I’m tired of all this %&*#

Get CPS on speed dial, because I am a terrible mother. And after you call them, you can go ahead and call me an ambulance because I’m ready to shove toothpicks into my eyeballs. I’m pretty sure that would be more pleasant than my current situation.

Today my BFF and I went to Ikea. After our initial free hour of childcare, we took the kiddies (3 of mine, 1 of hers) to lunch (free right now, check it out) and were about to head to the car…when we thought of something. Else. Because at Ikea, there’s always Something Else.

Just as we got over to the media shelving stuff, June looked up at me with her baby blues, smiled into my loving eyes, and said, “Mommy, I pooped my pants!”

Now I know you’ve all told me that there’s nothing I can do about this, and I know from personal experience that you’re right. It’s been two months, and every stinking day I take time out of my afternoon to clean out a pair of stained undies. Why? Because if I put her in a pull up, she stops using the toilet completely, and I’m not about to give up on the totally potty trained ground we’ve got under our feet. She’s good to go…until it’s time to poop. Then, no matter what motivating factor we throw her, she squats down and does her business right in her tighty whitey’s (or brownies).

I’ve been patient, I’ve refused to react. I don’t beat her, leave her by the side of the road, lock her in the bathroom–my reactions these past few weeks have bounced between total nonchalance and slight irritation. I try my hardest not to react (and she’s begging me to react, by the way).

Until today.

For some reason, today I realized that I kind of don’t like her right now. She’s so smart, she’s so capable, and she’s doing this on purpose. I’ve given her a little potty that’s not scary, I’ve asked her to just put a pull-up on when she needs to poop. Do you think she’ll do any of those things? No. She poops in her pants so that I can clean them out. I went an entire week where she spent a half hour in her room every time she pooped without using a pull-up or the little potty. She didn’t even blink about it.

So, much to my regret, today I told my daughter that I don’t like her right now. I looked her right in the eyes, and with all the frustration I’ve been feeling, I told her that when she poops, I don’t like her, I don’t want to be her mommy, and I don’t even want her around.

And then she cried, and I wanted to die.

I know what I’m supposed to learn here, and I’m learning it. I have no control over her choices. Whether it’s pooping or smoking pot, my kids are going to live their own lives, and sometimes their choices will affect me. This is part of parenting, and I guess it’s better that I accept it right now than act surprised in ten years.

Sometimes parenting is a really crappy job.

(Be sure to check out Melinda’s non-crappy blog today, I’m sure she’s got something way more uplifting for you.)


  1. May I get a round of applause? For being totally and completely honest?

    There isn’t a mother in the world who hasn’t had a “I don’t like my children right now” moment. Or day. Or week. Nope, not one. Not even, like, NIENIE. Any mother who says she hasn’t had those moments is either lying, or her children aren’t old enough yet.

    Yes, I have those times too. And I learn from them. And I become better. Even if toothpicks sounds like a more pleasant option at the time, I do get over it.

    And I promise your daughter really will forget. Until you remind her 25 years from now – when she’s potty training HER daughter.

  2. I love that this is how we as moms (and women) see ourselves; you think you’re a bad mom because of one thing you said, but don’t see what a good mom you are for dealing with poop in underwear for TWO MONTHS. I worked at a daycare where a little boy pooped in his underwear everyday that week and by the end of the week I was ready to quit. That was five days. FIVE. I think you’re control is AMAZING for lasting two months! You’re a good mom Annie, for sure. And I agree with That Girl, all mom’s have moments where they don’t like their kids. 🙂

    Too bad my blog is about little boy wieners. Him, maybe I should go blog something else huh? hahaha

  3. mom of a mob says:

    Oh, darling Anne… Don’t you just hate it when everything hits the fan?? I sympathize (ewww!), I empathize (have a son who asked for a diaper to poop until he was almost 4), & I suggest-atize (not a word, but I’ve got a pattern going here!).

    Let Miss Almost-A-Big-Girl know that if she poops in her panties, she gets to wash them. You will have to hold your hands over her hands & “guide” her thru the job – shaking the poop into the toilet, getting them wet, putting the soap on them, & scrubbing them out.

    Having washed my own clothes by hand in South America for 18 months, I can tell you from experience that it is NOT fun. Butt (hee hee) maybe if the consequence is yucky enough, it will deter her potty-less pooping…?

