• Heather

    My six-year old gets backed up on occasion. At which time, I’m informed that his ‘poop is pointy’ and that I need to ‘make broccoli-the poop food’. His father told him that one. Like it isn’t hard enough to get kids to eat their vegetables.

  • http://hasg.blogspot.com/ Heather G.

    I asked for more bodily function posts. Ask and ye shall receive, huh?

    I’ve had colon problems since birth. Here are some suggestions:

    *Less Dairy (non-fat milk, dairy-free substitutes, soy formula)
    *More water (my parents bribed me with a glass of water for sweets)
    *Hot water bottle on my tummy while I was sitting on the potty
    *Fruit, fruit, & more fruit

    Fiber makes me constipated. I swear.

    The bummer is that your child (like mine) doesn’t actually EAT anything. Everyone gives me advice. None of it works. Here’s what works for my child; I put food in front of him on a tray in front of the TV and leave him alone to eat it. THAT’s what works for my child.


    Oh, poor Leta. My 21-month old son, Alex, also has this problem. He has been so constipated that he has torn his rectum 3 times. He is on the Miralax, also. Some days it will work and others not so much. I am glad to know that this is such a common problem for children, however painful it may be for them. He cries and lifts his legs way up in the air to poop. Poor boy.
    I hope Leta’s poops will flow more freely now with the new magic powder. I have found that the powder in juice works the best. So, good luck and good pooping to you and yours!!

  • http://www.mspolly.com Ms*Polly

    Poor bub! At least with modern science, there’s stuff you can take for the poop that doesn’t wanna come. I remember when I was little and had bouts of non-poop, my grams used to have this procedure she swore by. Which included little soap flakes. And me bum. Hrm. :) But seriously, I’ve always sworn by having papaya milkshakes. Not the most gourmet item on the menu, but it works. For me, anyway. And bless Leta’s heart for all the cuteness she radiates. Even in non-pooping periods.

  • Laura

    Try involving other young children. For some magical reason children are obsessed with each others poo and love to compare notes.

    This also helped me when my daughter, then 4, was showing signs of this behaviour. Her twin brother sorted her out by creating massive big ones whilst grinning. And then, gross but helpful, showing her the fruit of his labour. She must have then realised that it’s normal and it doesn’t kill you.

    Problem solved.

  • Jewels

    I was so going to say the f word, the one that ends with t. Not the one that ends with k. But then I realized it would violate the dooce comment policy and I DID NOT want to make Heather B. Armstrong mad, because that might be the very end of my existence as I know it.

    But I will say this. Because I don’t have poop problems. I don’t. Seriously. I have the opposite problem. Of being able to poo anytime. Whatever. No problem. Which can also be annoying. However, I realized some of my favorite foods are to blame. And this part of my ‘problem’ is helpful. Because I like malt o meal. I hear the chorus of “GROSS” from around the nation, but I do. With serious butter and brown sugar. I don’t even need to poop, but it makes me poop anyways. So that is idea one.

    Then there are yogurt covered raisins. I have three kids, they eat them and have no clue they are semi-healthy. And they will so make your bowels move. SO, just a thought. Sure, Leta won’t eat, but just tell her the yogurt covered raisins are candy. Hey, it could work.

  • http://www.lifewithplue.blogspot.com/ plue

    Try using these pee and poo dolls – they are cute and maybe Leta can eventually call the process elmo-poop.


  • http://www.reformedstrippersanon.blogspot.com JessicaRabbit

    Awww poor girl, the torment she suffers living with people who expect her to allow poop to leave her body. And then the very same people think her plea for help that just happened to work quite nicely in with the exact second she might of been in trouble isn’t genuine? Awww, no. Princesses dont work that way.

    Usually mine tosses her hair, smiles, and says, Shopping?

  • Kel


    I used to work at a childrens home and Miralax goes down nicely in a glass of juice =).

  • moonrattled

    It’s normal for kids Leta’s age to be afraid of defecating and flushing. They think they are losing a part of their body and they don’t realize what’s happening is what the body wants and needs to do. I helped a little kid I nannied once with this problem. First I told him that adults also have problems letting go of their poop and that’s why adults often read when they sit on the toilet. This made him feel much better and less vulnerable. We put his favourite books around the toilet and when it came time to flush we talked about his poop (incredibly embarrassing when it came to taking him on social outings but I persevered!). Within a few days he began to feel comfortable with the whole thing and sometimes would call out “I’m pooping now!” and “Come and see my poop!” Again, impossibly embarrassing when during social occasions…but I decided that his well being meant more than the red-faced discomfort of a bunch of adults.

  • http://www.deliciously.org rebecca

    I have said for many years that if I could have one wish it would be to never have to poop again. I’m sorry that Leta is so distressed, but I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who would choose that wish.

  • http://www.digitalpretzel.com fred

    ((cue 8th grade film stip)) aahh the wonder of MiraLax. The Mira comes from the word Miracle, and the Lax coming from The word Laxative… Meaning Miracle Laxative.

    And that’s just what it is.

  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    “electricboogaloo said at 04:28PM, 03.10.2006:

    Ah ha! Manipulative punk! I have a theory that whatever you deal with when a kid is two, that’s exactly what kind of issues you’ll have with them as a teenager.”

    That’s a frightening theory! What if Leta builds up magnified telekinetic powers as a result of her poop denial, and she goes all “Carrie” on your ass when prom night rolls around?

    Just promise me you won’t ever use the word “dirtypillows”…

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/sparkgrrl658 stephanie

    there are already too many comments here to read, so i wonder if you yourself even read all of these. nevertheless, i feel the need to expose my fight with constipation to you, and the world at this very moment after reading this entry.

    for some reason, when i was younger, post-potty training, i just was constipated, all the time. so, when the time finally came when my body could just not contain another ounce of poop, there i landed in the bathroom, screaming, crying, red face, didn’t know what to do to stop the horrible pain. my parents tried to make me eat prunes/drink prune juice, and to this day i will not go near anything prune, or “plum” as they are so deceitfully labeled, as they are the most foul tasting things on this earth.

    during these times, my mother would sit there with me in the bathroom and say soothing things to me, but i could only concentrate on the imminent pain. i hear you leta, i do. and i can also still remember them once using some kind of laxative suppository, and after it was inserted i ran around the house screaming like a maniac until i hit the bathroom and exploded.

    11 years after i was born, my parents had another daughter, and during potty training she would always always wait until you put a diaper on her for her nap and then she would hide in a corner and poop, and since she would hold it and hold it and hold it waiting for the diaper/poop receptacle, the same saga happened to her.

    and somehow, it just stopped. [or stared, depending on how you look at it, i guess.] we have both been constipation-free for many, many years. i don’t know why, or what changed, but i am definitely grateful for it.

    so there, here i am, admitting to the internet i too was a non-pooper.

    the end.

  • http://http:/limitedexposre.net btrancho

    I can’t help you much with the pooping issue – our daughter seemed quite happy to poop her little brains out (for too many years, I might add) – but she, also, refused to eat much of anything for a period and so I heartliy recommend to get to the library or bookstore and get a copy of Bread and Jam for Francis by Russell Hoban. Hoban’s series of books about his adorable badger (yes, badger…) addressed all sorts of issues that seemed easier to manage once our daughter realized that her buddy Francis was going through them too.

  • http://upsyndrome.blogspot.com Amy

    My two and a half year old daughter is also a MiraLax kid. I don’t know if Leta is a juice drinker but we mix Elle’s into her apple juice and she drinks it right down. I know you can’t mix it with milk but her pediatric gastro doc said mixing with juice was fine. MiraLax is the bomb. Literally.

    You also haven’t really laughed untill a doctor tells your child that he wants her to be a “super duper uber pooper!”

  • KarinGal

    Oh, I feel for you.

