Jack went poopy today.
On the potty.
Those words may not seem to hold a lot of weight where you're sitting, but from here, it's a pure miracle.
Today started out a little rough. That's a lie. The whole day was rough.
I woke up the boys at 11pm to use the potty, but Ben couldn't go and Jack refused to let me take him out of his warm bed. I decided I would wake them up again at 5am, since their normal wakeup time was 7am. Except Ben woke up crying at about 3am; Andy went in and had him use the potty. He woke up at 3:45am and this time, I went in to find that both boys had wet underwear and clothes. I changed them both, their bedding and sent them back to bed. Ben woke up about 6:30am and ONLY wanted mommy to change him. I could tell he was wet again. But I had no idea he had actually pooped in his underwear until I tried slipping down the undies in the dark. And it wasn't a 'clean' poop, either. I'll just leave it at that. That poor boy's booty was pink all day - I have no idea how long he allowed himself to lay in that horrible mess. (Tonight, I'll be experimenting with waking them up at different times as I'm getting to know their peeing schedule through the night!)
So that was the start to my day. We were all exhausted. Overtired. Frustrated. And the boys were upset by the idea of bowel movements.
The thing is, the boys have never EVER gone poopy in the potty before. Never. They've been peeing in the potty once a day for a year, but no poop. I knew this would be adjustment, but never having done this before, I really had no idea what to expect.
After Ben's traumatic poop-in-the-underwear experience this morning, I was already hesitant about the day. So when I noticed Jack starting to go in his underwear around 9am, I raced him to the bathroom, pulled down his underwear and tried to let the poop fall in the potty. But just as his brother's was, Jack's poop was not a clean poop this time. Some of it spilled onto the floor and none of it went into the potty. My poor Jonathan was so concerned about the poop that fell onto the floor that he talked about it all day. And he was NOT about to let some o' that mess out again.
I could tell that he wanted to. He was obviously uncomfortable, walking around with his hands over his backside, almost as if he were trying to push it back in. And he was passing gas, sure signs that something wanted out. I tried to convince him to use the potty. "No, I push it in," he kept saying. Even before he went down for a nap, he'd run to the potty, saying, "I go potty," and then run back out saying, "No poopy, no poopy." It was just horrible. And the worst part was that he was extremely clingy. He had to be pasted to my chest or on my lap. All. Day. Long. As a pregnant mom of almost 31 weeks, this was extremely draining. He wanted to be carried, wherever I went. And this is while I'm following the moves of another potty training toddler, mind you. I kept trying to escape, take tiny breaks to get a glass of water or move the clothes from the washer into the dryer; but he just came back with vengence. I was obviously his security blanket. It was as if he didn't even trust himself to be alone. He was scared of that poop and wanted to be sure he held onto it as long as he could.
After they went down for their nap, I went online to get some encouragement for his lack-of-wanting-to-push-out-the-poop problem. Everything I read said not to push, to let him make it his own decision. If I did pressure/bribe him into it, I'd probably have to take a 2-week hiatus from potty training in order to clean the slate. Aye. I would try and relax. Let him take the lead. Convince him that this was his poop and he could do with it what he'd like. And I would also expect him to be glued to me for the rest of the day. And I would (try) not to mind.
They both woke up dry from their 2.5 hour naps - again - and I tried to see that as a piece of good news on this horrible day. Somehow, I made it through the afternoon until Andy came home at 6:15pm. Andy could have sworn Jack was sick, the way he was glued to his mommy. Then after another few rounds of "I go potty... no poopy, no poopy," I tried to encourage him to relax.
"I think your poopy wants to come out," I said.
"No, I push my poopy IN," he emphatically responded.
"I think your tummy would feel better if you let out your poopy. But you don't have to, if you don't want to."
At 7:06pm, Jack rushed to the bathroom with his hands covering his bare backside and sat on the toilet. I took out some of their bath toys, small little animals, and laid them on the side of the tub. "A rhino goes poopy... and so does a tiger." I could tell he was pushing and so not wanting to let on that I knew, I continued taking out his animals and lining them up.
"I did it, mommy! I go poopy in da potty!" I sniffed. Yup. He most certainly did. I yelled for Andy, who came running in with any extra praise that I wasn't already dishing out. Jack was smiling. He obviously felt better. But he still didn't like that poop. He wouldn't dump it into the toilet, but insisted his brother do it. We waved goodbye to the poopy and said a prayer of relief. He had held onto that poop - which thankfully, had become much more firm - for more than ten hours. Oh, the relief he must have felt!
I asked if we could call Nana, he said no. I asked if I could take a picture of the poop, he said no. I asked if I could give him a present, he said no. Alrighty, then. I guess I'll have to be satisfied with the knowledge of a job well done and the memory of The Day of the Poop.
He wanted me to carry him out of the bathroom and sit with him on the couch. He was glad that it was out, but it was still as if he were ashamed of the whole ordeal. But after a few minutes, he was himself again. Smiling, laughing and talking with his daddy about the big poop. It took ten hours, but I finally had my Jonathan back. Amen.
Now, it's onto Benjamin, who also had a somewhat traumatic poop experience this morning. I've got two words for you, little man: BRING IT.