A Poop Story (or How Things Are Different At Home)

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Don´t read this story if you don´t want to read me talking about poop. On the other hand (a clean one), come on, all parents have nice poop stories to tell. Maybe mine will remind you of your own poop story to talk about later.

I was walking through a trail next to a friend´s house with two friends of mine, Luísa (my 3-year old) and Vitor (her best friend who´s also 3). We sat under a tree and while we talked the kids were playing with sticks. Nice.

Suddenly, Luísa asked me to take her to the bathroom. I asked: “Is it pee or is it poop?”, and she said: “It´s poop”. We were on the bushes and if I was alone with her, I´d probably had her take her pants off and do it right there, but since I had two friends with me, I was embarrassed to this and asked her to run to the bathroom in the house. Although if it was pee, I wouldn’t have felt this way.

A few meters ahead, Luísa stopped and started to cry. I went over her and she said: “I pooped”. So I said: “It´s ok sweety, mom will clean you up. I´m sorry I didn´t let you do it here, you couldn´t hold it for so long right?” She agreed.

So I considered what happened there that made me end up with poop in my hands. It wasn´t simply the fact that she pooped all over herself, I took me as the responsible for this.

It was my embarrassment that caused her to be in such an awkward situation. After all, poop is meant to be made on the water closet while flushing and wasting a good 6 liters of water and not just let it out there in the nature like a dog does, right? No, of course this is not right. Of course if I was a bit more aware of the situation I would have realized that my friends wouldn´t mind seeing her pooping and even if they did, there was no time to be lost. All I had to do was help her behind a tree or something.

At least I realized what happened and acted accordingly, meaning making my daughter feel comfortable with what happened. A worse reaction would have been trying to correct Luísa, tell her that next time she has to hold it longer or even be upset at her because I had to make my hands dirty with poop (a shitty reaction that would be, sorry for the too many poop images, but I warned you).

This poop story made me think about the times that I avoid a natural spontaneous thing to happen because of my social constraints. How often do I (or do you) make my child go through something unpleasant because of what other people will think? How differently I behave in front of people and what kind of message am I passing about this to my daughter?

I will forever act differently in front of people than I will in the privacy of my home and around just my daughter. What this poop episode did was make me more aware of my own conditioned behavior. In this case the positive conditioning to run to the bathroom (and teach this) didn´t work out so positively.

This story also makes me wonder about how we have different values at home and outside. At our place, I will let Luísa poop in the garden if she feels like it (she doesn´t). She actually runs outside to pee in front of the door sometimes. When she does it, I feel like letting her free. I restrain myself from teaching her every expected behavior. What the hell, we are home, go on and pee in the garden if you feel like doing it. I´m here to support you to be you, we are home.

But then, we face situations where we can´t act like when we are home, we have to behave accordingly. And with time she will get it, she will act differently at home and outside. I wonder how these mixed messages are getting to her head, how confusing this all is.

Does poop make you reflect on life like me? Do you realize how different your actions and teachings are according to where you are?

Photo Credit

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on December 29, 2010. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.

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