There are some blog posts that simply fall in your lap – real-life experiences that beg for a 1,300-word narrative. You don’t need to frame them up and/or add a lot of explanation. You just tell the story from start to finish.
My son’s first hand-to-hand combat with severe constipation falls into that distinct category.
But before I get into The Boy’s recent inability to poop, I need to apologize to my mom. She begged me not to write about this experience. She actually said, “What if I wrote about all your childhood troubles?”
I thought about my response for a second, and then I rhetorically answered her question with a question: “People would read it and laugh?”
Editor’s Note: Mom, this post HAD to be written. Consider it a public service announcement for other parents and a glimpse into the life of a clueless stay-at-home dad. (It might even make a few people chuckle, knowing the hell I went through that day.)
– – –
It started at 4:45 in the morning. The Boy wearily eased up to my side of the bed.
“Dada…I pooped,” he whispered – a little unnerved and uncomfortable.
My flight attendant wife was on a trip – so I couldn’t pass the buck, like I tend to do when she’s around. I rubbed my eyes and kick-started just enough of my senses to change his diaper. “OK, buddy,” I responded with sleep in my voice.
The only problem, when I checked his diaper….nothing. It was a little damp, but no poop.
I had NO IDEA that this was foreshadowing for the rest of our day.
Again, I could sense that he was still a little out of sorts – so I put him in bed with me. Neither one of us got another second of slumber – he tossed and turned for about an hour before we abandoned our attempt to sleep.
Exhaustion was inevitable.
But do you know the best way to forget about fatigue? Answer: Stand toe to toe with constipation for 12 hours.
– – –
Crash was a little cranky when we got out of bed at 5:45 a.m. I couldn’t figure out what was ailing him, so like any confused and tired stay-at-home dad, I let the rest of the world know via Facebook:
Ummmm…my son thought it was over-the-top important to wake up at 4:45 this morning, and I’ve been trying to determine WHY since 4:46 a.m. I’ve narrowed it down to: 1) Nightmares; 2) Inability to poop; 3) Intense desire to watch Mickey Mouse; 4) He REALLY misses his mom, OR 5) All of the above. Regardless…today is going to be one heck of an adventure for Team Myers.
It wasn’t until mid-morning that Crash confirmed that No. 2 was the clear-cut winner. With fear in his eyes, he said: “My butt hurts.” He grabbed his tiny hiney and looked helplessly at me for an answer.
I didn’t have one.
He crawled into my lap, put his head on my shoulder and sobbed.
I started replaying the last 48 hours in my head – asking myself the same question over and over again: “When was the last time he crapped? When was the last time he crapped?””
I couldn’t remember.
“It HAS to be constipation,” I said to myself. I pulled Crash off my shoulder and looked him straight in the eye. I said, “I promise I won’t let you down. I’ll be in your corner for the entire fight. You WILL poop today!”
With his lip quivering, he reminded me one more time: “My butt hurts!”
– – –
I know this may come as a shock to many people reading this, but I had NO IDEA what to do in this situation. So like any other 37-year-old man, with limited experience with constipation….I called my mommy. Actually, I solicited advice from ALL my parental consultants, which included:
• My Mom (nurse & mother of four)
• My Sister (pediatrician & mother of three)
• My Neighbor (grandmother & mother of two)
• Google (my parental owner’s manual)
For the next 12 hours, I executed their suggested game plans:
– Prune juice
– Apple juice
– Plenty of water
– Rectal stimulation
– Warm bath
I was OK with anything administered orally (e.g. prune juice & raisins) – I struggled with any “procedures” below the belt (e.g. rectal stimulation). Here is the before-mentioned hell that might amuse people: