Community Guidelines

dooce.com and other sites operated by Armstrong Media, LLC are intended for personal use for people to read, relate, reach out and share. While some of the topics might be serious, the idea is to create a fun destination for dooce readers and fans. It’s for entertainment, enlightenment and to help one another.

What to do

Do be nice
Community members are people with feelings. We are all different, but we all deserve to feel comfortable. We may not always agree, but we need to agree to disagree with respect and courtesy. Be polite and considerate. We may not always understand what makes someone uncomfortable or feel threatened, but the goal of this site is always create a space where as many people as possible feel comfortable participating.

Do share tips and pointers
The whole idea of a dooce community is to connect those who like to read dooce.com and who are very smart and resourceful! We want to give you a space to help others with your vast knowledge of the world. Remember that not everyone is as smart as you are about things you know. Use good words to share with others who need help and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Do self-moderate what you share here
You need to take responsibility for your words and the tips, links and pointers you share. We’re not saying don’t be funny or clever. We are reminding you to think before you post. A lot of the site is designed to facilitate this. In some cases we’ve intentionally added a step or two to slow down the process so everybody has time to think before posting something you might regret later.

This site is on the public internet. That means people can find things via search engines, including user names, account pages and in general any contributions made to the site, with the exception of private messages. We allow search engines to index the site (but not private messages) to improve the experience of new members and to broaden the helpfulness of the question and answer format.

In the general community site, please ask questions where the site directs you to do so. Try to avoid general statements and rephrase into a question. You’ll get a better response and those responses will help a larger amount of people and endear you to the community at large.

In the general community site, answer questions in a way that is helpful. We love humor, kindness and support.

Use smart tags. Generally speaking, tags over the length of 4 words diminish the usefulness of tagging. Yes, we love the humor in smartass tags as much as everyone else, but the purpose of tagging is to let people know the subset or subcategory your question is directed and improve the response to your question.

Use Groups to have conversations
We’ve built a space for those times when people want to group together to discuss a topic or converse in general outside of the question and answer format. It’s called Groups and it is accessible from every single page on the site.

Recognize
Recognize that while we hope that questions get useful answers, sometimes the problem is within ourselves and be open to the suggestions from others that this is the case. Conversely, recognize when you answer questions that many members have been drawn to dooce.com because of the candor with which mental health is discussed and temper your remarks where someone has been particularly brave in sharing.

Recognize that everybody has “off” or “bad” days.

Do enjoy yourself!
We built this so people who read dooce could have a good time and maybe help a few people as well as get some help from the mundane to the serious. You will get out of the community what you put into it.

What not to do

Don’t solicit cash or web traffic
Do not actively solicit donations for yourself, an organization you belong to or represent in any way.

Do not put a link (URL) in your question, group title, or group discussion title. These are subject to editing or deletion without warning.

Do not put spam links in your profile. Your account will be blocked and the links removed without warning.

Do not put a “signature” link or other unrelated link in your answer or comment. This includes blog links.

Don’t steal other people’s questions, answers, icons or comments
This includes reposting of other members stuff.

Don’t show nudity in your avatar/buddy icon
Despite the grown-up nature of Heather’s word choices on posts, we expect that many people read the sites with small children around.

Don’t use a URL/web address as a user name
You’ll be asked to change it and if you refuse, the account will be deleted.

Don’t use a company name as a user name
You’ll be asked to change it and if you refuse, the account will be deleted.

Don’t share illegal stuff
If you do this, your account will be blocked. You will also be reported to the authorities if it’s that severe.

Don’t harass people
This isn’t the place to lash out, abuse, impersonate or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, depending on severity, you’ll be warned or your account deleted.

Don’t be a creep
Most people admit to enjoying Radiohead. And that song about the creep and the thing is a good song. But it’s not good to be a creep or creepy. Don’t stalk people. Don’t actively try to “make people uncomfortable” because you have a strong opinion and everybody else is wrong according to your views or opinions.

Don’t be anti-social or encourage others to be anti-social. If you are struggling with the notion of having your contributions to the site seen by others, then perhaps this isn’t the place for you to contribute.

