Return to McDonald’s
We returned to the same McDonald’s Playplace of which I previously wrote. We gave her the pep talk about pooping in the potty and telling us if she had an accident and not coming down the slide if there is poop in her panties, etc.
Well, off she went to play. After about 20 minutes she is now at the top of the play structure and my mommy-sense knew something wasn’t right. I called to her and asked what was wrong to which she replied, “nothing.” I then asked her if she was poopy, to which she replied, “No.” She continued to appear not quite right and play around so I asked her again if she had had an accident to which she now replied “Yes” (What is it about this particular playplace that makes her poop?!?!?!) Mom, Dad, and Mimi all started screaming to her to NOT GO DOWN THE SLIDE!!!!!! I shed my shoes and up the (2 1/2-foot-tall) plastic spiral staircase I go and proceed to escort her down the stairs and into the bathroom making sure her bottom touched nothing on the way down. The clean-up this time was (needless to say) much easier.
She then returned to the play structure and again acted weird at the top. We asked her if she had pooped again to which she replied “yes” so up the (keebler-elf-sized) staircase I go again, only to discover it was a false alarm. She was now claiming to be scared to go down the slide (not this again. We just got over this. I can’t tell you the number of slides I have been down with this child on my lap because she has been so scared to go down slides by herself. I once spent 2 hours at a birthday party in an inflatables place following her up the inflatables then down the slides because if I didn’t, she would stand at the top and scream and cry until I did. Ugh, not again!!)
So since I was already there, I agreed to go down the slide with her just once. Little sis Sport, refusing to be outdone, insisted on going down with us, so the 3 of us “slid” down the slide together (it was really more of a scoot because that slide really isn’t that fast if you’re going down by yourself, so add 2 more people to the equation and your frictional coefficient is just to high for sliding). She seemed to get over her fear of the slide pretty quickly because the rest of the day was quite uneventful.
So, all-in-all, it was a successful return to the site of the previous event. We haven’t managed to prevent her from pooping in her pants on the playplace, but at least we contained it and got it to the potty without mommy having to climb up the small green slide!!
Oh, McDonald’s playplace: the wonders you hold
Disclaimer: If the discussion of poop bothers you, stop reading now.
I believe there are times in every parent’s life when they question their parenting methods and possibly even every decision they’ve made as a parent. I had one of those moments today. Let me set the stage.
My in-laws - God bless them - are taking the girls for 5 days so we drove east to meet them. We met at a nice little McDonald’s where there is a brand new indoor playplace. This is perfect because it allows the girls to get out of the car for a little while and run around like crazy children and no one really says anything about it. We also happen to be potty training our 3 1/2 year old, E.A., which is a nearly year-long process now. We’ve been there about an hour and E.A has successfully navigated using a public restroom with the automatic flush (which is no small feat!). Luckily, most of the children who had been there when we arrived had left with their families.
Too my horror, E.A comes out of the green spiral tube slide with a distressed look on her face and says the telltale “Mommy?!” at which point I look up to see her standing in front of the slide and behind her is a dark streak as far up the green tube as I can see (which is not too far because it is a pretty tight spiral). I promptly show this to her father, grab her and the diaper bag and head for the little bathroom in the playplace. Her dad assures me that he will handle the poop slide while I clean the child, who, by the time we hit the bathroom door, is yelling, “there’s poop on my hands! There’s poop on my hands!!”
So first I have to navigate her washing her hands in the sink - which she is not tall enough to reach - with poop all over her lower body. Then, we have to get the clothing off and clean her up with approximately 1/8 of a package of wet wipes. And because this McDonald’s is green (or cheap) there is a hand dryer in the bathroom and therefore no paper towels. There are also approximately 12 sheets of toilet paper on the roll!! So I commence the cleaning with a little commentary from the cleanee: “There’s poop on my leg!” “There’s poop on my socks!” “oh, no! Now it’s on the floor! Get it, get it!”. Thank you, my little poop radar! She also kept saying “There’s poop on the slide!” and I kept assuring her that Daddy was getting someone to clean it. Once she was convinced that other little children were not sliding down through her poop she kept saying “I need to go help clean the slide.” So at least she’s a conscientious slide pooper!
We are finally poop free and the “package” has been tightly sealed in a plastic shopping bag. We return to the playplace to find the very nice, very gracious, late 50’s McDonald’s employee attempting to clean the green spiral tube slide which is apparently streaked pretty much from the top to the bottom. After awhile she comes down and starts climbing up from the bottom. She then comes back down and tells us that she is unable to completely clean the slide because she is unable to get to it. So my lovely husband climbs up the slide and cleans a little more but comes down and says he can’t get it all either. So, yep, you guessed it! I shed my sandals and climb barefoot up the slide, cleaning poop off the slide as I go!
I used up the last of the 2 rolls of paper towels we had and still had quite a bit of poop to clean. So my husband goes off to find more paper towels (because, remember, there are none in the bathroom). Meanwhile, I sit, wedged in a small green plastic tube which reeks of poop and it is at this point that I start to question the decision to put her in panties today, our potty training methods, our parenting methods and possibly even every decision we’ve made as parents.
Potty training help needed!
So, our little first-born angel, E.A., is 3 years old. She turned 3 in the middle of December. We have been somewhat potty training since she was about 2. And by “somewhat,” I mean we bought the potty seat (3 of them, in fact), bought the books, talked about “pee-pee” and “poop”, sat her on the potty, occasionally used it for its intended purpose, and attempted some bribery with stickers. So we decided that Potty Training Boot Camp began January 1. We had tried pull-ups but she just went in those like she did in her diaper. We were pretty sure she was ready because she was showing several signs of readiness, which I will not bore you with by listing them all here. And we (actually I) had read “The No-Cry Potty-Training Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley (who has several books, all of which I recommend). Our potty-training methods, however, are not entirely from her book, but we did borrow a few ideas.
So January 1: panties. Yep, that’s right, we jumped in feet first. Not just panties, my friends; panties with plastic diaper covers. She figured out real quick that these were in no way like her diapers or pull-ups. Thus began the battle of the wills. For 10 days (yes, TEN DAYS!!) she absolutely refused to sit on the potty. Pee, poop, didn’t matter. She was doin’ it in her panties. At home, at MDO (God bless her very patient teachers!!), NO POTTY!! And then, it happened. She started sitting on the potty. The struggle was far from over but she started sitting on the potty and getting a nice little (wrapped) present every time she used it for its intended purpose. She did pretty well for awhile and we even left the plastic diaper covers off for a few days. But she was still having poop accidents so we would leave her in her pull-up in the mornings for MDO then when she poops, she gets panties.
So here we are 4 months or so later and she still has pee accidents and absolutely NEVER poops on the potty. She even screams and cries when we ask/make her sit on the potty at home. At “school” (MDO) she goes all the time and only has poop accidents. So here’s my question to all those moms out there: what else can we do to get her to go on the potty all the time? I know I should probably know this, but is this normal? She’s a very smart and willful child; is this a control issue? (then again, what isn’t a control issue to a preschooler?) We bought and are awaiting the arrival of the book “Everyone Poops” because I have been told this is a good aide for getting her to poop on the potty. Any other suggestions? I’m open.