Sunday, February 13, 2011

welcome to the shit show.

I don't know who this lady is, but I wish she'd stop touching the washer/dryer set of my dreams.
Conversation at the Carefoot home last weekend:

Me: not again. Max. Ugh. I am so tired of this. Scott….

Scott: Seriously? Again? What is that, the fourth time today?

Me: Yes.

Scott: We live in a god damn monkey cage.

Me: I don’t think I have it in me to scrub shit out of the carpet one more time.

This is a sensitive topic. One that I have delayed writing about because I like to focus on the positive stuff with Max, and quite frankly, this subject is one I prefer not to think about.

We started toilet training Max during the summer of 2009. It has been an ongoing process, one that we have yet to see the other side of. For the most part, Max urinates in the toilet. There are certain people he will not do this for (new therapists tend to get the worst of it), but as long as we take him to the toilet on an hourly basis, he does not wet himself. I should point out that he has to be prompted to go to the toilet, and he typically complains by whining or crying (depending on who is taking him). The funny thing is that once he pees, he looks overjoyed and loves the praise he gets for eliminating in the toilet.

That's right, "eliminating".  We have all sorts of pc ways of saying "peeing in the potty". Pee is not pee, it is referred to as #1 or urinating.  Even though I feel like screaming "I can't believe you just pissed all over the front hallway" when Max gleefully hoses down anything within stream, I have to remain calm.  Ideally, I will give no reaction at all because any response will be deemed as reinforcement of the behaviour.

Back to eliminating though.  Poop is not poop, it is referred to as #2, defecating or preferably "BM" (bowel movement).  Having spent almost every morning of the last 3 months scrubbing shit out of our carpet, wiping down walls, and doing endless loads of laundry on "hot" with tide with bleach, I can tell you that when you are knee deep in it, "BM" is not what you are calling it.

The most frustrating thing about Max's behaviour is that he actually knows when he needs to have a BM (I'm going to refer to it as such for the remainder of this blog for the more sensitive of my readers).   Many mornings he will hop out of bed, remove his pull-up, squat and have a BM on the floor.  Of course, that isn't good enough, he then steps in it and jumps back into bed.  Imagine waking up to that every damn day.

We are doing our best to break this habit/behaviour/love of poop by getting up much earlier and waking Max up before he has a chance to do his thing.  From a behaviour training perspective, all we can do is positive reinforcement (which is a stretch in the absence of the behaviour).  "Yay Max! Good job keeping your pants on!" doesn't outweigh whatever joy he is getting out of taking a big ol' dump on his bedroom floor (and the $400 rug I lovingly selected for his room before he was born).  Better yet, given the opportunity, he will sneak off during the day to repeat the behaviour, so weekends are always an adventure.

So when I tweet:

@scottcarefoot I would like a candy apple red front loading @GE_Applicances washer/dryer set for Valentine's day. HOT!

I am not kidding.  Unfortunately, this is not in the budget so no washer/dryer set for me (big sigh).  I should count my blessings for the 11 year old-on its last legs-apartment size top/bottom unit we have.  A lot of folks would have to go to the laundromat on a daily basis if they were dealing with this!  Excuse me while I go and put another load in. 


  1. I should note that the reason I like the GE model is that I've seen with my very own eyes that it has the following settings:



  2. Anonymous7:59 p.m.

    I like appliances that speak to reality.

  3. I'm sure you're not smiling much but your post did make me smile... not laughing at you, just with you, as if you didn't laugh you'd cry, right?! I remember only too well how easy it wasn't to toilet train our older daughter (non-ASD!) and that, along with your post, probably explains why my 3-nearly-4 year old daughter with ASD is still in her nappies. No rush to remove them, eh?! Poor you. Treat yourself to some new rubber gloves...?!

  4. You are not alone in the frustration. I don't know if that helps at all, but I hope it does a little. We've invented "sleep pants" for Andy to help avoid the early morning or naptime pooping mess until training is complete. Let me know if you want more details.