Reporting

When to report questions, user accounts or user contributions:
In general, don’t report unless it’s spam. However, if the content is offensive, harassing, demeaning or in any way threatening, then it needs to be reported. This is not “tattling” or “snitching”. This is helping the community be a better place. If you click one of these links by accident, you may click it again and your reporting event will be undone and cancelled.

The admins and moderators will do their best to help keep the site free of spam. However, there may be times when spam questions appear or spam accounts are created and are missed by the admins and moderators. In the case of questions that are clearly spam, simply click the link “Report This” and the admins and moderators will be notified. In the case where a user account has sent a spam message or has posted a spam question, visit that user’s profile page and you should see a “report this account” link on the account profile page. If you click this link, admins and moderators will be notified that the account is suspect and will take the appropriate action.

Other considerations

The world is big. There are things you might read or see here that offend or upset you. In some cases, a simple click away will take away the offensive thing from your eyes. However, if the content appears to be something that hasn’t been properly moderated or vetted, we offer the options to report in the section of this document called “Reporting”. You can click these buttons/links and know that staff will review that content for violations to these guidelines as well as the Terms of Service.

Don’t panic if you see things that upset you. If someone has re-posted your question or answer or comment, contact them directly and ask them to please stop. If you don’t get a response, escalate the issue by sending an email to community [at] dooce dot com or message an admin or moderator.

If you need help on an issue that’s not about other people, but maybe your browser is acting up or we made a tweak to the server that’s causing you problems, please post a question in the “Support” category. Hopefully not just dooce staff, but the community can help you resolve any browser issue you might have. Sometimes, it’s as simple as rebooting your computer or device and the problem goes away. Sometimes it’s helpful to click the “Log out” link and then log back in.

If you have any questions or comments that you’d prefer not to ask in the Support category or in a public way, send an email to community [at] dooce dot com and someone will get back to you and help you.

Thank you for your participation! This place is amazing.

Much Love,

Heather B. Armstrong

  • slappyintheface

    If you’re not careful, you are going to take my title of “Bad Mother of the Year” away from me. ;)

  • Jaggy

    Heck- i wish I had someone to give me an enema..

  • fishsticked

    Is there a specific place you’d like me to drop you a note about being “The Most Horrible Person Who Ever Lived”. I mean, I don’t want to be an asshole in the same venue as the existing asshole so if you could give me a different route that would be great.

    Also, congrats to Marlo!

  • shortnfeisty

    When you said that “Marlo has started holding her poop (here we go!)” I got a mental image of her literally holding her poop…in her hand.

    Would you put it past that kid?

  • naugfly

    My daughter is about the same age as Marlo, and we too, are enjoying the wonders of Miralax on a daily basis.

    Our issue turned out to be blockages throughout her lower intestine/colon. There is a lot more gross info that goes along with that, but I think I can sum it up in five words: all poop, all the time. We had been living in that space for a long time before we had x-rays that showed the problem in stunning relief.

    Anyways, so we had the opportunity to do the joyous Miralax cleanout. And it did not work, xrays showed most of the crap (yeah I said it) was still there. So we were directed to give my 25-lb daughter 5 CAPS of Miralax every day until the dam broke loose. Took until about Day 5. If I were to rip off Joseph Conrad and say “oh, the horror!” that would not even touch the emotional and physical toll of the event. We are talking PTSD. But, we *think* it worked. Will know for sure after next x-ray.

    During the whole deal, I was also worried about a UTI. Took her to the doc, and they said if she didn’t pee in a cup they were going to cath her. I was HORRIFIED. But girlfriend did it. She peed in a cup. God bless the little beast, she peed in a cup. So I get the elation of the event and it is totally warranted.

    And… same UTI result as Marlo. Just irritation due to non-stop poop.

    So I guess your post struck a chord with me or something. haha

  • MsMegan

    Oh the enemas. My son has hemiparesis, which means he has muscle weakness on one entire side of his body. This, unfortunately, includes the bowels. Before we discovered that, there were lots of enemas.

    And now we unofficially own part of the company that makes Miralax because he needs to take it every day, forever. Or he will give birth to a 6 lb., 3 oz. baby poop.

