We’re all moms here, right?
I’ve got something to get off my chest.
My 4 – year – old refuses to poop.
Yes, my third child, the one who was potty trained the day after she turned 18 months, at FOUR YEARS OLD, poops her pants on a regular basis.
When she woke up the day after she turned 18 months and said, “Pee-pee mommy,” and successfully peed, and then went on to essentially potty train herself, I never expected to still be trying to convince her to poop – 2 1/2 years later.
Yet, here we are, talking about a 4 – year – old who refuses to poop.
Don’t worry, she’s not constipated or in pain. She just doesn’t poop. Because I’m her mom, I feel confident that she doesn’t admit her need to poop for two reasons. 1) She doesn’t want to take the time out of her day. 2) She should…but stubbornness runs strong in this one. Let’s face it, pooping is just not something you can make kids do, no matter their age – they have to make that decision on their own.
From the day she was born, she had to be tricked into pooping, the older she got, the less the tricks worked. After she potty trained herself, she started refusing all the tricks, working only on her own time. I mean, at that point, she was potty trained, she was practically a grown up.
At this point, I’ve been able to chronicle her pooping into stages…
Stage 1: Lasting only 1 or 2 days. She signals her need to poop, with a knees locked, crossed feet, bent over the couch stance. This poop stance may start as early as 3 days prior to actually pooping. At first sightings of the poop stance, the question is always asked, “Do you need to go poop?” No, mom. Relaxed knees return and playing resumes, poop is forgotten.
Stage 2: Lasting between 2 and 5 days in length. The poop stance is making a constant appearance. There may even be streaks in her panties, yet her denial is strong. She hasn’t decided it’s time to poop. If this stage goes on long enough, there may be doubting on the part of mom and dad: “Is she constipated?” “Why hasn’t she pooped yet?” “This can’t be good for her.”
Stage 3: Poop Day. She finally decides it’s the day to poop. Maybe us telling her that her belly would feel better if she would just poop – finally sinks in. Maybe she actually did want to go to the park and play with friends, but I refused to go because the bathroom would be too far away. Who cares what it is, she pooped. We all sigh with relief.
She will most definitely tell everyone she knows (and those that she doesn’t), that she pooped! I think she’s just excited to be released from house arrest.
And of course, through it all, we laugh, because that’s all that is left to do! And we tell ourselves that this is a stage…I mean, it has to be…right?