To recap the story… Part One was a bone-chilling drama. There was escape artist poop, a father facing an epic life-changing dilemma, surgical miracles, and intrigue… Jason and I called the nurse during the night for poop updates, opened each diaper with bated breath, listened to the doctors make bets on when the first poop would come, until a crazy thing happened…
Sophia finally pooped!! We called everyone we knew. I couldn’t believe how excited I was about poop. I shed big tears of joy. Now, remember though, she still had an ostomy. So even though she didn’t really ever use it, I still had to change it every couple of days. The equipment is small. The baby is small. I don’t have very advanced fine motor skills. The ferocity of a child being held against her will is intense. Although the procedure only took about 10 minutes, I would be drenched in sweat and sometimes tears. Sophia would be red-faced and hoarse from bawling. When they reversed the ostomy after 6 months, I was so relieved. The surgeon actually created a belly button using what is called a “purse-string suture.” Man, that’s cool. Even though she doesn’t have an ‘inny’ or an ‘outy’, she has a ‘flatty’, and that’s pretty awesome too.
For the next couple of years, our excitement about poop settled down. We checked in with each other to make sure Sophia was pooping regularly and that things looked relatively normal. We got into a groove with our poop talk. When Sophia was 2.5 years old she started potty training. She very quickly figured out how to pee in the potty, but was insistent that she have a diaper on for poop. We decided to go with it, as she wasn’t having any accidents. I also had a deep fear that if I forced her to potty train, that she might go on a poop strike and end up with some serious bowel issues. We’d been doing so well, and she hadn’t had any bowel problems since she was a baby. For a long time, it wasn’t a risk I wanted to take.
After a year of this behaviour, I started seriously wondering how we’d ever get her to poop in a potty. How easily can one make the transition from Pampers to Depends? Finally I decided to use ‘incentives’… in the form of Littlest Pet Shop toys. I looked on Kijiji, found a good deal, and bought dozens of them. There were some power struggles in the first few days, resulting in many hours of crying (for both of us). Finally Sophia started to appreciate the fun toys she would receive after every poop. So much so, in fact, that she started trying to poop several times in the day to get more “surprises.” We had to curb that behaviour by telling her that they had to be “real” poops. This has resulted in some funny conversations with Sophia. “Mommy, was it a real one?” “Do I get a surprise now?” Just last week I realized that my supply of Little Pet Shop toys was dwindling. I went to a Mom-to-Mom sale in search of more small characters, but only found a large play set. Sophia noticed it in the closet the other day and got very excited. “That’s the surprise I want after my next poop!” I explained to her that it was a very special toy. It was a 20-pooper. Yes, we would make a chart. We would write the numbers 1 to 20. She would get to put a sticker on with each poop. After #20 there would be a big surprise. Yes, she liked this idea. So much so that she reverted back to trying to poop a hundred times in a day. A friend gave us a wise suggestion the other day to give her a sticker per day instead of a sticker per poop. Brilliant. I think it might be too late for the 20-pooper. If we have to continue with the ‘incentives’ I will try “20-days of poop” instead. This feels like a ‘happily ever after moment’ to me. Don’t worry though. If you’ve read the story closely, you’ll realize I’ve left some questions unanswered… might there be a sequel??
There are a couple of morals to this story:
1. Poop can be utterly fascinating.
2.You just never know what topic suggestion I might take you up on (so keep sending me your requests!).