NOTE: If you’ve got a weak stomach and/or don’t like to read about poop. I suggest you stop reading at this point. Don’t worry, I won’t mind. I understand completely. Believe me, I didn’t like living through the situation any more than you wouldn’t like reading about it.
We’ve been potty training Kaylee for about 6 months now. It’s been going fairly well I guess. She was pee trained in about 3 days, which overall I would say was not too bad. For a while things kind of stunk though, because while she would pee in the potty consistently we were having a heck of a time poop training her. She would and could have up to 6 times a day that she would poop in her underwear. A lot of times it wasn’t much, but enough that you needed to rinse out the underwear and change her into a new pair.
We tried a few different reward systems, and even tried one day on Brendan’s old program where we put her on the toilet until she had pooped. After 3 hours I decided that it wasn’t worth it. Since she was 2 instead of 4 she didn’t understand as well as Brendan had why we were doing this and she sobbed uncontrollably during the whole thing. We decided to try some other things.
Unable to think of any we just kind of limped along until school started. Then somewhere in late August we had a breakthrough. I had been running late in our morning routine and so I skipped bathing Kaylee before the boys went to school. I figured having her home with me gave me plenty of time to get her bathed. That’s why she’s always last in the bath time lineup. And since we weren’t in a hurry after we’d dropped off the boys at school I let her have a play bath.
She had been sitting in the tub for about 30 minutes when I heard her begin to moan. I recognized that moan, it was the “oh crud I’m about to poop in the bathtub moan.” Being as it wasn’t my first experience with the sound I knew how fast I had to move to prevent her from pooping in the bathtub. I rushed in there, got her dried off and set her, wrapped in her towel, onto the toilet. She was not a happy camper.
This was a few months ago so I can’t remember what I was doing, but I had been right in the middle of something when this all went on that I really couldn’t just leave. So I told her I’d be back in a minute and left her on the toilet to do her thing. Amazingly in the couple of minutes that I was gone she did her business in the toilet all by herself. I was amazed. I decided to try the same thing the next day.
For about 2 weeks this worked. I put her into the bathtub right when we got home from dropping off the boys and then she would get out of the tub and poop consistently about 30-40 minutes after. Then one day she must not have needed to because she didn’t go after her bath and after that her poop schedule got a little off. For a few days we had trouble with her pooping in her underwear again, which was frustrating but we just kept plugging along.
During all of this Kaylee was still wearing diapers at nap and bed time since she was consistently wet during those times. She finally figured out that if she pooped in her diaper it was much easier to be changed and move on with her day. So she made sure she did her business at nap and bedtime and we quit having dirty underwear during the day. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but I figured it was better than nothing.
Things were running along swimmingly until a few weeks ago. At first I noticed her struggling one day mid-morning to not poop in her underwear. I tried to get her to go on the toilet but she point blank refused. She wanted to wait for her diaper and didn’t want to poop on the toilet at all. From what I’ve read online this is not an uncommon fear of most potty training kids and we’d just have to work through it. Over the next few days I worked with her and tried to get her to poop on the toilet. For the most part my efforts were fruitless and we ended up with more than one pair of dirty underwear.
It got to the point where she was in pain trying not to poop in her underwear. I finally broke down and told her that if she didn’t want to poop in the potty she didn’t have to but if she needed to poop to tell me and I’d get her a diaper but I didn’t want her to hold in her poops because it wasn’t good for her. That helped some, but by then she was constipated from holding it in.
We tried glycerin suppositories first. Cameron used to constipate badly when he was first born and those had really done the trick to regulate him. I did a few with Kaylee but they weren’t doing the trick. Then finally the week leading up to her 3 year checkup everything came to a head. She knew she needed to poop but now it was so painful she screamed and bawled every time the urge came over her. So when we went to her appointment I mentioned it to our pediatrician because I remember my niece going through this when she was around Kaylee’s age and they had given her milk of magnesia or something like that to take care of the problem.
