Tempest woke up this morning at 8am, crying her eyes out, telling me her throat and tummy hurt. She kept holding her mouth. “Do you have to throw up?” I asked her. She nodded and I ran her to the bathroom where she coughed a few times at the toilet before telling me she didn’t think she was nauseated.
I tried to peek into her throat but it’s almost impossible without a tongue depressor. Her fever was around 102 and she was incredibly unhappy so I gave her some ibprofun to help with the pain.

She sat on the couch for three hours, unmoving, clutching a glass bowl that she had put her entire head in because she was afraid she might throw up.
Last night I finally figured out how to put three movies on one DVD, with a menu and scene selections, so I burned all of the Unico movies I found online and tested it on our TV this morning; letting her watch the first movie while she zonked out and sipped on cool water. It worked perfectly, so now we have a DVD of all of the Unico movies.

Once Tempest was settled in and watching TV, I made some Malt o’ Meal muffins and coffee for myself. My mother has a huge thing for Malt o’ Meal and you can’t get it in Canada, so she has Curtis’ parents buy her boxes upon boxes and ship them up, sometimes a dozen at a time, so she can get her fix, then she reimburses them for any cost. They don’t seem to care as apparently the boxes are quite cheap. I can’t stand the stuff, but Curtis and the kids love it just as much as my mother does – and it makes good muffins.
Just as they came out of the oven, Xan pulled at me to tell me he had to poop.
“Do you want to poop on the potty?” I asked.
“Potty! Potty!” he said, as he ran toward the bathroom. Pooping has been an issue for him because he was constipated pretty badly a few weeks back and has been terrified to have a BM ever since. Diapered or not, he’ll fight it sometimes for days. He’s pretty good at peeing on the potty now though, and hasn’t had a pee accident in about two weeks.

As soon as he came within sight of the toilet, he flipped out and started screaming. “Do you want a diaper, then?” I said, not really meaning for it to be a question: it’s either potty or diaper, dude.
He screamed, “No!” then took a few steps toward the bathroom, screamed, took a few steps toward the bedroom, screamed, then dropped to the floor in tears.
I wrestled him into the bedroom and got a diaper on him, after about five minutes he finally calmed down and seemed to accept it.

After some time playing with his car I heard him start the grunty noises, but almost immediately he shrieked in pain and screamed, “Potty!”. Figuring that this meant he was trying to hold it in for the toilet, I ran him in, took off his diaper to see the teeniest little stain and put him on the pot. We don’t have a kid seat so I have to hold him onto it.
He was fine for about 20 seconds, then shrieked in pain again. “No! No!” he said, and arced his back.

I was about to take him back off and then realized he had a bit coming out, so I couldn’t really remove him. I softly explained to him that he had to finish before I moved him and started tickling his back. He was shrieking and crying, becoming hysterical and screaming, “Ow! Ow poop!”. His whole body was shaking.
I tried massaging his tummy and giving it gentle pushes, but it didn’t help. I leaned him forward and peeked at his bum to see that his anus had become distended an inch or more from trying to push out an incredibly massive poop. He was in incredible pain. I tried to move his legs, push his tummy and gently tell him to push but nothing was helping. Another moment with no change and I had to intervene. I wrapped my fingers in toiletpaper and had to physically pull it out of him. He stuck his head between my knees (I was standing at this point) leaning forward with his hands wrapped around my legs for support.
As soon as it was over, he passed out. At first I thought he was just taking a moment to catch his breath, and remarked at how suddenly he had stopped screaming… but after waiting over three minutes while he was limp with his eyes closed, I realized he actually fainted.
He stirred, and I whispered, “Do you need to poop more?”
“Mm-mm,” he mumbled for ‘no’.
“Do you need to pee?”
“Mm-mm.”
“Are you all finished?”
“Mm-mm.” Quieter this time. I waited another moment before telling him I would clean him up, and did so without any protest.
“You’re all finished now, do you want to get down?” He sat up and let me lift him onto the floor. He looked into the toilet, seeing what he’d done, and was just about to cheer for himself when he caught sight of his diaper on the floor with that teeny tiny stain in it.

