Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Embarrassed, Ashamed and In Need of a Good Cry

I feel like I should be at a support group meeting.

For mothers who fail at potty training.

Hi, my name is Kristy. My son will turn 4 in a week and he poops in his pants.

"Hi, Kristy."

See, he can poop in the potty. He has! Many times! On his own! Without me telling him to go!

But. More often than not, he poops in his night time pull up or his nap pull up. Or even his underwear. My mother in law was here last week and witnessed a very unfortunate event. We were at Monkey Joes, escaping the house in the midst of the remodel and the boys were having a blast. I got the camera out of the car to try to capture the fun. I took four blurred picture of Kolby and then got a whiff. It was not a good whiff. It resulted in Kolby and I going out to the van and changing him into an overnight pull up which had been purchased that morning, driving across the street to Marshalls and doing the walk of shame through the store in a pull up.

Did I mention it was 40 degrees and raining?

That incident was the icing on the cake. The straw that broke the camels back.

She, my mother in law, who is a pediatric triage nurse, said that the doctors in her office would say to put him back in a pull up. He'll poop on the potty when he is ready.

So he is back in a pull up. Kind of embarrassing for a big kid who is about to turn 4.

But, he's not embarrassed at all.

His mom is mortified. A pull up screams failure to all who see it peeking out of his size 4 or 5 pants.

Yes, we've tried the naked time. He poops on the floor. He may or may not tell us. He leans heavily toward the may not.

I'm looking for support here. Not advice.

I know, I know, someday, I won't have to buy him pull ups. He could possibly be in college, except that preschool only takes kids who are fully potty trained. And he is supposed to start preschool in September. I fully expect to lose that $250 deposit and pull him out because he still poops in his pants. I guess homeschooling might be our only option.

We've promised the world. A fishing pole. A trip to Disney World (only a slight joke).

I'm at the end of my rope. And it wasn't a long rope. I thought no child could be harder than Sage who took a month exactly of pooping in his underwear every other day. It's been a year since we started potty training.

I think I just heard God chuckle.

And oh, yes, he needs to read this when he is older. His future wife needs to know the potty training heritage of which he comes.


  1. i've seen you in action as a mom many times so i know first hand what a GREAT mom you are! sorry it's such a long road, but you AND kolby are WONDERFUL!

  2. PS - In case you forgot... love you to pieces! You are the best mama in the world!

  3. Oh friend, I love you.

    He will be potty trained I know it.

    Praying for it to happen before September.

  4. If potty training is the only "failure" you have as a mother, you will be one mighty blessed woman!
    The job will get done, believe me!

    Love and prayers,

  5. First off, you're amazing for going through this for a year. I would have had a breakdown long ago. Actually, I did, when Audrey regressed for one WEEK! I had no idea how deeply potty training was an issue of pride/humility for me until I called my sister-in-law for advice on what to do, and she suggested putting her back in a Pull-up. Then added, "don't worry, it's not a reflection on you as a mother." And I burst into tears. I'm going to pray that Kolby gets it figured out soon, for both of your sakes! And I truly believe that God cares about the smallest of things, even kids and their poop. :)

  6. His mom is mortified. A pull up screams failure to all who see it peeking out of his size 4 or 5 pants.

    Ha! I guess I'm screwed then. Lucy will be in them forever, and Asher HATESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS the potty. Like, screams, when we go near it.

    So this made me feel a bit better! ;)

  7. I am sorry Chunk. I love you.

    Just think of all of the advice you will have for me someday...

  8. Okay. I've decided you should become a writer. You are a great story-teller, and that is the upside to all of this. :) And as you said, to document for Kolby's future wife to know what she is in for with their kids :)

    So here's friend has a daughter that was no trained with #2 until 2 weeks before Kindgergarten. She had tried everything, she could go to the potty, but wouldn't unless she had a pull-up on. Finally, she just decided to do it on her own. And after many gray hairs and reading every potty training books, her mom was relieved since it finally happened. All this to say, you are not alone:) See? Support! :)

    Will be praying for you all! I know God will see you through all of this.

  9. I love Kolby. :) And you. He'll get it. And thanks for reminding me that his birthday is next week!

  10. your story makes me laugh. Don't know if that is supportive or not, but it made me laugh :)! Only because I haven't attempted the potty training task yet, but I can totally forsee this type of post in my future too! Keep on keepin' on!!

  11. "Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as is the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege." Elisabeth Elliot The Shaping of a Christian Family This is one of my favorite quotes lately. He sees every single poopy mess you are having to clean up, dear sister. I know you are doing a great job. Every kid is different, and this is not a measure of your success. Hang in there.

  12. I know I would feel the same way, but this is not your fault. You are an AMAZING mama and I love you!

  13. Here is my support. You are a GREAT mommy. An EXCELLENT mother. A FANTASTIC mom. Period.

    This is not a failure. Kolby is not Sage or Tommy, or Billy, or Max, or Joey, etc....

    Kolby is Kolby and will eventually poop on the toilet.

    I am currently reading the book Wild Things: the art of nurturing boys by Stephen James and David Thomas. If you think Kolby pooping his pants @ 4 is going to be your biggest parenting worry...just wait sister. It's gonna' get stinkier! (Couldn't resist!!)

    From the trenches - Marti

  14. Apparently I had this issue myself. When I was four. So my father insists. I may not have been embarrassed then, but it is slightly embarrassing to admit now. *hangs head*

    My parents claim they would hand me the wipes and a diaper and say good luck. They said that was the trick that worked for me.

    Who knows? But I think I turned out ok, no? :)

  15. The Wild Things book that Marti mentioned above is a highly recommended book from the Preschool Ministry! I haven't read it (for obvious reasons) but it's always everywhere all around me. Supposed to be amazing. You should check it out! And this post was so well-written, it's hilarious.

  16. Thank you for this! We are in a potty training war over poop. My son will NOT poop in the potty when he had been doing really well... not great, mind you, but not too shabby. He got sick a few weeks back and we've been in a downhill spiral of regression ever since. It's not pretty. Not only are we back fully in Pull-Ups but now he's sticking his hands in his poopy pants!!! GAH!!

    This isn't really support as much as commiserating. I feel your pain. :-(

  17. My little boy didnt go on the potty till the month he turned four. The best thing I did was to just let him decide the timing. You cant force it (as you know) so why worry! I seriously thought he would not be trained by 5. I thought it was going to last forever. But over night he started going. Hoping that day comes soon for you! It will happen!

  18. My boy was still in pull ups at 4 and 5, and didn't get night trained until 7, with some regressions until 8 . . . 9. Seems to be finally over now that he is 10. Knock on wood.

    I just kept reminding myself that he wouldn't still need a pull up in college, so it would all be okay . . . eventually.

    Your son is perfectly within normal parameters for boy potty training.

  19. You make me laugh out loud! I'm sorry to be laughing at such a stressful time in your life. You just have a great way with words, Kristy. No advice here. I will give you a big hug the next time I see you! :)

  20. You are not alone. You know that I'm sure, but it feels good to hear it, right?

    Eva Rose is almost 6 and still will not poop unless bribed. And that is amazing progress from where we were 6 months ago.

    This too shall pass.


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