friend, Machie (May-Chee…I’m using a  made up name *wink*), I’ve been able to have an outlet for those things. She’s led the way with the movement to find herself and embrace her inner geek and I joined her.  It’s bc of her that I found a love for social media and have found a community that understands me.  Thanks, Machie! I also, have to thank my Sista-in-law who is a faithful commenter.  I believe the term she used was something to this effect…a comment woman-of-the-night.  LMBO! Putting it tactifully *wink*. It’s really made me feel loved.

I follow a lot of mom blogs and their Twitter feeds and it has really helped me.  For the spiritual aspect of life I go to my closest friends and I laugh and cry with them (mainly laugh).  I’m so thankful for such a great loving support group. For my need to get me Geek on I go to the momblogs. The Redneck Mommy always has me ROTFLMBO-ing and is genuinely a kind person. She is so funny and shares openly about her life. I absolutely love her. @Keeba13 links the greatest NerdGeek stuff on her Twitter feed and is one of the most loving and sweet ladies I’ve randomly found in a long time. Not so random since @spacekicker recommeded following her, but random in the sense that I had just opened a Twitter account. She is amazing and has a vlog on YouTube where she talks about gaming and Geek culture. I still have to watch her other posts but tweeting with her has revealed a sweet, caring, concerned and compassionate heart of a wife and mother. Thanks @Keeba13! Also, The Proverbs 31 Ministry has been a great encouragement to me. Learning to embrace the reality that I’m not perfect and that my flaws don’t define me.  Thank you all!  You’re SuperMoms for sure and I appreciate you with all my heart.

And for you dads and husbands out there…you are awesome too! My SuperHubby keeps me going with his unconditional love and patience.  Without him, I would be a mess…and not a hot mess.  Just a stinking pile of emotional whiney waste matter.  Thanks SuperHubby for all you do. You are greatly appreciated. I am also so thankful for my friend @spacekicker, who I have recently reconnected with.  He’s been an inspiration in my life and I’m so thankful for his beautiful bride. They are such an inspiration of following a dream with persistance and finding adventure around every corner.  Also, I am following Backpacking Dad and he has shown me how much fathers have changed.  He is so funny and provides such wonderful humor and adventure.  He’s an encouraging and inspiring man. I find it amazing that you all provide for your families financially, emotionally, and adverturously.  It can be very difficult to not get caught up in the boredom of the 9-5 grind but you still come home and change diapers, deal with the problems, pay bills, help with chores and have good attitudes doing it.  Giggles, laughs, tickles, games, stories, and adventures follow you wherever you go (even for those of you without kids *wink*).  Don’t lose heart when things are tough and know that you are doing a great job.  I’m so thankful that there are more dad blogs now. Keep up the good work guys!  You’re amazing.

I wanted to share with everyone, but especially all the NerdGeek Moms out there, that it IS hard balancing all those roles and finding joy in the mundane. I don’t think we’re supposed to think that we have it all figured out. It’s normal to struggle and you’re not alone.  When you feel overworked and under appreciated by friends and family, rest in the fact that you are making large sacrifices that are building up a riches for you.  When life, slows down you’ll reap the rewards!  Your teenager will call you up from college or, a little later in life, after they just lay your first grandbaby down and say, “You were right, Mom. I love you.” Your little breastfeeding babies that wake you up all night to eat will bring you joy and laughter through all the new things they’re discovering everyday! Your toddlers WILL use the potty and your SuperHubby’s will say “You’re the most amazing and beautiful woman I know and I don’t deserve you.” It’s all coming to you so keep the good fight.  It’s a fight for happiness sometimes.  A very loving and wise man, Steve Hall, said “You have to fight like heroes against the drudgery of life.” We are certainly Super Heroes! Find that thing that helps you get through and reach out to me if you need anything.  Seriously, even if I don’t know you.  Message me and I’ll try to cheer you up!  I’ll find something to make you laugh or lift your spirits. Thank you for being awesome moms and friends!  You all are beautiful, smart, and I am always thinking of you.

WE ARE SUPER HEROES. WE ARE FIERCE AND BEAUTIFUL.

 

 

NerdGeek Cloth Diapers! Mind Blown!

I cant even believe these diapers!  My friend sent me these pics and I searched the web to find the links.  THESE ARE SO AWESOME!

Tardis Diaper

StarWars Diaper

Fraggle Rock Diaper

Bazinga Diaper

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