Thursday, June 12, 2008

Too butt focussed to be heart focussed

I have promised a post on discipline. I have been reviewing the books and sort of thinking about what to write. And yet I have not written it.

Wanna know why?

Because for the past week I have felt like the world's crappiest mother, and therefore like a big bloated hypocrite to try dispensing wisdom to anyone, even if it is only regurgitated wisdom.

Part of my World's Crappiest Mom feelings can be attributed to The Result of The Fall, aka Aunt Flo who is visiting this week. I realize that she usually packs some irrational feelings in her carryon. But that is only some of it.

A more goodly part can be attributed to the fact that MY DAUGHTER WILL BE FOUR YEARS OLD IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AND IS NOT POTTY TRAINED.

Wanna know what Eva Rose's first solids were? Cereal? No way. Prunes. That's evidence. Evidence that I have been OBSESSED with my daughter's pooping for WELL OVER THREE YEARS.


And it has grown tiresome. So, terribly, awfully, freakingly tiresome.

She does have issues. Medical issues that caused me to feed her prunes at four months of age. Issues that led me to take her to a pediatric GI with a German name and a South American accent (hmmmm) and a Nazi demeanor (hmmmm) who didn't do a dang bit of good for my $30 copay. Issues that made me feel like a labor and delivery nurse to my screaming infant daughter. Issues that cause the most man sized products from a tiny girl that you have ever seen. Issues that have led me to try every food, enzyme, digestive aid, laxative, over the counter medication, old wives' tale, prescription medicine, tablet, oil, probiotic, and pill I can get in the child's mouth in vain hopes that it would work on her other end.


For a while, for a beautiful March - exactly one year after we began the nightmare - there was success. So much success that ten stickers resulted in the Poopoo Prize Party of her dreams - an ice cream date with Aunt Shelly.

We celebrated, we rejoiced. We took other photos that you really don't care to see. And I thought that we had Conquered.

But, the joy was short lived. Because the child also has other issues. Issues of the will. Issues that meant that the fact that the day after she won her big poopoo prize, she went right back to crapping in her pants. Mission accomplished, she thought. So why bother going on with this potty nonsense?

These Issues make me want to SCREAM.

And when my Uncle with the Red Suitcase is in town, I do scream, my friends. And did.

Hence, the Crappiest Mom title.

(Another jewel in my Crap Crown comes from her little sister, who is two and a half. Most two and a half year olds are potty trained, right? But in some weird Laban frame of mind, I feel like I can't train Rachel till I get Leah taken care of. That, and I am paralyzed by fear of another failure.)

I've tried rewards. I've tried punishment. I've tried praise. I've tried scolding. I've tried incentives. I've tried promises of a Sleeping Beauty DVD and ballet lessons and not having to stay in the nursery during VBS. I've tried completely ignoring it and not saying a word. I have prayed. Oh, how many times have I offered up proper pooping prayers over my little girl.

And nothing has worked. And you know how that makes me feel? It makes me feel like a really bad mom. Like a failure as a mother.

I know, cognitively, that this is not so. And I have a husband that tells me that it is not so. And I remind myself that if this is our biggest problem, we are blessed.

And yet - every time I see another little girl in panties - clean panties - I feel a little twinge of failure. And irritation at my daughter whom I can't control. Not one bit.

So, please bear with me. I will write the discipline post next week after my stay at the Red Roof Inn is completed.

Or, if my daughter decides to poop in the potty, in which case the earth will go back on its axis and all will be right in the world.

Whichever comes first.

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