Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Potty Woes

WARNING: Please be aware that the title of this post is "Potty Woes." If you should choose to read further, you will be subjected to information about my children's bowel habits. The words "poop" and "pee" are used frequently in this post. Continue at your own risk.

Well. Our girls have completely beaten us down. We give up. Bryn's intro to potty training did NOT go well, and to top it all off, Shay decided to give us some problems of her own.

We got up on Saturday morning, completely determined to master this potty training thing. Bryn, however, seemed to have other ideas. She has always been excited about the potty before, often telling people that she wants to sit on the potty. So when she woke up on Saturday, I said, with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, "Bryn, do you want to learn to use the potty today?" And she replied firmly, "No, Mommy. Brynie no potty." And thus began our struggle.

We set an alarm and set her on the potty every half an hour. Each time she sat, she was on there for at least 5 minutes, often more like 10. We pulled out all the stops. While on the potty, she got to eat chocolate chips. We read her stories. We painted her finger and toenails. She got to watch "Finding Nemo." But by noon, she had peed exactly zero drops in the potty. She had, however, peed through four pairs of training pants. She had also cried incessantly for four hours, culminating in the final hour of heart-wrenching sobs while choking out, "Brynie want diaper!"

We agreed to put her in a diaper for her nap. When I went to get her up, she told me in no uncertain terms that she would not be getting out of bed. Ben's parents were waiting for us to go to dinner, so I told her that she could wear a diaper instead of "big girl pants," at which point she turned into all sunshine, said "okay!," and got right up. Following dinner, we took her to a water park with the rest of the volunteers from VBX, so she had to wear a swim diaper there. And then she had to wear a diaper overnight. Then she was in the nursery at church on Sunday, and I didn't want to make the childcare workers deal with the potty training, so we let her wear another diaper. And then naptime, so another diaper. And then, to be honest, we just gave up. Apparently Bryn is just not ready for the potty yet. Plus, we are weak. So it's back to all diapers all the time in our house.

Meanwhile, since Shay has started eating solid foods, she has had some problems with constipation. She didn't poop at all last week from Sunday to Thursday. I worked VBX at our church all week, and by Thursday, the ladies in the nursery actually said to me, "Your child looks like she's from Bangladesh, her belly is so distended. You've got to get this taken care of." So we pumped her full of prunes and apple juice and hoped for the best. She had a large, solid poop late Thursday night, and another one Friday morning, and then she seemed worlds happier, so we figured she was all taken care of.

On Friday night, all four of us were in the car together, and suddenly, I was overtaken by the most extreme stink I have ever experienced. Ben still claims that he smelled nothing, but it was bad enough (at least for me) that I had to put down my window and stick my head out to breathe, in spite of the fact that we were in the midst of a thunderstorm bad enough that tornado sirens were going off (for the third time that week, no less). I could not imagine what could possibly have made a smell that big and that bad.

To my horror, when we got home, we discovered that the stink was coming from Shay. Apparently the large poops she'd had so far were just the "plug" for a week's worth of grossness. She was literally covered head to toe with poop. In her hair, her armpits, her feet, you name it. Her clothes (and it was the first time she had worn this particular outfit) were so coated that after Oxyclean and two washings, they still had chunks of poop adhering to them and had to be thrown away. The bottle that she had been holding at the time of the explosion was covered completely in brown slime. And worst of all, her entire carseat was covered with poop at least an inch thick. As in, it was bad enough that when we managed to pry the carseat out of its base, we discovered that poop had leaked through the carseat lining, through the interior foam, and through the plastic seat and had taken up residence in the base which is strapped into the car.

In simply trying to get Shay from the car to the bath, we also managed to heavily stain a changing pad, a sheet, a towel, and her bath mat.

I know--and she looks so little and innocent.

Five days later, we are still dealing with the repercussions of this event. For starters, this generated a LOT of very disgusting laundry, which then led to a sanitization of my washer and dryer. It has also caused us to be very careful in monitoring her intake and output, as so to avoid future explosions.

