Yep, I said it. Hooray for poop! I'm sure any mom of a potty training toddler will totally understand my excitement over poop. I have my fingers crossed, I'm knocking on wood, I'm hoping and praying as I type this; but I think Olivia may FINALLY be totally potty trained!!!!
Let me go back in time for a little while...
I bought a very nondescript white potty seat when Olivia was about 18 months old, in May of 2009. She had been showing an interest in sitting on the potty, and I was trying to understand what was so great about not being able to poop or pee whenever and wherever you wanted. I didn't want to push the potty training issue right away and end up burning her out before she had ever pushed something out! She would voluntarily sit on and and pretty much just hang out for a few minutes at a time. At this time I was secretly hoping she would be a potty trained prodigy and overnight be done with diapers and doing all her business on the potty. Well, needless to say, those dreams quickly went out the door!
Over the next 6 months or so, I just let her go sit on the potty when she needed, made sure she saw that the other little girls at church used the potty, and that Mommy made good use of the lovely porcelain chair in the bathroom. Flash forward to November 2009. Olivia was now 2 years old and I thought it was time to get serious with the potty training. Well, Mommy failed with this one. With the crazy time of year and millions of places to go and things to do, it was just too hard to devote at least one whole week at home to focus solely on potty training.
February 2010. No more excuses. Potty training WAS going to happen in our house! I won't lie. The first week was rough. Olivia really didn't want to give up the pure joy of peeing at will. I was getting frustrated that she was being stubborn. Not a happy week. Zero peeing on the potty occurred. Poop. That's a topic I don't even want to discuss (but lucky [or unlucky] for you, I will...in a bit). I will not give up. I will not give up. I will not give up. Week 2. I am thinking that there was some sort of divine intervention going on while Olivia slept that Sunday night. She woke up Monday morning and I asked the ritual question of the past week, "Do you want to go potty?". To my shock and amazement, her response was YES! I could have rivaled any professional sprinter on that short trip to the bathroom. I fumbled to pull off Olivia's jammies and diaper, sat her on the potty.......and she went!!!! WOO HOO! She had used the toilet for something other than a reading chair! I was ecstatic. I hugged and kissed her, danced around the bathroom like a fool, fed her about 10 M&Ms at 7:30am and pretty much acted like a big dork. Olivia was loving the attention (or was it the candy?) and wanted to call anyone her little brain knew. You may not believe it (actually, I still don't know if I do), but that was it! She went potty all day (as long I reminded her about every 30 minutes) and had NO accidents!!!! I guess what they say is true: when a child is ready to be potty trained, they will be. I couldn't believe just how lucky we were.
Over the next few months things were breezing along. By May, Olivia was in panties full time (except for nap and night time) and we were having limited accidents. Outings in public. No problem. Day trip to Disney World, not even a little dribble. Notice anything missing? Come on....you can do it. Yep, poop.
Let's go back in time again. Olivia has never, and I mean NEVER had a normal poop in her life. When she was in the NICU, they found a problem with her intestines. She had an air bubble that caused some issues, including her not being able to eat for over a week, while they let her intestines rest. That problem cleared up and was in the past. Fast forward to November of 2008, right around Olivia's first birthday. We discovered she was lactose intolerant. She had become TERRIBLY constipated and miserable. We put her on lactose free milk and avoided dairy products like the plague. Have you ever tried to cut dairy totally out of a 1 year old's diet? No macaroni and cheese. No yogurt. No nothing. I should also mention that lactose free milk runs about $3.75 a half gallon around here. Our pediatrician wanted to cut all dairy out for 6 months and they slowly try and reintroduce it. Soon enough the 6 months was up and we began to slowly add dairy back in. I noticed right away that the constipation came back and Olivia was in tears every time she needed to poop. We cut the dairy back out. Happy Olivia returned! We tried again to add dairy back in a few months after Olivia turned 2-during potty training. She seemed to handle it OK for a little while, but then our arch enemy constipation returned. At this point our pediatrician recommended that we start Olivia on some fiber gummies and 1/2 tsp of MiraLax daily. This combination was our miracle cure! Olivia was eating dairy, although it was semi limited quantities, and pooping DAILY, albeit in a diaper that I put on at nap time each day. Olivia broke into tears at the mere mention of pooping on the potty. Ughh.
Last week I decided that I would give her no choice but to use the toilet. After a weekend at Disney (and no afternoon naps, which meant no pooping), we were forced to give her a laxative enema so she could go. I was mean, horrible, terrible mommy and held her little body on the potty until she pooped. The event was filled with screaming, and tears (from Olivia, not me). As soon as she went, I danced around the bathroom, hugged and kissed Olivia and pretty much told her that she could have whatever she wanted since she had gone on the potty. What did she want? She wanted to watch the Incredibles. Move on to Wednesday. We were at church where I work in the nursery on Sunday's and Wednesday nights and she started the dance I was all too familiar with: the stick the hiney up and out poop prance. I calmly put her on the potty and went back to feeding the baby. After about five minutes the tears started. I went to check on her, and to my surprise, she had pooped!!!! WOO HOO! Maybe we were there?
Saturday August 28, 2010. This day will go down in history. I knew Olivia had to poop. She was doing the "Poop Prance" again. I sat her on the potty at 9:10am. At 1:00pm she pooped!!! yep, nearly 4 hours on the potty! I couldn't believe just how stubborn she was being. My mom had come over and tried to talk her into pooping. Nope, Gumma, it's not going to happen. Nice try though. I knew we had made progress with the two previous poops, so I was willing to be mean mommy because I knew it was for her own good. After those 4 hours of teary, whiney torture, Olivia was SO proud of herself! She happily flushed the toilet and said "Bye, bye poopies!".
Sunday. The war had begun again. It was about 8:00 when I knew she had to go. To the potty we went......for an hour and a half. No poop was to happen this night. 9:30 is bedtime, so this round was won by poop. Monday. Rise and shine, not let's poop! I think by this time both Olivia and her poop knew that mean mommy would win the battle so they gave in. Today it only took about 30 minutes!!!! There were only a couple of tears shed! Once again, Olivia was beyond excited and bid her "poops" farewell. So, are we there yet (in potty terms of course)? I don't know, but something in my head says we are. After nap today when I suggested pooping she skipped to the bathroom, hopped up and within 2 minutes, and zero tears she had gone!
Sorry, for the incredibly L O N G post, but I had to share my excitement with someone!
Now the score in our house definitely has Olivia in the lead and I will do everything in my power to keep her there!