It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The boy needs a memory aid

Tyler is still not 100% potty-trained. In fact, given his withholding of bowel movements and our increasing worries about the possibility of him developing encopresis, we’ve put him in Pull-Ups and backed right off the entire issue. He’ll get there sooner or later — peer pressure will do it when adult expectations won’t — and we don’t have to worry about him permanently damaging himself.

At first, he regressed entirely to the diaper. More recently, though he still refuses to do a bowel movement anywhere but in a diaper or pull-up, he has been keeping himself dry, doing all his pees in a potty. We’re calling it progress.

And even more recently, he has become very particular about the placement of the boy bits post-pee. I am usually there to help lift the pull-up onto his hips. You’d think this would do the trick, but no. He must plunge his hand in there and rearrange things. “My penis is pointing up!” Rummage, rummage, rummage…

Yes, well, whatever. He’s not indulging in lengthy sessions of fondling re-arranging, so I’m pretty sure this is nothing more than him being persnickety. Heck, what do I know? I don’t have one. Maybe it really does require this sort of careful adjustment.

Anyway. The children have been industriously building enormous and complicated Duplo creations in the kitchen for most of the morning. When lunch is ready, they are called to the table. The littles go in high chairs pulled right to the table, the bigs sit in regular chairs.

Tyler sits in his chair, then gets up onto his knees and leans into the table.

“Sit on your bottom, Tyler. We’re eating.”

Wiggly children lead to dining table spills. Children have far less wiggle room when they’re firmly seated. Tyler knows that he’s expected to keep his bottom in his chair. He sits.

And then he’s up again.

“Tyler. If you want your lunch, you need to sit. Bottom on the chair, please.”

He sits. Winces. And he’s up.

Winces? “Tyler, is it hurting to sit?”

“Yes.” Huh. We determine that no, he does not need to poo. Nor has he pooed recently. He doesn’t have a cut or a rash or a sunburn. Now, Tyler is three and a half. We are determining this through question and answer. Clearly, though, I need to investigate.

“Hop down, lovey. Let’s check that Pull-Up.”

A startled look crosses his face, and he suddenly stands on his chair and plunges his hand well past his belt buckle, down into the depths. From whence he pulls a duplo block. A hard plastic thing with eight pointy corners. Which had evidently been nestling right under the family jewels. No wonder it hurt to sit.

“Good heavens, Tyler! What on earth was that doing in there?”

“I think when I peed and I fixed my penis, I forgot I had a block in my hand.”

And you just left it there? And didn’t notice? For, oh, two hours?

Boy has balls of steel. Clearly. Balls of steel.

June 24, 2011 - Posted by | eeewww, potty tales, Tyler | , , , ,


  1. lol lol lol! Bless him!

    But between you and his parents get the encoperisis sorted, Jude is nearly 10 and the damage he did all those years ago withholding bowel movements has left permenant damage, he still has to take medication and suppositries and yet struggles to pass very large painful poops, no matter how much fluid, fruit juice and fibre we poured into Jude he has never wanted to poo and the ‘leaking’ has been the bain of his life and contributes to his bad moods.

    Tyler doesn’t have encopresis. Yet. So long as we let him have diapers for BMs, his poops are regular (as in once daily), and of healthy size and consistency. The problem is, when you take the diapers away, he will hold it in for days. That can certainly lead to encopresis, and you’re right: we want to avoid that at all costs! We’re not sure why he’s so opposed to the potty, but we’re hoping that in time he will decide for himself that’s what he wants to do. If he hasn’t done that within a year, I’m not sure what’s next. Doctors of various sorts, I’d guess!

    Comment by jenny | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. Oh dear. Perhaps a career as a rugby player? Because yes, he must have balls of steel. ‘Twould be a pity to waste them.

    Mwah-ha. Maybe, when he gets older and still tougher, Australian rules rugby!! 😀

    Comment by hodgepodge | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. Oh, I just can’t stop giggling!

    It really could have been two hours, you know. I was not exaggerating!

    Comment by rosie_kate | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  4. Oh, I laughed out loud to read this!

    I can’t off the top of my head remember anything similar that my kid has done, but I have frequently had to remind him to put something down that he was hanging on to but had obviously forgotten about.

    I had an aunt who once warned her young son, “Alex, if you don’t let that thing go, it’s going to FALL RIGHT OFF!” No idea how effective the warning was, but you can understand the exasperation. 🙂

    Comment by Heather Freeman | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  5. That was hysterical!

    I thought so! Little weirdo.

    Comment by Dani | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  6. I know this wasn’t the main topic of the post but what do you feed the kids for lunch and snacks?

    Our menu for this week:
    Monday: Fusilli with spinach pesto, beet-lentil salad
    Tuesday: Toad-in-the-hole, southwestern bean salad
    Wednesday: Turkey stew, homemade baking soda biscuits
    Thursday: Beet-lentil salad
    Friday: Black bean soup, cornbread, garden salad

    I don’t track snacks, so I can’t tell you exactly what we had, but they’re most often fresh fruit. Sometimes with plain yogurt dip. This week we made cinnamon rolls one day as a special, not-particularly-nutritious treat. 🙂 This morning we had bananas and blueberries.

    Why do you ask?

    Comment by Melissa V | June 24, 2011 | Reply

    • Right now we’re bringing DD’s lunch/snacks to daycare since we’re just starting to introduce table food (daycare will provide lunch later). I’m having difficulty coming up with new stuff to send her, if I send the same thing too often she gets bored and won’t eat it. We do a lot of fresh fruit for snacks but lunch so far has still been baby food jars and I want to transition away from those. I know most of your kids you watch are older but it’s always fun to get new ideas.

      Ah, I see. I plan my family’s meals a week at a time, and make enough so that dinner one evening is also lunch the next day. So what you’re seeing there is pretty much the way my family eats. Once in a while family dinner is different than toddler lunch, but not too often.

      Comment by Melissa V | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  7. Direction of penis? Very important.

    Lumpy spiky objects? Easy to forget about.



    Comment by IfByYes | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  8. “Balls of steel.” HA! How I miss you, Mary!

    Comment by Laura | July 3, 2011 | Reply

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