The worst part, though, is the car seat. After Oxycleaning and two washings, all the poop and its smell were removed from the fabric car seat cover, but brown stains remained behind. I didn't want my sweet little girl sitting in stains, so we began a lengthy debate as to what to do. Could we buy a car seat cover online? Yes, but most ran $80-$120. Okay, how much would a new infant car seat cost? Oh, $80-$120. So should we buy a new car seat? Perhaps. After all, we want to have more kids someday, so it wouldn't be a terrible investment. Ben pointed out, though, that if we went out and bought a girly carseat, it would guarantee that our next child will be a boy, since we've spent 2 1/2 years now toting our little girls around in a navy blue bucket seat. We actually even went to Walmart to buy a bucket seat after pricing them online, but unfortunately, the only one they had in stock was hideously ugly. So back to the drawing board.

We then searched on ebay and discovered that a woman was selling homemade car seat covers. There was really only one of a girly design, and we put in a bid of $20. Within 5 minutes, we were outbid and subsequently decided that we didn't want to get sucked into a bidding war. This gave me an idea though.... if some ebay lady can make car seat covers herself, why can't I? So I called in reinforcements (meaning my friend Cathy, aka the bobbin master). It turns out that for some unknown reason, Cathy actually already had an unopened pattern for an infant car seat, so I took this as a sign that we were in business. Ben and I loaded up the girls and went out to buy supplies. I managed to find a very cute feminine flower pattern and spent $3.55 on fabric and $0.97 on elastic. This, I figured, was a great investment.

I then spent many hours hunched over my kitchen table with Cathy, cutting out patterns, cutting material, loading and reloading my bobbin, and piecing things together. Eventually Cathy went home, and I continued bravely on my own. By midnight, I was completely done except for reinforcing the stitching around the buttonholes that the straps go through. And it looked darn good. I was incredibly proud of myself.

So I went and put it on the carseat for Ben to admire........ and was again overcome with the smell of poop. Ben had washed and rewashed the actual carseat as many times as it was physically possible to do. We had used every kind of cleaner in our possession. And there was still poop. Because the car seat has foam on it, we couldn't run it through the shower or the dishwasher. So we had to accept that the old carseat has bit the dust.

This led us back to the original question: a new carseat--to buy or not to buy? After further deliberation, we decided to move Shay up to Bryn's convertible carseat (rear-facing for Shay, of course) and buy a convertible booster for Bryn to use. We managed to purchase that yesterday--I even managed to convince Bryn that she "wanted" the gray one instead of the pink princess model. But now our very nice friend Caroline is working on convincing me that we should just use their infant bucket until Shay outgrows it. And as you can see, my newly sewn cover is pretty darn cute on it.
So that's the news here--pleasant, huh? :)


Krysten said...

I have to say that this is the funniest thing I have read in quite a while. I already have fully developed fears of discovering my own child covered in poop, largely due to the fact that my mother keeps telling me her own horror stories about me and my sister. I'm sure that living through the experience has not been nearly as funny as simply reading about it, but hopefully you'll be able to look back and laugh someday soon. :) In the mean time, I hope the whole problem is well taken care of before I get to see you next week! :)

Anonymous said...

~~Soooo funny ~~
Sorry about your smelly events, and good job convincing Bryn that she wanted the non-princess car seat.

Cathy said...

Indeed, it did turn out fabulous! At least Shay will look fabulous in her stylish carseat cover eventually.

AngieRenee said...

aahhh... the cover looks nice. i was having my doubts when i left... haha! not really =) i had faith in you all along!

Alicia said...


Kathy said...


Andrea said...
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Andrea said...

Don't feel too bad, we gave up on potty training too. We figured we'd retry it in a few months. And I'm sorry but I was seriously laughing out loud by the end of the poop story. All babies have that one really gross poop-all-over-the-place story but that one takes the cake.

We just bought a new carseat as well. Hannah is about an inch or two from outgrowing her current seat and the pediatrician said she absolutely had to be in a 5 point harness still. So we trudged out to Babies R Us and bought a Graco Nautilus - it converts into a high back booster and then a backless booster seat so hopefully this is the last seat she ever needs! I'm sick of buying carseats - they're expensive!

SlyGly said...

Wow. That is a lot of poo. That tops any poo story I have heard/witnessed from hospital work.

Jill said...

That is by far the funniest poop story I have ever heard! Cute cover!

Melissa said...

yikes! i sincerely hope for your sake that the potty woes at the meypfan house are coming to an end!

your handiwork on the car seat cover is very impressive! all of this coming from the girl who used to staple her brownie patches to her sash. you are becoming a bonfide (spelling?) seamstress!