He looked completely crestfallen, pointed at it and said with a pout, “Oh no. Poop. Diaper poop.”
“No, no! You pooped in the potty! See?”
“No,” he said sadly. “Diaper poop.”
“You didn’t!” I picked up the diaper and shook it upsidedown to show him. “Nothing inside! You pooped in the potty, Xan!”
“Potty?” He gave one, cautious clap and said, “Yay?” as though it was a question.
“Yaaay!” I cheered, clapping.
“YAY!” he cheered back. “POOP POTTY!” He excitedly went and flushed the toilet, then went out to brag to a very sick Tempest about his accomplishment.

He didn’t seem at all upset about it once it was over, wasn’t bleeding or injured, but damn that was traumatic. The size was intense.
I distinctly recall my early toddlerhood, leaning over my mother’s knee and screaming while she inserted laxative suppositories. My sister had the same problem when she was a toddler, too – it seems to run in the family. Starting today we’re going to put him on a high fiber diet with a regular dose of prunes to try and control the symptoms, because today was awful. It doesn’t seem to plague him all the time, but every so often he goes through periods where it’s terrible like this – and the strange part is the BMs aren’t* hard, like being constipated, they’re just incredibly fucking huge. My poor boy.
*(Edited: at first I wrote, “are hard”, when I mean’t “aren’t”, so that completely changed the meaning of that sentence)

Before all of this went down, Tempest and I spent the last few days decorating. I mentioned in my last entry that we made snowflakes and paperchains, and last night I finally got the supplies ready to make a wreath. We went out for a long walk collecting fallen tree branches and I was very clear that we would not pick anything that was alive, because it disrespected the celebration of Yule. Every so often we’d pass a few trees with perfect wreath branches, hanging low down and she would matter-of-factly say to me, “Those are beautiful branches, but we will leave them on the tree so we respect it.”
As we walked I explained what Yule was, and what it meant to me. I talked about the ways we celebrate and pay tribute, and some of the things we’ll do in the month of December.

We talked about what beliefs and spirituality are, how other people believe different things and that it isn’t fair to say what they believe isn’t true because it is true to them and makes them happy. I talked about how Curtis believes different things than I do, but we all celebrate together, and how she might find she believes different things as she gets older but we’ll still celebrate together in all the different, special ways we can.
When I referenced religion, and beliefs that we may not share, she piped up, “Like Santa Claus?” – we’ve never done Santa so from her point of view it’s something some other kids seem to believe in, and is unsure why some people take the story so seriously. It was a perfect, albeit probably blasphemous, way to explain how other people believe in God while Curtis and I don’t.
For the point of that explanation, belief in God was exactly like belief in Santa Claus: you may not share it but it’s very special to other people, and it makes them happy like our celebrations make us happy, so we need to respect them and be happy for them, too. She was very satisfied with that explanation, and hopefully it will avoid the drama that I caused in my family at her age when I invited my cousins over, very concerned about what my aunt and uncle had “done”, feeling it was my solemn duty to give them the news that they’d been duped.

At home we crafted a wreath with branches, a message she crafted the night before from block bead letters, and some flair that she picked up from Michael’s like a few sparkling branch things, some holiday decor and a little white dove. She was so incredibly thrilled with it.
When a client came by the house later that night to pick up her package of photographs, Tempest ran ahead of me to the door to greet her with, “Did you see the wreath? It’s a beautiful wreath. Did you know I helped make that wreath? You saw it, right?”.

Comments

comments

54 Comments

  • emilie1024 says:

    Being a Christian I think you explained it beautifully to Tempest. I don’t have children, but if I ever do I will do the same thing. I strongly believe that you need to respect what people believe. The decorations are beautiful BTW…my pagan-Irish roots definitely like Yule πŸ™‚ I LOVE the wreath. Also being a school teacher I always ask when we are celebrating anything before I force what is considered the “norm” on my students.

