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Pooping problem....Did I handle this the right way???

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:11 PM
  • 10 Replies

Ok, so really I just need to know if I was totally out of line/ heartless for what just happened this morning...

I babysit a child who is 7 years old.  He has been having (what his parents call) "intestinal issues" for the past week.  He was at our house last week and he pooped in his pants (solid poop) and wasn't wearing underwear, so it fell out of his pants and he rubbed it on the floor.  I called the child's mother and told her what happened and she didn't seem shocked at all.  She just told me to clean him up and put a pair of my son's shorts on the child (my son is 2).  Well, the pooping thing has been a problem in the past.  A few weeks ago, I had found where the child had pooped in the toy room and rubbed it on some of the toys.  (Yes, I went crazy and bleached everything in sight...it was disgusting).  Anyway, now the school the child attends has informed the family that the child can not come to school until the parents provide proof that the child is seeing a doctor to correct the problem.  (apparantly he's pooping his pants at school too...I don't know if he's playing in it, though).  I had been avoiding addressing the problem with the mother because she can be a bit...harsh.  But, today, I got to thinking and just thought I should investigate a bit more.  So, I called my aunt (who had her own child therapy center and is a child therapist) and I told her about the issues.  She told me that playing with your feces can be (and most of the time is) a sign of abuse of some sort.  She told me that if she were me, she would tell the mother that I can no longer keep the child until he gets straightened out by a doctor.  She told me that if the child is being abused that there is no way that I could keep a close enough eye on him to insure that he doesn't abuse my 2 year old.  She said I should put my child's well-being first.  So, I took her advice.  I called around to some day cares and found one that would keep the child for the hours needed and do so for $15 less than I charge.  So, I called the mother and informed her that I had been thinking and couldn't keep her child until he was being treated for his problem, but that I had found a place she could take him, and I asked if she wanted the number.  She was furious.  She informed me that I was the only sitter she had, that her son pooping his pants is not his fault, and that she didn't know how she would get her son to the day care....etc.  So, I apologized, told her that it wasn't the pooping his pants that was the problem, but it was the rubbing the poop on things that was the problem and that I liked having her son here, but thought he should be seen by a dr. before he comes back.  She wouldn't accept my apology and said that she no longer wants me to keep her child. 

So, I guess, I just feel guilty.  I feel like maybe I should've done things differently.  I dont' know what I should've done, but I feel bad that she's upset with me.  Do you all have any advice?

~Amy~

                            
Wife to Jerediah    Mommy to Levi   

by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:11 PM
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Replies (1-10):
amyjane22
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:23 PM

bump

25beengoodtome
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:30 PM

 I think you did all you could. Also, you have been kind, locating a daycare for that child. Poor kid, stuck with a mom in total denial. 

~Marie - I'm Absolutely ADDICTED TO CAFEMOM - and loving it!!
jamieb1028
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:30 PM

your friend was right and you did the right thing too. a child doesnt regress with a big milestone unless (most of the time) they experience something traumatic. I wouldve done the same thing. Why hasnt she seen a dr anyway? if my child was 7 and statred pooping himself and playing with it, i would def think something was wrong.dont worry, ur in the right. hope the boys ok tho.

scootermom
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:33 PM


Quoting 25beengoodtome:

 I think you did all you could. Also, you have been kind, locating a daycare for that child. Poor kid, stuck with a mom in total denial. 


MommaJoP
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:36 PM

You did the right thing.  If the school is having problems then your not the only one.  At least with the school they can make the parents get it checked out by the doctor, and if your Aunt is right, maybe the doctor will find something.  Your own child could become very sick if he comes in contact with the poop.  You did good momma, don't doubt yourself.

amyjane22
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Thanks, ladies.  I asked my DH if he thought I was being a witch or snob or anything and he told me "no", but he'll just tell me whatever he knows won't hurt my feelings, of course.  So, it's nice to have some objective opinions. 

Also, yes, I do worry about him since his mom seems to be in denial about it all.  I wish she'd realize that burrying her head in the sand is only going to harm her son.

~Amy~

                            
Wife to Jerediah    Mommy to Levi   

amyjane22
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Oh, and thanks, ladies for keeping this drama free! Y'all are great and I really appreciate it.

Quoting amyjane22:

Thanks, ladies.  I asked my DH if he thought I was being a witch or snob or anything and he told me "no", but he'll just tell me whatever he knows won't hurt my feelings, of course.  So, it's nice to have some objective opinions. 

Also, yes, I do worry about him since his mom seems to be in denial about it all.  I wish she'd realize that burrying her head in the sand is only going to harm her son.


Chick
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 1:18 PM

WOW- I have a 5 year old who I can't imagine doing that and a few 7 yr oldish neices and nephews. If any of them played in their own poop- rubbed it on toys or the floor- I would be irate and flip out. They are all old enough to know better and mature enough to think that is gross. I cant imagine that he is doing it for any other reason other than something extreme. I don't understand the correlation to abuse but I am no proffessional but it does make sense that it would have to be something very mentally distrurbing to make him do such a thing at 7. Pooping his pants is one thing, playing in it is something else entirely. Is he immature for his age? Does he show any other signs of neglect or abuse? I wouldn't automatically assume the worse but def. something to be checked out. Since you pretty much pissed the mom off for good, you might as well tell her what your aunt said, being that she is a child therapist, the mom may be part of the problem or may have no idea. She won't like it, but she is mad at you either way. I don't think you did anything wrong though, it's just so hard for moms to hear anything negative about their child and she can't handle it and gets defensive. Don't take it personally.

FuzzybugsMommy
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 1:29 PM

We had a problem with my niece regressing, but her whole life has been one stressful event after another. The kid didn't lay off of bottles until she was about 4 and didn't stop wearing diapers until around then. She constantly fingerpainted on the walls and stuff with poop, peed in her pants after she was "pottytrained" and things like that. 


I will say this though. My son decided one night last year to fingerpaint with poop. On the walls. I brought it up with his doctor, and he just laughed and said "Welcome to being a mom." I know that my kids aren't abused by anyone, they're in my care 24/7 and I'm not abusing them, unless you call feeding them and playing with them abuse. lol. 

In the case of my kid fingerpainting, that was just him being a little kid, and while it was nasty, I did laugh. I thought it was hilarious. That's the only time he's done that, and my daughter (23 months old) hasn't done it. 

It is true that abuse can trigger a regression and other traumatic things happening can. Sometimes something as simple as moving from one house to another can trigger it. Things that aren't stressful to an adult may be perceived as a stressful or traumatic event for a child. If the child's parents aren't the abusers (if that's the case) then I'd be looking at the school and parents of friends. Even other children. If another child was abused and does something abusive to this little boy, the problem's bigger than anyone could've thought initially. 

If talking to the mother doesn't help then I'd anonymously tip an authority figure off. A cop, CPS, someone. There are things that can be done to correct this, and this kid doesn't deserve to be mistreated or alienated because of it.

OAmy
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 2:11 PM

 I had a student once who had...encopresis (sp). There are medical reasons as to why that might happen, however...playing in it and rubbing it in is all together different.

Do not feel guilty. That is definately a red flag that something is going on and you do NOT want to get mixed up in it....or your child.

It scares me, though. This mother seems to think this isn't really an issue. Medical or not...it needs to be addressed. I hope these parents don't drop the ball...

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