Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vacation from Hell

Ok, it's not that bad, but it sucks nevertheless.

I guess we were due for a bad vacation.  The last 4 or 5 have been wonderful.  But this is beginning to rival our trip to Disneyworld, when we could not get out of the hotel room.  No, ok, it's not even that bad, but it sucks nevertheless.

I am now holed up in my bedroom while Adam and his parents enjoy the evening and the hot tub.  I have no desire to be around people or to make the effort of getting my bathing suit on.

Sam will not stop pooping in her pants.  She pooped in her pants 7 times today.  I am not exaggerating in any way.  She also peed in her pants a few of those times, and there was one independent peeing incicent that brought the total accidents to 8.  I only brought 8 pairs of underwear with us, and I've already thrown 2 away.  We just put her very last clean shirt and pants on her to sleep in.  Thank god she wears a diaper to sleep at night or we would have been completely out of underwear.  We've done a few loads of laundry prior to today and I don't even know how many we've done today because Adam took over at some point.  We've changed her clothes on city streets without thinking twice about it.  Poop has fallen on the floor and I've simply forgotten to clean it up any further than to pick it up with a tissue and plop it in the toilet.  She pooped in her swim diaper on Friday (and I wasn't planning on needing any swim diapers since she is supposedly potty trained) and as I was tearing it open, the diaper slipped and poop flew across the room, including into my face.

This reminds me of those newborn days, when you just seem to be swimming in feces all the time.

Speaking of swimming, that is supposed to be what we are doing here, but Sam is now banned from the pool.  After her 5th (I think) accident today, she promised that she would not poop in the swim diaper, but she only lasted about 10 minutes before she did.

I'm losing my freaking mind here.  I don't know how much poop can possibly be in there.  I mean, it's literally like, the moment we clean her up, she does it again. 

I am not enjoying my time with Adam's parents because all I can think about or talk about is the poo.   There have been a few times where we had a few problem-free hours, but even then, I'm just waiting for the next series of accidents.

We have one vacation day left.  We're planning to go to the beach tomorrow.  Sam and I went to the beach, just the 2 of us, on Friday, and had no problems.  We went to the beach yesterday and she was fine, even through dinner at a restaurant afterwards, where she used the potty.  So I'm hoping she will be fine again tomorrow.  If she pooped in the ocean, I don't think I'd really care, as long as she doesn't do it in her bathing suit.

I have 3 theories about why this is happening.  First, I regressed into occasionally asking if she needed to use the potty.  We were in airports, and heading out on long trips to the beach, so I felt like I had to give her a heads up that she needed to think about going.  We had just started making progress at home with me never, under any circumstances, saying a word about going to the potty.  She even had one accident free day!  So the reminders probably kicked off the problems. 

Next, when I am on vacation, especially when I am staying at somebody else's house instead of a hotel, I have a very hard time with the logistics of life.  Where do I put the poopy baby wipes?  Which trash can should I use to throw away the underwear?  How many different piles of dirty laundry are there and where are they and should I do a load now or wait for the inevitable next accident in an hour?  So I'm getting extremely stressed out by the accidents.  At home, I know what to do and how to clean up.  Here, each accident seems like an hour-long ordeal.  I'm at the point where I'm saying things like, "What is wrong with you?" and "You've got to stop this, you are driving me crazy!"  So Sam is getting the negative feedback which I think is the main cause of this whole thing.

Finally, we have dropped our routine since we are on "vacation."  Sam is eating what I consider to be junk food (cereal, crackers, fruit, and desserts), she is not sitting down for regular meals, and she has missed a couple of naps.  I so badly want a break from our routine (which is the relentless work of a professional parent) and there are 3 other adults around to take up the slack, that I figured I could just let things happen.  Sam could eat what and when she wanted and if she missed nap, no big deal.  Well, I'm paying the price now. 

I guess if I want a vacation, I have to line up someone to actually take care of Sam, not to just be around as backup.  It's the same problem at home.  I look forward to Adam being home because I figure I'll have a break, but if I don't physically leave the house, I'm still on duty.

I really just want to go home.  I want to write off this entire experience as a total loss and get back to work on this problem at home.  What a terrible waste.


  1. I'm so sorry your trip has been terrible. :( No suggestions - my 3 1/2 year old isn't trained yet - he was almost at Christmas time, but he would only poop at night when I put him in a diaper. So I put rubber sheets on the bed and we dropped diapers entirely. He didn't poop for 5 days. I figured he was going to hurt himself so we've been in diapers ever since (that first day, he pooped 8 times!). I'm hoping that when the weather warms up we can just have a naked week or something and conquer it. We'll see. The one thing that's clear is that *they* control this part of the journey, not us.

