Shit storm

These past couple of weeks have been by far the worst when it has come to Syd and her pooping issues.  A few weeks back there were some missed doses and/or incomplete intake of her Miralax which resulted in a large, not soft, painful BM and since then things have spiraled even more out of control.  It also didn’t help that she had started to use the potty a few times for peeing so there has been total toilet confusion going on — she want’s a diaper — she doesn’t — she doesn’t want to sit on the potty — she wants to.  Of course during all of this discourse she is screaming, freaked out beyond belief, sheer panic in her eyes, racing heart, sweating, stamping her little feet, clenching her little butt cheeks, crying so hard I’m afraid she will start hyperventilating.

Ya, it’s not been good.  Sometimes I find myself tearing up when I even remotely think of the prior nights trauma.

To find some answers — or grasp at straws, or cling to hope — I got a GI appointment at Children’s National for Syd thanks to the handiwork of some amazing co-workers (another downside of living in a heavily populated area is waiting forever for specialist appointments).

That appointment was yesterday and after going through her story and after her exam we were presented with what I had feared.

There is nothing wrong.

Her system on exam appeared normal.  The celiac results are still pending (but it doesn’t run in our family so I’m doubting this is the cause), and we have orders for X-Rays and labs we can get (but the doctor doesn’t think there is impaction or anything these tests will conclude).  This is psychological and behavioral and we really will just have to ‘wait it out’.  He did give us some tips so it wasn’t a total lost cause and I’m to be in touch via email if we think we need to go to the next step of behavioral counseling. At the end of her exam he gave her an enema to help clean her out a bit which she took like a champ — so he got to see what we go through right there in the office.  It was intense to say the least.  He told us she will be dependent on Miralax for a long while (like years – and I don’t mean 2 or 3 years) and it is not something we can ever forget or skip. He wants us to get the dose up so she has a BM every day and on the weekends we are supposed to double her up so she can get ‘cleaned out’.  And finally someone gave me the go ahead to forget about potty training!  All this pressure and judgement to get my kid outta diapers is about to paralyze me.

Sydney was a trooper through this entire appointment   She was certifiably scared to see the ‘poop doctor’ and we tried to make her as relaxed as possible — even sorta making fun of the fact that the doctor went to school to study poop!  She let him examine her, answered his questions and didn’t cry (well until after the enema then it was no more nice Syd).  On the way home she had another accident and pooped all over the car-seat (and the car and her dress) so that was pretty traumatic for her (and me who cleaned up the car/car-seat, and Royce who cleaned up Syd).

Although we don’t have answers there is some peace in the fact that physically there is nothing wrong with her. I do feel pretty helpless at this point now. How am I supposed to protect my girl from bullies, boys, mean-girls, and other things that scare her if I can’t even protect her from her own poop?

In the end I really just miss my kid. This has been so all-consuming that I feel like my happy friendly smart amazing kid who should be playing, learning, eating, growing is spending her life writhing on the floor clenching her butt. And that is what really makes me sad and why I want this all to be over.

There is a book for everything

This one should come co-packaged with “Why Do Mommy & Daddy Drink So Much?”


while we are on the topic…I need to vent.

If ONE MORE PERSON (usually another mother) tells me “Have you tried prune juice?” (I’m using my annoying naggy wife voice which doesn’t come across in a blog) I’m going to go admit myself to a loony bin.

First and foremost, Syd is FAR from constipated.  It runs out of her when she unclenches her butt cheeks – down her leg, out of her diaper, onto anything and everything.  Anyone think prune juice will help that?

Ya, didn’t think so.

How about pears? peaches? prune puree? vegetables?

same thing – shut it. puh-lease.

This is far from constipation.  Oh and while I’m at it I don’t want to hear your story about how your kid cried ‘that one time’ when they were constipated.

My kid has been screaming bloody murder during each BM (and a few days before) for the past.six.months.

My life, our life, my daughter’s life – revolves around poop.

So ya.  I don’t want to hear your food remedies.  I want you to pat me on the shoulder, maybe laugh with me in that sad pathetic way things can be hysterically funny,

…when they are painfully sad.

I want you to not look at me like I’m crazy when I say; I hate this – I *&*^ing HATE this!

Because I can’t do that in front of Syd.  I have to be positive, smiley, up-beat, calm, loving.

When all I want to do is scream “JUST SHIT!”.

