You’d Think I’d Be Immune To Poop By Now

Warning: Not graphic, but scatological.

Some of you may be aware that Quinn has some…issues…with constipation. It is something we’ve been dealing with since he was probably three months old.

We recently enlisted the help of a GI specialist who, at Quinn’s first appointment, sent me home with instructions to give Quinn four teaspoons of Milk of Magnesia every day for three days, which I, of course, interpreted as “give Quinn four tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia every day for three days.

Fortunately, I figured out my mistake after one epic dose.

At his first followup appointment last week, the doctor said that Quinn looked a lot better and that his stomach seemed to be all cleaned out. No kidding, four tablespoons.

However, this visit ended with the doctor giving me different instructions. She told me to collect a stool sample to check for…something. I have no idea what, because my mind got stuck on “collect a stool sample,” and didn’t hear anything that happened after that. It’s possible she told me to dance a jig and hop out of the office on one foot for all I know.

Because in my head? “Stool…ool…ool…Sample…ample…ample…”

I was a little concerned to see the equipment that the doctor sent home with me.

I think she forgot some stuff. Fortunately, I had the necessary supplies at home.

I was given a reprieve after his Thursday appointment though, because he didn’t poop until it was too late to take a sample in to the lab before the long weekend. Then yesterday I missed my opportunity.

The problem is that I knew I could “miss my opportunity” kinda on purpose for weeks, so today when Quinn was headed to the bathroom I asked what he was going to do. He swore he was just going to pee so I didn’t, you know, prepare.

I should have. That little sneak. He pooped, followed by his standard “MOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!! I POOOOOOOOOPED!!!”

Quinn, you are going to have to learn to wipe someday.

I’m not going to go into a lot of details because I can’t really bear to relive it. Needless to say, it started with a lot of anguished flapping of my hands, continued with some encouraging self talk (“okay, you can do this”), spent a long time in the loud retching phase, and finished with the enclosing of the poop in three separate layers (cup, Ziploc, paper bag) for its eventual trip to the lab.

Not to be confused with a sack lunch.

Quinn was a little concerned about the retching and tried to come up with a positive reason why I might be doing it. “Are you making that noise because you’re proud I pooped so much?”

Sure, Quinn. That’s it.

I’m just glad I didn’t puke all over it and have to start all over tomorrow.

To Future Quinn: I am sorry for this post. Very sorry.

F.O.S.

You know how your kid does something weird and you’re all, “Should I take him to the doctor or will the doctor just laugh at me for bringing him in?”

My theory on that is that it’s usually better to be safe than sorry. What’s the worst that could happen? You lose a copay, right? What’s the best? You catch something before it becomes a problem.

My best story about an unnecessary trip to the doctor is a classic new mom story. Sam was an infant, like maybe three or four months old, when I noticed a little bump on the back of his head near his neck. Of course I called the doctor about OMG! MY TINY BABY’S BRAIN TUMOR!!!

We sat down in the pediatrician’s office, the doctor looked at Sam, and almost immediately said, “Yeah, that’s just his head.”

To his credit he didn’t make me feel dumb for bringing Sam in. But don’t worry, I felt dumb enough all by myself.

I had one of those moments on Monday. Quinn ate breakfast and then threw up. Then he threw up again shortly thereafter. Then he was fine. By itself, this was no big deal, but for the past month or so, he’s been doing this about once a week. With his history of chronic constipation (or “chronological constipation” as I accidentally called it on the phone to a friend of mine today), it seemed like something that should be checked out.

Without further ado, I bring you the triumphant return of the “poop” category to the Stimeyland blog. This category used to hold more posts than the “Alex” category. I’m happy to report that Alex is now squarely in the lead on that count, even with this entry.

Anyway, Quinn and I went in to see the doctor today. Quinn was mostly concerned that he was going to get a shot. I didn’t feel like I could totally promise him he wouldn’t see a needle because I figured there was the possibility of blood work, so he was pretty nervous. I was fine until the receptionist and the nurse practitioner that I saw both said, “A month? Wow.”