    My 3 1/2-year-old son is a fecal hoarder/withholder. Despite our explanations to the contrary, he thinks my husband and I–meanies that we are–are to blame for making him go poop, which he’s managed to stretch out through strained avoidance to every four or even five (!) days. When it finally arrives it’s a thing to BEHOLD!

    The pediatrician says it’s just a developmental thing, and one of these days he’s just going to “get it” that milk in = pee out, and food in = poop out. The good news for you two is that girls seem to “get it” faster than boys. Hang in there! It’ll make for some great stories in the meantime, no?

  • Papa Urchin

    Given that she loves her gummy vitamins have you tried the Yummi Bears fiber? These really worked wonders for our daughter when she was having pooping on the potty problems. ( http://www.yummibears.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=9&page=1 )

  • http://www.issasworld.typepad.com Melissa

    Oh my god, that is funny. I’m sorry she has that problem, but shit I needed that today. Thanks Heather. I wouldn’t worry about her being a teenager, just hope she makes it past two and go from there.

  • http://www.electricboogaloo.net electricboogaloo

    Ah ha! Manipulative punk! I have a theory that whatever you deal with when a kid is two, that’s exactly what kind of issues you’ll have with them as a teenager.

    As for the pooping, yeah. We tried it all: Dulcolax, high fiber diet, pullups, no pullups. We even tried **reasoning**. All failed in the face of Constipatio’s desire to keep it all in.

    What finally worked: Bribing him with pure cane sugar. He gets a chocolate treat every time he poops.

    Yes I know there’s something very disturbing and wrong about A) connecting bowel movements with yummy candy, B) bribing children, and C) the fact that the treats are suspiciously poop-colored but you know what? It works. We call it a “positive reward system”, and we plan on using this approach well into his teen years.

  • http://www.bealivebelievebeyou.com Melanie McMullin

    Last night my son, who is 3 and a half, cried – real tears – for 20 minutes on the potty because his poopy was “stuck”. Finally we said just forget it and let him play. An hour later I find him under the bed with his pull up full of a poop the size of a base ball! The poor guy. The doctor told me to give him this perscription fiber powder that is clearly marked on the bottle Do Not Give to Children. But today I mixed it in with his juice. What choice did I have?

  • http://www.heidimdavis.com/MoMMY.html MoMMY

    I have two with this problem. It is so heartbreaking. The older of the two finally stopped holding it. He’s 9. We have switched from Miralax to Fiber Choice. They each eat 2 every morning. Kind of like vitamins. Works wonders. Much less tears. Good luck with Leta. May the fear of pooping be brief.

  • http://annejelynn.blogspot.com/ Annejelynn

    #1 Poor lil’ pooper
    #2 Best Chuck pics ever!

  • http://www.snickrsnack.com Snickrsnack Katie

    That is quite possibly the best Leta story EVER! I can just imagine her in all her pigtailed fury, veins popping out of her forehead, as she tries to withhold her poop from the world. Poor child – such a young age to be traumatized by the terrors of constipation! My niece – she loves to crap her pants, and she revels in the glory of running over to me, pointing at her diaper and saying “Pooey!” or something of the sort, with a big grin on her face. And when I open up the nasty diaper, she grins even wider, because she knows I am being gassed out. For a 15 month old, she creates some man turds.

    Thanks for making me laugh on an otherwise uneventful Friday. And the pictures of Chuck – amusing as always!

  • http://barbie2be.blogspot.com barbie2be

    i feel for ya, kid….. i never poop anymore because of my surgery. :( my doctors told me to take a ducolax every day. i still don’t go very often but at least it’s not as hard as a brick when i do go.

  • http://www.journeyingthroughit.squarespace.com Beverlee

    I remember the potty-training years and the books talking about “how difficult it felt to some children to let a part of them go and then (horrors!) to see it flushed down the toilet”.
    On the whole entire other hand, in your house, it could be just that bowel issues reign and she’s just joining in the fray!
    Before you know it,this too shall fade and there will be some new persisting(pun?)issue that requires your attention.
    Eventually, we get to start worrying about our children’s children!