It is mind numbing, draining, to see the tiny thing you love so much trying so hard to hold something in and to see, and hear, the fear in her when she can’t hold it in anymore.

In an attempt to hopefully get somewhere we are headed back to the doctor in a few weeks and are also working with our Parents As Teachers consultant to get some contacts on behavioral therapists, child psychologists and the like…

Stay tuned.  And hold us up to the light,

or pray if that’s your thing,

or just think relaxing poop thoughts for Syd.



Thanks for listening.

…I feel a bit better.

Aw, shit

One Sunday morning at 2 AM, while waiting with a screaming baby who needs to be forced to go 7-hours between feeds, I decided to Google “toddler afraid to poop”.  Fun topic for 2 AM I know, but this was after a day-of-hell from Sydney that turned into a evening-of-fun after guess what…she POOPed.


Anyways…2 AM, Google, poop; the second result is a post on describing our situation except for her child tends to lay on the couch in agony while ours chooses to walk around the house (or pool, or school, or the park, or wherever we are) holding her crotch while screaming ‘My Poop!‘ or that her ‘potty hurts’ and generally acting rotten.

As I was reading through the comments on this woman’s post and the follow-up comments from the original poster I was rapt.  These people weren’t talking about poop problems because of potty training (which is common)  these women were discussing their toddlers fear to poop, even in the absence of constipation.  Here is a segment (spelling corrected) of a post from the mother who started the thread:

“We have given Miralax to our daughter every day for 5 months. She has not had a painful stool since we put her on it, but she can’t get over the fear of the pain. Although her stools are no longer painful, she still tries to keep them in, and cries and says she doesn’t want to poop, and gets very upset.”

She was describing Syndey! I’m NOT alone! Yay!

“…we have seen multiple doctors, and they have all said the same thing– Miralax. 6 months to a year.  We have celebratory poop songs, special treats, stickers, toys, trips, etc. NOTHING has helped. She still fears to go, and tries whatever she can to hold it in.”

As I read on however I noticed more and more women responding to this mother that it took them years, yes years, to solve the problem with their toddler.  Here is a segment of a follow-up post from the same mother as above…

“My daughter is now 3 1/2. She is still on Miralax, with no sign of getting off of it anytime soon. She is MUCH, MUCH, better about pooping though… I think her getting older and being able understand better has helped, but she NEEDS Miralax every day. It took about 10 months of being on Miralax and not having a single painful poop for her to be willing to go. Since then, she has had a few relapses, usually when we have not given her Miralax consistently for whatever reason, or when we tried to wean her off of it. When she relapses, it takes about a week to get over it again, and she doesn’t fight it quite as hard as she used to. Poop isn’t the main topic of conversation anymore, which is great.”

I should state that she originally posted when her child was 2…so that’s 1 and-a-half years of poop related drama and the kid is still on laxatives.  Twenty-five follow-up comments later I see a final post from the original mother who I’ve been following…

“Now, at 4 1/2 years old, she is officially MIRALAX FREE! I suppose she just grew out of the constipation. One month she needed consistent daily doses of Miralax for her poop to not hurt, the next month we accidentally missed a few days of Miralax and she didn’t have any problem, so we didn’t give it to her the next few days and again, no problem. We haven’t given her any since then, and it has been about 3 months. Yay! I thought this day would never come! I hope this gives other parents hope that there is an end as well!”

She went through this for two-and-a-half  years.

I cried.


Sydney has never been an easy child.  I think the only thing that came easily to her was sleeping, and for that, I am thankful.  She was a hard baby (yes I’ve refered to her as ‘angry‘…if you had spent a goodly amount of time with her you would have too), and is proving to be an even harder toddler.  I know all toddlers are ‘hard’ but Sydney is defiant to a point of insanity and is this way…often.  Too often.

I returned today from my first parent-teacher ‘incident’ conference as it seems my difficult child has taken up biting at school.  On top of learning more about all the biting episodes, I also got to hear about how she throws fits when told ‘no’, throws her self screaming on the floor if she doesn’t want to do something, and how her first response to a teacher asking her to do something is always a snotty “No!”.   I’m…let’s say…not proud?  Nor surprised.  I’ve been dealing with all of this at home for months.  Hearing it for the first time from daycare was oddly reassuring (yay!! it’s not just me!) but also so so very frustrating (why can’t she just cooperate?) not to mention I feel like I completely failed mother.  Yes, I know these are all typical toddler behaviors; but typical toddlers also typically act ‘good’ for teachers and typically follow instructions if the rest of the kids in class are following suit.  At least they confirmed that her cognitive development was on par with her classmates, it’s her ’emotional’ development that is the cause of concern.

