Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Inspector Poop

(Warning, you many not want to read this if you are eating lunch.)

I’ve heard it said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. While that may be true, I’ve never had time to test the theory. I’m usually busy doing other things. I can, however, tell you with absolute certainty that the way to Sam's good behavior is through his stomach.

I know this after years of experience; after years of observing what goes in one end and comes out the other and tracking the ensuing behavior. At our house, poop reigns supreme in the quest for behavioral success on any given day.

Sam can’t tell us when his stomach bothers him, thus, my observational skills are critical. I've become something of a “poop” expert; i. e. the lucky individual who surveys what Sam leaves behind in the toilet. I check color, texture, quantity and more. I note the length of time between what Tony eloquently refers to as “dumps.” I look for correlations (good or bad) to what Sam ate.

There’s nothing quite like the words, “Sam left something for you in the toilet. I know how you like to inspect his deposits” to complete my day. Still a mom has to do what a mom has to do. After a particularly pungent episode, I think of my father as I ask, “Sammy, what did you eat today, snakes?” Sam generally smiles and acknowledges succinctly, “Stinky.” Um. Yes.

While this may not be the job path I dreamed of in college, it is important work. A well-regulated GI system can mean a successful day at school and a meltdown free night at home. Any lapse in regular “deposits” gives me a heads up that trouble will likely be on its way. 

Recently we’ve taken on the challenge of undoing the sequence of “a meltdown gets me help” and replacing it appropriate language use to get attention. Last night I witnessed a small success as Sam pointed to his stomach saying, “It hurts.”  This was followed a few healthy belches as Sam narrated, “Sam burped. Excuse me. That’s disgusting.” While I generally agree with Sam's assessment that burps are disgusting, I have to admit I cheered because it sure sounded like music to me.

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  1. I get those same words - Helen is in the bathroom - you may want to go in

    1. Ah yes, as it is known in my house, Poop Patrol.