Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#236 In which our hero relates the unfortunate--and recently, all too often--contents of his daughter’s pants.

About a week or so ago Lily is playing in the family room and shouts, “I have to go potty!” I rush her off to the bathroom, as always, but this time she says, “uh-oh. Too late.”

And too late it was; she crapped her pants. When I ask her why she would do such as thing (she’s been potty trained for nearly a year now) she says, “I waited too long.” Okay, fair enough. She was playing and waited until the last possible minute to disengage, with disastrous results. I’ve been there (granted, it was in college, and I was really drunk, but I can still relate, y’know?)

Then it happened again.

Now, while The Scientist and I were trying to get her potty trained, we never pushed that hard, and we certainly never punished her for having an accident. But this time… well, it didn’t seem so much an accident as she didn’t really care that she pooped her pants. She wasn’t upset at all; in fact, she almost seemed to enjoy it. She laughed and kidded around, tried to tweak her mama’s nose while she was being changed. Clearly, she didn’t get the seriousness of the situation.

We tried to impress this upon her, but she didn’t seem to be listening. So we put diapers on her. Not the big-girl pull-ups she usually gets at night, but her little sister’s diapers.

And Lily had a fit.

She screamed and carried on and pleaded that she was a big girl, and she didn’t want to wear diapers and on and on. This is good, my wife and I thought, she gets it that there are bad consequences to this unnecessary pants-shitting. We assured her that if she stayed dry the rest of the evening she could wear her big-girl panties again in the morning. She accepted this, but clearly didn’t like it. Huh, I thought. Maybe I’m starting to get the hang of this parenting thing.

Then, an hour later, she crapped in the diaper.

It was a diaper, so it wasn’t like it was a big deal, but The Scientist and I were both like, “Shit. Now what?” Fortunately, it was near bedtime, she we just put her in pull-ups and put her to bed.

Then we had a couple good days (ie., all poop deposited in potty, not pants), and we started to let down our guard. Big mistake.

Last Saturday we were having a couple of friends over for some drinking/Guitar Hero, and about 20 minutes before they were to arrive Lily again says “I have to go potty! Oops, too late!” And once again it’s a big joke to her--but certainly not to us, since we’re trying to give the house a quick cleaning, and don’t need to deal with this of all things.

I’m at a loss of what to do (other than change her) but The Scientist, as often happens in these situations, Takes Control. She changes Lily, puts her into her PJs and says, “That’s it. You’re going right to bed. No snack. No stories.”

Lily loses her mind, of course. She’s mostly upset that she she’s going to bed before our friends get there. “But I want to see the visitors!” she screams. “You’re not being very nice!”

We set up the mothballed baby monitor outside her room, mostly to make sure she stays in bed as instructed. What follows is a pitiful and heartbreaking series of complaints/pleas from upstairs.
This isn’t fair!
I’m locked in my room!
I want to watch TV!
Why can’t I see the visitors!
I want oo-oo-oo-out!
I won’t poop in my pants again! I promise!
And so on. We go upstairs to check on her several times. She’s upset, but seems to finally understand her parents’ position on pants crapping. She tries to make several deals with us, including:
I won’t poop my pants ever again, so you should let me go downstairs!
I need a snack because I’m starving to death!
I just want to go downstairs for a minute. Just one minute!
I’ll just say hi to the visitors then go back to bed!
Can you bring the visitors up to my room so I can play with them?
We end up relenting and giving her a snack, but she remained banished to her bedroom. I told her that I understood that it was a very hard night for her, but that it was best for her to just go to sleep… tomorrow would be a better day.

Finally, after much crying and carrying on, she crashes and falls asleep. It was a little heartbreaking (more so for The Scientist than me) but we got through it.

I can only imagine that this incident will factor prominently in Lily’s therapy sessions when she’s an adult. Sorry honey, but mommy and daddy needed to get their drink on and rock out to Guitar Hero BIG TIME!


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Blogger dressagemom said...

Momma and Daddy not only wanted to get boozed but we also wanted to not have to clean little girl crap out of another pair of My Little Pony panties.

3:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting too involved in the potty-training process almost always leads to problems. Your goal is independence so let your daughter regain ownership over the process. That's right, it's her poop and she needs to "own" it, including, cleaning up herself if she has an accident. Don't fall into the trap of punishing her...after all it's her body, and she is entitled to control over it...besides you can't keep her from pooping in her pants, so she will always "win"...that is, if you choose to go to battle on this issue. Don't do it!! My sincere advice is have a little sit down and apologize to her (yep, you heard me), then explain that Mom & Dad make a mistake b/c you realized it's not your poop, it's her poop. So she can choose where to put it. But that means from now on if she has an accident she's got to take care of it herself (with your circumspect supervision of course). Then I might add a few small words of advice like, "when I have to poop, I just make sure to get on the potty before it comes out, even if it means I have to stop what I'm doing and go there." Then step back , keep your mouth shut with a smile, and let your girl learn on her own--no therapy required. GOOD LUCK!

11:08 AM

Blogger dressagemom said...

I don't agree with this at all. Her behavior was unacceptable. Just as swearing would be, even though they would be her words. Or spitting at someone - again, her spit. Just because the poop comes out of her does not mean she can do whatever she wants with it, like smearing it on the walls (which she didn't do).

She had many many chances to get this right before she was punished, including us reminding her every 20 minutes to use the potty if she needed to. I'm happy to report that we've had no accidents since then. She has learned that there are consequences to her behavior, since it was clear that she was treating the whole situation as a joke.

I have to say that your advice sounds too much like "new age" parenting which, in my opinion, is raising a bunch of entitled brats with little real world skills and low motivation due to no discipline and no reprocussions for their actions.

6:31 PM


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