    And? Enema. Enema. Enema. How many repetitions do you think it would take to make that person’s head explode?

  • denice

    The poop must come out and that’s that. Forced or otherwise. And all of the peoples who don’t agree obviously want their heads examined. With the end of someone’s slap hand.

  • shellydk

    I can’t believe nobody has mentioned that you put Marlo in a plastic box! Those are the same boxes that specifically state via an unreadable image on the lid not to put your baby in that box. The horror! Between this and the enema, if I were that person, I would need to stop reading your website now. But, I’m not so I won’t.

  • luv and kiwi

    I swear I thought you meant Marlo was actually holding her poop…like in her hands lol.

    I’m special.

  • birdylegs

    My friend had to use suppositories for her daughter. One summer night, with the windows wide open, her daughter started screaming, “Please don’t put that in my butt!” at the top of her lungs. I wake up every day thankful that my daughters don’t hold in their poop!

  • MJBUtah

    Dare I say, that person who posts that everywhere probably could use a little enema herself.

    Just sayin’

  • Cooky

    Bing cherries and watermelon. Tons of ‘em. Every day. Works like a charm to get the poop out.

    Love these pics of Marlo in the plastic box.

    Hey — you could duct tape the top shut and make her sleep in there!

    Two problems solved in one post. I never cease to amaze myself.

    You’re awesome Heather. Love your posts. Always bring a huge smile to my face.

  • greenplanner

    I have no opinion about enemas, but, Holy Shit could that child be any more adorable?

    No. No, she could not.

  • Queen of Carrot Flowers

    I JUST read a great article on this last night, as my twins are just a few weeks younger than Marlo and they are starting to hold their pee and poop more, which apparently is a big issue. And, lots of info. in this article about UTIs being caused by constipation, and wetting accidents too. An example is given of a 3 y/o who kept having pee accidents at preschool and two pediatricians said it was nothing… but they finally got her xray’d and she had a big bolus of poop far up. Probably not unlikely in your family, right? A kid can be pooping every day but it’s often just seeping around the big ball of poop that desperately needs to come out. Only way to know for sure is an xray. Enema won’t reach that high. This article isn’t written really well but it contains some good info. Ignore the title about dangers of early potty training and just absorb the other info., which is very helpful (high fiber diet, telling kids to go pee every two hours, watch poop consistency daily, should not be formed or too watery, don’t let them hold their pee a lot b/c it causes thickening of the bladder wall which leads to constipation and bladder issues as well, etc.). Helpful to read the user comments too and his responses as you can learn a lot there as well. I’m an ICU nurse and I still learned so much from this. http://www.babble.com/toddler/toddler-health-safety/dangers-potty-training-early/.

    Seems I can’t post the link, but the title of the article is “Dangers of Potty Training Too Early” by Dr. Steve Hodges. Google it.

    (again, NOT focusing only on early potty training necessarily here, just on the other information in the article about teachers and parents telling (not asking) kids to go ever two hours, no matter what, and the mechanisms of hidden constipation and how it affects the bladder as well, and how an xray can really help sometimes).

  • sillalouwho

    My son was an EPIC poop holder. Like Olympic caliber. We did the enema thing and he started telling random strangers “Daddy tickled my booty and then I cried….”. I’m still shocked we never had the police called on us.

    Miralax never worked for us. The kid was taking a dose so large an elephant 3 counties away pooped, but not my boy!! We gave him mineral oil mixed in OJ for breakfast & it greased the poop right out of him.

    First time he pooped on the potty by himself? Proudest moment of my life.

  • Kristianna

    Kids and poop (or not)… if I’d have guessed how much of a part of parenting it really is, I’d have stuck with pets. ;)

    So, who’s looked at GOMI to see who’s flipping out yet? That site is amazingly helpful if you want to learn how to be sanctimonious. :)

  • kturney

    I appreciate you.

  • MichelleP.

