You know how people always say, don’t worry, your kid won’t suck their thumb in college. Or how many kids do you know who walk down the aisle using a pacifier? Well, up until a few short weeks ago, I was 99% sure Jagger would, in fact, be wearing a diaper well into puberty and it FREAKED me out! I never thought we would get to that place but before you all judge, the months go so fast and before you know it, your kid is almost 4 still shitting in a diaper. No, no one else?!??
I would like to backtrack to how we got here and how goddam proud and excited I am that we are no longer in that place! I had never given much thought about potty training Jagger and it wasn’t something that specifically stressed me out (believe it or not). I started noticing that more and more kids in his class were wearing undies to school and while Jagger could give two shits, I started feeling the pressure. Shortly after his 3rd birthday, I asked him if he wanted to pee in the toilet and that day he stood there, peed and that was that. Umm did I just potty train my son in record speed?! I was so proud of myself and couldn’t believe how easy that was! Seriously, what’s all the fuss guys? That night after bath I put on his nighttime diaper and he pooped before bed. Oh well, I thought, we’ll try again tomorrow on the toilet. This whole routine went on EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for months and months. I would casually ask him if he wanted to poop on the toilet but he calmly said no thanks and I didn’t think much of it. After a while, I started realizing that it was becoming a BAD habit to break and absolutely nothing I could say or do would persuade him to take a fkn shit on the toilet. I tried everything from a sticker chart to a promise to the toy store. I even emptied his diaper drawer and filled it with toy eggs and a letter from the goddam diaper fairy promising him he could open a new egg every time he pooped. I would even text this “diaper fairy” and ask her where the diapers went and to this day Shai is saved in my phone as Diaper Fairy! NOTHING would crack this kid and it was starting the bug the hell out of me. I had asked our pediatrician who I trust to the max and he said to stop pushing it and when he’s ready it will happen. I wasn’t entirely into this laid-back approach but tried to follow his advice. My nephews would try to help him and always let him watch them go but even that couldn’t sway him. I remember one day his best friend was over and in the middle of the playdate, Jagger tells me he needs a diaper. I call him into Jett’s room to hide our diaper secret from his friend and the kid marches into the playroom in nothing but a diaper. His friend looks over with him mouth practically on the floor and says “Jagger are you a baby! Why are you wearing a diaper!” And my little Jagger looks up with all the confidence in the world and simply says, I only wear it to poop! While I was proud of my son for feeling comfortable with his decision, I was secretly praying this episode would give him the push he needed…But nope, it did absolutely nothing.
NOTHING would crack this kid and it was starting the bug the hell out of me. I asked our pediatrician who I trust to the max and he said to stop pushing it and when he’s ready it will happen. I wasn’t entirely into this laid-back approach but tried to follow his advice. My nephews would try to help him and always let him watch them go but even that couldn’t sway him. I remember one day his best friend was over and in the middle of the playdate, Jagger tells me he needs a diaper. So, I call him into Jett’s room to hide our diaper secret from his friend and the kid marches into the playroom in nothing but a diaper. His friend looks over with his mouth practically on the floor and says “Jagger, are you a baby?! Why are you wearing a diaper!” And my little Jagger looks up with all the confidence in the world and simply says, “I only wear it to poop!” While I was proud of my son for feeling comfortable with his decision, I was secretly praying this episode would give him the push he needed…But nope, it did absolutely nothing.
People who I spoke to always gave me the same advice, just don’t give him a diaper and he will have no choice. But anytime I would try that he would start to panic and get really distraught. It wasn’t going to work with him and I needed to find a new way. One day I was bitching to my therapist how crazy this was and for the first time, she asked me what his pooping process looked like. I simply explained that he would start yelling he needs to poop, he would grab a diaper from Jett’s room and stand behind our living room chairs and insist on chatting to me while he does so. We would then go into his room and he lay on the floor like a baby while I wiped his ass. She was in absolute shock that I allowed my 4-year-old son to take a shit in our living him while I sat and chatted with him and then changed him like a newborn baby. So I had NO IDEA this wasn’t kosher and was his way of remaining my baby, even though he had grown in so many other ways. So, my dear therapist Donna had a master plan and I was pretty sure it wouldn’t crack this kid. But here it goes…
I came home and told Jagger I had no problem if he pooped in his diaper but he can no longer do it in my living room. He needed to go into his bathroom and shut the door for privacy. Once he was done he could call me in and together we would put the poop in the toilet and he had to wipe his own tush (I would do the follow-up wipe). He was less than thrilled when I told him this, however after a few days, it became the new normal. He was actually starting to feel proud of himself for his progress and kept telling me he’s now a big boy. Step 1 SUCCESS! Step 2 was a little trickier, but clearly a needed step. This is where you persuade your child to now sit on the toilet wearing the diaper. I’m not sure why but this was a big challenge for us and it took him a few days to accept that the diaper is still on and preventing anything from going in the toilet. I was starting to realize he had a deep fear of the splash, which he had never actually told me until he started sitting with the diaper on. Once he realized this was easy enough it was time to take it to step 3…a tiny hold in the diaper. He was SO scared the poop would come out but the hole was so small in the beginning and since nothing, he began to feel at ease. When it was time to make the hole bigger I decided to turn it into a game. I told him we need to see if any of the poop are winners and make it into the toilet or if they get left behind in the diaper. He thought this was hysterical and when some of it went in the toilet he was cracking up and so excited about the winners! It worked, it actually freakin worked!!! I was jumping up and down with excitement that even though my child was wearing a diaper with a giant hole in it, his shit still went from tush to toilet. If you are not a mother and reading this you are probably thinking WTF, but in the world of mommyhood, this is a BIG DEAL!
Jagger was SO proud of himself for how far he had come but he would not let go of the “diaper belt” as I liked to call it. It felt like a major sense of security even though it wasn’t doing jack shit. I wasn’t sure how we would get past this phase until the unthinkable happened. I picked him up from school and he casually walks over to me and says, “so, we need to go to the toy store”. Sorry kid, you ask me every day and the answer is still no. Then I got the biggest shock ever…he looks up at me and says he pooped at school. I almost died, but also didn’t believe him. I ran up to his teacher and asked if it was true and she said yes as if it’s no big deal. I went crazy saying-OMG, did you see it? Who wiped him? Was he asking for a diaper with a hole?!?!? I’m pretty sure she thought I was insane but I quickly learned that he basically couldn’t hold it and had no other choice. It was the breakthrough we needed and you better believe it that I took him to the toy store and let him get anything and everything he wanted! My boy was no longer a baby and this was HUGE. Since then, he has pooped everywhere (in the toilet) from a friends house to The Playroom NYC and my life has officially become a lot easier.
So the moral of the story is…give your kids time to work through their annoying phases. Don’t worry that it won’t pass and give yourself some credit for doing your best. Your child won’t walk down the aisle sucking a pacifier…as I rip the paci from my daughter’s death grip.