We deal with more poop before 8 AM than most people do all day

            When I grow old, in addition to wearing purple, I will probably bitch about a lot of things.  It seems to me one of the benefits of getting older is you can kvetch and no one gets to say anything.  So, I plan to take full advantage.  I am going to carp, grouse, and bristle, and when I am done with that, I’ll take a break to be argumentative.

            It will be Zachary’s job to deal with me, because I am currently paying into that little account by putting up with all his whining, complaining, and bellyaching.  He has certainly gotten much better since finding out he will not have to graduate preschool on Thursday, but he is the Master of the Quibble and the King of the Cavil.  So, I intend to pay him back as an old lady.

            If, however, I ever start shitting in my pants or on the living room floor, thereby requiring full baths before eight AM, THAT will be Benjamin’s problem to deal with.

Seriously, people, help a girl out.  He will not poop on the potty.  He will not ask for a pull-up.  He is completely pee trained and has been for a long, long time.  My husband was astute enough to notice that when Benjamin is undressed from the waist down, he will not go on the floor and will actually tell us he has to go potty, although he still cannot bring himself to poop there and will hold it till he has pants or a pull-up on.  So, we are letting him go naked a lot (much to his delight).  However, there are limits to that, mostly required by law.  And, much as I’d like to follow him around waiting, that would require a 1-1 adult-child ratio.  Any suggestions would really, really, really be appreciated.  (Except if you tell us to back off and give him time, because we have tried that several times, giving him plenty of space, and it has made no difference except to make him insist he is ready for underpants.  And we don’t want to go backwards on the pee training by putting him in pull-ups all the time, because he pees in those much more than he pees in underpants.  And we can’t give rewards for pooping on the potty because he NEVER does.)

27 responses to “We deal with more poop before 8 AM than most people do all day

  1. for my son we went and picked out a toy that he really liked, I put said toy in a highly visable but out of his reach and told him when he started using the potty like a big boy he could have the toy, after a few consistant days, i gave him the toy and we never looked back.

    How old is Benjamin? I didnt even try to start until Drew was 2 1/2 and he was fully trained (even at night) within a couple of days, I have a feeling it cant possibly be smooth sailing with my daughter, because you dont get that lucky twice!

  2. I wish I could help. A few weeks ago we went a whole week doing really well on the potty, w/ minimal accidents. Then, overnight, he decided he was over it and REFUSES to use the potty at all. I need help too!

  3. This is probably not what you want to hear, but I have two friends whose boys refused to poop in the potty until they were nearly 5. My brother hid behind furniture and pooped in his pants until he was 4. I think some boys are just like that. I guess it isn’t something to worry about unless he is getting ready for Kindergarten…though it does suck for the mom. I’m really, really, sorry he is doing it. Have you tried asking him why and what his solution is? It’s worth a shot…

  4. Shark Boy never wanted to go poop in the potty either. He’d hold it until I put a Pull Up on him.

    Then, he just finally did it. I have no idea why so I’m no help at all. (It was just after his 3 yr birthday.)

  5. The little boy I taught last year was afraid to poop in the potty. He would spend hours keeping himself from going, because he knew as soon as he did someone would put him on the potty.

    It was maddening.

    I finally said, if this is all we do today, you are going to poop on this potty. When I realized he needed to go, he sat there until he did it – I mean it, I’m pretty sure it was an hour or longer, the first time. We read books, I brought him toys and games, I even brought him a snack to keep him seated. Finally gravity and biology won out and he did it, and we threw a potty party (I’m not kidding). It took a few times of it, but it finally worked – he got over his fear of it, and then it was no big deal.

    That’s my suggestion – if you knew he needs to go, don’t let him up until he does. Of course that requires some serious stubbornness on your part, as well as some serious time constraints on your family. But that’s all I’ve got.

  6. No words of wisdom, I just wanted to wish you luck and say you have my sympathy. Potty training frightens and confuses me.

  7. I have to go with Stephanie. Stubbornness and Time.

    Since he is doing well with pee training, I would try reading to him while he’s on the pot at whatever time (after breakfast?) he is most likely to have to go.

    With our daughter, we always read to her on the pot, so getting her to go was not a problem, but the time invested was.

    With our son, we were determined to avoid that, and he would hold it until he went in his pants. Now that he has been trained a year (he is nearly four – I know, I was so frustrated with the lateness of his training last year, but my husband was NOT on board. He thought it was going to happen effortlessly and every the KID balked, HE caved. Anyway…), I also know that he has some trouble differentiating between the urges to eliminate. We even had some poop accidents this past week because now he wants to pee standing up.

  8. Interestingly, my son pooped in the potty before he peed because I knew the signs. He would hide behind furniture. I’d just scoop him up and tell him we’re going to the potty. We had a rough few days of accidents, and then I made him an offer. I told him that if he peed and pooped in the potty, he could play Wii. (He is my husband’s son and my brother’s nephew…LOVES that thing). I brought the Wii out after a 6-months hiatus and it was the only motivation he needed.

