Tonight I watched three kids, in edition to my own two, pictured there on the left. Ages 7 months, 2 years, 2 years, 5 years, and 7 years. 2,2, and 5 are all potty training. 7 should be fully trained but she still misses the boat half the time. She did do well at my house today though, and she was extremely helpful with the little children. Most of the evening was an effort to stay ahead of everyone's bowel movements. I put them each on the toilet every hour on the hour; seems like I'd have my bases covered, but it was a losing battle. We had three defecations and four urinations all out-of-potty. As the sole cleaner-upper my hands smell like poop; which is, great. While I had one kid on the potty, the 5-year old, who knows better, was hiding behind the corn in the backyard, pooping. When I came downstairs from helping one clean up poop another one was standing at the foot of the stairs with her underwear around her ankles, soaked. All of these children were set on the potty 15 minutes prior to their voiding in various parts of my backyard and house. My own 2-year old has been good at getting right on the toilet, but with all her peers pooping and peeing on themselves today she just let herself go. And, I can't control everyone's bowels. In my frustration I had an imaginary conversation with myself, "the next person to poop on herself will have to sit at the table, and stare at her poop, on a plate, two inches from her nose. And there she will stay for three minutes, because two is not enough; and I hope you cry about it. Because then maybe you will begin to realize that poop is gross to handle, and that maybe I don't want to handle your poop."
As I watch these children, my own 2-year old included, there seems to be a sighting-to-existence ratio in effect. The more the poop is visibly acknowledged, the more it very much exists, in all it's disgusting glory. The 5-year old seems to believe that if the poop remains a hidden bulge in her underpants, where she can not see it, that it does not exist. Well, I'm not giving my 2-year old the chance to grow into that false belief. I will give her an appropriate amount of time to figure out her bowel control, but once she's capable of controlling her bowels there is no way that pooping in her pants will ever be acceptable. I will come up with creative punishments if I have to.
Aside from handling everyone's waste tonight it has actually been quite fun. We played with toys inside, played on swings outside, had a kid-friendly dinner- I was a short order cook tonight- and we made chocolate chip cookies. Then we jammied-up and brushed-up and settled down for a movie. After a while I put my own kids in bed and here I am, blogging about my day.
So, poop- it's exciting.