Yup, you read that right. We are talking about poop, people! Don't act shocked. We've talked about it before. Just not entirely out in the open. It goes down in the DM! Crazy things like:
My kid hasn't pooped in 2 days, what's happening?
Why does it look like he's working the yard with Fred Flintstone? Why are there piles of rocks at the bottom of the toilet?
And really, isn't mamihood defined by poop? My kid laid one on the OB and I for one, approved (he wasn't my choice but, that's another story). After that, it was all about how often she pooped, what color was the poop (and trust me, that breast milk poop is something else)? Blow outs in public and on and on and on.
Aside from the fact that poop brings us together as parents, it's a serious topic, folks! I remember we once went to the doctor some a sore throat and left there with a note from the doctor to be sure to get the kid some over-the-counter meds for constipation.
And I can tell you that we've had some tummy aches finally disclosed upon my constant asking of "how does your tummy feel?" Of course, I feel terrible when she's in some sort of pain or discomfort and not letting me know these things. Like, not only are you holding the poop in but you're also holding in the feelings. Let it out!
We've gotten better about this discussion as she's gotten older. And she now knows that staying hydrated is important and that she needs to keep track and tell me if/when she's not pooping so that we can monitor in case other symptoms pop up. It's all about advocating for yourself, right? Start 'em early!
And this something we can discuss at this age and she takes great responsibility in.
That being said, it's hard to know what to look for or what to do. I'm glad I have Dr. Swanson to fall back on otherwise, where would I get this fantastic description for poop and what it should look like?
"Poop in the toilet can look like a pond,a snake, a log, or a pebble. When it comes to poop, we’re always looking for snakes. It seems to me that framed this way, school age children can do a better job knowing if they’re constipated or not. We’re looking for Snakes in the Lake, people! Frame it this way with your child and perhaps they will be more likely to get a glimpse of what they produce in the toilet? In my experience, parents worry a lot about hard infant or toddler poop in the diaper but constipation sneaks up on many families to school-aged children. After children are toilet trained and wiping themselves (around age 4 or 5) many parents no longer gaze in the toilet bowl. Long gone are the days of staring at every diaper as parents lose track of the daily poops, how often they poop, and how a child feels when pooping." (read her full post on digestive issues on her blog, Seattle Mama Doc)
Why did I not have these definitions earlier, people?! Seriously, Dr. Swanson should just have a little poop handbook that is given away at the hospital after babies are born. It would save us all this chatter about what comes out of little humans!
Then again, I bet we'd miss out on lots of entertaining stories!
I wish this infographic had been around when I needed it. Here's hoping it does your tummy some good!