Potty training, how I still loathe thee

I think all parents reach a point at which they are sick and tired of talking about poop.

Lord knows I have.

Sure, the ideal standard when it comes to potty training is to let the child take the lead. Too often I was on the receiving end of that well-meaning piece of advice, “They will tell you when they are ready to go.”

Well, that’s great advice if your kid is 2. When your kid turns 3 and the first day of preschool is looming large, then yes, you have to force the issue a bit. Okay, maybe it was my mistake for enrolling her in a preschool that had a potty training requirement. Maybe I shouldn’t have completely prepaid her tuition. But she’s 3, it’s time.

As I wrote here, she was doing really great. I sent her to potty training boot camp, or at least my version of it here at home and she graduated from basic training. She’s been using the potty at preschool and hasn’t had any accidents there. Way to go, right?

So I thought anyway.

While my daughter has mastered bladder control, poop, well that is quite another story. Like many children she is really constipated. She goes maybe twice a week and it’s an epic event. Her face gets red, she screams. It’s not pretty. Worse, she never went in the potty but not for a lack of trying. After a half hour goes by, it’s time to move on.

At her check up I talked to her doctor about it and his suggestion was upping the fiber in her diet. I gave her Raisin Bran and prunes. I bought apricot and mango nectar, which by the way are seriously delicious on their own or mixed with some Champagne or Prosecco. Did anyone say Bellini?

Then it got worse. What started happening maybe about a month ago was instead of these epic poop events, she would go, well a little bit but constantly. After school I would just put her in diapers or pull-ups but even then, I still had to change her 6 or 7 times a day. Sometimes she would do this at night, which she never did, not once she was past the newborn stage. But at 3 I should not have to change her as often as a newborn. Very frustrating. And worrisome.

Still, even over this last month she never had an accident at preschool, so I thought she was able to maintain some sort of control.

Well, last week I got a call from her preschool teacher halfway through the morning. Apparently, the girl had 3 accidents and was out of clothing changes, so I needed to bring some clean clothes with me. She had been there not even an hour and a half.

Sure enough when I got there she was wet again. Not poopy, but wet, just like the other accidents that morning. I brought her home and not even 10 minutes later, another accident. What was going on?

I put two and two together and thought maybe I should have her checked for a urinary tract infection. So I brought her into the doctor’s office.

Good news was no UTI. Bad news was she is so constipated that it is now compromising her bladder control. Time for a cleanse, toddler style.

It's come to this

It’s come to this

Enter Miralax.

Opinions on this stuff vary greatly. Some think it’s God’s gift to toddlers. Others say it doesn’t work. Then there are others who question the decision to put that poison into your child because the ingredients sound like something out of high school chemistry class.

Well, it does work. I’ll spare you the details but trust me. It’s true you might have to adjust the dosage after a few days and it might take a week. But I repeat, it does work.

As for the poison comments, well, if I continued on this path my child would be poisoning herself since she couldn’t, well, get it all out. The natural stuff wasn’t working so I gave her something that did. What’s so horrible about that?

The best part is I think we’re getting there in terms of that last part of potty training. The past couple of nights she has told me she needed to go poop. Instead of sitting and straining for a half hour to no avail, she actually goes. Control, what a beautiful thing.

Was this TMI, all this talk about potty and poop? Maybe, but welcome to my world right now. Someday soon I would love to have a conversation about my daughter that doesn’t include either of those words. I think we’re getting there. I hope.

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Tags: MBA Toddler, parenting

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