As much as it broke my heart to watch Ryan have such fear over a "must do" bodily function, I also worried that Ryan would end up going to elementary school in pull ups and be teased relentlessly. Kids can be mean anyway, throw in a pull up on the sliding board and I might as well have placed a "Kick Me" sign on Ryan's back. I can happily say Ryan jumped on the bus and went off to kindergarten with big boy pants on because he decided to save his pooping accidents all for me. I understand that Ryan knows Mommy will love him regardless of how many times she has to throw away underwear because her Clorox raw skin couldn't handle one more toilet washing, but I really was ready to blow. Our pediatrican explained to me that Ryan's colon was so distended from holding his poop because he hated going so much, that the "accidents" were a result of leaking. AWEnestly, I didn't care what was causing it or what you called it, I just knew it stunk, literally, and figuratively, and I wanted it to stop. I swear to you, the smell was in my nostrils 24 hours a day and no perfume or hair product could make it go away. I truly considered huffing Febreeze, but of course my fear of causing brain damage outweighed the stench in my nostrils. I just couldn't understand how a child who hated to be messy or sticky didn't mind sitting in his own mess at all. I love my son, but I wondered if a mother had ever been committed to a mental health facility as a result of potty training trauma. I was convinced I would be the first.
Once, in an effort to put a stop to these accidents all together, we told Ryan (who was 7 at the time) if he had any more accidents we would throw the Nintendo Wii in the garbage. Talk about tough love. He loved that Will more than most people. Guess what? The Wii went into the trash (we quickly got it out after he went to bed...those things aren't cheap) the night before trash day. Ryan was horrified. He sobbed, screamed, and completely shut down. Both Ryan and I went to bed sobbing. Ryan for his lost Wii and me for my lost sanity. For most of two week, Ryan thought the garbage men took his Wii, until we finally returned it since losing the Wii had no impact on poopy accidents whatsoever. We consulted doctors, therapists, specialists and employed natural laxatives. Yes, in the battle between laxatives and autism, autism won. Truly unbelievable. You name it, we tried it. We even tried bribery with large ticket items like $50 video games, large amounts of cash, his favorite restaurants, vacations....all to no avail. I had reached my scrubbing underwear in the toilet limit, so there was nothing left to do but break out the big guns. The little white lie.
On Ryan's 8th, yes 8th birthday I looked that beautiful boy in the eye and lied my face off. Yep, I lied and AWEnestly, this time, I felt no guilt or shame, because in the end it worked and I was tired of cleaning up poop. I told my terrified of pooping boy, that "It is against the law to poop your pants after you are 8 years old." That was it. One sentence. I didn't say he would go to jail or the police would come because I didn't have to, my rule and law abiding son knew just what "breaking the law" meant and to this day, almost 4 years later, there have been no more accidents. Judge me if you will, but until you spend 5 years with your hands in the toilet washing underwear with the likes of Buzz Lightyear, Scrat and Spongebob smiling up at you, you have no idea.