    Don’t worry too much – our parents warped us, & we will warp our children. As long as we fix what we can & they know we love them, they’ll turn out OK.


    xoxo Angie

    PS – I think it’s OK to tell your kids you don’t like it when they [fill in the blank]. They need to know that you love them & will take care of them, but some things are just too much.

  4. Are we supposed to like our kids all the time? If so I am failing miserably. And if anyone tells you they haven’t thought and said any of the same things to their kids… they are freaking liars and I will throatpunch every single one of them.

  5. Hey, I don’t even like your kids all the time. General “your.” Your kids are adorable when they aren’t pooping their pants.

  6. I know exactly how you feel. And it sucks. I said the same thing to Henry so many times. In a children’s consignment store, during a parent/teacher conference… I’m sure there are other public places where he dropped a load in his pants. Oh, it makes me mad just thinking about it. But he stopped, eventually. And June will too. And seeing as how she’s following Henry’s schedule so closely, in the next two months or so? I hope sooner, for your sake.

  7. Alicia Cunningham says:

    Macey was so hard to potty train when it came to the ole #2 that I am convinced that I will not even try with Molly until she is 4 and has basically figured it out by herself. With Macey I had to take away the thing she loved most — school. She could not go to preschool anymore but we still had to drop off and pick up Emma so she saw it but could not stay. Broke her little pooping heart. After months of failure, she started to work things out.

  8. I like the ‘shove toothpicks into my eyeballs’ line! I have sooo been there! I have no advice for you, though…sorry:) It sounds like she is on a little pooping power trip and she’s taking you along in her toiletries bag! Hang in there! People always tell me, “they aren’t going to go to high school doing (blank) so don’t worry about it now. Lighten up.” Which is so much more easily said than done. But really, she’s not going to go to high school pooping her pants but I know that it really sucks for now! Good thing she is really cute when she doesn’t have poopy undies!

  9. Anna Dailey says:

    I know that feeling. When we were in the same ward, I was HIGHLY frustrated/overwhelmed by the behavior and needs of my daughter #3. Plus all the guilt from not liking her. The best thing about children is that they grow. (FYI that’s also the worst too.)

    I second the opinion of Mom of a Mob. Little June should totally clean those panties out herself (with you or without you). We’ve had a lot of discussions with our crew helping them learn that while they can choose their actions, they cannot choose the consequences of the actions. They have to just face them; because their father and I love them too much to bail them out. That’s a good lesson to learn at any age.

    Hugs and good luck.

  10. I recall not liking my child for at least the first two months of her life. And I anticipate feeling that way often throughout the rest of her life while doing my best not to totally and completely FREAK OUT at her. Hopefully I can use my words like you did! Although you may feel awful, moms are only humans, and humans don’t always like other humans.

  11. Uh… I’ve always gone by the “I love you but I don’t like you right now.” I agree with the other gal who said to have her help wash the undies out. The fact you’ve stuck it out for two months is HUGE and you should not beat yourself up too much about it. Moms tend to beat themselves up a little too much and that certainly is not okay. This too, shall pass. (ha – no pun intended.)

  12. Totally great comments as usual. Just to throw my 2 cents in, go with the “let her wash out the undies” thing. Even if it doesn’t change her mind, it’s just retribution and may make you feel better!

    The thing that changed the tide with Kelsi? (because I was in a similar boat…) I ordered a soft cushioned seat, attached to it’s own little ladder that sat over the toilet. She loved climbing up the ladder to get on the actual toilet to poop. Go figure.

    I have even heard KENDRA tell her kids, “I don’t want to be around you right now because I don’t like the way you’re acting.” *gasp* You are fine, I would have lost it too. Oh, BTW, I kinda like it when my hard-headed kids cry after I’ve scolded them, it lets me know my point hit home and their little hearts are feeling some remorsefulness. Then lots of hugs and kisses and a little lesson is learned.

    Did you buy some great stuff at IKEA?

  13. darn it! Everyone and their dog beat me to the punch! Make her wash her own panties out. Totally worked for my daughter. IT still took her FOREVER to poop in the potty, but at least she started using a pull up!

