my obsession with potty talk

Reader Discretion Advised: This blog may contain scenes of poop and potty language. It may not be suitable for non-parental audiences.

I was warned this would happen, but I just didn’t think it could happen to me.

I think about it when I should be sleeping. It affects the way I eat. Many of my days in 2009 were entirely consumed by it. Yes, my friends, I have become outright fixated on my child’s poop!

During the early days of parenthood, I was consumed with it because of the sheer scale of the newborn diapering operation. No diaper proved capable of catching it all. (Click here for my most memorable poop-up-the-back moment.) The mountain of laundry the little being created seemed insurmountable. My new mom friends and I regularly gave each other “poop talks,” reassuring each other that this phase would soon “pass.”

When my son turned six months old, I was thrilled to embark on solid food adventures! Unfortunately, solid foods resulted in solid poops for my poor little guy. And, when I say solid, I mean buy-a-plunger poops. For more than a month he only pooped on the weekends. Although it may seem like a nice break for a cloth-diapering mama, it is not a comfortable situation to experience or witness.

I consulted my family doctor, Saskatoon Health Region, the Health Line and a couple nutritionists trying to find relief for him. Everyone had a little different take on it. My doctor said it was normal. The Health Region suggested suppositories. The Health Line nurse said, and I quote, “Don’t you dare use a suppository, you could perforate his bowel!” Instead, she recommended corn syrup. My doctor said corn syrup was akin to honey in the likelihood of infant botulism.  (Of course this was after I had already tried it.) One nutritionist figured it would work its way out if I actually was feeding him as much fibre as I said I was, while another suggested I cut out all dairy products because it may be a dairy allergy.

This is when, at the height of my obsession, I transformed a Huggies freebie calendar into The Poop Calendar. Each and every day for five months I recorded my son’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and bowel movements. Also with the calendar, I religiously planned and followed a four-day rule for introducing new foods, mostly following recommendations outlined in the Super Baby Food Diet.

At around the 10-month mark, things started to look up in the diaper department. I discarded The Poop Calendar and started feeding him most everything we were eating. It was great . . . until I weaned him to formula and eventually whole milk. Recently things had become a bit more unyielding again. I cut back on the dairy products, but it wasn’t seeming to make a difference.

However, this week I feel we turned a corner. My doctor and the Health Region nutritionists I spoke with still recommended I not offer my one-year-old juice. My mother, on the other hand, has insisted for months that a little juice would do the trick. This week I finally broke down and gave J a sippy cup of diluted apple and prune juices, and he has been a lot more regular ever since. It holds true that all kids are different and sometimes mom just knows best.

Another first for J this week: he had his first poop on the potty! As I was bathing him Thursday morning, he leaned forward, held his breath and was obviously trying to set things in motion. I knew if I wanted his rubber ducky to be the only thing floating in the tub, I’d better act quickly.

I picked him up and there it was -- suspended. I tentatively transferred him to the nearby toilet and held him there until the momentous occasion occurred. Guess having a “slow mover” can be advantageous sometimes.

I was strangely proud and actually considered taking a picture of it. But, as I washed up, I glanced in the washroom mirror, caught a glimpse of my pre-poop-obsessed self and decided to blog about it instead.




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