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The Deuce

April 30, 2010

Warning: This post is absolutely disgusting. Like many things related to my children, it’s about crap. Proceed at your own risk

A stay-at-home parent has a lot in common with the Eskimo stereotype. While I don’t have specific words for all of them, I can think of more than a dozen types of poop right off the top of my head. The dozens of rabbit pellets. The two-part epoxy. The out-of-nowhere explosion. The dreaded Vesuvius. The list goes on.

The worst, however, is the one that never comes. 2.0 is going through a withholding phase. For those of you unfamiliar with the phenomenon, let me explain it to you and at the same time terrify you into never having children.

Essentially, 2.0 has become so constipated, and is so afraid of the pain of using the toilet, that he has simply stopped trying. Whenever he feels the urge to go, he simply concentrates on holding it back. Eventually, there isn’t room for any more solid waste, so all the excess waste becomes liquid. So now, a weeks’ worth of solid feces is floating in an amniotic fluid of liquid feces.

Of course, he still has to go, but he continues to hold it. So a dozen times a day, he grunts and screams, clutching his stomach. He finally passes gas, and liquid feces that has been fermenting in his intestines for days leaks out. Every three to four days, he can’t hold it any more, so I have to hold him onto the toilet for 25 minutes while he screams like he’s giving birth, finally relieving himself of a turd the size of a baby’s arm.

Combine this with the fact that he won’t tell me when he needs to go, only when he’s done, and I end up having to change eight to ten of his diapers daily (he’s back in pull-ups, because I’m not going to do a load of a dozen pairs of stained underpants a day). Add those to the three or four BMs a day that experiment 627 has, and I’m literally up to my elbows in crap.

In fact, I’ve stopped keeping track of time by hours and minutes. Instead, I’ve been using ‘poops’, a variable period of time that is typically 35 to 45 minutes.

“How long since the dogs were out?” “Oh, about a poop and a half.”

“That was a long movie, about 4 poops.”

I’ve tried everything. Calm discourse, guilt, yelling, bribes, reward charts, dietary changes. A trip to the doctor last week has met with mixed results. I know it’s just a phase; he’s certainly not going to be doing this when he’s in his teens. But for now, it’s really wearing me out.


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