Operation Poop Christmas
If you are not a parent, you may wanna skip this post. It will bore you to tears, guaranteed. How do I know this? Because I used to be you. All care-free and stoked to never have to use the word ‘poo poo’ in my daily vocabulary. But friends, let it be known that this post is about ‘poo poo’. If you need to look away…I won’t even get offended. In fact click here, here and hereif you are looking to read things that are actually interesting and have nothing to do with poo.
It’s funny, and you would never know it based on reading the above paragraph, but I LOATHE the word ‘poo poo’. I distinctly remember telling myself (and probably some already-parent-people-who-are now-laughing-in-my-face) that if I ever had kids I would never use the words ‘poo poo’, ‘pee pee’ or ‘potty’. And I certainly wouldn’t blog about it for all the world to see. These words are so ugly. So ick. So childish.
Instead, I would say things like “Child X, do you need to go to the toilet?” or “Child Y, do you need to use the bathroom?”. Something classy and less…specific.
HA! Like most of my pre-parenting plans, this idea was quickly thrown out the window. If you have a 2-3 year old you say these words no fewer than 30 times a day. You might not like ’em, but you say ’em. The same thing applies to adding -y- to all words. It’s not warm; it is warmy. It’s not hurt; it’s hurty. I cannot explain to you what happens when you become a parent; it is cringe-worthy, sometimes depressing and totally inevitable (It is also awesome-y).
So, we talk about ‘poo poo’ and ‘pee pee’ a lot in our house; in the car, while reading books, at the dinner table. At the dinner table? Ummmm….yes. Often at the dinner table. In fact, these are some of the BEST talks. No shame.
It is just that someone in our house (who shall remain nameless as to protect their identity) keeps pooping in their pants. It’s a problem and no, it is not Brado. It’s not me either but I hope you already figured that out.
We started the whole potty-training thing about a month or two ago when, let’s just call the guilty party Joe, turned 3. Already this was sort of a late start for potty training. Other kids his age were potty pros – some had been potty-trained since they were just a little over 2. I made the mistake of reading some article, which advised us to “wait until your child shows an interest in potty-training” before you give it a go (my advice: never try to educate yourself on parenting….total waste of time).
So we waited. And waited. And waited. And guess what? Beau Joe, never gave two craps (no pun intended) about the potty.
We finally realized that we just needed to pull the potty-training trigger when we were having trouble finding XXL diapers in the stores. I will tell you a sure-fire way of knowing that your child is too old to be pooping in their pants: they don’t even make diapers in their size. Yikes.
So we started the process. I’ll spare you all of the details but over the course of the last few months we have tried lots of tactics: new Thomas underwear, cool potty chairs, M&M’s, lollipops, Elmo potty videos, potty books, excessive (annoying) clapping and praise. The works!
The good news is that while it definitely took a little while (maybe a solid 3 weeks or so) and lots of accidents, he finally “got it”…at least when it came to the ‘pee pee’.
Unfortunately, he did not seem to “get it” when it came to the ‘poo poo’. That is not true. He totally got it; he knew EXACTLY where he was supposed to go…he just chose to go in his pants. Every. Time. Grrrrrr.
When I say we tried everything to get him to go number 2 in the potty, I am not exaggerating. We schemed and plotted and used, what seems like, every strategy under the sun. We even dabbled in the public humiliation and shame sectors, just to see if he would respond. Nope. Nothin’. The kid did not want to poop in the potty.
To say we were desperate for this to be resolved is an understatement.
So I sat down one afternoon and wracked my brain. What else could we do? What would make pooping on the potty more enticing and exciting?
Finally, I asked myself the essential question. “What is the most fun and exciting thing in the world for 3 year olds and how can I make pooping in the potty more like that?”
The answer,of course, is Disney World. The rides, the characters, the hotdogs… (I’m imagining all this because I have, in fact, never been to DW).
But while I’m a fairly creative person, I could not for the life of me figure out how to make pooping like Disney World. I mean, I guess I could sprinkle fairy dust here and there, play “It’s a Small World” on loop and make Brado dress up like Goofy…but that all just seemed like a lot of effort.
Disney World out. What is the next best thing?
How did I not think of this earlier? Pooping needs to be like Christmas! There is something so mysterious and exciting about wrapped gifts. Kids (and adults) will do ANYTHING to find out what is inside a beautifully wrapped package. Am I right? Remember how excited you would get on Christmas Eve knowing you were going to finally find out what was in those stack of presents under the tree?
So off I set on a mission: to make pooping like Christmas.
Here is what I did:
Went to a little market right by my house and bought a bunch of relatively cheap stuff (crap, if you will. Pun intended)
Types of things purchased: markers, coloring books, stickers, toy cars and airplanes, a magnifying glass, silly putty….anything that was cheap-ish, exciting for a 3 year old and not edible.
Sent the husband out to get an assortment of non-birthday wrapping paper.
Wrapped everything up (and poorly, I might add) and stuck it in a basket that I had laying around the house.
Placed basket on a chair right outside the bathroom – in a highly visible and noticeable place.
Waited for Joe to wake up from his nap.
Once he did, he went immediately over to the basket (like a moth to a flame, people, moth to a flame) and started to inquire as to whose presents were in the basket. I explained to him that these were poo poo potty presents and that every time he went poo poo in the potty, he could choose one present to open.
Let me just say this, we are on Day 5 of implementing Operation Poop Christmas and Joe has had only one accident in his pants.
The kid practically begs us to sit on the potty so he can try to poop! Now, admittedly I do not know what is going to happen on Day 10 when we run out of presents (maybe I will just go buy more?) but what I do know is that right now…the poo poo has landed. And it has landed in the potty folks!
Wahooo! I never knew that poo poo could make me so happy or proud….but it does. This may be the crowning achievement of my lifetime.
So probably you have a normal child who does not want to sit around all day in their own feces but if not…please, do not despair. I want you to know that there is hope. And it turns out hope looks a lot like Santa…or extreme bribery. Just sayin’…it is worth a shot!