I try, I do, to give this kid all the attention and structure and respect this world has to offer.  I treat her kindly when she is treating me like shit.  I think I’ve used my mad-yell (like really yelled) at her twice in her little existence and once was when she was in the car and couldn’t even see the rage in my face.

Before Ingrid arrived I only got help with Syd’s routine when Royce was home, and for that I’m grateful, but he has a more lax discipline structure than I do so she loves her Daddy (and pretty much hates me).  This summer I hired a nanny so that she could help with Sydney and I could focus on Ingrid.  But Sydney hates her too, mostly because she isn’t Daddy (the nanny doesn’t discipline and basically does what ever Syd wants so really Syd should love her too).  Daddy isn’t home a lot though, he is here, then not, and his schedule is hap hazard so when he isn’t home, the nanny picks up what he would do to help with Sydney.  The first thing Syd says when she sees me (or the nanny) is “where is Daddy?” or if something doesn’t go just right and I put her in time out — she starts screaming “I want my Daddy!!”.   Ya kid I get it — Mommy sucks.

Since I don’t have enough to do already, I now have to turn my focus back onto Sydney.  Start doing the routine stuff again that I did before Ingrid arrived (which Molly and Daddy were helping me out with) so that it ‘appears’ I’m spending more time with her than Ingrid and I have to start playing with Sydney more so that I can be associated with ‘fun’.  All of this in addition to the sticker charts and hopefully, consistent, discipline from both Mommy and Daddy.

So this is where we are at:

  • a toddler who won’t poop
  • a ‘fun’ Daddy who is here one day and isn’t the next
  • a new infant (who is here to stay)
  • a toddler biting classmates at school
  • a toddler who will not follow instructions (from parents or teachers)
  • a nanny who won’t discipline
  • a mommy who needs to spend more time having ‘fun’ with toddler
  • a mommy who needs to feed a baby
  • a mommy who needs to get some sleep
  • a mommy who hired summer help, and now can’t figure out how to use the help because mommy needs to do everything…


Oh and any tips to get your child to stop biting other children are welcome in addition to the standard “you’re not a bad mother” commentary.

My Poop!

For the past few weeks we have heard this phrase coupled with “My Fart!” about a gazillion times.  There is no doubt our little monster is constipated and probably extremely uncomfortable…but the insistent whining all.night.long about poop and farts is starting to wear.  I know she doesn’t sit at daycare and lament all day long to them as we get back reports of AM:  Cheery!, PM: Chatty! with simley faces.  But the minute she walks into this house…whining…poop…farts…screaming.

We took her to the pediatrician last week who put us on a regimen of daily Miralax for 2 months to help ‘clear things out’.  Thing is daily Miralax doesn’t work…so we have upped the dosage…and included glycerin suppositories at night for days she hasn’t pooped.  Her last BM was Friday night.  Since then she has had numerous doses of Miralax and tonight was her second glycerin suppository after last nights failed to produce.  Keep your fingers crossed that there is a prize in her diaper in the AM.

Part of me wonders if part of it is some sort of potty training rebellion or little sister regression that’s surmounting early.  Royce pretty much carried her around what seemed like all weekend long (something I can’t do) and the only BM’s she has had the past few days have been patiently coaxed out by him using a soft “you can do it tone” while holding her (something I don’t have the patience for mostly because I know the minute this baby arrives I’ll have about zilch time to give that much attention to each of Syd’s BM urges).

Today at school when I peeked through the door she was dancing, smiling having fun.  When she saw me she got sad, mopey and despondent, and the second she stepped foot into the house she started whining about poop and farts. Tonight I chose to not give attention to the whining, but not telling her to stop either, and I just went about my evening.  I was able to distract her into about 15 mins of whine-free play with blocks, but when I turned my back to tend to dinner — the whining began again.  And the minute Royce got home today she insisted on his attention, sat in her dinner chair for maybe 5 mins before squirming…moaning about poop and ending up in Daddy’s lap for the remainder of the meal and his arms after we were done.

