Sunday, February 01, 2009

Wiping (the Smile Right Off of My Face)

If you are not the parent of a special needs child, a mom or dad who has very recently undergone the process of potty training, or a person who is easily grossed out (Sharlie), you may want to skip this post.

I have never, not since Tyler was born in 1996, been free of changing diapers. Not for a single day. I remember, all those years ago when my kids were infants and toddlers, complaining to Chris or whoever else would listen about what a pain it was to change diapers all day long.

Then after a while, three kids and 5 years into it, diapering just became second hand- not my favorite task but not a big deal, either.

I think it was 2005, when Tyler and Madison were long past that stage and Jacob was 4 and still in the thick of it, that I became completely DONE with diapers and wipes and all things poopy. Unfortunately, my being over it and ready to move on did not prove to be reason enough for Jacob to feel the same way.

Totally inconsiderate, if you ask me.

So here we are. It's 2009 and Jacob is almost eight and his rear end is way to big to be swathed in not-absorbent-enough cotton and I'm almost 33 and ready to have only my own large bottom to be concerned about and if a magic lamp with a wish-granting genie fell into my lap the first words out of my mouth would be ."I'm so sick of this poop."

Jacob's teacher, bless her, has trained Jacob t0 be 95% dry during school hours. He leaves on the little bus in underwear and comes home 7 hours later wearing the same pair. He pees in the big-kid potty in the school hallway and gives her no trouble.

He has never had a BM at school. He saves that for me.

On one hand I'm glad that he isn't subjecting people who don't love him as much as I do to the most unpleasant part of parenting. On the other hand it would be really awesome to have that part of his day over and done with before the messy task falls to me.

At home we can get Jacob to use the potty for going #1 about two-thirds of the time. He still has accidents in his clothes and often takes off his undies to sneak on a diaper when we aren't looking and sleeps in a pull-up every night.

So as much as I want to move past this stage and onto the next one, I have an admission to make to everyone that I have never made before: I am afraid to let him wipe. I would prefer to have all the poo contained to the diaper where I can clean it all away and put it in the dumpster and be done with it.

I know my kid, and I know that he would be very interested in the wiping part of having a BM on the toilet. I cringe, I whine, I don't breathe through my nose, but I shudder even more at the thought of Jacob's little hands soiled and spreading germs on the walls and toys and in my hair before I realize he has attempted to clean himself. Because then instead of the gross-but-familiar routine of "clean and dispose" I would be forced to be on Poop Watch 24/7 to avoid the mess getting anywhere but on the paper and flushed away.

I know, I know. I need to suck it up and do it. I need to follow him around, guiding him to the toilet and suffering through stinky hands and dirty fingernails and washing and washing and washing, forsaking all else, every hour of every day that he is home with me, until this goal of completely potty trained is met. He hasn't shown any interest, understanding or desire for this part of life yet. So starting the process is all up to me.

I don't wanna. Its yucky. I already do lots of yucky stuff. Aren't all these years of suffering through it enough? Don't I deserve one easy thing? Feel sorry for me!!! (Read all that in a whiny, pleading voice.) I am stuck doing something that I can't stand and that will only continue to get harder. I'm taking the easy(er) road now and trying not to think about how much more difficult this going to be as we both get older.

I need suggestions and advice and above all else and live-in nanny to take care of the dirty deed for me. Seriously.


Jaimers said...

I really do feel for you! I don't know how you do it, and I'm sure I would be just like you in not wanting to go onto the wiping himself stage. That would just be too much to bear! And, to think that you've committed yourselves to the attention of a dog! I couldn't do that either! You are superwoman!

Tambi Lane said...

I feel for you. I hate diaper duty and I'm sooo glad we are done with that. You are amazing!

Inkling said...

My child is four and I still don't let him wipe himself, and for the same reasons. I need to get over it too. Thus have no advice, but much sympathy.

Hummingbirder said...

Thank you for that funny post! I'm sorry but that made my day :)
Seriously, though, I feel for you! My son is only 3 and special needs and not showing many signs of being ready. He does strip and run around naked but I don't know if that counts.
I can relate because I've been doing diapers for a long time with 6 children (ages 19 down to 3) and I'm ready to be done with it but my 3 year old isn't.
I'm sorry I don't have any helpful suggestions but the nanny idea sounds great!