I have learned a lot since becoming a mother, and I continue to learn new things daily. This is a job that will never quit teaching you. I have learned that my two children are completely different in everything that they do, and since my oldest was pretty easy during her baby and toddler years, that means everything with my two-year-old son so far has been harder.
My son turned two in September, and I had no plans on worrying about potty training until at least two and a half, maybe even three, depending on when he started showing me signs he was ready. Then, around November, the “poop phase” started.
My cute little toddler started digging the poop out of his diaper and leaving a trail around my house. My husband and I were mortified! I have heard of this happening, kiddos playing in their diapers or smearing poop all over the place. But, when it happens to you, it is a complete and disgusting shock to the system. We know plenty of other parents that told us their child did something similar once or twice, and that was it. So my husband and I had hopes that this would like something that was very short-lived.
Only, that wasn’t the case with our little sweetie. It was the start of several weeks of throwing poop, smearing poop, playing with poop, and yes (gags) even eating poop! My husband and I were disgusted, embarrassed, and at a complete loss of how to handle this. We told him, “No!”, spanked his bottom and put him in “time out” (for two minutes). Nothing we were doing seemed to work, and everything we read was just pointing to the fact that this was just a phase, totally normal, gross, but normal.
We received tons of advice about potty training him. I got a potty and started introducing it and putting him on the potty before bath time, and he’s just not ready. I know enough from potty training his older sister not to push potty training if he’s not ready for it. This will just make the process miserable for all parties involved, and it will take longer.
At the end of the day, the “poop phase” has turned out to be just a phase. It’s been a few months, and he’s stopped digging in his diaper for the most part. If he does, then he gets in trouble, and he knows we mean business. We have also gotten smarter and faster as parents. My husband and I have quickly picked up on the sounds, and posture our son makes when he is going #2. He has also turned into a “hider” when he has to go, so that is another clue. After he is all finished, we have learned to quickly spring into action and get that diaper changed, so that way, our little guy doesn’t have any time to think about spreading the poop.
I can’t say I have very much advice to the next group of parents that will have to endure this gross parenting phase except to: cling to your coffee, wine, or any beverage of choice and the disinfectant wipes because this phase will pass!