Disclaimer: This post talks a lot about poop.
Our son is full of Sh*%! And I mean this in the most literal of ways.
We have spent the last five days in beautiful Khao Lak. During that time we have eaten several glorious meals at the breakfast buffet as well as Thai meals on the beach. Braden has taken full advantage of the seemingly endless supply of green curry, pancakes, bacon, fruit smoothies and chicken satay. He is your typical teenage boy. He takes in tons of food, and yet remains thin and muscular. But where is all that food going? Why isn’t it coming out?
Five days…no output. That means four days of sheer terror for Mike and me. We sit and wait. It’s that feeling of going up, up, up the roller coaster just waiting for it to drop on the other side- but not knowing when that drop is coming.
Poop. It’s something we’ve been dealing with since our kids were born. All those years of changing diapers and fantasizing about when both of our kids would be potty trained…the diapers stopped, but the potty training never happened. I remember a good friend of mine comforting me back when Braden was about four. She said, “Don’t worry, Lori. You know he’ll be potty trained when he’s 18!”
Here’s the problem, (and this gets messy,so if you’re sensitive, please stop reading here) Braden, when he poops, not only poops a lot, but he smears it everywhere.
My mom loved to tell the story of when I was about two and I “painted” the walls while all her friends were over. Cute story, but not when your kid is older.
When Braden was four and we were living in Colorado, I decorated his bedroom all cutesy-like. Pinterest moms would have been proud. Light blue walls with white puffy clouds painted on them
with airplanes hanging down from the ceiling (he perseverated on airplanes at the time). But the pièce de résistance was the bed. Braden’s grandparents bought him a loft bed that had a slide going down it. Such fun!
The slide became a target of the poop storms. Braden would strip naked, poop, and then slide down the slide. He would proceed to climb back up the slide, stepping in said poop, and then slide back down again and track the poop all over the carpeting.
Our solution (besides trying to re-teach going poo poo on the potty and wiping) was to tear up the carpeting and put in those mats that fit together like puzzle pieces. That way we could tear up the individual mats, disinfect them, and replace. Poop…clean…poop again…wash…rinse…repeat.
Armed with rubber boots, rubber gloves, disinfectant, scrub brushes, etc. I would enter “Poopopolis” to do a major clean each Saturday. One such day I dropped Madi off at a friend’s house to play. Braden and I came home and I did the major clean. I went down to make lunch for us (after showering!), and came back up to Braden’s room. The smell hit me before the sight. He had pooped again! He had played “Poop and Slide” and gotten it everywhere. Poop…clean…poop again. I went to pick Madi back up from her playdate. I didn’t know her friend Ian’s parents at all, but when Rebecca opened the door, she could tell something was wrong. She asked, and I blurted it all out. She invited me in for a glass of bubbly. Instant friendship.
Since then, it really hasn’t gotten better. Horrifying incidents of him “letting loose” in the slide at Chuck E. Cheese (yes, I’m aware how disgusting that is), on Rebecca’s swing-set, on Sandra’s swing-set, in my friend’s hotel room, in swimming pools (the worst), basically anywhere and everywhere.
Poop is so commonplace in our family. One of my favorite lines from Madison when she was about ten, “Mom, Braden pooped in the bathroom sink again. Oh, and I made you pancakes for breakfast.”
Braden’s doctor said that Braden is literally full of poop. We have to give him stool softeners to try and get it loose enough to come out, but his belly is always full and hard. Poor guy. He must be so uncomfortable.
Here in Thailand, we have tried multiple strategies to get the poop smearing to stop. Nothing works (although I do have a plan up my sleeve for when we return to Bangkok…I’ll keep you posted).
And this always dealing with poop…it’s embarrassing. We don’t really invite people over. Braden’s room (with bathroom) smells like a toxic waste zone. There aren’t many people I share our poop problems with, and although all have been extremely supportive, I still share the stories with embarrassment. But there are times when I’m just so sad about it all, that I have to share. I’m thankful my friends are there to listen.
I’m also really tired of cleaning up poop. So is Mike. And so is our incredible maebahn (helper in
Thai) Khun Tim. Khun Tim has been an absolute angel. We do the major clean up and she comes in with the disinfectant. My sisters used to joke and say that there is no way Mike and Lori could ever move back from overseas as they’re too used to getting help. Although we have lived in the U.S. with Braden, I have to say, they were right. Living overseas has been a godsend for our family for mean reasons. But Khun Tim has saved my sanity.
We went on a day-long tour yesterday. We were petrified through its entirety that Braden would need to poop. Quite often when it’s coming, we know because he gets very agitated. We’ve experienced it so many times, we know. Mike and I immediately “get that look” on our faces and try to figure out how we’re going to deal with such a thing in public.
Luckily, Braden held off with the output until today (4 a.m. to be exact). Breathe a sigh of relief. All contained…until next time.
Are you “pooped” from reading this? Did you make to the end? If so, thank you for reading it. I’m hoping that this post may reach another mom or dad who is dealing with something similar. I hear this is very common with autism and I don’t want anyone to feel alone in this adventure.
Please comment here and let me know what you think.
Bed image taken from http://www.standard88.com/index.php?right_type=1&O_Type=Item&Fk_no=105&Sk_no=004