  14. Sorry to hear you had such a rough day. For some reason, Ikea has been the scene a few of my daughters’ more colourful meltdowns. I have no doubt that attempts to do “just one more thing” were responsible and I should have learned after the first disaster.

    But when it comes down to it, I think that days like the one you had today end up being a bit of a release valve for all involved. A little of all that built up pressure is vented and, even though nothing has really changed, it feels like an opportunity to start over with a clean slate.

    Wishing you a better tomorrow and hoping you’ll hold off on the toothpicks!

  15. That totally sucks. Been there, too. And it totally sucks, too. This is the thing, though…it’s not like you don’t really like her. You’re just frustrated and that’s your frustration speaking. I’m going to go over to Target and get training pants just for her…that way “it” will sit in her training pants, feel like underwear, yet you won’t have to clean another pair of pants…for reals, girl, because June’s potty issues is killing you. Yeah, maybe there’ll be some plastic rustling, but girlfriend’s gonna have to get used to it!

  16. Mason has a blanket. He takes it everywhere. He can’t sleep without it. The last time he pooped in his pants ( a year plus after being completely potty trained) and then said, in response when I asked him why, “Because I didn’t want to miss my show!” I took his blanket away. And it was the last time he pooped in his pants because he cried and cried and made me feel like an awful person. But it worked!

  17. I lose my cool on a daily basis around here.
    Mine are all past the potty training stage but I remember questioning the pediatrition about the slow progress in potty training my youngest. His reply? “Well, I’ve met very few adults who aren’t potty trained. He’ll figure it out eventually.”
    That totally didn’t help my situation. I resorted to buying the child’s favorite cartoon character big-boy-pants and warning him that if he pooped in them, they were going in the garbage and he wouldn’t have them any more. We threw away $5.97 worth of underwear, but after that he stopped.
    Best $5.97 I’ve ever put in the trash.

  18. I have so been there!! Even doing the same thing. Which, by the way, did not work with her at all. She did that to me until she was turning four. Then I told her that she couldn’t have a birthday or turn four or get any presents until she could go on the potty. So if she wanted to stay a baby that was ok with me. If she wanted a birthday, than she had to start going on the potty. Guess what??? She chose the potty. She had it all down within a day or two and we had one crazy, big celebration birthday party. she was so happy with all the attention, she never went back to her old baby ways. So, I would be patient. She will learn, I promise. I don’t know why some kiddos don’t want to grow up, but I think it just might be a little normal for them. It was for mine. She is 10 now and I really sometimes wish we could go back to the days of babyhood.

  19. You do know by now you’re not alone, right? If not, I will keep my Flip camera on 24/7 and send you some awesome footage. You and I are friends.

  20. There is some strange IKEA mojo that causes irritating behavior in children. I don’t know why.

    And I totally know where you are coming from. And you are a saint for not just putting her back in diaper. Cause I would rather change diapers for the rest of my life than deal with poopy underwear.

  21. I LOVE it when my kids say “I HATE YOU!!!!!” because I get to say “Well, I’m not very fond of you either!”

    Trust me, you will probably remember what happened today longer than she will. Us moms are just guilt ridden like that.

  22. These days the emotional poop is what I get. If we actually had saints in the LDS faith I would nominate you right this very second. Two months is a ridiculously huge amount of time. That being said, Good job, Mommy for not killing her! Honestly we all need that occasionally.

    Sunday my 8 yr old princess looked @ me & told me that she loves daddy more because, well, she’s a daddy’s girl. Then she proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong w/ my nose. On Monday my prince of a 13 yr old son yelled that he hated me because I wouldn’t take them to school since the bus was late. Yeah, it really does get better although some days I’m still waiting…

  23. Are we supposed to like are children all the time? If so, then I have failed as a mom. My kids are teenagers now and if I want to be honest then I will honestly admit that I seriously don’t like them right now. I love them of course, but like? Not so much!

    I know how frustrating it is when your child does that kind of thing on purpose in order to get attention. Hang in there! Ialso liked the suggestion given that you have her help you clean out her panties. That might really work! Give it a try! Good Luck!

