Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Poop Chronicles

If you've been following me for a while, you know about the issues with poop and Luca that have plagued us for....

.....wait for it....... it comes.....

.....nearly A YEAR!!!

Yup. He's been pee trained since March of 2009. The beginning of March.

The kid REFUSES to use the toilet to do his #2 business.


Countless hours on google, talking to friends, parents, grandparents, etc. Nothing has proven sucessful.

Seriously, I DARE YOU to come up with a strategy that I have not tried. Seriously. Try me. You name it, we've tried it.

I even paid one of those internet "potty train your child in 3 days" ebooks that charge like $40 that claim 100% success. Well, they have to change their success rate because it DID NOT work for us. And I did EXACTLY as it said to do.

About a week ago I had just had it. I was in tears most of the day, and the river of tears came more fiercely each time I had to clean crap out of underwear that day (that day's tally- 5). A friend offered to take Luca for a few days to see if the change of scenery (a different adult that he wasn't super comfortable with) would help things. And being with her 3 year old twins that have been potty trained for quite some time couldn't hurt, either.

Day 1 of "poopy bootcamp" as I dubbed it went like this:

-T and her kids and Luca chatted about things big kids do (zipping zippers - which Luca did not know how to do but came home knowing!, getting dressed, pooping on the toilet, etc).

-After an entire day there, no poop whatsoever. I knew as soon as we got home he'd let go.

-But, no, he held it all day and all night.

Day 2:

-I get a phone call from Luca to tell me he pooped on the toilet! Horray!!! I allowed myself to let that little glimmer of hope shine through.

-Luca got to go to the preschool with T to get her kids and got to have a tour of the school. He was pretty impressed ang thought it looked pretty neat. The teacher told him that he could come when he pooped on the toilet every day. He seemed to buy it and was pretty excited and told Daddy about it when he got home.

(Sidenote: that morning when I was taking him to T's I reminded him that the twins were at school for the morning and would be home at lunchtime. He asked if he could go to school with them and I said not until he pooped on the toilet every day. To this he replied "I'll just go to another school then.")

- Within 20 minutes of being home he informed me he had pooped. Sigh. We went to the bathroom, where I discovered that he wasn't quite finished (TMI, I know) and he asked me to help him sit on the toilet. I helped him and he finished his business and was so proud of himself. We had a little celebration and talked about how easy it was and how happy we all were.
Day 3:
For reasons I won't go into, Luca did not go to T's for the 3rd and final day of poop bootcamp.
He pooped in his pants 4 times today.
I am SO TIRED of cleaning up poopy underwear. I feel defeated. I don't know what else to do. I'm angry. I'm done.
So, if anyone has a suggestion that works that I haven't yet tried and it results in Luca being fully trained, I will award you a BIG prize. I don't know what it will be yet, but it will be BIG, I promise!
Some background:
-This is NOT a medical issue. Luca has sensation and control. A few examples:
  • when bottomless, he will find a pull-up or underwear to put on to poop in requiring not only sensation but the ability to hold it until such a time as he is wearing something on his bum to poop into.
  • He can and will hold it all day
  • Once when I could see that he very badly had to go and it was coming, I took him to the toilet and made him sit there for an hour or more and he HELD IT IN (even though it was RIGHT THERE) until only moments after I had given up and let him put his underwear back on
  • He will say that he knows how to poop on the toilet and that he just likes to poop in his pants
And now, a few rules:
  • You MAY NOT say to me that he will one day just "get it". I've heard this a thousand times from well meaning people and it does nothing but frustrate me more. I've been doing this for almost a year, people! Surely you'd think that his one day of getting it would have come by now!
  • You MAY NOT criticize my efforts or my son. I do that enough for all of us, thank you.
  • I promise to try any suggestions that are new or innovative, but like I said, I've tried everything I can find.

Let the competition begin and potty train my child before he is fitted for a colostomy bag and trained to empty it himself!!!


The Tompkins Family said...

I'm so so so sorry to hear that bootcamp didn't work. I wish I had ideas that you hadn't tried. I'd be the bribing type I'm sure but I know you (and all your family) have already bribed him.

CanadianMama said...

I've also got nothing - sorry Janice! I really am so so sorry. Big Hugs to you!!

ps. I like how you set rules :)

wtspb2007 said...

Hi...sorry for your frustration! I'm the author of a book entitled "The Potty Boot Camp". In my book (not $40, I promise you!'s only $5.95) I have a chapter dedicated to this topic. I'd love to send you a complimentary copy of the eBook if you're interested to see if we might have even one 'new' idea you haven't tried. Let me know and I'll send it over! Contact me at .

Good luck - and know you're not alone! This is a very common potty training problem. You might also want to check out my blog at - just type "poop" into the search box at the top left to find the poop articles :)

Suzanne Riffel

Amy said...

Hey, I just had a friend tell me that her daughter (who is USUALLY trained) had an accident and cleaned it up herself (put the poop in the toiled, changed underwear, washed her hands, etc) then came and told her mom all about it, and how she did it b.c she was a big girl. Maybe you could try having Luca clean it up himself. I dont know if thats mean or anything, but maybe....?? Hope it ends soon!

The Grahams said...

Thanks for the suggestion Amy, but we've been there, done that. Now, he just poops his pants, cleans it up and comes to me and says "Mom, I pooped my pants but don't worry, I cleaned it up.".

Writer Mom said...

So exciting about the new ideas for you. Don't forget that this is a hiccup that is very frustrating, to be sure, but does NOT mean you are a terrible mom. Someday, far, far in the future, you'll look back and laugh and it won't be as horrifying as it all is right now. This is my parenting creed on the toughest days....

CanadianMama said...

Hey a free ebook - cool! Light at the end of the tunnel maybe?

Jaime said...

I am going through the EXACT same thing with my 3 year old son. I have tried everything (believe me!) and my son just continues to tell me he'll do it when he's older. I am beyond frustrated with the situation. I feel ashamed to tell people because I feel it's somehow my fault and I didn't potty train him properly. I know how you feel and I am right there with you :)