  • alicianne3 says:

    i hope your munchkins are feeling much better, and your yule wreath is beautiful:)

  • Anonymous says:

    My son (Xan also!) had a similar problem. He started withholding his poop and it became a cycle of withholding and not being able to control his bm, along with getting really backed up. It took us a while to get the diagnosis of encopresis. We have been working with a specialist here in Seattle for about 2 years now. We manage it with the addition of Miralax to his diet, although in the beginning we also used mineral oil daily. These help to keep everything moving through his system smoothly and painlessly.
    I would recommend checking with his doctor so that this can be handled right away, I regret that it took us so long to fully understand what my son was going through and to start treating it.

    –Ruth

  • snarkybleu says:

    I love the wreath. I am a big believer in flair! At first I thought the message said “Blessed Yule, Totally” and the punk rock part of my heart sang out with glee, or as much glee as a punk can :0

    Tempest sounds like such an exuberant child!

  • ajlinda says:

    Poor Xan. That’s a cool wreath. It’s nice you get to be in an open minded area. Over here people would either be confused or call you a devil worshiper. My neighbor’s daughter is a Wiccan and she wears a pentacle necklace. Some woman came up to her in the store, got in her face and said she’s going to hell. She just said I don’t believe in hell. Seems like you have a more tolerant place to live.

    • admin says:

      For the most part I find it is more tolerant here, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t run into my fair share of those who believe I’m a satan-worshipping evildoer. Like Curtis’ grandmother, for instance…

      • ajlinda says:

        Yeah, that must be more than rough to have your extended family think you love satan. The Boston area originally had so many Irish catholic, Italian catholic immigrants that it’s more feared around here I think. I don’t ever remember seeing any type of pagan symbols ever, and I’ve lived in several towns and cities.

  • robynz says:

    Oh I love love the little yarn and bells! I like how you explained the spirituality of December to Tempest. It made me think of when I was the same age, walking in the snow, and asking my mother similar questions.

    I liked your answers much better. πŸ™‚

    -PS; oopsies, anonymous!

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh I love love the little yarn and bells! I like how you explained the spirituality of December to Tempest. It made me think of when I was the same age, walking in the snow, and asking my mother similar questions.

    I liked your answers much better. πŸ™‚

  • hoodwink says:

    The wreath is really nice:)

    • hoodwink says:

      Should add that when I was a child, my mother had me eating 2 servings of oatmeal everyday. She would add raisins on occasion. When I was older, I didn’t want to eat the oatmeal anymore and wow…my system was pretty angry! but oatmeal might be something else good to give to help Xan.

  • Gorgeous, gorgeous wreath. Funny, you know, I didn’t even notice the pentacle at first! Which is weird, because I usually notice them all over the place… Go figure.

    I’m just thrilled about that conversation you had with Tempest. I wish someone had spoken to me like that when I was little. It’s really hard having to learn those things when the ‘one way to heaven’ thing has been pounded into you for your entire life. Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  • _delphiki_ says:

    Maddox held it so long he had an anal fissure and a blockage. After treating it- I consulted several docs and they all recommended the same thing: Miralax. I don’t know if you have it in Canada but it is awesome. One cannot overdose on it since it never leaves the GI track (a bonus with me in case his dose ever needed increasing) and it dissolves completely in water or juice.

    Maddox says it doesn’t hurt to poop anymore and he still only goes a couple times a week.

  • When that happened to M. I had to call my mother over to remove the poop because I couldnt do it. I tried but she’d cry and then I’d cry. Its such a horrible thing to happen…poor Xan.

  • zeldazonk says:

    Poor Xan. Kiwifruit has always helped in our house when things go tough in the plumbing. Plus its much yummier than prunes. πŸ˜›

  • facethemoon says:

    I struggled with the poop issues with T for months before a woman I made calmly told me she experienced the exact same thing with her son. Its not IBS, its not diet related, its just that they had one bad experience with pooping where it hurt, etc and then they hold it. Children are magical thinkers and decide that they just won’t go instead of getting it over with before they’ve waited for days and it will most certainly hurt. T would wait for days, sometimes as long as 2 weeks and it was HORRIBLE! He’d scream and cry and there was NO WAY he would sit on the toilet. It was awful. His diet was amazing and there was nothing constipating about it. I was so confused.