But the nurse practitioner also told Quinn there would be no needle, so he perked right the hell up as his worry transferred to me. In fact, his day got exponentially better once he heard the news that he got to pee in a cup. (Without peeing on my hand, thank goodness for small favors.)

When the nurse practitioner felt Quinn’s stomach, which even I could tell was FOS (full of shit stool), I felt like a terrible mother. Then she tapped his stomach and was all, “Can you hear how full of gas he is too?” And I was like the mom-to-be at the 12-week ultrasound who is like, “Oh, yeah, I totally see the baby.”

No. I can’t tell that he’s full of gas. That’s why I brought him to you. But now I feel even worse.

He’s going to be okay (fingers crossed, knock on wood, wish on a star and all), but we have to go see a specialist to make sure that his little colon is operating okay. I have the feeling that there might be a lot of fiber in our future.

Quinn was also excited because he got to see the inside of his body, via an x-ray.

You can’t tell, but he was totally delighted.

The x-ray tech was way cool. She let Quinn check out his picture after she took it. Later he claims that he saw his belly button on the x-ray. I don’t think that’s true. And honestly, I would have thought he would be more interested in seeing, you know, his spine, but whatever.

Quinn was less excited about the other part of the doctor’s instructions, which involved a suppository. I’ll spare you the gritty details, and fear that I’ve already said too much, but suffice it to say that even that didn’t work very well.

Hopefully we’ll go to the specialist and she’ll give us the magic words to whisper to Quinn’s colon that will make it work right. Because this poor kid has been struggling to poop since he was three months old. I’ll keep you posted. I know you really probably don’t want me to, but you know that I’m gonna.

Oh, My Day. Jeez. My Day.

Alternate Title: “Wherein Stimey Makes Her Life More Difficult Than it Has to Be. Per Usual.” OR “Seriously, Who Is the Fucking Looney Taking Photos in the Apple Store?”

Also: “Post Thoughtfully Divided into Sections in Case You Hate Cats But Love Macs.”

Are you guys the kind of people who have a list of things you have to schedule and then spread them out evenly throughout the week so you don’t have some crazy psycho day where you only spend 45 minutes at home, 15 of which are spent in the bathroom yelling at your 3-year-old to “Poop! Poop already! Poop or I’ll send the Constipation Monster to eat you in your sleep!”?*

‘Cause I prefer the latter.

The part about the cats:

I started with routine vet appointments for my two cats. They were both lounging in my bedroom this morning, so I shut the door to keep them there, because the last thing I wanted to do at 9:15 was run around the house trying to find invisible cats.

But I couldn’t put the cat carrier in the room with them, because then they would know something was up and then they would hide under the bed, and I’m too human-sized to squeeze under the bed. So I picked one up, carried her outside the bedroom, shut the door, and crammed her in the carrier. Then I ran back in to tackle the other cat who was just starting to realize that my plan was nefarious.

Then, because I was smashing them both into the same cat carrier, I had to open the door, whereupon the first cat tried to escape, giving the second cat a chance to get away. I managed to catch both of them, if by, “catch,” you mean, “squished both of them to the ground with one hand each, thus ruling out the possibility of further constructive action.”

Somehow I recovered from this rookie error of not using a small, bedless room to house the carrier and managed to squash both of them in. I picked up the carrier, and the handle popped off, dropping the now-traumatized kitties to the ground. Although really it’s their own faults. If you’ve seen my giant cats in person, you understand how they might go over the weight capacity for a cat carrier handle.

Quinn and I got them to the vet where, in a fun turnaround, the vet tech had to pry them out of the cat carrier. After they were done, they had to endure the indignity of Quinn “keeping them warm” while I set up a second mortgage to pay for the appointment.

See the indignity?


Then, on the way out, their carrier nearly snapped in half, causing me to drop them again, but ending in my preventing the top from popping off, thus releasing two seriously pissed off cats into the wild.