    I’ve read you for quite a while but obviously started after the poop/enema fun. How I wish I knew others in this boat earlier. We too faced the constipation rotation & frankly are still facing it 3 yrs. later. Miralax, yep. Enemas, yep. Suppositories, check. & of course adding foods, subtracting foods, multiplying, dividing, finding the square root of the right foods to feed our daughter, we did that too. Nothing worked, nothing helped. Our doctors, quite an assorted collection, started out by suggesting Miralax & patience. At 4 yrs. nothing had changed. At 5 yrs. they finally accepted that maybe we weren’t crazy & something else was wrong. Our daughter finally had an MRI (thank you insurance for the oh so many hoops we had to jump through)& the results showed our daughter has a tethered spinal cord. Not as horrible as it sounds & repairable with a simple surgery, as if any child’s surgery is simple to a parent. A tethered spinal cord essentially gets caught on the tip of the spine & stretches out so the child loses the sensation to know when to poop. Bonus, it usually happens around the same time as potty training. Our daughter finally had the surgery 3 months ago & is making progress. We just have to battle the enlarged colon that was the result of 3 yrs. of on/off constipation. I don’t want to strike fear in anyone but if this helps one mom know that maybe she’s not crazy & something else is going on then that’s reason enough for me. Best of luck on the poo front. Looking forward to the day I know absolutely nothing about my child’s bowels :D
    here’s some additional info. for anyone out there who might need it.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5309511

  • JessicaM

    @shellydk – ha ha ha!

    I totally came in here to say that Heather was obviously The Worst Parent on Earth because Marlo was in a plastic storage container, which is clearly dangerous. I mean, when I was a kid, we tried to go down the stairs in one.

    Note to Marlo: Not recommended!

  • Loves Moose

    My eyeballs are melting from the hot weather, so my apologies if I’m mistaken. But are those FIVE exclamation marks, as you exuberantly declared, or SIX exclamation marks?

    That’s my HELLO, I’M NEW IN THESE PARTS comment.

    Cheerios.

  • elilouis

    I hear ya, five years on the daily Miralax. I told my husband I birthed the child so he gets to deal with the poop, his job has lasted way longer than mine!

  • elilouis

    I hear ya, five years on the daily Miralax. I told my husband I birthed the child so he gets to deal with the poop, his job has lasted way longer than mine!

  • Lauren3

    Fuck yeah, poop stories.

    I’m glad I don’t exist in a state of mind where you can’t talk about everyday shit, like shit, with The Internet.

    I’m glad you don’t either!

  • filmlady

    Long before we had kids, I watched my 2-yr-old nephew at a family picnic so his parents could run away for a while. The kid liked blueberries. What do I care, the kid wants blueberries, I handed him the pint and let him have at it. Fruit. Healthy. What’s wrong with that?

    Then his parents came back and said what the hell have you done, you’re going to come over to our house and clean up the shitstorm that’s on the way.

    That’s my short and sweet way of suggesting blueberries as your salvation. Seemed to work quite well for HIM.

  • Figtron

    I love you, Heather. I really do.

  • trxiliann

    My I offer an unsolicited suggestion that you look at chiropractic- activator chiropractors use a tool to adjust and as such there is no manual manipulation-
    sometimes just from the birthing process alone, kids can have a misaligned vertebrae- this can cause HUGE bath\room issues among other things!
    Also Marlo is pretty ‘active’ who knows what is happening with her spine –
    lol

    :)

  • rebecca.baltimore

    We are just barely starting potty training with my son, and you are absolutely RUINING my denial that constipation and holding are real things that happen to all children.

  • Graciesmom2001

    After rounds of Miralax and the x-ray that showed the inhuman amount of poop in my 8 year old child, we finally had to give him the suppository as a means to avoid the enema. It worked. However, he said the thing looked like a bullet. So, he says, out loud, “my Dad put a bullet in my butt.” A couple weeks ago I was constipated and looking for something in Target to help. My dear, darling, 8 year old boy exclaims for all to hear, “Mom, you need Dad to put a bullet in your butt.” I purchased a Welcome mat at the aforementioned Target for Child Protective Services.

  • sarahfromthenorth

    Wow what a crazy ordeal for you, and for poor Marlo. I’m so glad she is better!!