  2. Amy, how awful! I can't imagine dealing with such yuckiness so frequently. Poops are the worst! I am really surprised you aren't getting a break. My parents love to help out with the kids. Of course they are 15 years younger than my mother-in-law who is more hands off because she's older & doesn't want risk upsetting my routines with the kids. Since I hardly have any, not a problem.

    That is one champion pooper you have there.

    I sure hope your last day goes as well as you hope! I wonder if you can buy panties or swim diapers nearby. There must be a Walmart around there somewhere. I don't mind throwing out underwear as much when I can replace them cheaply.

    I asked a mom who's homeschooling her 5 kids from 9 to a few months how she handles potty training. Her answer was rather unexpected. She said she doesn't. She figures it's easier for her to change a diaper so the kids are pretty much on their own. Wouldn't it be an interesting dilemma to want to use diapers for your convenience but the kid demands panties? I wonder if Omega would ever want to use the potty. He's pretty insistent about needing his diaper on.

    Enjoy (as much as you can) the rest of your trip and finally being home again.

  3. Stephanie, I guess that's the problem - that I can't control this. It's the same for some people with food and some parents get into massive food wars with their kids. My personal problem is the poop. I just can't seem to accept that she is going to get shit all over the house and that I am going to have to deal with it.

    I think I only cleaned up 2 or 3 of those accidents yesterday, although I did the majority of them before that. Adam took over mid-morning and handled every single one, well, except the time that he left me alone for 5 minutes with her and she did it again. I wouldn't ask the grandparents for help with this kind of problem, although I think grandma has handled a couple that happened on her watch. It doesn't seem right to subject anyone to that kind of thing. And if they make any kind of suggestion (grandpa suggested putting diapers on her) I bite their heads off, so they back off.

    If Sam wasn't in preschool and didn't HAVE to be potty trained, I might just do what that homeschooling mother does and just let the child stay in diapers as long as she wants. Changing diapers is a pleasure and easy compared to this hell on earth.

    Part of my problem is that, no matter what I hear from others, I can't believe that this is normal. People talk about accidents, but I put that in scare quotes because I've never heard of any child pooping so often as Sam does, and I've never heard of a child that stops using the potty completely like this. Maybe they do and people call that "accidents." If so, it is a terrible, dishonest euphemism. Maybe this is what people call "regression," but that seems innocent and mild compared to what Sam is doing. She's had accidents. That means that she normally uses the potty but she forgets or loses control once in a while. I can totally handle that. This is NOT that.

    Everyone is basically telling me to chill out and enjoy my vacation regardless of what Sam does, but I don't know how to do that. Could you walk through a department store and enjoy looking at the products if you thought that any moment someone might throw poop in your face? Or even if you knew that there were a few poops on the floor that you might step on so you'd have to be on guard? How can poop in the pants be anything but a major disaster? How can you deal with it?

    I think we will have to go buy more underwear today, which I have no problem with. I already treat her underwear as disposable. But an outing like that probably precludes any kind of fun activity for about 4 hours. By the time the grandparents help us figure out where to go and who is going to go and we eat and blah blah blah, it will be nap time. Fine, but there you go - it really just destroys the vacation. I don't see any way around it.

    And here I am at 7am, writing about poop because I can't sleep because I had nightmares all night.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about this! It is so stressful to deal with anyway, but when you're supposed to be relaxing it's the worst. I have also BTDT with both older kids who completely stopped using the potty--each many times. It's beyond irritating, because it's such a pain for me to have to go through this potty business yet again. And my 5 year old (5!) is doing this again lately. It's a small phase/test/regression/whatever it's called though. During the Big Regressions, I found it was easier for me to handle if I could find a way to stop considering the kid "potty-trained." if I could drop that label, somehow it was a little easier for ME to go through the process again. And keep my temper.

    I don't know if it's "normal" but Sammy is certainly not the only child to have done this. You've met two others!

  5. Major bummer! I just wanted to send empathy! My son didn't get the idea until somewhere between 4 and 5 and his control is still poor. For the last week, his tummy has been a little off and he's had poop disasters every evening. (PJ's, floor, body up to the arms... ick. The good part now is that I can talk him through cleaning it up himself. While we're on the gross poo talk though, I have had to give several reminders about chunks in the toilet not in the clothes washer, YUCK! This is certainly one of the grossest parts of parenting. I hear you and just wanted to send the thought that it's just an icky part of the process. You already know she'll learn and gain control, but it doesn't make it more fun when disaster strikes again :(