The part about playgroup:

Then we headed to the playground for playgroup, where Surly McJerkerson spent the first twenty minutes or so refusing to acknowledge that it might be fun to look at other children. Oh, and he spent some more time berating me for not bringing him lunch or the correct type of cracker.

He donated the crackers I did bring to the squirrels. Which was actually his turning point, because when he saw a squirrel eating one of his crackers, he perked right up.

Well, that and the tennis rackets and balls Susan brought.

He’s going pro after Christmas.

Then he remembered last time our playgroup met at this particular playground and two kids shared a baby swing. So he made every kid that was even close to willing share a swing with him.

Looks comfy, huh?

When he ran out of kids, other people had to cram their asses into baby swings…um…do whatever they could do to make him shut the hell up…um…step in.

Looks even MORE comfy, huh?

I planned to take Quinn from playgroup to…

The part about the Apple Store

…the Apple Store after I bought him a Happy Meal for lunch. He started freaking out when I suggested that though. After I realized that I’d spent several minutes trying to convince my child to eat junk food when what he really wanted was a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread and organic chocolate milk, I made a quick stop at home to pick up a sandwich for him.

Then off to the computer store. But no! Quinn had to poop. So we had to stop at the closest bathroom, which happened to be in the back corner of a Toys R Us. So after I made him poop a little (Ooooh…spooky voice…ooooh….the Constipation Monster is coming…) we went to play with the trains for a millisecond, then got back in the car to drive to the Apple Store.

Whereas I thought we would be very early, we ended up being right on time for our appointment at the Genius Bar. My monitor had been acting up and because I didn’t know if the problem was with the monitor or the computer, I took both.

The guy at the store told me my kid was a little big to be in the stroller.
I told him that he was too old and dusty too.

The geniuses were running behind, so we had to wait, but fortunately the Apple Store has kid workstations.


Shortly after this photo was taken, Quinn and I broke the store computer. Seriously. That thing froze up harder than the chicken I forgot to defrost for dinner. Then we walked away whistling casually.

Quinn then had a nice time trying to break a MacBook Air on which he was watching “the colors.” Evidently Apple’s marketing is working. Unfortunately, Quinn has no money.

The genius finally got to us and determined that there was not a problem at all with my machine. He thinks the problem was a bad connection. And he didn’t charge me. Which…GREAT!…FREE! and FUCK!…NOT FIXED! and OH NO!…TWO HOURS OF MY LIFE ARE GONE!

Since I brought the computer home I haven’t plugged it back in. I’m hoping the problem isn’t the Bad Mojo at the House of Stimey.

The rest:

We hurried home. I made Quinn poop. (Don’t make me call the Constipation Monster!) and then we went to the bus stop. Then we went to speech therapy. Then I bought the munchkins Happy Meals. (Good thing I didn’t get one for Quinn earlier, huh?)

When we got home, I threw their food at them, turned on the TV, and ran to the living room for a 30 minute power nap before my PTA meeting.

I know. I’m a really good mom.

And then I ignored my job so I could write the longest post in the history of Stimeyland.

The End.

* Do I have to say it? I promise that I don’t threaten Quinn with the Constipation Monster. I learned my lesson after the “Monster That Lives in the Toilet” story backfired on me.

YOU Are the Best. Thank You.

Wow, you guys are amazing. Your comments, emails, and phone calls helped bring me back from sort of a dark place. Thank you for the hugs. Thank you for the suggestions. Thank you for the encouragement. I hope to get back to each of you personally, but haven’t been able to yet.

It absolutely floors me that Jack and I have all of you out there. Thank you so much! You know who you are.

*****

In other, happier news, Quinn seems to have potty trained himself. In the one week since we were forced to throw out Quinn’s diapers, he has stepped up to the plate (or the toilet, as it were).

As a matter of fact—and I know I’m jinxing myself here—he’s even stayed dry at night for the past three nights.