    And for anyone who disagreed guess they were never in your shoes, or your daughters. You do what you have to do for your babies to be ok, really, that’s what a good mom does!

    Have a great day Heather!

  • Respect your child

    I am just wondering how a seemingly intelligent person is unable to understand why it is wrong writing such stuff about your kids!?

    The issue is not about giving your kids an enema, or doing whatever needs to be done to help with their bowel problems.

    The issue is that you have no right to paste that stuff on the internet about them. You want to go ahead and describe in detail what comes out of your anus or how you give yourself an enema, go ahead. It might even help you with page views. But you are an adult; it is your choice of how much info you want to give about yourself.

    These girls have no saying, do you really think Marlo is going to love that shit (no pun indented) written about her twelve years from now?

    You are embarrassing them and for what? You are really damaged goods when you think it is ok to violate their privacy the way you do.

  • amberdawn07

    Awww, yeah! This shit (pun intended) is about to get good! Next in enema line, Respect your child.

  • Pixie

    Bravo for you Heather for doing what needed to be done for your children. YOU are a great Mom. As for the constipation, you might know this one: a product called Natural Calm magnesium. I swear by it. A glassful a day keeps me regular. It’s natural and while the taste might not be something the girls ‘like’ it could be worth a try. Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with this product. I’m just a fan.

  • whurlgurl

    I was sad that it was not a story about her literally holding poop in her hand. I have several stories about my children doing just that thing…twice in public places with my son! He is 23 and no longer hands me turds when he comes out of the bathroom! :-)

  • crivens

    Ahahahahaha. At least she’s VERBAL. My child was constipated as an infant, which is like what you’re going through except even less fun. It got to the point where my husband and I would talk about the timing of suppositories as part of planning the day – “so, did she poop yet? No? Okay, if she doesn’t in two hours, go ahead with half of one and then…”

    Hell, we were giving her prune juice. Every day. By bottle. (Pro tip: it didn’t work.)

    She started solids, she’s now okay. I breathed a sigh of relief.

    SO…thanks for destroying my illusion that all will be well until she turns 12 and gets her first tattoos and starts dating a guy with a motorcycle. Sheesh. Way to ruin my Friday.

  • laurcunningham

    To “Respect Your Child” -

    I don’t have children yet, but I appreciate these posts that Heather writes for us. I don’t think she is being disrespectful at all, I believe she is teaching her children that unfortunate things happen to their bodies and they shouldn’t hide and be ashamed of it, they should figure out how to fix the problem. It is helpful to me, as a woman who does not have children yet, to be able to read about possible situations that could happen to my future children and to know that I haven’t done something wrong and that it’s happened to other people as well.

    I understand Marlo is still a child, but even she ran around telling the world that she got to pee in a cup. It’s unhealthy to encourage your children to be ashamed of what happens in their lives. I don’t think she is being disrespectful at all. I think she is living her life the best that she can, and if the stories she shares are too uncomfortable and embarrassing for you, then maybe you shouldn’t be involved in her community.

  • Dazed and Cornholed

    Your post before this one made me think of this website. Guaranteed to make you laugh (even if you are homicidal) ;)

    http://honesttoddler.wordpress.com/

  • Elwyn

    laurcunningham, couldn’t have said it better. I am thankful for mothers with the courage to share their experiences like this. It provides a community for people who have similar situations to be able to share and know they aren’t the only ones who have struggles. Keep up the fantastic work, Heather, and thank you!

  • OwlMoonKLH

    You are not a monster. Not even close. I love how others judge and they most likely don’t even have children. (Dogs and/or cats do not count.)

    There is a 7 year old boy, who shall remain nameless, that holds his poop all week. He will take just one glorious dump on a weekly basis (when the poop wins against his will to keep it in) and proceed to clog the toilet, every. stinking. time. I need to teach that kid how to work a plunger.

  • Sabine

    Oh dear. Those photos made me think of this:

    http://youtu.be/clvgpHQFuZs

    (Don’t forget to label the box!)