I hate to be callous and mean, I’m sure it hurts…but she needs to figure out how to do this on her own right?

Anyone have any advice on a poop adverse 2- year old?

PS: The doctor told us to give up on trying to force her to eat high fiber things so please spare that as advice.  He said it’s a battle not worth surmounting with a toddler and I agree with him.  She will eat purred prunes, and will take the occasional ‘squisher’ (these baby food veggie/fruit packets).  I’ve started giving mangoes (high in fiber) with her breakfast and we have cut all dairy from her at home diet too.  Outside of her random binges on beans which are few and far between there is little much we can alter with this tyrants diet to make the situation change anytime soon.

Sometimes there are weekends…

Where it makes complete sense why some animal species eat their children.

If I was a tiger – I would have probably either neglected Sydney on Saturday evening around 6 PM or I would have just eaten her.

I had lofty hopes for this Royce-less weekend.  Saturday I had some errands I needed to run and figured the birthday party in the afternoon would make up for it and Sunday I planned to do something outside for Sydney to make up for errands on Saturday.  And then there was all the sewing I had planned to make a dent in during nap time and of an evening.


refusing to smile for Daddy

I’m not one to typically schlep her around running errands because I feel like it always ends badly but we had very few places to go and I had some good bribes lined up since we had to go to a toy store for a birthday present (good girls *may* get a toy at the toy store!!) and were going to be in the neck of the woods of the lone Dairy Queen (if you are good we can get ice-cream for lunch!!).  


Bringing in Daddy's paper

The AM started a bit rocky though, she must have been super constipated because during breakfast all she would talk about was poop and farts.  And then she proceeded to poop 3 times in an hour and each time was accompanied by horrendous screaming.  After all the poop was out (or so I thought) we went on our errand run, and she was doing perfectly up until we were getting in the car to head to DQ…then it all fell apart:

Me: Syd can you get in your car seat?
Syd: No.
Me: You’ve been such a good girl!  Do you want ice cream?
Syd: No.
Me:  If you get in  your car seat for Mommy we can go get ice cream!
Syd:  NO!

Ok then….well Mama wants ice cream so we are going to DQ and you can just pout through it for all I care!  So I ended up putting her in her car seat myself which pisses her off to high heaven, and drove to DQ with her screaming in the back “I waaannntttt iccceee creaaammmm!!!!!”.  Of course once we got to DQ she wouldn’t get out of the car.  Figuring today wasn’t the day to tempt CPS’s fate and leave her in the car while I ran in I took her out myself (if me putting her in the car seat pisses her off imagine what me taking her out does — MAJOR volition of toddler freedom rights — which leads to arching back and more screaming).  Like a potato sack I carried her into DQ sat the pouty thing on the counter and ordered myself my treat to-go and off we went.

That afternoon, she was cranky at the birthday party, but tolerable, but by the time we got home I guess she had held it together enough for public display to let it all go.  We had tantrums over balloons (I’m still not sure if she wanted them or didn’t want them…it’s hard to know when you ask questions and the only response you get is “No!”), stickers, games and then there were two more poops.  I tallied it up at the end of the day – 5 poops and 5 tantrums.  Rockin’ day.  The little tyrant had me in tears at 6:30 PM.  There is only so much one person can handle.

Sunday wasn’t much better but it was filled with less poop.  I met a friend and her two kids at a neighborhood park and it started off with good solid play at the park and then Sydney wanted to ride the horseys (carousel) and choo-choo (train)…so we did, but Sydney wanted to ride them AT THAT MOMENT.  She didn’t want to wait to walk to the carousel or the choo-choo and she absolutely did NOT want to wait for mommy to buy tickets.  Once on the carousel she didn’t like it so I had to hold her (always fun when this pregnant especially when going round in circles – I nearly passed out) and once on the train she didn’t want to leave.  And of course she wouldn’t get in her car seat.  And then we had a fight over if she wanted or didn’t want (again…still confused) the cereal I offered to her:

Me: “Syd do you want your cereal?”
Syd:  “NO”
Syd:  “Mee wanttt cerrrealll!!!”
Me (driving): turns to give cereal
Me (driving): turns back around puts cereal back
Syd:  “Meeee waaannttnt cereeaalll!”
Me (driving): turns to give cereal

For the remainder of that drive she just screamed about cereal.  It was awesome.  Then there was the fit after lunch over not being able to put her jacket on by herself accompanied by refusing help from Mommy, so Mommy decided to take a picture instead.


