Any mom will tell you that kids go through seasons. This is especially true for toddlers. They have ups and downs of epic proportions that seem to last weeks, if not months. One minute they are sweet little angels giving you kisses and hugs. And the next they are sassing you with an attitude you thought was reserved for the pre-teen years.
You get used to the roller coaster of emotions and often find yourself on guard, wondering whether it will be Jekyl or Hyde that will be greeting you today. So when my two year old was showing some of the finest displays of sass I have ever seen, I simply chalked it up to the terrible two’s. I bemoaned to my husband that we must have entered another ‘low season’ and wondered how long this one would last.
Her bad behavior became so commonplace that we joked about how it’s just who she is now. She’s just a sassy girl who cries over everything and makes her opinion known. We could easily label her the strong willed child that everyone talks about.
It just so happened that at the same time our angel started showing her dark side that we were potty training. She had shown signs that she was ready to roll and we were obviously eager to be rid of diapers. Training got off to a great start and though we had our fair share of accidents and cleanups, she got the hang of things pretty quickly.
Well, minus one very important part. Half of the potty training equation actually. Pooping on the potty. This eluded her. Peeing was a cinch, pooping was a nightmare.
I read about how typical it is for toddlers to have some issues with going number two and wasn’t overly concerned. I assumed she would eventually come around so I didn’t push it. By the end of month three we were taking her out in public in just underwear and were generally confident that she would tell us when she needed to go. And we counted on nap time as her time to do her other business which worked fine because we were still putting her in pull-ups when she slept.
But we started to notice that a few days would go by and she had not pooped. And by day three she would stand, legs rigid, with a miserable face that read “why me?” while her body was trying to figure out how to get rid of three days worth of waste. She was uncomfortable, constipated, but eventually she would get the job done.
But that pain and discomfort led her to withhold her poop (yup, poop withholding is a thing) even more and it created this vicious circle of constipation. Apparently constipation in toddlers is more common than I initially thought because as I started sharing what was going on I had many moms reach out with their own stories and remedies.
We tried altering her diet, pushing more water, and made all the changes we could. But we didn’t see very good results. So after consulting with my doctor we started mixing some laxatives in with her morning breakfast to get things moving.
And within a day we started to see a difference. Things were finally moving in the right direction (down the toilet that is) and a flip was switched with my daughter’s demeanor as well. It was like we had a whole different kid on our hands. She was back to her mostly sweet self, and although still opinionated she was less of an asshole about it.
I almost couldn’t believe it but it makes so much sense looking back at the timing of everything. I so easily chalked up her change in behavior as a season when really it was directly related to her health and discomfort. Lesson learned that when your kid is being a turd, well, turds might actually be the problem.
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