Some of the content that will be posted today is gross. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But I just had to share this for all the Moms who are ashamed, annoyed or upset when their kids test with a new gross behavior that is so socially unacceptable we can’t believe they would even attempt it. It happened to me and my husband last night. I would have laughed if I wasn’t so repulsed. Right before shower, Michael announced he had to do a bowel movement. I told him it was fine, and to call me when he was done so we could do shower. This always goes off without a hitch, for the most part. He’ll get silly and stall with wiping etc. but he’s pretty self sufficient now in this area, though we have to work on technique. That’s another story. But yesterday, for some unknown reason, he decided to play with the result of his bowel movement. He came out of the bathroom naked and happily prancing with two poop filled hands. It was so thick I couldn’t see skin! In a matter of seconds, I felt my anger rising on the inside as I envisioned the clean up in the bathroom, but ladies, I caught myself and did not scream. Instead, though screaming bloody murder on the inside, I calmly said;
“Michael, what did you do? You need to go back to the bathroom and clean up your poop mess. And since it will take awhile, no story tonight.”
“But I want story.”
“There’s no time. And if you clean up fast, you’ll still have the rest of your bedtime routine.”
“OK.” The joy of a reaction from me wasn’t happening so he stopped grinning.
After we pre showered him hosing down his hands, legs, and then the shower stall, (thank God it wasn’t in the bathtub), he cleaned the toilet seat and the floor while we talked. Why did he do this? Did he see it done at school? Yes, was his response.
“And what did your teacher say?”
“She was upset and they got in red. You’re not going to tell her, are you?”
I thought. No, he seemed generally sorry for this mess. I would give him one more chance.
“No, Michael, You’re cleaning it up so I won’t tell her. But if I ever see you do this again, I have to tell her, ok?”
“OK Mommy. I’m sorry.”
After he apologized to his father too as this washroom is an ensuite in our bedroom and required MAJOR fumigation to clean the air, we were all good. The bedtime routine went smoothly, he fell asleep on time, and I was left to think about what had happened. I came to the conclusion that kids up the ante with testing when they want to see how far they can push their parents for a reaction. We have been reacting less and less to purposeful testing behavior, so he challenged us further. I’m proud that we handled it well, and that he had consequences for his behavior.
So Moms, what testing behavior is driving you nuts? What is your child trying to tell you? How do you react and what do you wish you did differently? We’ve all made mistakes, but the best thing is to learn from them, own your mistakes to yourself and your child if they ask, and come out with appropriate consequences so you both can learn from the experience. Stay strong and positive. Tomorrow is another day. Until next time.