Home > Top Ten > Top Ten: Stages Of Poop Predicaments

Top Ten: Stages Of Poop Predicaments

Some days are so challenging that by the end of the day you want to assume the fetal position and, well, return to a fetus is my guess. It’s either that or just do your best to laugh it off. So today, after spending a couple of hours curled up (without returning to the womb) I have decided to take the less serious approach and find some (dark, inappropriate) humor in things, even though a microscope was needed.

I’m sure many of you read about James’s “incident” at school last year. I was both horrified and terrified about James’s first-ever accident in front of his peers and actually went in to talk to his classmates before feeling reassured enough to send him back into school. Well now a year has passed accident-free – until today. Yep, I can’t believe it. Nothing for five years of schooling and then twice in two years – who would’ve thought? Thankfully(?) James had his “episode” after a track meet so he was with two teachers versus a whole recess full of 4th graders this time, but he still needed to be changed and picked up from school.

There are well-known stages to grief, loss, recovery, separation and relationships, and as I returned from school today I realized that my Top Ten had just written itself. Surely nobody has formally discussed the Top Ten Stages Of Poop Predicaments:

1. Panic/Anxiety: James’s para calls to tell me that James has had an “episode.” I ask cautiously, what kind of episode? One like last year, I am told. Are you sure, I ask? Oh-my-God-this-is-so-horrible-I’m-halfway-across-the-city-with-the-kids-and-won’t-be’able-to-get-him-for-an-hour-at-least-and-this-is-ruining-the-kids-day-and-just-so-stressful. 20 minutes later I’m on my way, panic giving way to

2. Anger/Frustration. Of course this had to happen at school. Why can’t this kid get it together – he’s 11 years old! Now I have to drop everything, 6 months pregnant, and rush halfway across town with 2 babies to save him. I left a change of clothing at school – why can’t they handle this (yes, I know why, I’m in a stage here)? This is such a huge pain in the ass and it’s not fair. I bet this wouldn’t have happened if I’d been there. Great, so I can’t leave him anywhere now?

3. Hope/Bargaining . Well, maybe it’s a false alarm like last week. Maybe it’s not a big accident and I can just clean him up in 5 minutes and take the kids to the playground – they day wouldn’t be a total loss. Okay, if it’s just a little accident I will let James cook all of the hot dogs for dinner tonight by himself. And I will stay at the playground for an entire hour even though it’s blistering out here. Please let this be a false alarm.

4. Worry/Concern. Maybe the heat has something to do with it? I hope this is an accident and not James being sick. Ugh I hope none of the kids at school get wind of this again, right at the end of his elementary career. Maybe I should keep him home again? But he hates missing school. I just hope the kids don’t know about it.

5. Acceptance/Resignation. Well, at least if they do he’s going to a new school next year. Fresh start and all. And a contained setting, I bet somebody else in the contained class has this same issue. Man, I’m feeling better about moving him to a more restrictive environment every day.

6. Embarrassment/Empathy. Ugh, but poor James. He must be mortified. And so uncomfortable, having to come all the way back to school with poop in his pants. I hope nobody makes him feel bad about this – good thing the para has suffered through this once before – she’ll help keep a lid on it.

7. Confusion. Wait, he’s not mortified? Even chipper? James, what happened today? I don’t know. What do you mean? When did you have your accident? On the grass after the track meet. Then when did you get taken to Burger King? After the track meet. With poop in your pants? I pooped more at Burger King. In your pants?! No, in the bathroom. Well you need a shower immediately after we get home, before anything else. Yeah after I take a shower I will be as clean as a train. what?! I’ll be as clean as a washed out train. You know, a train. Like Amtrak? why did you have an accident today James? What happened? I had a cramp in my stomach. I must have been sick. So you don’t know. Nah.

8. Relief. We walk into the house and I feel an instant weight off of my shoulders – we made it back! As James takes an hour long shower I think to myself, okay, the worst is over – plus James seems relatively unscathed (and unaware) and 

9. Guilt what kind of mother am I anyway, to have been so annoyed and frustrated about this? He can’t help it – he surely wouldn’t have an accident if he had any control over it and he certainly didn’t ask for megacolon. He didn’t know I would have to pack everything up, pull Margaret from class and wake the baby from his rare nap to race over there. But I’m only human – and thankfully he doesn’t seem to have picked up on my anxiety about this whole incident. Tomorrow’s another day and….

10. Fear/More Worry. Omg, what if it happens again tomorrow during one of the NDI dance performances? He’ll be with the entire 5th grade in a very stressful, noisy, chaotic environment. He’ll be crammed in next to half a dozen other 5th graders – someone will smell it on him! Okay this has only happened twice in the last two years, what are the chances of it happening two days in a row? Well, what were the chances he was going to poop his pants in the grass on the way to Burger King today? It’s never an “if,” but a “when,” right?

Luckily at this moment other fun, unrelated events occurred that took my mind off of megacolon for a while. Seriously, it was a rough day.


  1. Mary jane
    May 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Gotta love poop! Lol. You handled it a whole lit better then me. Lulu, who has recently potty trained (on a schedule) but not yet for poop, keeps having accidents and wiping it everywhere. She takes off her underwear and starts smearing it everywhere. I know she is 3 and she has autism, and she really doesn’t understand, but OMG, it is so disgusting. I try to watch her and catch her and get her to the potty but when I miss it….. Ahhhh!! I want to cry. She winds up getting it in my hair and we both have to shower. Thankfully it has only happened at home. I don’t know what I would do if it happens out somewhere. Nor do I know how to teach her not to touch it before I can get her cleaned up. I feel like the only person in the world that has to go through this but I know their are countless others and that I probably have it easy. I try to think of the kids that never even get potty trained. The poop situation is probably the only thing that really gets to me. As far as having a child with autism, I don’t think that’s unfair, in fact I think I am lucky to have such a wonderful special child but the poop thing, yuck!! I could do without that part. But I guess like everything, I’ll get used to it. It’s kind of like when your kid vomits all over you. It’s gross but it happens and it’s always better when it’s your kid. Imagine all the teachers that get pooped and peed and vomited on!

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