Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I feel like I am at war.

We keep Frank in underwear so long as we're home and he's awake. He gets a pullup for naptime and bedtime. Yesterday he kept his underwear dry all day long (yay!) but his naptime pullup was soaked through when he got up after an hour and a half (boo!). Today, he was dry all day long...until 5:45pm. Between 5:45pm and when Darrel got home at about 7pm, he wet or soiled five PAIRS of underwear. FIVE. The last pair was so heinous, I threw it out. I'm sorry, honey, poop is the one bodily thing I simply cannot handle without retching. A lot. I can (and have) catch vomit with my bare hands and not blink an eyelash, but I CANNOT handle poop. I could not handle it when he was a newborn, and now that there's more of it (and more stink to it), it's even worse.

Anyway, so we were on pair number five when I started yelling. Now, I worry about being a yeller, but I don't actually think I do it very often. For one thing, it seems to really get his attention. For another, he always sobs hysterically when I do yell at him. Once I'd calmed down, I apologized to him for yelling, cuddled him, and told him that even if I was angry and yelling, I still loved him, that I would always love him no matter what happened, etc.

We are both firmly convinced that he has the physical knowledge of when he needs to go, before he actually goes. He has tells, and he's a lousy liar, so when you ask him if he has to go poop, he gets a panicked look on his fac and says, "No!" I've tried putting him on the potty when I see this, but...yes, you guessed it, he holds it in until I take him off the potty and put pants on him!!! No one can tell me this kid does not have bowel control, that's for sure. I mean, not within the last week or so, but I've sat him on the toilet for a half hour at a time, and he holds it in until he's got pants on.

I make him help me clean his underwear when he wets or soils it, as per the suggestion of a college friend, I make him stand there and watch, him still in the wet-soiled pants, both of us silent, while I clean the mess from the floor, we've had stickers, we've had prizes, we've praised lavishly when he pees in the potty, we've called Grandma when there's a Big Potty Milestone, we've talked about ALL of his friends at school use the potty ful time...nothing seems to work.

So, after some quick private discussion, Darrel came up with an ultimatum: Tomorrow, the kid has to put some poop in the potty, or the TV gets turned off. Frabk looked horrified at this, and said he'd "try"...which he's been promising for months now, so I will believe it when I see it.

If I were a drinker, I would be well on my way to drunken bliss right now, that's how emotionally exhausting the day has been.

The only bright spot is, after only a couple of days of trying it, he seems somewhat intrigued by macaroni and cheese. He's thrown nowhere near the fits over this than he has for other foods. He loves salty foods, so we are hoping he takes to mac and cheese. *crosses fingers* It would make my month if we added a new food to his diet, even if it's not a fruit or veggie.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

1000 Books, 1000 miles

I read and post on a messageboard. One of the other posters on that board, C, is a teacher in Missouri. They had a flood at her school, and many of thier books were destroyed. I told her I'd ask around, and see if anyone here had any children's books they wanted to get rid of. I posted a plea for books on my school district's email board, and got a response back: a teacher at the middle school had had a book drive, the places she was supposed to donate the books to fell through, and did my friend in Missouri want about 1000 children's books?

The result? 1000 Books, 1000 Miles: The Project.


As of now, we still have some parts of the journey between Philly and eastern Ohio that are not yet covered. Once we get all legs of the journey covered, the books will start making their way from Somerset County, NJ, to Missouri.

Please repost to your blogs/Facebook pages/Twitter feed, etc. Even if you can only do a couple of miles, that will help tremendously. Many thanks!

Monday, July 12, 2010


We had a family party Saturday. It was at Darrel's aunt and uncle's house, which is about ten minutes from here. I brought fish sticks for Frank's dinner, but nothing else, because I figured there'd be plenty of crackers or chips he'd be willing to eat. Well, I wasn't letting him eat potato chips- he's been having diarrhea again, and I think the oil in the chips makes it worse- but I thought there'd be enough other things he could eat that it wouldn't be an issue.

Well, it was an issue. Yes, they had Doritoes, but they didn't have the exact kind of Doritoes (Cool Ranch) that Darrel gets, so they looked different, so Frank wouldn't eat them. They had crackers but they weren't a kind Frank had ever eaten before, so he wouldn't eat them. They did have potato chips, but, again, I wasn't letting him eat those. I wanted to cry. Aunt had a box of Wheat Thins, so after Frank finished his fish sticks (comment from Aunt: "Oh, you're moving up in the world, Frank- eating more than just chicken nuggets now!"), I let him have all the Wheat Thins he wanted to have.

For dinner, they had burgers and dogs, mac and cheese, potato salad, etc- typical summer grill party type food. Frank doesn't eat any of those kinds of things. (Well, he couldn't eat potato salad or macaroni salad, because they have mayo in them, and mayo is made from eggs, which he's still allergic to.) There was another three-year-old there. not only was this kid fully potty trained, he played in the pool (which Frank doesn't like), and he ate whatever his parents put in front of him.

It's hard for me to decide what frustrates me the most- that my son won't eat many different types of foods, that he still is not nearly potty trained, that he doesn't want to do normal stuff like run through a sprinkler or play in a pool, fighting with insurance, or that I feel like I always have to make excuses for him to people who think we are entirely too permissive and let our kid run his life. I am starting to feel really drained by dealing with all this, and I feel sometimes like I just cannot handle it anymore. Darrel is getting so annoyed again about Frank's food issues, and I am unsure whether playing good cop/bad cop is a good thing, and will get Frank to try different things, or whether it is damaging to him. I'm just so confused and angry and frustrated- I was emotionally prepared for my kid to have lung problems, or immune problems, but never in my life did I even think there was a possibility he'd have a disorder that most of society has never heard of, and many who have heard of think it's BS.