    Before it suddenly just “clicked” with him, I would get him to the potty with the Potty Watch (it wasn’t mom telling him to go, it was the watch, so he’d go.) Next he didn’t want to sit down long enough so I would blow bubbles in the bathroom as he sat to keep him longer. Honestly, for him it just suddenly clicked. Now if I ask him if he needs to go, he stops and actually thinks about it and goes.

    The one thing that he has NEVER done, is poop with me inside the bathroom. He ALWAYS kicks me out and I wait behind the door. Weird.

    Is there one thing that he REALLY wants? For my son it was the Wii. We also did one page of a sticker chart–one sticker for every success. I didn’t find that to be a big motivator for him though.

    Good luck to you. I am multiplying my few days of frustration by your weeks and weeks and weeks. I. Can’t. Imagine.

  9. Have you offered the reward? Like say tell him he’ll get a smartie (M&M) if he does? Each time?

  10. oh, yes. he knows about the reward. part of the problem is it can’t be candy b/c then his brother will want candy for pooping, too.

    de, b/c he is a second boy, he insists upon peeing standing, which means he does not sit when he goes in there.

    shabjoon, try months and months and months…


  11. oof. wish i had advice. my boys were older than benjamin when they trained, i think — three and a quarter. any attempts before that were, let’s just say, ill-advised.

    as i recall it was the promise of a new thomas train that did it for Eleven…

  12. I got nothing. That sincerely sucks. I remember when I was about seven one of my babysitters told me another kid she was looking after threw up and she had to catch it in her hands. It’s just comical how horrified I was by that story, when I think of what’s been in these hands on a regular basis now….

  13. I never tried this because I didn’t need to, and it’s unconventional to say the least, BUT a friend of mine who worked at a daycare said when they were trying to get kids to poop on the toilet they would give them a small amount of coffee in their milk to induce pooping in a timely fashion. I imagine it does work, but am not sure if there is a caffeine buzz to also contend with.

  14. Ack. Wish I could help. I figure that you’ve tried everything known to man already. Hoping that you find the key to this one soon!

  15. oh, honey, I’m sorry. My oldest also did not poop for nearly 9 months after her was pee trained. It was dreadful.
    I went to Burma. My mom trained him….pathetic parenting, right here!
    My other one, was rewarded systematically for sitting on the potty! We gave him chocolate chips each time he sat on the potty for 2 minutes. We used an egg timer or something. Anyway, he used the teeny potty in the kitchen & was allowed to have books and toys.
    Eventually, he just went – we had taken away the pull-ups as well. The key for him was rewarding the behavior, not the result.
    We had tipped our cards to far with Isaac and let him know how valuable the result (pooping) was, which made him want to withhold it to show us who was boss (turned out to be my mom).
    So with Henry, we played it close to the chest.
    Theo, by 3rd, for some reason has trained quite easily & depends on his father to take him to poop on the big potty. I know it’s wrong to have favorites, but any child who thinks that poop is a daddy job is getting extra candy from me!

  16. Let me just preface this by saying I do not have kids so I’m not sure how well this would go over. But, a co-worker of mine was having this same issue with his son, who was about 3 y.o. at the time. To solve it, they devoted one weekend to teaching him to poop on the potty. What they did was give him a small amount of laxative to encourage the urge to poop. Their son became so tired of pooping in his pants that everytime he had the urge, even if it was just to pass gas, he’d run to the potty. By the end of the weekend there no more issues and he was pooping on the potty like a champ. I don’t know if you’d be willing to try this, or even have the time to devote to this type of training (my co-worker only had the one son, with two other kids this type of training may be a little too messy/time-consuming), but it’s worth a thought.

    Good luck, I hope whatever it is “clicks” soon.

  17. Each child is so different. My oldest had a fettish about pooping on the potty and there wasn’t a darn thing we could do about it until she decided she’d rather have underwear than diapers and never looked back. Our youngest also had issues for the longest time and I’m afraid I yelled at her once when she was about to poop on the floor and it traumatized her so much that she went on the toilet and since then has had no problem, although after 2 months of being completely potty trained she now wets the bed again. Probably my fault. I have concluded that we don’t actually potty train our kids, they’re running the show.

  18. The only thing I have ever found to motivate boys without fail is peer pressure. I remember once commenting to my husband that boy’s would never bother to learn how to wipe their bottoms if they weren’t in competition to do so at some point. Is there another friend around his age who he plays with who either a) manages this toilet training business fine and can be relied upon to show off to Benjamin, and be praised lavishly by all adults present. Or b) another boy who is similarly disinclined who might be put in competition with him? It’s very age specific, the competitive urge, so siblings don’t hit the mark.

    Anyway, good luck. I won’t tell you the horrors of my son’s potty training, but be comforted that it is not an easy process.

