Potty- My Nemesis, Part 1

2 12 2011

Let’s talk about the potty! People without kids wince when “potty” is mentioned, but once you have kids, potty is an everyday discussion, or in our case, issue.  After YEARS of frustration, we now understand that Cameron’s potty accidents (both pee and poop) have been, and continue to be, the result of him physically not feeling that he needs to use the bathroom until it’s too late.  In some cases, he doesn’t even know he’s had an accident until we see the wet spot and ask him.  Even then, he doesn’t realize it until he looks down and sees it for himself.

This was one of my main complaints to medical professionals, and in my opinion, that alone should have been a red flag for at least one of the professionals we turned to.  Speaking of professionals, let’s go through the list, shall we?  For Cameron’s issues (potty or otherwise), we’ve seen our family physician, a pediatric gastroenterologist, a chiropractor, an occupational therapist (to test for fine motor issues), a neuro-psychologist, a phone call to a clinical psychologist, and finally another occupational therapist for the Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID).

My potty stories are many, so let’s start with one for now.  I want to be clear that my motives for telling these stories are not for shock value or to embarrass my son.  I tell these stories because this is, and has been our reality, and it feels good to know there was a medical reason for these behaviors all this time.  Also, I want people to know that if you know a child with issues similar to these, then SID is a possibility!  And finally, I tell these stories because in retrospect, we think they’re funny.  They were not so funny when they happened, but are definitely good for a laugh now.  (Unfortunately, you can’t see my husband, Jon’s, faces as he tells these stories, because that makes them that much better).  Laughing has helped us get through this—all of us, including Cameron.

When Cameron was around five, Jon went to kiss him good night.  When he bent down to give him a hug, Jon noticed that Cameron’s super-cool fiber-optic nightlight looked to be singed in the middle.  As he investigated closer, Cameron’s eyes widened and he shifted uneasily from side-to-side, seeming to try to get a better look at the damage.  Upon closer inspection, however, Jon realized that there was, in fact, poop in the nightlight.  POOP. IN. THE. NIGHTLIGHT.  This may be a good name for a crappy (no pun intended) garage band (or maybe not), but it’s not a good thing to find in your son’s bedroom.  We believe, upon analysis of the situation, that he had pooped in his pull-up, reached inside, pulled out the poo, and—having nowhere else to put it—he placed it gently into the fiber-optic nest in his nightlight, hoping that his unsuspecting parents would never find it.  Well, we did.  Jon said to him, “This is your last chance to tell me if there is any other poop hidden in your room!  I won’t get mad if you tell me now, but this is your last chance!”  As a parent, there are a lot of words that come out of your mouth that you couldn’t imagine stringing together into a complete thought.  I can assure you that “Is that poop in your nightlight?” is one of them.  Another would probably be, “is there any other poop hidden in your room?”  Cameron, with eyes as wide as a sugar glider’s, frantically shook his head, stating that was the only hidden treasure we’d find.  For now, anyway…

Yes, these are stories we laugh about now, but I was not laughing when they happened.  During those times, I found myself numb. I was shocked.  I wondered what kind of child hides poop like a squirrel hides nuts.  I was disgusted.  Was my son a poop hoarder?  Was he going to be on a future episode of “Hoarders,” where the “clinical psychologist specializing in severe hoarding” would discover his secret room full of feces?  I was scared that Jon was going to freak out (which he didn’t—he’s very good to Cameron, but it’s just something I am paranoid about—childhood issues), so I felt like I had to protect Cameron from the freak out that never was… but I didn’t know how I should react either; should I yell, do nothing, give him a time-out, take away something—I mean, the Love and Logic books don’t have a chapter on poop-hiding.  So, I was numb.  I stared blankly and shook my head, not knowing how to deal with this.  In the end, we threw away his nightlight, made him buy a new one with his own money, and gave him a lengthy lecture.

You should know that since his Occupational Therapy started, accidents have been much less frequent,and we are beyond grateful!

I think that’s enough potty talk for one post…




3 responses

8 12 2011

This is one of my most favorite stories of all time. God, I love that kid. And I love you and Jon. SO much.

12 12 2011

“I wondered what kind of child hides poop like a squirrel hides nuts.” I nearly fell off my chair! You are the funniest girl I know. Absolutely hilarious. I am glad things are finally coming together for all of you. Keep using your humor, it will serve you well!

13 12 2011

Thank you! I appreciate you and all of your help with this, as my sounding board!

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Parham Eftekhari

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