Sunday, July 24, 2011

Progress progresses, progressively

So there is good and there is bad. The good: Kiddo has gotten much more proactive about the whole potty thing. He even, occasionally, voluntarily uses it. For some reason public restrooms have a special allure that our boring old bathrooms at home do not (could it be the paper towel dispensers? the separate stalls?), so he's much more enthusiastic about the whole business when we're out and about. We've basically ditched the pull-ups.

The bad: We're not using them at night, either -- per the recommendation of his teacher -- and that's meant a whole lot more sheet-washing. I'd hate to go back to the pull-ups now, since it would feel like backsliding. But he just does not wake up to pee. I've started waking him up to go potty right before I go to bed, but I haven't quite found the magic pee time yet. 11:30? Already peed. 11? Already peed. 10:30? Can't pee yet. And yet, after falling asleep on the couch last night, then waking up in a panic at 12:30, I rushed upstairs and he was miraculously dry. This kid's bladder is playing a mean, mean game with me.

The worse: His #2 issue is so problematic it's requiring medical intervention. As in, suppositories. Every night. I don't know if it's officially considered encopresis -- I wasn't in the pediatrician's office for this latest visit -- but that does sound like what's going on. So at least we know he's not deliberately soiling himself, and at least the "medicine" (as we're having him call it) seems to be doing something or other. I will of course spare you the incredibly gross details, except to say that he's been putting up with all this remarkably well, considering, and he seems positively gleeful when he actually produces something in the proper place, and then makes me come look at it. I thought it was bad enough when my cat would kill things and then casually leave the little corpses around so I could praise her magnificent hunting skills. (Except for bugs, which she ate on the spot.)

What's really kind of aggravating is that I hear and see what other kids eat and I know my kids have better diets, in that fruits and vegetables are involved, dessert is not every night, bread products are whole wheat and high-fructose corn syrup is not allowed near our front door. But clearly this isn't just a diet issue.

I cannot believe how much of my brain is occupied with my child's other end. I mean, I just had to show the cat where the litter box was, once, and she was set for life. Obviously cat ownership did not fully prepare me for this little problem. I feel like the world's worst conversationalist -- like you could drop me in a room full of fascinating people holding forth on art, politics, modern philosophy, the slow food movement, and all I would have to say is "My kid peed in the potty five times today and his bed was still dry after his nap, isn't that just fabulous?"

But, we had the smarts to bring him to the doctor when we did, and he is getting better. So there is hope on the horizon, and eventually, if I actually want to occupy my brain with poop-type matters, I'll have to resort to watching "Dumb and Dumber" again. (I won't.)

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