  • JessicaP

    I was the same way growing up, as well as later in life . In fact, there are times now when if I haven’t pooped in 4 days I start to get a little worried about how much it will hurt later and decide “No, I’m just above all this pooping business. That’s fine if everyone else does it – but I’ve never really been much of a follower.” Inevitably a day later I will give birth from my ass to a 5 lb “poop baby”.

    It used to really bother my mother, but then she produced my brother 6 years later. He enjoyed pooping so much he made up songs about his poop and the joy of having his “hiney” wiped. She figured we balanced the other out.

    I’m pregnant now and my husbnad hopes that our child will have the perfect balance between his and my bowels. He’s certianly an “Olympic Gold Medal Pooper” while I don’t even qualify for the Special Olympics of pooping. We’re hoping this child will be graced with “normal” bowels – whatever they may be…

  • http://eyeflashes.com Heather

    Leta is such a character! When I was a baby, my mom says I would hide behind the couch to poop in my diaper. If anyone came over to see what I was doing, I’d hold my hand up to block their face from view and yell, “Go ‘way!”

  • Daisy

    My 3 year old doesn’t eat either…it’s ok. She’s a good pooper though so I don’t know what is going on.

  • http://Kelly kelly132_98

    ah, yes, my younger sister learned a similar trick long ago. our dog tulip died when i was seven and she was six. understandably, she cried and cried, saying, iiiii missssss tuuuuu-lipppp. my parents comforted her accordingly, providing ice cream and hugs.

    little sis was quite the troublemaker, however. days later she did something traditionally mischievous, broke a chair, or deliberately poured grape juice all over the floor. or something. i don’t remember exactly what. when mom came to scold her, (what did you do NOW?), i remember her looking up at mom, nervous, and then, a lightbulb, she smiled, blinked and began to wail: “I missss Tuuuuu-lipppp!” i think i recall a popsicle being offered as condolescence this time around…sneaky little girl.

  • patty

    My 3 year old granddaughter that lives with us is fascinated with poop! She’ll sit on the potty chair SINGING – I SWEAR it – “I’m pooping, I’m pooping” – calls everyone in the house in to inspect the final product – and this past week, while she’s been sick – has been chanting the word diarrhea around the house. It’s pretty hard not to roll on the floor laughing sometimes!

  • annlee

    {{{Leta}}}} Our oldest had major poop issues, Heather. My husband, being the genius he is, found that if she had something to wrap around her waist and hold on to while she pushed, it gave her a greater sense of control. She would hold her poop for days and end up in misery until we did the enema route.

    Good for her for asserting her two year old will power:)

  • http://islaygirl.typepad.com islaygirl

    Oh, and one more thing, we (shamelessly, because it works ,dammit) reward with jelly belly jelly beans.

  • Samantha

    My little boy did this for months. He would clench his whole body and will the poop not to come.

    And the crying. I’m so sorry.

    (warning constipation advice please don’t delete this because it works)

    Little baby enema. The glyserin (sp?) kind. Every time.

    He finally realized that if he wasn’t going to do it on his own that I would do it for him.

    And it worked!

    I hated doing it because there was screaming and wiggling and no one to help me at the time (former single mom). I would have to brace his little legs open with my whole body it seemed like.

    Sorry TMI. Anyway–I’ll pray for her and you all, because a little prayer never hurt anyone.

  • Elizabeth M. Johnson

    Poor thing.

    My younger brother had a lot of trouble with pooping as a toddler. I can remember how happy my mom would be whenever she’d get to mark a “BM” on the calendar. You would think he had won an Academy Award and thanked her, and her alone.

  • http://thekilgore.blogspot.com christy

    I am guessing Leta is still a little young for a cigarette and cup of coffee?

    Or, try taking her to a bookstore a la Seinfeld. That always works for me.