    After talking to this woman about it, I got referred to this amazing ped GI doc who confirmed all these beliefs. He was amazing. Children do outgrow this when they develop more logical thought, because it is psychological. To help T, we gave him a stool softener for almost a year, every day, to help “erase his memory” of it ever hurting, because in order for him to heal from it, he had to know that pooping doesn’t hurt. We started off giving him Lactulose, which you can buy over the counter for these episodes, but he wouldn’t take anything you could taste (it just tastes like sugar liquid), so we found this compounding pharmacy that made PEG 3350, this strange named flavorless, textureless stool softener. It was AMAZING and he finally didn’t scream and cry.

    He’s been able to go without any trouble since he was about 3 years old, but apparently 2 is the prime age to develop this. I just thought I’d share this info, because I’d never have known if it wasn’t for this woman mentioning it to me. It can’t be corrected with diet, and its just something they more or less outgrow and you make easier by making BMs easier. Of course, I don’t know for certain that this is what Xan is experiencing, but it sounds exactly like that T would experience, every day, for months before I figured it out, and you mentioned he had a bad constipating episode a while back and has been scared.

    Poor little guy. πŸ™

    • admin says:

      Thank you for all of that. I have been considering psyche cause, too… I just figured it couldn’t hurt to try some gentle dietary adjustments first, too Just in case it is even partially IBS related (as it does run in the family and mine started the same way at the same age).
      But it’s really good to know that if it is psychological, he will outgrow it relatively soon. :-/

      • facethemoon says:

        I changed Tao’s diet a lot too. I made something called Poop Cookies, gross I know, but I added a ton of psyllium husks to them to act as a natural laxative. They worked okay, but nothing worked as good as the stool softener. You could even just try it when he seems to be showing those first signs of having to go, it will help ease the discomfort for sure, and it doesn’t stay in the system. Lactulose is an undigestable milk sugar that draws fluid into the large intestine.

        I really hope its not IBS, and just this. And I hope he outgrows it sooner than later. It was horrible dealing with it with T, it was so sad. πŸ™

        • admin says:

          I knew about the milk thing… it’s why his exposure to cow milk is quite low. Having goat milk seems to help act as a softener for him though, the last two times he had this happen was during a space where we didn’t buy him goat milk for 1.5+ weeks.

  • heavynleigh says:

    Poor Xan!
    I hope Tempest feels better soon. We’ve got the sickies here too. πŸ™

    The wreath is beautiful!

  • jenrose1 says:

    My kiddo had fissures at one point that made her hold it to extremes… she went weeks once without pooing and didn’t tell me, we finally got her x-rayed and her colon was so distended it looked liek she had a huge mass in her abdomen. Baby lax enemas did the trick then.

    I had it for a while and the BEST thing was to take magnesium, just to the point of runs, then backing off the dose and maintaining it there. magnesium diarrhea is painless, unlike almost any other kind. Do not use mag sulfate…mag citrate is best.

  • gypsymommy says:

    My kids also take the biggest bms imaginable. It’s so hard to see them struggle to get them out. Luckily my son, who is 4 is getting better at going every day… they’re still massive in size, but aren’t hurting him as badly. My daughter is another story, she’ll hold them in for days.

    The wreath is stunning. You and Tempest did a fantastic job.

    I must go in search of Unico now!

  • First of all, that is a beautiful wreath. Seeing the joy on my daughters face when she helps create things is just incredible. It makes all the crappy times worth it.

    And speaking of crappy things… how horrible. My older daughter has only been constipated once, but it ended up being the same situation, having to physically remove it. She screamed so hard and I felt so horrible. Not fun!

  • beautiful!

    I searched on wikipedia, “pagan” to see more about what you believe, and it was largely unhelpful.

    When I think of pagans I think of the “goddess and god”, strong women, the outdoors, loud orange candles.

    • admin says:

      Re: beautiful!

      Loud orange candles? Heh.