  24. I like Veronica’s take on it and I’d like to tweak it just a bit. Take $50 and go to the dollar store. Buy fifty toys. Every time she poops in the potty, she gets a toy. (Or $20 or whatever)

    I’m SOOOOOOO not looking forward to potty training Harley. I wasn’t good at it with my almost 12 year old and I honestly don’t remember potty training my 9 year old. Obviously, it happened but I don’t have any memories of it. (I think it’s because it was right when I was splitting up from my ex-husband.)

    Anyway, good luck my friend. I don’t have any other advice to give you. I’m going to be using the dollar story method when I decide to embark on this dreaded journey!

  25. pass the cone of shame this-a-way, please.
    because i was that little girl.
    not for attention, mind you. it was control.
    i’ve been a control-freak from the beginning.
    if my body said it was time for #2, i’d say “no it’s not!”
    since i didn’t want to stop whatever i was doing at the
    time just cause my body said i had to, i’d then hold it back.
    throughout the day.
    then all hell’d break loose and there i was with messed panties.
    and a ticked mom.
    so, after she’d hit her threshold, my mom made me wash out my undies…
    in the toilet.
    cured that whole scenario RIGHT UP!
    and i decided to be a control-freak over other things instead. 🙂

  26. Believe me . . . you’re still going to be surprised in a few years when your kids make their choices! I started out as the most amazing parent ever, and now, I don’t know a diddly squat thing about raising kids . . . . . just saying. Right now, I have a hard time liking my children, but I love them and tell them all the time. How can I love them and not like them????

    Hey, one of my earliest memories is of me, washing out my own undies when I decided to “brown” them. I’m sure I didn’t do as good as job as my mom at washing them out, but because I remember it it made an impression. Maybe it’s worth a try to let her do the yucky deed, but you’ve probably already done this, so I’m just rambling . . . . .

    GOOD LUCK, this too will pass! believe me!

  27. I’m glad I didn’t read all the previous comments before commenting or I wouldn’t have commented! No need . . . . great advice and back patting going on above!

  28. Are you sick of suggestions yet? Make her sit in it. That thirty minutes in her room? Do it with crappy panties. It worked for my daughter after her younger brother was born and she decided to “regress”.
    And I totally don’t like my kids sometimes, and I’ve told them so, but they know I love them beyond all measure, so I figure it’ll work out. Hang in there!

  29. That really stinks!
    I have a solution… It worked for two of my kids so hopefully it works for you.
    Kid #1 I made her change her own mess. I made her do it in bath so it wouldn’t get all over the place and I was the “bad cop” who made sure she did it right. After a few times of this the “good cop” aka hubby goes to her and tells her that it is so much easier to just poop in the toilet. It worked and she was good to go.
    Kid #2 I let her pick out her favorite underwear when we were ready for that step and then when she digressed into pooping in her panties, I made her through them away. She cried like a baby because they were her favorite panties and she didn’t want to loose them. She only had to lose 2 pair.
    That is my advice. I think it will work. Your little darling sounds like she is as stuburn as mine were.

  30. gosh, I don’t even know what advice I can give you. I just waited until my 5 kids got married and let their spouses train them

    it reminds me of once upon a time when I was primary chorister.
    (true story) You remember the song “little purple pansies specked with yellow gold”
    this one little boy THOUGHT the words were
    LITTLE POOPY PANTIES specked with yellow gold.
    perhaps you can sing that with your daughter…….once you are both speaking again. (tee,hee)

  31. Thank you for being real. I had a . . . {shhh…. therapist} . . . tell me recently that if you feel guilty about being a Mom and the things you do, then you are a GOOD MOM. Good mommy’s freak out. They do dumb things. They say stupid things. Because they love their kids.

    You love Junie. It’s obvious. And, you’re a Good Mommy.

  32. I told my baby to go away the other day (he and I aren’t digging the teething business right now).

    I figure, my kids won’t always like me and I won’t always like them. Sometimes, we’ll mess up and tell each other that.

    I suppose that’s why they created apologies.

  33. No one ever listens to me. How many times do I have to say, “Pullups to Depends, and eventually they’ll get married and be someone else’s problem” before you finally listen to the wisdom of my age? (And I stopped washing out anything by kid #4. You’re out in public and the kid trashes her underwear? Take her to the car, strip her down, wrap her in a blanket, strap her into her car seat, and THROW AWAY THE UNDERWEAR!!)

  34. Crap.