The Defecation Dilemma

There are countless things expectant parents are not warned about before they are blessed with the responsibility of raising tiny humans. I really wish someone had warned us about this one. Luckily for you, I am about to do just that. You owe me one.

When toilet training our eldest daughter we were faced with an unexpected problem.

She was absolutely petrified of doing poos on the toilet.

Oddly, number 1’s were fine – no issues there. But when it came to the prospect of discharging faeces into the exact same location as the urine before it, frightened screams would fill the air and my wife and I had absolutely no idea what to do. It was mayhem. We would run around aimlessly and bump into each other while we franticly and hopelessly tried to resolve the issue for our petrified little girl.

Naturally, we thought there must have been something horribly and horrendously wrong. But we would undertake the usual checks and ask the usual questions to no avail.

Is it hurting? …No

Is your bum bum sore? …No

Is there a tiny shark hiding in the S-bend threatening to swallow you whole? …No

It was time to try some alternative tactics. My wife is a teacher after all, surely she could come up with something to dispel the fear.

We purchased a small replica toilet potty (complete with authentic flush noise at the push of a button) thinking it may be the sheer height that was causing the issue. Nope… panicked screams akin to those you would expect from a human being torn apart limb by limb at the mercy of a hungry crocodile.

Next idea was a reward system. This comprised of a poster on the wall which could receive a fun sticker upon successful No. 2. This actually worked… for number 1’s only. The stickers seemed to make their way onto the poster and the toilet without having completed the necessary task to earn the reward. In the end, no good. More screams akin to that of a human plummeting towards the ground from the top story of the Q1 Building.

We were running out of ideas now and tried one last thing.

Poo coaching. Similar to the way a doula would coach an expectant mother through the intense physical and emotional challenges of labouring the birth of a human child, we coached our 2-year-old daughter through the passing of human waste. Complete with breathing exercises and a calming song which was developed in collaboration by my wife and daughter (The Rainbow Song – lyrics below).

It didn’t work first try but eventually we had success. A dream run with no screaming. Honestly, I think our daughter was a bit shocked when it was all over and there were no serious repercussions.

When she got through it, we celebrated like we had never celebrated before. Tears of joy streamed down our faces as we embraced, jumping and shouting like we had just won the actual olympics.

It was a beautiful family moment. But achieving the amazing result wasn’t without its struggles.

Hopefully this will help other parents out there having similar issues (assuming this is a common problem). Let me know, comment below!

Red, orange and yellow.

Green, blue, purple and pink.

These are the colours of the rainbow.

It’s a lovely day.

The Rainbow Song – Composed by my wife and daughter.

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