{potty training}: at wits end...

So...since my surgery Paisley has pooped on her floor every single day that we've been home.  (so minus Thanksgiving and a weekend at a cabin)...meaning we're going on a month and a half of pooping on the floor EVERY day.  She typically poops on the floor during her nap time..or sometimes surprises me and just goes up there randomly during the day to do it.  She also poops on the potty quite regularly but somehow saves some special time of day to poop on the floor.  I have tried:

  • Not doing nap time.  She still needs it.  Still finds another time of day to go poop on her floor
  • Changing the time of nap time.  Doesn't matter.  Even if she goes before she still manages to poop on her floor.
  • Spending more time with her.  Spending more one-on-one time with her.  Cuddling and loving on her more.  etc.
  • Changing general routine to get out more, spend more time doing fun things for her, etc.
  • Taking toys or privileges away.
  • Spanking her.
  • Putting her back in diapers-for almost a full month, which she asked for every day and still...took those off to poop on the floor.
  • Duct taping diapers on for naps.  Still took them off and pooped on the floor.
  • Starting over with a reward system.  She then thought she should be rewarded for everything and constantly asked for treats...done with that...oh, and still pooped on the floor.
  • Other means of positive reinforcement...do not work
  • Ignoring the situation.
  • Having her help clean it up.  Does not care.  Loves to clean.
  • Spanking her. (still not really THAT hard, but hard enough to mean business)
  • Buying her most FAVORITE my little pony panties and hanging them on her wall for her to see out of reach and telling her that if she doesn't poop on the floor she gets to wear them!!  (which she talked about non-stop the entire day before...and then pooped on the floor)
  • Explaining in depth the situation, why we shouldn't poop on the floor, that it makes Mommy sad, that it's gross, that there are germs, that Mommy and Daddy don't like to clean it up.  She has repeated all of this back to me and understands it in depth-even so far as to explain it to her dollies, horsies and other toys (that also have problems pooping on the floor, apparently).
  • Jon and I have taken turns dealing with it to see if she's acting out towards one or the other.  Does not matter.
  • She does not care if her toys are taken away.  And I mean ALL her toys...no big deal.
  • Does not care if her blanket is taken away.
  • Really the only thing she cares about is hanging out with me but I can't leave her in her room by herself all day because...she poops on the floor.  And the only time I do leave her up there is during nap time-other than that shes just with me all day.
The one thing I've had recommended to me is trying to force her to go potty by holding her on there until she goes every time.  I'm not doing that.  I take her plenty and if she needs to go she goes, and if she doesn't need to she doesn't.  I'm not going to make her sit on the potty for an hour before nap time and try and force her to go.  Even if she does go of her own accord right before naps she still manages to poop on the floor.

I have witnessed her wake up out of sleep in the night to get up and go potty.  She poops in the potty every other time of day-and even during nap times if she's already pooped on the floor that day.  My sanity and my carpet need help.  I honestly don't know what to do.  It's not a medical thing (she poops just fine), I'm sure it's psychological but I have no idea how to fix it.  I knew she was going to be challenging, but WOW.  

I know that it's probably a regression because of the baby, or all the travelling and the busy-ness and everything else.  And I have read EVERYTHING that is available about regression-and have done EVERYTHING that has been recommended.  Nothing is working.  And this isn't a "be patient and give it time" thing-it's been almost 2 months and the girl is potty trained and has been for a year.  

I know its a control issue too.  Once again-how am I supposed to deal with it?  It's got to stop.  Has anyone been through this?  I'm at the end...

I find that by the time I'm going crazy enough to actually blog about something it typically resolves itself somehow so I'm really hoping that's the case here...


  1. wow...uhhh I'm sorry. I have no words of encouragement. My mom has a really nice carpet cleaner if you need to borrow. Stay sane you're a good mommy and I hope things work out :(.

  2. After reading this, I thought "crap. what DO you do?" I asked my sister just cuz I was curious what she would do (she has a 3 year old too). I think her response is worth passing on....

    "She's getting GIANT amounts of attention for her pooping in the floor. I'd stop reacting. Totally When she poops on the floor, don't say a word, shut the door, and walk out. Leave the poop until she's not looking and clean it up. Don't allow her to see that it's bothered you. Ignore it as much as humanly possible. If she just had a new baby, she IS looking for attention. And she gets it every time she poops - negative attention, but still attention.

    This tactic may not work, but at this point, it's worth a try.

    And one more. If she has an older friend (like a couple years) or cousin, have them over during pooping time. They'll find it disgusting and will tell her so. Peer pressure is highly effective even at a young age."

  3. I'm a seasoned mom, but haven't dealt with anything quite like this. I have no good advice for you. So, I'll tell you a story instead. About my brother, Taylor. POOPING on the floor.

    I'm six years older than Tay, so I remember stuff about his potty training days. This, like Paisley, was WAAY after he was totally potty trained. 6 months to a year after. He decided it was awesome to poop in weird places. He especially liked behind the TV.

    There was one extra-special day that he pooped right in the middle of the living room floor. He was by himself and went and found his big-wheel. Why did he want his big-wheel, do you ask? To run over the poop, of course. Doesn't everyone run over their poop with a big-wheel?

    He deemed the job satisfactory only when the poop was thoroughly smashed into the carpet and completely flattened.

    For whatever reason, my parents made my sister, Sarah, and I clean this mess up. I was probably about 9 and Sarah was about 13.

    I have vivid memories of "The Fall Guy" on TV while Sarah and I cursed Taylor's wretched name as we scraped and scraped his poop out of the carpet with butter knives.

    Good luck, my friend.

  4. Oh Clancy. That is so disgustingly hilarious. This is why I love you.

    April, I really have no words of wisdom, but I'll give you what I have. If you remember, Lizzy did the same thing in her underwear- for over six months. We tried everything. We threw underwear away. We tried giving her things if she didn't poop in her underwear. She got in trouble. We ignored the behavior. I can't think of a single thing we DIDN'T try short of beating the child.

    And then one day she just stopped. I don't know what changed. Maybe nothing changed. So all I have to offer is that no matter what, IT WILL END. I know that seems so crazy right now when you're searching for answers and nothing works.

    Just keep trying. Find the easiest way to deal with the mess (pee pads maybe?) and tell yourself every time that even if you don't find the magic answer today, tomorrow, or next week, IT WILL END. You will get through this, and so will Paisley. (Un)Fortunately, she probably won't remember a thing, you'll be the only one scarred for life.


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