  • http://islaygirl.typepad.com islaygirl

    All hail King Chuck. That is the most patient dog on the planet.

    And i agree with whoever suggested smoothies, you can sneak anything into them and they just think you’re giving them ice cream. Poor Leta. We’ve been through this,too. One day, on what was like Day Five of no pooping, Lucy was having some horrific farts at daycare and her teacher, who was the kindest, most mild-mannered woman in the world, asked me (very gently) ‘Is Lucy having some troubles with her BMs? Because she’s had some, err, umm, gas problems.’ Poor child. I plan to torture her with that story when she’s a teenager.

  • jenn.dub

    Maybe Leta needs a new bedtime/pooptime story. Try Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi. In light of your public farting incident, Amazon has a special that couples Everyone Poops with a copy of The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts by Shinto Cho.

    Bless her sweet heart.

  • mom2werogers

    I had to post. My son was on MiraLax, after trying many other things, for almost 2 years. He was able to be taken off the medicine at age 3, and we’ve only had a few incidents since. We were able to put it in a small amount of juice, put it in a sippy, and he’d slam it. It worked WONDERS – my son was able to outsmart suppositories and mineral oil. Good luck with it – and hang in there. It is torturous when you just want to help them and they are panicked!

  • http://www.moosh.nu Jenny

    Aww, so cute.

  • http://dollface.net/ Doll

    Re: photo of the day – Chuck is the coolest dog on the planet. Sorry other dog people, but it’s just the way it is.

    Re: comment section – I’ve never read the word ‘poop’ so many times in my life. I feel like I need an enema just to get the word out of my head. I feel dirty!

  • lindsayc

    holy moley. poor leta! i hope it gets easier for you all. so far just putting my son on the potty gets the desired response, but he is just 11 months old. i am sure that as soon as he has more of a choice in the matter it will become an issue…

  • Samantha

    We have Miralax in the house as well. Thankfully for a short term thing. Made for some frequent and stinky toots. *sigh* The things we worry about are never the what we thought they would be are they?

  • http://www.katai.squarespace.com Katai

    If only we humans weren’t so disturbed by our own bodily functions. Then we could be like my roommates’ cat and do celebratory laps around the house after every poop in triumph and pride.

  • SarahJanesmomSue

    Funny, and not so funny. My daughter – who is now 3 and a bit – would not poop either. When she finally did, she would wail and cry because it hurt. Then, for the longest time, no one could come near her if she was pooping. The day before yesterday, she pooped in her potty for the very first time. I never thought I’d see the day!

  • http://www.lateshow.org lateshow

    I’m SO trying this with my clients next time I’m tight on a deadline.

  • http://justlinda.net JustLinda

    If you’d like, I’ll send you my couch.

    Evidently, going behind the couch makes children poop. Whether or not they’re wearing a diaper. It’s a miracle laxative, my couch. I think it might be the putrid color that causes it, but I’m not sure.

  • http://kristismess.blogspot.com/ KfK

    We have the opposite problem here. NO ONE is afraid of their poop, or even embarrassed by flatulence issues. In fact, sometimes, it turns out to be a show and tell kind of business when some really big ones escape from the bottoms of my children. “Hey Mom, come look at this BIG POOP!”

  • http://so.verycontrary.com/ Mary Craig

    Ha. My teenagers still use the ‘I’m pooping’ defense, only now it’s so they can hide in the bathroom and get out of chores.

    When my oldest was still a little guy, he too had severe pooping issues. When he was 4, the (new) pediatrician diagnosed a hernia that he’d apparently had since birth.

    One little day surgery later, the kid never had a problem pooping again.

    Or maybe he was just afraid to tell me about any issues since he got circumsized at the same time.

  • http://www.kenspeckleletterpress.com/blog marian

    Oy. Well, no advice for Leta’s poop phobia, except to say that it’s amazing what kids grow out of. Loved King Chuck, the best dog ever.