  19. sadly, he HAS declared himself ready for underpants, but he poops in them.
    and even more sadly, he does not care what anyone else does or says. there is ZERO social anxiety in this kid. he feels absolutely no need to compete.
    you see why we’re having issues…

  20. I have similarly irritating toddler poop issues (anal retentiveness) and I have no advice and I am OVER IT.

  21. Lots of people have told me that we are just too easy going about the whole process “these days” a gal i knew who ran a daycare, said that she absolutely didnt reward pottying because she believed you needed to set the expectation that this is what YOU HAVE TO DO, same as you have to share your toys, you have to pick up after yourself etc. She said that she trained dozens of children with no rewards what-so-ever, just told them in very frank language that they were big girls and/or boys now, and big kids do not potty in their pants, on the floor etc. They use the potty.

    Like I said above, I went with the toy he wanted route, but I also let him go naked the first day (well he wore a longish t-shirt but nothing else)….he seemed less likely to poo and pee just anywhere though i did have messes to clean up, bye the second day, he was ready to wear underwear and he picked out cars themed ones, and I remember having the conversation like “would you like it if so and so pooped and peed on you? well lightening mcqueen doesnt want to be pooped on either” haha…. by the second day he “got it” we did have some poop issues in that he would hold it and hold it and then it would be awful for him to go, so I started “hiding” prune juice in grape juice (which was the ultimate treat since we dont do juice around here)… and that sort of forced him to go daily, within a few weeks he didnt need the extra motivation.

  22. Well, I wrote about the song and dance that I used to potty train the boy and our new puppy just today, so this topic is right on the tip of my brain.

    I do have to say that my son really picked up on the whole poop thing when he pooped right, smack in the middle of the driveway back when he was 2.9 years. We let that boy run naked non-stop because he had to be fully potty trained before he started pre-school. Oh, and we left it until the week before he started.

    So, between the hilarity of seeing his poop on the driveway and my husband running to pick it up before one of the dogs did and my carrying on singing and dancing in the bathroom, he found pooping to be really fun. Now, he takes 10 toys in the bathroom to poop, because apparently he thinks pooping is still fun six years later.

    Whatever it takes, even if it’s a little song and dance…

  23. I understand your frustration because I also had a lot of trouble with my son. Nothing worked. I tried rewards, cookies, toys, yelling, threatening, competition, any and everything to make him poop in the potty (he also never peed sitting down).
    His favorite activity was ‘Painting with Poop’ or ‘Me Fling Poop’. (No, that is not a new show on PBS). There isn’t really anything worse than wiping poop off of walls, bed sheets, toys, pictures, windows, and ceiling fans (all from one sitting actually — it was awful) only to notice a weird smell a few days later and find it pressed between the pages of nearly every book on the shelf. (I know…? WTF? )
    The worst actually was that he had previously been potty-trained for 3 months and then after a week visiting my mom, he decided he wanted to be a baby again and refused to use the potty for almost 6 months! (Damn it mom)
    I finally got so fed up with his antics that I started a mandatory visit to the potty every 30min. We had an egg timer and a chart on the wall to help track his bathroom activity. I would make him sit on the toilet for 5min, and if it was productive, he got a sticker for his chart, if not, no harm no foul. But, if he peed or pooped in the 25min until our next potty visit, he had to clean it up himself and then be in time-out until our next visit. After a week I changed the time to every hour. 2 weeks – every hour and a half. 3 weeks – every two hours, Etc (with the time changes, I made time-out last 10min).
    It took just over a month before he started going to the bathroom on his own. He still had pull-ups at night for a couple more months, but I was so happy I wasn’t having to bathe him 3 or 4 (or 8) times a day. Or wash his car-seat cover every other day. Now, he occasionally wets the bed at night, or has an accident during the day, but so far, it’s been when he was sick (he calls diarrhea ‘butt soup’… LOL… Gross and yet very descriptive).

    Hopefully you guys won’t have to suffer too much longer. My son will be 4 later this month, so for his birthday he got a puppy. What was I thinking? *sigh* here we go again…

  24. I know it doesn’t help your situation, but just the other day when I was subbing, a boy pooped in his pants. I asked the teacher about it and she said she has a few children that are pee trained, but still poop in their pants – all boys. (I had seen him pee in the potty just 20 minutes before he pooped in his pants.) I mentioned that I had read somewhere that boys who are trained to pee standing up have a harder time relaxing the muscles when sitting to poop and also can harbor more fears of the actual sitting on the toilet part. No idea if this is true. She did say the boys who poop in their pants all stand to pee.

  25. Like the first commenter here, I bribed my son at 2 1/2, using a bunch of little toys in the closet, he could pick one out every time he used the potty. Sometimes I’ve felt guilty for using bribery, but hey…whatever gets you thru the nite!

    I love the idea of “paying into that account.” I’ve already paid back my mother, who died four years ago, and only did that particular lovely activity for a week or two before going.

    As an old lady, I can tell you some of your fantasies do come true: you can be as angry and crazy as you want because you’re almost invisible. Best of all, the poopy years are well behind–unless you have pets. I do not!

  26. eorzeapedia

    I know a great kid that when she was little (until 4 or so I think) would just poop in a diaper. She’d just ask her parents for one when she was ready to poop, they’d hold it under her tush, she’d do her business, and then pull her pants on again and wash hands. Not that uncommon.

  27. Pingback: Father’s Day « Wheels on the bus