      I don’t believe in goddess/god pair, but what I believe is that the Earth is alive as a spiritual presence. She is not our creator, but rather we were a happy accident that she allowed to continue on her. She does not have ultimate power in our lives, she doesn’t control our fate, nor does she make mistakes or grant miracles – she is just a force of energy and life that exists within all things on her surface: plants, animals, trees… even the stones and rivers – and connects all of them to each other.
      I believe she is in pain when her resources are burned and pillaged, that she feels the weight of an unbalanced world, and I believe that respecting and healing her is the ultimate form of worship.

      • ahh beautiful

        I remember reading that orange might be a good colour to use for spells because it is very loud, in that it is hard to ignore.

        Do you have a belief in how we were created?

        Is the earth specifically feminine or are certain parts of it specifically feminine–the ocean comes to mind–open, wet and receiving πŸ˜€
        Or the typical school of thought, mother earth, father heaven?

        I believe we are made of the same stuff as the earth and I think warriorship means refraining from cowardice and cultivating courage. Courage based on openness and compassion. Compassion extending to the earth, to our enemies and eventually with training one day to everyone. Because nobody is healed unless everybody is healed.

        I’m interested in becoming a midwife and I was wondering, if you don’t mind, sharing some of the things you think would be most demanding about going to school to be a midwife? Or with midwifery in general?

        • admin says:

          Re: ahh beautiful

          I believe in the primordial ooze thing. πŸ™‚ No creation story, no romantic purpose – just a happy accident.
          I feel the earth is a feminine spirit, because I feel she is a mother and her physical body acts as a womb to all life and death here.

          I’m not sure I understand, nor am qualified to answer, your last question about midwifery. Can you clarify what you were looking for?

          • Re: ahh beautiful

            “because I feel she is a mother and her physical body acts as a womb to all life and death here”
            yes I can see this, thank you for clarifying!

            but then my question is, where did the protoplasmic pond that was struck by lightening come from? Not that it matters that much. Anything that is born is going to change/die.

            I know you have talked to midwives and worked directly/in directly with them and nurses. I suppose my question could be asked like this, hypothetically if you decided to go back to school to become a midwife, what about that would leave you with a bit of anxiety?

            If it’s totally random to you, no worries. Maybe you have some good books you recommend reading about birthing? I’m not expecting for many years πŸ™‚

  • delababy says:

    Poor Xan!

    Don’t know why that was anon…
    It was me

  • Anonymous says:

    Poor Xan!

    The little boy I nanny for has that issue sometimes too and I feel so bad for him. We have found that a little Preparation H applied BEFORE the poop helps a lot.

  • My daughter gets those kinds of poops sometimes and its heartwrenching to watch as a mother. We have used suppositories on her as well but have found that mixing some Benefiber in with her juice everyday helps a bit.
    Sorry to hear your little Tempest was ill – bu sounds like yall had a nice meaningful walk together to gather things togehter!:)

  • Aw, I hope Tempest and Xan both start to feel better soon. IBS runs in our family, too. My mom, brother, sister, and I all have it. The extra fibre and prunes should help. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you both. That incident sounded so horrible. πŸ™

  • _melly says:

    Aww poor babies and not feeling well. She should be very proud of the wreath because it did come out very pretty. You are both very talented.

  • I know I’ve never commented here before, but I saw you on one of the LJ communities (I think it was nouglybabies, lol) and I came this way.

    I just wanted to say that I’ve had the same issue your little man has had and sometimes it’s because I haven’t had enough water to drink. If I’m even the littlest bit dehydrated, I have such an awful time going. In addition to the fiber, he might need a bit more water during the day!

    I hope it gets better soon. Poop issues are no fun. =(

  • bluealoe says:

    The college I went to was right across the street from the Malt-O-Meal factory. We could always tell whether they were making malt-o-meal or one of the other cereals because of the smell all over campus. I now have a violent reaction to the smell of malt-o-meal.

    Poor Xan. πŸ™ I have IBS, too, though mine seems to run more towards the diarrhea end. But I’ve had episodes of constipation followed but diarrhea, and it sucks beyond all words.

    That is one awesome wreath, and the explanation of religious beliefs is perfect. Your kids will grow up to respect different beliefs and traditions, and that makes me smile.

