Thursday, November 02, 2006

Invisible Poop Monsters

Potty training isn't fun. I know that there are those who say that a child should be potty trained by 2, but I beg to differ. You have to have some modicum of cooperation, or it just ain't gonna happen.

The names here have been changed, to protect the potty trained.

We have a photo of one of our children, sitting on the potty, "reading" (upside down) a book called "Chemotherapy and You." Yep. Hubby is an oncology nurse, and aforementioned child wanted a little light reading when nature called.

But the one that takes the cake is the child who decided that he just was NOT going to poop in the potty. And I mean, this child was determined not to use the potty. Just wasn't gonna happen. Now, putting pee in there was fine. We sunk a LOT of Cheerios -- the best way to teach the young 'uns to aim, and got that job done. It was pooping that was problematic.

We tried everything. Bought Spiderman undies and tried to get him to keep em clean -- no problem, he just wouldn't go at all. Tried sitting on the potty in a diaper, and then he refused to go anywhere near the bathroom. Tried prunes, raisins, bribes, and praying to the poop god. No go. He'd actually bring me the diaper, lay down on it, and all but hook it up himself, then go in our room, close the door and let it rip. If we forgot he was in there (or didn't know), we'd go in, and he'd be behind the door, pointing a little finger at us, whilst saying "go away." He was seriously freaked out.

Finally, when he was a little past four, the doc decided that the situation was nuts. Or maybe just that our child was nuts. Sent him to a psychologist who was promptly christened the Poop Counselor. Well, Dr PC was humored by the situation. I could tell from the look in his eye that he thought he was going to cure this situation in about two minutes flat. Asked said child why he wouldn't poop in the potty. Child, who was sitting and coloring on the floor, looked up furtively, said "monsters," and went back to coloring. Geez. That was a new one on me. I hadn't been told of the monsters, but now the truth was out. "Well," says Dr PC, "I have just the solution for that. I have invisible monster spray that'll cure it."

He left the room briefly, then returned holding not one but TWO cans of invisible monster spray. Asked ds, did he want to see how it worked, and we headed off down the hall. He showed us poop warfare, asked ds if he thought that would work, and got an answer in the affirmative.

Dr PC looked rather smug as we headed out the door, with me holding the two cans of Invisible Poop Monster Spray. The first set of double doors had scarcely closed behind us when ds turned, looked me straight in the eye and firmly stated, "monsters aren't real, that spray isn't real, and I'm not pooping in the potty." All righty then.

Took another six months, but the child finally broke down and did it--while I was at work. After all that work, I still can't take any credit. I still have the email I received from ds, announcing touchdown. It's in a certain baby book actually. I was told later, by one of his siblings, "I just told him he was going to sit on that potty, and I was gonna read to him till he pooped, or he wasn't getting up. We prolly read 50 books, but he did it." Like I hadn't tried every trick in the book that every friend, co-worker, doctor, and internet bulletin board had recommended. Heck, we even read "Everybody Poops."We had a whole poop reading club of books that'll never make Oprah's list. Turns out, dd wanted to have the poop party that we had promised him, once he reached the age of reason. And party we did.

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