Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Nggggghhh! NGGGGHHHAAA!!!*

Note to future Sam:
If you are reading this, I just want to say that I'm very, very sorry that I talked about your pooping habits in a public forum. Please don't bring this up with your therapist.

Love, Mom
So. Constipation. It's the issue du jour around our house. Up till this morning, Sam had not pooped in four days, and even his two meagre poops today were hard, stingy, rabbit-pellety little things. I know that four days isn't a lot for some babies, but for Sam, accustomed to gleefully sending forth fountains -- nay, Catherine wheels -- of poo on a daily (and on some days, twice or even thrice daily) basis, four days is not right.

My boy is bunged up good, and he's not happy about it. And when Sam's not happy, nobody's happy.

I feel so bad for the little guy. We did the math yesterday and first realized that his delivery schedule was a bit off. Understandable, we figured, since he recently had the epiphany that solid food is important because it sustains human life. As a result, he's been going at the cereals and fruits and vegetables like a born trencherman. So we dosed him with some diluted prune juice (with a syringe, believe it or not, because Sam thinks that bottles and sippy cups are chew toys) and waited for the excitement. (I never noticed till just now that "excitement" is only two letters away from "excrement.")

None was forthcoming; however, we did have an increasingly uncomfortable and cranky baby on our hands, one who drove Rusty to sleep on the sofa at around midnight. Sam finally dropped off to sleep, as did I, only to be awoken at 5 am on the dot by an extremely active baby. This was quite unlike him, because Sam normally likes to lie abed like a pampered Victorian lady till about 10 am or so. I discovered the source of his agitation when I changed his diaper: a hard little brown marble that must have hurt like bejeezus to pass. While I personally would have been offended and disheartened at having so little to show for my labours, Sam was in pretty good spirits and, after a couple of readings of Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs and Goodnight Moon, fell back asleep.

Fast-forward four hours. Sam wakes up crying and clearly very uncomfortable. I check his diaper. Nada. After a quick consultation with the trusty ol' internet, here's how we spend the next two hours:
  • feeding him UN-diluted prune juice (again with a syringe)
  • massaging his lower belly
  • bicycling his legs
  • assisting him in standing and bouncing
  • encouraging him to rock back and forth on his hands and knees
At one point partway through these machinations, I realized that Nature had gotten the wrong number and was calling me instead. When I got back from the bathroom, I didn't have the heart to tell Sam. It would have seemed like gloating.

Finally... finally... after many tears and bouts of red-faced pushing on Sam's part, and much cheerleading and sympathy grunting on my part, we had a victory. A round, brown victory. A mingy victory, yes, but a victory nonetheless. And now that this inaugural mom experience is behind me, you can add one more job skill to my c.v., after cook, entertainment coordinator, toy assembly supervisor, safety inspector, sanitation engineer, laundress, and janitor:

Poo wrangler.

*That was my approximation of a typical straining-to-poo noise. YMMV.


  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger landismom said…

    Oh. My. God.

    I was laughing out loud. Sorry Sam, but your mom is one funny chiclet.

  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    I swear, our babies were separated at birth. I was going to post about poop today! (Only it probably wouldn't have been half so funny. Poor Sam, but hee!)

    A has been having turds (that's what we call hard poops, to differentiate them from regular soft poops) for days now, but today she was actually straining, with noises very much like what you describe. I have eliminated (eliminated! I crack myself up) bananas, rice cereal, and apples from her diet, and instead have included oatmeal and barley cereal, peaches, and prunes. Maybe our kids need more water? I'm going to ask her doc next week, because the grunting and straining is so sad.

  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger Anne-Marie said…

    You know you've reached a new level when you find yourself cheering on the little one to take a dump.


    p.s. we've been there too, though not as bad I think. N & I were actually clapping and cheering 'yay!!!!!'. (Our) Sam looked a tad confused.

  • At 6:23 AM, Blogger Joanne said…

    We are a little bit behind you, my Anthony is only seven months, but I am *really* not looking forward to this, and it seems sort of unescapable. I'm glad to have some of your experience, though, to work with when the day finally comes.

  • At 8:28 AM, Blogger Tallis Ford said…

    Henry has had this problem a time or two and now we give him a few bites of prunes every day (usually at lunch, sometimes breakfast). I just buy a bag or pitted prunes, soak them in hot water until they're soft and plump (30 minutes to hours depending on how long i forgot them for) and then blend the whole concoction up. Just a few spoonfulls seems to keep him right on track. We notice that if we don't give him any for two or more days things get awfully cramped up in there.

  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It sometimes helps to put a little dollop of petroleum jelly right on the anus to help soften the worst of the logjam. It helps prevent tiny tears.

  • At 10:23 PM, Blogger IzzyMom said…

    Poo We used to call that "pooping the baby". My 7 mo old is now the most regular he's ever been. When he was a newborn and up until about 2 months ago, he hardly ever pooped and was always miserable. We started setting a time to poop him which meant we would give him a suppository and then cycle his legs while waiting for the "reward" of a turd. We tried prune juice and karo syrup and brown sugar. The only thing that helped was putting oatmeal in his bottle when he was finally old enough to have it.

  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger JulieJem said…



    I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

  • At 10:41 AM, Blogger Katie said…

    Poo wrangler! Hee!
    My daughter has had a couple of bad poo issues in the last few months too. In her case she had a difficult poo and stopped and freaked out halfway through. After almost 30 min of her crying and screaming "butt hurts!" "poo-poo scary!" with an almost-out poo, we had to get out the latex gloves. It was the grossest thing we've ever done.

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger scait said…

    Try Pear Juice. We dilute it 50% and it works in minutes, I swear. Full strength? I shudder to think!



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