Sure enough, the doctor knew just what to do. He recommended we go get Miralax, which is a stool softener. He said it should make it easier for her to get everything out. We picked it up and began to give it to her in the mornings in half doses (which is what the doctor had recommended). The up side is that it was working, the down side was that it made her poop about every two hours. It was quickly apparent that during this medication underwear was not going to be an option so I switched her fully back to diapers.
Things went well for a few days, then on Monday I missed her dose of medication. She didn’t poop the entire day. I wasn’t sure if she’d just gotten it all out over the previous few days or if that was a sign of other problems. Tuesday morning I gave her the regular dose of medication and went through my day like normal.
At nap I put her into a fresh diaper and got her settled into bed. In the three or four days leading up to Tuesday I hadn’t been feeling well myself so I went and laid down for a nap as well. I have an alarm on my phone which goes off at 3:20. That makes sure that no matter what I’m doing I won’t lose track of time and forget to pick up the boys from school. Setting it for 3:20 gives me a 10 minutes buffer as well. That way I can wrap up anything I might be doing and/or get Kaylee ready to leave if she isn’t already ready.
On this particular day I was moving a little slower than usual and didn’t get across the house to get Kaylee out of bed until 3:25. As I rounded the final corner to her bedroom I heard her wail loudly. I figured she’d just woken up herself and wasn’t too happy about it. That happens sometimes. She will just wake up on the wrong side of her nap and be an absolute bear for a good 20-40 minutes. When I opened her bedroom door however, I realized that wasn’t the issue and that I had a much bigger problem on my hands.
The scene which I walked into was like a scene from a horror movie. Kaylee was sitting in her toddler bed and covered from the waist down in poop. And not just a little smear here or there, but a honest to goodness half inch thick layer of poop all over her legs and feet. The bed wasn’t much better. There was a large amount of it smeared all over her sheets and some of her stuffed animals. This isn’t the first time we have run into a scenario like this, but as I only had 5 minutes to get her cleaned up before we had to leave to pick up the boys I went into panic mode.
I decided that a quick cleanup with wet wipes would be fastest and then when we got home from picking up the boys I could dump her into a bath and deal with the bedding. Once I started wiping up her foot however I realized that my efforts were going to be fruitless. The poop was a sticky, gooey, mess. Rather than wiping off with the wipe it basically just smeared and made a bigger mess. I was using wipes to grab handfuls of the stuff off her legs but it seemed to just keep on coming.
At 3:30, I quickly stripped her down and dumped her into the bathtub. Then I picked up my phone to call Matt at work. Thankfully he was at his desk at the time. I quickly explained the situation and asked if he would be able to leave work and pick up the boys. By some miracle he could and did. It takes him about 15 minutes to get from work to home so we’d be cutting our deadline pretty thin but if he left immediately he should be able to make it.
Meanwhile I went into baby cleaning overdrive. I soaped up and scrubbed Kaylee until every single solitary speck of poop had vanished. Then, knowing I had Matt on the job I stripped her bed and threw all of the poop stained items into the washing machine. Once I had Kaylee dressed in clean clothes I went to work on the bathtub and bleached every single inch of it to ensure that all traces of this endeavor were washed away. Finally done I looked at the clock and saw that it was 3:45. The boys should just be getting out of school, and Matt should just be arriving to pick them up.
I sent a quick text off to Matt to make sure that he had not gotten caught in traffic. When I didn’t immediately hear from him I started packing Kaylee into the car figuring it would be better to have us both show up to pick up the boys versus having them show up at the pickup point and neither of us be there. But as I was closing the van door Matt called and said he was about a half mile away. He showed up a few minutes after school let out, but still managed to beat the boys there.
With Kaylee all taken care of and the boys picked up from school I could finally sit down and relax for 5 minutes before the next round of chaos descended upon my house and I was called into action again.