  • Krys72599

    I’m still looking for the warning on my plastic storage boxes warning my child not to sit in them. With or without the lid. Hmmm, since I tear off all those sticky labels, I guess I won’t find the warnings!
    There is nothing wrong with what you write, Heather, not that you need me to tell you that! You provide entertainment for the masses, that’s for sure, but you address all sorts of real-life issues, with humor and sometimes brutal honesty, both of which are greatly appreciated by this reader/fan! Along with said entertainment, I’ve learned a lot, too, as have your other readers/lurkers/commenters. Perhaps your non-fans should, oh, I don’t know, get a life of their own, rather than beat up on yours?

  • Kristianna

    Oh goodness yes, blueberries are the most effective fiber ever it seems. I threatened to disown my sister once after she let my daughter eat a quart of poo-berries. ;)

  • debramac

    To:”Respect Your Child”

    Go fuck yourself.

    And when you are through, suggesting Miralax, enema and suppository might improve your disposition.

    Even when your disposition is improved, just don’t come back. Look at what people are writing here. This is helpful to many people and it started a dialog that could save lives and at least improve health.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    To: Heather
    I really hope that this is the same douche bag and that you haven’t manifested a new one. Cuz that would be shitty.

  • Steph Bachman

    Oh, heavens. I have been waging my own war on the people-who-can’t-handle-talking-about-poop since birth injuries made this a non-choice for me, but I’m way more fun because of it.

    Go ahead, “Respect Your Child,” say it with me: EVERYBODY POOPS.

    Poops and farts happen. Some of us have more control than others. It is not the end of the world if people know about it.

  • waitimaprincess

    I am at work and cranky, lamenting the reality of my being here another 40 minutes without snacks. I walked outside, thinking a few minutes in the sun would do me good. I found $1 outside and our snack store hadn’t yet closed. As I came out, Skittles in hand, the guard said I looked happy. “Yup. I just peed in the motherfucking cup.”

  • jenwilson

    So awesome! Go, Marlo!! I very highly doubt my five-year-old would pee in a cup. She’s need to be catheterized. No, she’s have to be put out AND THEN catheterized, because she would be FREAKING THE HECK OUT. Oh, I cringe thinking about it.

    I’m glad your little miss didn’t have a UTI and I hope she’s pooping more regularly!

    (ps. the haters can SUCK IT.)(My middle child would think it was RAD if I was talking about her poop on the internet.)

  • EOMama

    Duuuuuuude, you think you’re special cuz you give your kid Miralax and enemas? No way. I am way more special, and absolutely more evil, because for TWO YEARS I gave my anal retentive pre-schooler Miralax and enemas AND every time I caught her still attempting to hold in her goddamn poop, I WOULD THREATEN HER WITH THE ENEMA. Yes, that’s right, I would threaten her with the enema and then wave a Kit-Kat in her face while she sat on the toilet crying that she was too afraid to let her poopies out on the toilet and tell her she could eat this whole entire Kit-Kat bar if she just let her poopie out of her poop hole. And it worked. Now that child is 7, and still asks for a candy bar when she poops.
    I think I win, no?

  • OwlMoonKLH

    @debramac You. Rock! ;)

  • laurcunningham

    @waitimaprincess – hahahahahaha

  • kariberi

    Someone should give that gal/guy the book “Everybody poops” POOP! enema!!!! lol

    oh the joys of parenthood. But you wanna hear about love… My husband had to help me get an enema when I was prego with my second child. So… Sh*t happens.. lol You are a good Mom!

  • wendyf

    I am a practicing physician and give advice all the time about treating constipation, for adults and children. I assure you, if I EVER read some idiot making nasty comments about your having to give your child an enema, I will tear that person a new one. Pun intended. I will make him/her look the the complete moron that (s)he is. Constipation is a serious, common problem that can cause permanent physical damage. Unfortunately, most people seem to think they are physicians–courtesy of Dr. Google–and are qualified to make comments and judge about other people’s management of their health. It is a shame.
    I have had to give multiple enemas to my child due to his hypotonia (gross motor delay), on top of daily Miralax and a high-fiber diet; sometimes it is the only thing that works. It is always upsetting and sad, but he feels so much better afterwards that it is worth it.