Monday, March 19, 2007

Dear Noah: the story of what to do about pooh continues...

With some of your developmental milestones....they were slow in coming. Since I did not seem to produce enough milk for you as a baby to breastfeed I also supplemented you with bottles and eventually you switched over to bottles. You did not part from the bottle till one morning when you were 2 years old......actually 2 years and 2 months. You went to bed the night before drinking the bottle...walking around the house with the bottle IN your mouth...rarely putting it waking up the next morning only drinking milk from a Sippy Cup and flat out refusing a bottle. Never drinking from one again.

For potty training....that too took forever. You were 5-1/2 years old before you finally FINALLY got out of Pull-Ups. NOT that you were completely potty trained...but you were at least out of Pull-Ups. I had to work like the devil to get you to be completely potty trained after that.....and what a heart wrenching nightmare that was (because you were really not ready to poop in the toilet yet).

AND that saga has not quite ended yet....because while you are potty trained and can actually pee in entirety by yourself....and go have a bowel movement in the toilet by 8 years and 3 months of age......will not want to always WIPE yourself after a bowel movement.

This is a constant day-by-day ongoing semi-battle/struggle between us. You are very concerned about the least little bit of poop being in your you go to the bathroom constantly and think you need wiped constantly. EVEN if you do not actually have a bowel movement you tell me you need wiped and need checked and you are always running to the bathroom with no pants or underwear on to bend over in front of the full-length mirror to check your butt for signs it might need wiped off.

NOW you are to the point where you bend over so far and spread your little cheeks so wide you obviously also spread your rectum apart and can always SEE poop right there so you think you always need to be cleaned off or wiped up.

On a good day this only happens a handful of times. If we are out and you are busy it might be only a couple of times (which quickly gets made up for once home again).

On the average day probably well over 15-20. On a really obsessed day 20-30+? more or less...

What does this mean for the average person's your mommy for example. Now I love you so much.....but what it means for me is this:

About every half hour or so (sometimes sooner sometimes longer) you are calling me to come check your butt. There you are in the bathroom....completely naked...bent over.....wanting me to wipe your butt. I tell you to wipe first and then I will check. We struggle about this. You may comply quickly, other times not. I sometimes have to leave and come back once you are done.

I have to remind you again and again about this. This is something you know you are supposed to do but you do not seem to ever "willingly" want to practice without a reminder. So we do the reminder. You wipe. I check. I end up having to wipe again because you do not have the strength in your hands to really push in against your rectum properly to wipe properly...hence the use of wet wipes which work wonders!

Now we have to use wet wipes and baggies to dispose of the wet wipes because we do not flush them in the toilet any longer. You wash up. I wash up. We go back to business as usual.

THEN....15-20 minutes later I see you naked again. In your room or running down the hallway announcing "I have to do #3...I have to do #3!" Off to the bathroom again where we will repeat the entire scenario. I go back and get a few things done. Very few. Then it starts again. And again. And again.

YOU were wiping in entirety before we had plumbing issues. That was HUGE. You were starting to take care of all of it by yourself. For the first time in 8 years I did not have to check or wipe your butt at least 2-6 times I think it happened. BUT we got clogged pipes during the blizzard..and it could have been some flushable wipes. SO......we have stopped using flushable wipes.

Now we are back to where you think I need to do all the wiping because the process is a little more intense now ...wiping with paper first.....follow with the wipes....which goes into a baggie...then clean up...etc. I had to teach you how to fold toilet paper over to wipe with and use more than once. This was huge also for you. To not GAG the entire time you are wiping is also progress. You are much better now about not doing that.

It can be exhausting. I get tired just typing it here.

I think that is why I, sometimes after you wake up and I wake up, I just turn you loose. Let you do what you want. I let you spend time on your computer. It gives me a bit of a break. I am exhausted to begin with only getting about 4 hours of sleep every night. Between having to work and everything else and homeschool leaves little time for me. In fact....the only real ME time would be after you are in bed.....and that is normally when I now work.

I am not complaining. I know this will pass. We have made progress. You no longer sit on the toilet like this anymore....

and most times you will leave your clothes on at someone else's house when you go to the bathroom. Definitely out in public. All steps in the right direction. I know you WILL eventually get the entire hygiene thing down. I know you will quit obsessing about bowel movements and having to wipe and check constantly. One day it may just be another overnight thing where you stop doing it. I have to admit I am sorta keeping track now though.

I am sorta counting. 8 years and 3 months and almost 3 weeks. . . .

At the same time I do seem to have more time for myself....but only if I do not direct you to do anything....and I feel bad sometimes about not making you do some things. I need to work on that I guess.

AND I DO NOT want to sound like I am complaining. I am not really. Just tired. I know other moms out there who will forever have to wipe their child's butt. They would give anything to know it was like your case...where eventually you will be able to do it yourself. SO I am not complaining. I am thankful for every step of progress you take. I truly am.

anyway....mommy loves you regardless. ;X


Kindness (disarms the difficult) said...

Awwww Melinda I know of such issues. The wide variety of ways autism manifests... Molly has poop issues as well... She hates it and therefore holds it in for days at a time until she no longer can. It is an extremely long and excruciating process and she gags too. You are such a good mommy. you are.

Mom/Grandma said...

Good afternoon Melinda and Noah,
I wonder if you had a little trash can with the foot step to make the lid pop open, if he would be more willing to start wiping himself again and throw the wet ones into it. It would be something different and he might like that foot lid action of the can. Just an idea. Love you both.

Melinda, mom of Noah said...

My hope is Noah can eventually overcome it and be able to do it all on his own. I also realize at the same time yes...he may always have issues like this to deal with...:(

good idea mom.....I may try that