Apparently if you wait until waaaaaaay after your child is ready to potty train, it goes pretty fast.

The only snag is that he’s having some trouble pooping in the potty. You know this page in Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel? (Edited for decency and pixelated because…ew.)

Yeah.

The opposite of what you would expect, his aim with his pee is all right. With his poop? Not so much.

As a matter of fact, the first words Alex said to me today were: “Don’t go into the yellow bathroom. There was an incident with Quinn. I will clean it up.”

I’m still trying to decide if this is better than diapers.*

* yes

No Suppository!

My poor little Quinn. We all know about his, ahem, problems. Flat out, the boy has trouble pooping. We give him Miralax and whatever else we think will make him poop. At an age when most people are giving their children M&Ms for pooping on the potty, we give Quinn a Hershey Kiss every time he poops—no matter where it happens.

And if he doesn’t poop over the course of two or three days, we give him a suppository. (Listen, if this is too much information, I think you were warned by the title of this post.)

Needless to say, he hates suppositories. I make sure to tell him ahead of time if he’s getting one so that he’s not terrified of every diaper change. Regardless, every time I put him on the changing table (I cannot wait to get rid of that piece of furniture, by the way.) he says, “No suppository.”

It’s a little sad.

Today at preschool when I was co-oping, the kids were playing in pans of water and Quinn had a little penguin that he was sailing around on a toy boat. At some point he picked up a little plastic stick, turned the penguin on its side, and started jabbing at its butt area with the tip.

“I’m giving him a suppository,” he said.

Better the penguin than him, I guess.

The other co-oping mom pretty much laughed her head off. Feel free to do the same. I did.

Thanksgiving Blessings

Because you haven’t had a poop story from me in a long time.

Our kids all came upstairs this morning to greet us after letting us sleep in late. We had company last night, so Sam and Jack were also up a little late running in and out and being generally obnoxious, so they had slept in too. Quinn, who went to sleep at the normal time, apparently woke up at the normal time and had an opportunity to do some tinkering.

When Sam helped lift Quinn onto our bed this morning he yelled, “Ewww! Poop!”

I saw a flash of bare Quinn-ass before I saw Sam wipe his hand on Alex’s clean work shirts. Yep, Quinn was entirely naked from the waist down.

As Alex hauled his poopy ass downstairs, he proudly proclaimed: “I changed my diaper!”

Well, good for you, Quinn. Good for you.

Poop Poop Poop A Doop

I believe that I may have singlehandedly solved Quinn’s constipation problem with a song. That’s right, with a song.

I have known for awhile that—beyond his physical issues—he dislikes pooping. Which seems right, especially because he has been victim to some particularly vicious, and probably extremely painful, pooping episodes. It used to be that I would see him obviously trying to hold it back, and he would always say no when I asked if he wanted to poop, or if he would feel better if he pooped, and whatnot.

At his last constipation checkup (and how ridiculous that he has to have those) the doctor told me to be very positive when he pooped and that we didn’t want to make it into a control issue for him. Because, basically, if he can refuse to poop after I’ve plied him with Miralax, fiber wafers, and as much apple juice as he can drink, I should just cede defeat here, because this is not a battle I can win.

Unless you factor in the power of a good song about the act itself. For the past three weeks whenever I have caught him pooping or whenever I change his poopy diaper—and only then—I sing a song I made up: “Poop Poop Poop A Doop,” sung to the tune of “Duke of Earl.” (I’m sure you can recreate this song at home from just those hints.) “Poop Doop again,” he’ll say.

And?

And for the past two and a half weeks, he has pooped Every. Single. Day.

This is something he has not done since he was literally younger than 3 months old. Maybe he’s progressing past his physical issues and just has to overcome some psychological pooping issues (can’t wait to get the Google search on that one). I’m not saying that we’re going to stop hiding the Miralax in his chocolate millk, and I’m not saying that he’ll never again have a stool ball, but I’ve never been so happy to change diapers packed full of crap in my life.