Monday, November 8, 2010

Back To The Future...

Actually, this post has nothing to do with the wonderful 80's movie starring Michael J. Fox, although I read a wonderful analysis of the series that presented the point that the professor is the main bad guy. Movies notwithstanding, it's been a heck of a 10-day period.

Last weekend, we took the boys to Michigan. One of my friends (PK) had a show on Sunday, which was his first as a director. Since we don't have full-time jobs and responsibilities to tie us down, we had the ability to take off. The fact that Grandma donated points from a reward program with whom she participates (getting us a free suite) only sealed the deal. The trip was, all told, a success.

When one starts to look at children, one assumes the bad with the good. Even the cutest and most well-tempered children have their moments; as a friend reminds us, "Sometimes your kid is THAT kid." The children did a nice job all weekend, although there were a couple of noticeable incidents. Younger Bro was not feeling well all weekend, and he didn't sleep much at all on Friday night. Call it the overly dry room, the travel, the cold, or whatever, he was basically up all night. I took him down to the lobby from 4 until 5:30AM to run around, which was frustrating. He slept much better the next night, and he did a good job napping during the day on Saturday.

The big incident, and the one that has caused us the most stress and turmoil, was the poo accident right at the start of Sunday's show. Without getting too graphic, The Boy pooped his pants in an epic manner: poo spread all the way up his back to his shoulders and down to his ankles, getting through his clothing and staining my shirt and pants. It necessitated a sponge bath in the men's room for the two of us, and we spent about 25 minutes cleaning up and, well, screaming at him. The frustrating things were: he had just changed his pants from another poop accident, and he responded to "Do you need to go potty?" with his usual "Two minutes," about ten seconds before he exploded.

That's the frustrating thing. He doesn't really understand what an issue the poop thing is. He doesn't understand why we're yelling at him, and he doesn't really understand - or seem to care - why we're angry with him. When he is naked, he never has accidents - maybe one in a fortnight. Get pants or underpants on him, and he might as well be wearing a diaper. As Mum put it, "I'm still waiting for The Boy to have that ephiphany moment, the one where we say 'he never had an accident after...'"

The damage done by the radiation can't be underestimated, which is a real concern for us. We know of children that, at 4 and 5, don't have the ability to be poo-trained because their insides are so screwed up. The Boy isn't there, we think, but we also need to factor that damage into the situation. How many poos does he have that he simply doesn't have the control of his bowels? I'm not entirely sure we'll ever really know.

I didn't like myself last night at the show very much. I was very angry at a small boy for doing what small boys do: having an accident, after a decent (4 for 6) day on the potty. I was not patient with him in regards to his potty issues, and the methods I used to keep him silent during the show were beneath me and him as well. He's forgiven me, but I haven't forgiven myself yet. I will; I'll make it up to him next time, I hope.

It was a successful trip. We had a fun time and saw lots of friends. The boys played with several kids their own age and had a change to play in some new places. These two setbacks didn't change the trip success, but they did flavor my viewpoint of it.


Johanna S said...

First, I love your choice of words: "in an epic manner"! Second, my guess is this is not what you expected to hear from someone who just read this post, but you're a great dad! You screwed up, which we all do. But, what's important is that you are aware of it, are trying not to do it again, and you know you owed your son an apology. I just almost got into an argument with my best friend because she thinks she doesn't need to apologize to her kids! Back to you and The Boy, I have no idea how radiation might have affected him. I do know, from experience, that, early on in the potty training department, being naked or clothed makes a huge difference. It took months before my daughter got the hang of it. For a while, she would be in undies at home and she would wear a diaper when we went out. Perhaps he can wear a diaper when you are going on longer outings? Another thought/question: does he always say 'two minutes' or have you noticed that he says it only when he needs to go? I'm wondering if it may help if you say something like "you get lots of choices; now it is my turn to choose and we are going to the potty. You can wait two minutes, but you will wait in the bathroom, not here. I hope that he gets through this soon and I hope that something in my rambling comment is helpful!

Johanna S said...

Just wanted to add: you two take on quite the adventures! I still don't dare put my *one* child in the car for that many hours! If I had to, I'm sure I'd need a truckload of entertaining options, including a DVD player!

Musical Daddy said...

Thank you for the kind words; I do appreciate that. We've thought about putting him in a diaper sometimes; he certainly is in a diaper at night. After the big accident, he wore a diaper for the rest of the car ride. Haven't really thought about it for other circumstances...