The "Jacket fit" (notice the vest is on inside out - I had given up at this point)

And then there was the ride home from lunch where she screamed that she wanted her window rolled up…and when I rolled it up, she screamed she wanted it down.  And then she didn’t want to walk into the house and then she was mad I left her outside with the screen door shut, but then when I let her in she screamed that she wanted out.  Today she had me in tears at 1:20 PM – a new record!


The "I don't want to walk inside fit".

In her defense, after the world’s shortest nap (which also made me a bit teary in a panicky way) she was quite pleasant this afternoon.  We made granola bars together, she sat on the potty and read some books and my friend Ashley invited us over for dinner as well.  She played nicely with Ashley’s daughter Stella and was a well-behaved dinner companion.

The only sewing I got done was the baby’s crib skirt so her crib is nearly complete minus the bumper which still needs some hand-sewing attention.  Out of my list of 10 or so things to sew, getting only 1 done seems so underwhelming but I’ve had a rough go at single-motherhood so bedtime had been early and I didn’t care skip nap time either.

I’m looking forward to a nice quiet day at the office tomorrow.  Many are on leave because of spring break so it will be nice to shut the door and just work. Royce will be back on Tuesday night but late enough to not be of any help with Sydney so I only have two more nights to survive.  Wish me luck.

Because it’s fun to document the insanity

Syd will turn 2 years 4 months this month and since she was about 20 months or so we have been on pretty good footing with her. She has been typically a sheer delight to be around, gets a bit crabby when sick (who doesn’t?) but for the most part has been pretty good. Knowing from books, and other friends with kids, I knew this would be short-lived. A few months of good kid are usually followed by a few months of bad kid (typically 6 month cycles). The past few weeks we have hit our first few tastes of bad kid.

NO! has been a repeated word and is her response for practically everything you ask her to do.  Bribes help, but it’s getting old. When you get home, one should get out of the car and come inside…and it shouldn’t be a 15 min process. You shouldn’t dilly dally so long your pregnant Mom nearly pees herself in the garage while waiting for you to point to every object in the car asking “whas this?” and repeating “NO” a bazillion times when requested to slide down and come along.  Some may say…”then why don’t you just pick her up and take her out of the car and carry her inside?”. Some days I do resort to this, but usually my hands are full so I can’t pick her up, it’s also getting harder to lift her with my belly, and she is more than capable of doing all of this by herself.  Not to mention when I do resort to altering her ‘independence’ by picking her up, it typically results in our next fun development…long drawn out dramatic tantrums…

Which brings me to my next topic. In addition to this outright defiance we receive from her on a daily basis she has started throwing tantrums over situations that are just plain comical.  And the tantrums are getting longer and eons more dramatic.  Usually she would just cry for a few mins and be done with it, move on, play with something else. But now they can last for hours.  Like lasts nights where she sat in the corner and cried for the entirety of dinner over our insane request that she wash her hands before coming to the table like she does every night.  These were the reasons for the tantrums we had yesterday:

  1. successfully put her back pack on by herself after a struggle
  2. tried to pick up a brand new gallon sized paint can and couldn’t lift it
  3. had to get out-of-the-way when daddy was moving a 6+ foot tall wardrobe
  4. Mommy wouldn’t allow her to push her mail cart down a flight of stairs by herself
  5. didn’t want to wash hands before dinner

I could give in to the tantrums that wouldn’t result in harm but looking at the list from yesterday there isn’t much I can do about #1 (even I was baffled at that one) or #2.  Numbers 3 and 4 would have ultimately resulted in her own harm (and probably a trip to the ER for #4), so that leaves #5….could I have let her just come to dinner without washing her hands and saved myself and Royce from being serenaded by screams while we ate?  Sure…but then she wins, and this stage she is going through is all about testing and understanding her limits, and ours, so clear territories need to be demarcated so there is no confusion.  I like to think of it as a War for Sanity.

The one solace I have is I know when we get through this stage in 4 or 5 months from now (since this baby is coming in May I really hope she can get it together a bit before then!) we will be greeted with good kid again and we all can recover and recoup to get ready for our next bad-kid cycle.

I just wish I had the option of enjoying a stiff nightly cocktail right now to recover and recoup after days like yesterday.

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