From Poopapalooza to PBW: Transitioning to a New Era

*Disclaimer: This blog entry shares the thoughts of my 3.5 year old son as well as some of my own. This is not for the faint of heart, those that never had children because they never wanted to change a diaper, or those that feel any sentence that contains the words “excrement,” “crap,” “potty,” or “poop” should not ever be written, much less read.

Thursday, something happened.

Something remarkable.

No, I did not win the lottery.  You have to play to win.  And even if I did play, I never win anything.

It’s a curse.

No, this was something else that I firmly believe every parent dreams of.  Some of us much much longer than others.

It falls somewhere in between “Please God, Let My Child Sleep Through the Night So I Can Finally Get More than Four Hours of Sleep” and “My Child Can Finally Shovel Cheerios Into Their Own Mouth So I Can Eat a Few Bites of My Food Before It Gets Cold” on the list of Milestones My Child Needs to Accomplish Before I Have A Mental Breakdown So I Can Be Locked Away in A Nice Quiet Psych Ward Where I Can Have Uninterrupted Sleep For Eight Glorious Hours, Food Prepared For Me, and Zero Poopapalooza Explosions to Clean Up.

Last Thursday, my son, The Tackler, used the potty twice at the gym child care.


The Tackler has progressed to the next stage...

While a double trip is very rare, one of them involved poop.  Which is still so unheard of at this point in Newly Potty Trained Tackler (typically, he “holds” it while at the gym) that I would have been more likely to believe my son had picked up all of the toys, swept the floor, washed the windows, relinquished all train playing activity, and avoided bumping/pushing/hitting his sister for the last three hours.

For anyone new to my blog, it took NINE months to get my son to consistently poop in the potty. He simply didn’t care if foul smelling mush accompanied him around.  The gym child care contained his favorite pooping spot: the green tube in the play center where he would hide as he gleefully filled his diaper (easily dealt with – most of the time), pull-up (leaked badly enough that I stopped using them for gym visits), or underwear (which I threw out, because that mess would’ve taken more time to clean than the $1 the underwear was worth) until other kids complained of the stench and relayed it to the employees.  Who then paged me.

We suffered through many many many Poopapalooza‘s.  I feared Thursday might evolve into one of those because several days had passed without any sign of excrement.  Thursday was Day Three, and in the past, that flashed a giant DANGER DANGER warning sign of “Poopapalooza Imminent.”

To make matters worse, Thursday is the day I go three hours without seeing The Tackler.  He has a sports sampler class he takes at the gym (while I hang out with Lil’ Diva), followed by two hours in the child care while I do a Zumba class and shower.

So I was afraid. Very afraid.

Because he wore underwear.

Then before we left home, he used the potty.  Successfully.

This only made me more nervous. The last time he deemed it appropriate to crap in his underwear at the gym, he had already pooped earlier in the day.

While dancing in Zumba, one of the employees came up and pointed. At me.

Dread pooled in my stomach.  I feared the worst.  Having-to-strip-him-naked-and-hose-him-down-worse.

But no!  It was Lil’ Diva who required my services.

The relief was overpowering.

I even made it back before Zumba class ended.

Then when it was time to pick the kids up, the staff informed me that he had used the restroom not once, but twice.

A shovel was required to scrape my jaw off the floor.

“I peed and pooped in the potty!” he told me with great excitement.


“I peed and pooped in the potty!” he repeated again, wondering if I’d suddenly lost my ability to comprehend English.

“WOW!  That is awesome!  I’m so proud of you!”  There was no feigning my delight.  This was a huge milestone in our potty training battle.

The employee turned to me. “I didn’t know that. All I know is he came out of the bathroom with his pants completely off. Naked.”

Hmmm.  I guess I know what skill to work on next.


Update: I began this post on the day it occurred, but due to Blogging with Children it was not completed until today (Monday).  Then today, he once again executed a Potty Deposit While at the Gym. Which resulted in a conversation like this:

Me: Did you use the potty today?

Tackler: I did! I did! I told teacher and I went poop and peepee in the potty!

Me: That’s awesome, sweetie! I’m so proud of you.  Did you tell Teacher you went poop?

Tackler: Nope.  I flushed it.

Me: Okaaay.  Did you wipe?

Tackler: Huh?

Me: We’d better go check your underwear.

(Insert five minutes of debating why the underwear had to be checked)

Me: See sweetie, you didn’t wipe so some poop got into your underwear.

Tackler: (confused why there is a poop stain in his underwear) That’s an accident. I went poop in the potty.

Me: I believe you, honey.  You just need to let Teacher know when you poop at the gym so they can get Mommy and I can help you wipe, okay?

Tackler: I did a really good poop and I can watch a Chuggington later!

Me: Yes.  Yes you can.  Just tell Teacher when you poop, okay?

Tackler: Okay.

So another skill to add to the list along with “Pulling up Pants and Not Leaving Restroom Naked.”

Meanwhile, it begins my new phase in Mommyhood as Primary Butt Wiper (PBW).

I don’t remember seeing this in the What to Expect During The Toddler Years book…..


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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7 Responses to From Poopapalooza to PBW: Transitioning to a New Era

  1. Vicky says:

    ROFL 🙂 Our job really is pretty disgusting sometimes.

    • Kelly K says:

      Vicky – Yes, where is that in the Parenting books…

      And because I wrote about such success, what does my son do today after his nap? He has his first accident in weeks, luckily in the nap diaper.

      After weeks of not having to change such foul smelling stuff, I must admit, I’ve already lost my “immunity.” :p

  2. Hilarious and it’s frightening how much I relate! 🙂

    Thanks for the laughs (haven’t started with my 2 year old yet, not looking forward to it!),

    • Kelly K says:

      If a parent cannot laugh at what comes out of the various orifices of their child, their alternatives are:
      1) to run screaming for the hills (or the nearest bathroom)
      2) collapse into a heap and sob about how Before Children “poop” was not a word mentioned – much less multiple times a day – and certainly never classified as “exciting” or “thrilling.”

      I hope in my efforts to bring humor to this right of passage, other parents will laugh instead of cry.

      At least for a little while.

      I’m glad you laughed. 🙂 At least (in theory) you are a Potty Training Pro now.

      That has to count for something…. right?

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Skydancer (Guardian Angel) says:

    Yeah!! This is a tough one for me! When my nephew was 5, my sister asked me to take him to the restroom. I waited outside the stall and he asked me to come and wipe him! Oh God!! NO WAY!!! There was no chance in hell I could do that! I (as calmly as possible) told him, “You’re old enough to do that by yourself now and THANK GOD! he didn’t pursue it!! and apparently decided he WAS old enough to do it himself! WHEW!!!”

    • Kelly K says:

      Skydancer – I have no doubt there are several years of PBW in my future. In your nephew’s case, I don’t know if he necessarily decided he was old enough, or just “let it go” and left surprise for your sister later. 🙂 Frankly, it would serve her right for asking you to take him to the restroom instead of her (unsure of extenuating circumstances that might have caused her to do this). I believe the only relative that would be willing to engage in Butt Wiping Duties would be my mother…. possibly my sister, AFTER she has children.

      I’m glad you survived your ordeal. 🙂

      Thanks for checking out my blog!

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