  • ivymae says:

    We have a long history of poop drama, and you have my sympathies. Ella went 14 days at one point, and that was with no dairy, high fiber, daily laxative, and all the belly massages she would let us do. Even mineral oil didn’t do anything. It was horrible, and we still struggle with it from time to time, but only 3-4 days of withholding (out of fear that it will hurt, thus making it huger and more likely to hurt!) once a month or so. As she’s gotten more verbal we’ve been abl to talk to her and explain more, but last winter/spring was one big poop drama.

  • alexparte says:

    The blue & white star wreath looked Jew-y at first glance.

  • the_wanlorn says:

    That’s such an adorable wreath. πŸ™‚

  • Oh my goodness, poor Xan with the poo issue. I’m not sure I could do what you did for him— I’m going to have to work on building my mommy strength!

    I absolutely love your explanation to Tempest about the holidays and respecting other people’s beliefs– that is a wonderful way to put it. I’m not sure we’ll do the whole Santa thing either, the whole thing just seems silly to me…

  • _evalution says:

    i had horrible constipation as a child, until i finally grew out of it in grade school. it was so awful, i still remember sitting on the toilet for hours, crying because it hurt so much. i had a regular diet of prunes and other laxative type products which never seemed to make any difference. i couldn’t eat apples or pears, either.

  • julierocket says:

    POOR XAN. Oh my. πŸ™ That sounds horrible. I get constipated too, and it’s just the worst when it feels like it’s clawing you to death on the way out. (TMI, I don’t care. haha.)

    And Poor Tempest. But at least she has UNICO!!! which I saw when I was six and, after scouring the internet for YEARS looking for “that movie with some little animal, and the girl, and her older brother became like a magical guy who worked for an evil overlord and he had to turn his parents into mummies and his dad had like flowers coming out of his head or something and then they ran away after the brother protected his sister with his cape and then the girl and the little creature got turned into toys,” I finally found it on YouTube. Blessed YouTube…

    • admin says:

      boxtorrent.com has all three!! πŸ™‚ Two are dubbed, and the last one never got dubbed so it has english subtitles.
      I also now have a DVD with all three on it. πŸ˜€

      • julierocket says:

        !!!!!!!

        (that took three tries… I kept typing Q!Q!!!Q!!!!!Q, wut?)

        • admin says:

          I just offered this to someone else, too: the copyright on these went up and apparently the company never registered it again so they’re just floating around and it’s not technically illegal to download or copy them. If you can’t get them from boxtorrents, tell me and I’ll seed for you – alternatively I’ll just copy the DVD I just made and mail it to you.

          • julierocket says:

            Well, here’s a question… would you mind sending me a copy of your “all three on DVD” to me? Because I would die of happy if I could watch it on my new TV, and I don’t have a DVD burner. If it’s too much trouble, don’t worry about it, though!

            • admin says:

              I’d be happy to! I’ll figure out how to copy it with only one drive (I know it’s possible, I think I just have to burn an image from it first) and then I’ll do it up for you. I have like 25 DVD-Rs standing by anyway so it’s not like it’s a big deal, it just takes a few hours to encode.
              Email your mailing address to summerstorms at shaw.ca

              The quality is not great, just warning you, because the files came from their original VHS tapes in the 80’s – but the kids haven’t seemed to care at all. πŸ™‚

              • julierocket says:

                The quality I WATCHED it on was probably horrible πŸ™‚

                I’m so excited, thank you! I can’t even describe– I searched for this movie for a good TEN YEARS with nothing to go on other than my six-year-old recollections. the thought of owning all three makes me squee!

    • admin says:

      PS. The one you’re describing is the second movie: Unico an the Island of Magic. The first one is “The Fantastic Adventures of Unico” and the third is “Unico Black Rain White Feather” or similar and is apparently a lot stranger and more disconnected from the other two, which is probably why it was never dubbed.

      • julierocket says:

        uee

        Yeah, I just remember the one. It was on TV.

        It’s so weird how I figured out, in retrospect, that a lot of the animated shows and movies that I remember being “different” from the others were actually animes. Remember that old show on Nickelodeon about fairy tales? I always thought to myself, “Hey, this looks like that other movie I saw once!” but didn’t know WHY it was different. heh.

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