Monday, July 19, 2010

The Mysterious Poo

     Ian came to me the other day and with a puzzled look on his face said, "Mom, there is poop on the computer chair."
     Okay. My first thought was that he stepped in dog doodoo and it got on the chair. Then I remembered that we no longer have a dog. So I followed him down the hall toward the kitchen and the contaminated chair. On the way, I spied a brown smear on his shin.
     "Ian, you have poop on your leg."
     "I do?" He started twisting around to get a better look.
     I pointed to the front of his leg and asked, "Did you go poop on the toilet?"
     "Did you go poop in your pants?"
     "No--I don't think so."
     Let me give you a little Ian Potty History here. When my sweet boy was about four, I began the potty training process. He didn't get it. Julie and I always planned on training Ian and Joe together. Joe graduated from diapers, but Ian didn't. So Julie and I joked and said we'd potty train Ian and Jessi together. Jessi graduated, Ian did not. It wasn't so funny anymore, but I tried looking at it humorously and joked with Julie one more time about training Ian and Colby together. Colby graduated, Ian was still having problems. By this point Ian was in school and he could make it through half-a-day of kindergarton without an accident... but at home? He was peeing and pooping constantly. I wish I could say he was just lazy, but I knew that wasn't it. It came down to brain function. I learned later that lots of kids with early drug exposure have toilet issues. So, I geared myself up, bought tons of underwear for daytime, and pull ups for nighttime. I threw away an average of three pairs of underwear a week. But I wasn't going to put my school-aged child back in diapers. That would be down right humiliating for him. So I dealt with it the best I could and figured that someday, he'd outgrow the problem.
     Here we are, Ian is almost eight, and for the most part, he does pretty good. He doesn't need pull ups at night, and he only has an accident about once a week. Occasionally Ian's body will eliminate liquids or solids before he realizes what is going on. Which brings us back to the smear on the shin and the turd on the computer chair.
     I took my boy into the bathroom and had him sit on the toilet. Sure enough, he needed to do his business, and sure enough, there was evidence that he'd already done some business. Unfortunately, he neglected to put underwear on his body that morning, so the evidence was glued to his hind end and his shorts. I cleaned him up--I wanted to use an S.O.S. pad but settled on baby wipes--and got him some new undies and pants. Then we went into the kitchen.
     And there it was. The turd. Right in the middle of the chair. I stared at it for a moment, tilting my head one way and then the other, wondering, how in the world, did it fall from his butt, out the bottom of his shorts, and land on the chair? It should have landed on the floor. Unless he was standing on the chair?
     "Ian, were you standing on the chair?"
     "No. I was just sitting."
     Hmmm. If he'd been wearing underwear the turd would have been contained, but since he was going commando, the marble could just roll around at will. Maybe it stuck to him and then wiggled down a bit and landed on the chair? No, it still should have landed on the floor. Unless his leg was tucked under him, which would explain the smear on the shin. I don't know, it's a tough case and I'm not sure I'll ever solve it. Here is my best guess.
     The urge to expell signalled his brain to cut loose. One marble exited the anus and after a brief collision with the inside of his shorts, it fell... and this is where gravity failed. I'm assuming Ian was standing up in front of the chair, as he often does, and as the turd left the confines of his shorts and gravity failed, it hovered for a moment and then began to rise. It kept rising until it was floating over the chair... and that's when gravity recovered itself, dropping the brown ball onto the chair, where it was squished and smeared when Ian sat down and tucked a leg under his butt.
     That's my theory, what's yours?