Archive for the ‘top tips’ Category

More poop posts. I know, you didn’t think it was possible.

February 20, 2013

Yesterday almost broke me. Seriously, how did I ever have the energy to deal with two newborns? We had six poop accidents and one wee accident, of all things. But yesterday is done, onward to today. The poop child has pooped today, ON THE TOILET. So hopefully they are cleared out enough that things are back under control. This also makes three days in a row with poop. Not sure that has ever happened, even when this child was a newborn.

For those that have contacted me asking why they are on stool softeners, this child is what they call a poop withholder. Basically, they stop themselves from pooping. They’ve done it since they were born. As a toddler, we actually thought they were in a pain and really trying to poop, until I bought a book called something like Constipation, Withholding, and your Child. Yes. A scintillating title.

But this little book is pretty awesome. Through it I learned that this child’s behaviours that we thought were aborted, stressful poop attempts were actually this toddler doing everything in their power to hold the poop in. Standing rigidly, clutching furniture, not peeing, making pooping noises, even screaming. Withholding often can feature soiling, which is when new, liquid poop moves around the larger poop obstruction and leaks out to go into the nappy/underwear. We’ve only had this twice, but pretty massively this last episode.

This whole thing can lead to poops which hurt the bottom, or even tear it, because the poops can be huge and not soft. Then the pain leads to even more withholding. It’s a vicious cycle.

Off we trundled to the doctor about nine or ten months ago, and tried a laxative. It gave my kid tummy pain. So we moved on to stool softeners. They have managed it well, but even with them my child only pooped every other day at most. This may be normal for some children, and for this kid, it was as good as it has ever been. We actually stopped medication. Then in November, a particularly painful, huge poop ripped them and their fear of poop related pain meant we started medication again.

We are now trying two sachets of medication a day, which is more than my child has ever had. Their colon needs a chance to shrink down, and also learn to get poop signals when there is a lot less poop in there.

This morning we had a combo poop and wee (normal for most, but such is the control of this kid that they often poop first, then wee twenty minutes later once they are relaxed and not holding poop in) and IT WENT IN THE TOILET. Thank god for small, brown, murky miracles.

This hopefully concludes this bout of poop posts. If anyone has questions about withholding or recognises their child in my descriptions, feel free to get in touch.

Finally, I see why TMD gets annoyed when I continually ask her to find my stuff.

January 22, 2013

Am I the only one who scans?

You know what I mean. You walk through a room (or lean heavily on crutches, whatevs) and your eyes swing from side to side, noting important details.

Okay, little Spiderman with the slightly larger yellow eyes is on the floor in front of the couch. Bunny is sprawled in the corner. That tiny piece of impossibly important shoestring is on the bookshelf.

I try to store these nuggets of information so that I can casually and gracefully throw out answers to the constant pleas for assistance to find shit. Scanning is a great tool, if your memory complies. But what the hell do you do when your kid is holding a spiderman and asks for a ‘web zipper’? By the time it takes you to work out that he wants the five inches of thread connected to window suckers, by the time you actually manage to find it, just as you thrust your fist victoriously in the air, your kid says, ‘Where’s my Spiderman? I just had him.’

I’m constantly saying, ‘I don’t know. You JUST had him/it/her. You need to try to remember where you put stuff down, take some responsibility for your toys. Everyone would be happier if we all remembered where our own stuff was.’

They just look at me. ‘But where is my Spiderman? You help me?’

Increasingly, my help looks like guiding them through the process of what it means to search for a missing toy – checking under the couch, thinking about where we last played with it, etc. But no matter what I do, the flood of almost constant requests to find shit never really tapers off. They are getting really good at ‘finding’ stuff they aren’t currently looking for, though.

‘Oh look, here is The Other Twin’s Special Thing! I found it! Other Twin, I found your thing!’ This usually results in them moving it from a visible area to some other zone of lost toys, and thus the circle goes round and round.

Top toothbrushing tip.

November 9, 2012

We’ve been brushing the kids’ teeth since, well, the first hint of tooth started popping through their lovely pink gums. Ah, I remember crying when that happened. My babies! Growing up! Teeth!
We have always tried to keep it low key, but non-negotiable. Teeth get cleaning morning and night. An adult always does the majority of brushing, though we certainly let them play with the toothbrushes, especially as babies. I do feel it’s important for children to feel ownership over their bodies and the things happening to them, and teeth brushing is one of the first responsibilities they participate in. We wanted them to be involved, and I think this also cuts flailing, arguing, and mouths clamping shut.

How we’ve done teeth over the ages has evolved, but if your kids are roughly at the stage of ours – happy to have teeth cleaned, but possibly need them cleaned for longer and with a bit more toothpaste – here’s what the past couple of months have brought, very successfully.

I sing, in la la la form, the happy birthday song twice through. They usually la la la along. This possibly only works if your kids had a birthday in August are are still obsessed with it – handy as we have heard that the birthday song twice through is a good length of time for little ones to brush. But any song could work.This works because they know exactly how much longer teeth brushing needs to happen before they can get back to their more important tasks, like playing cars or reading bones books.

We have also been practicing spitting in a big way, since we never did it before the last few months. So we brush. After one song run through, spit. Sing it again. Spit. At this point, Coconut likes to brush her own teeth for another song length. Snort is like, are you fucking kidding me? No thanks.

Our little steps that let them reach the toilet are great for teeth brushing. They can reach the tap to turn the water on at the end to rinse the sink, they can see how much spit they make, etc.

So, voila. Teeth brushing any parent can love.