Warning: too much information

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HopeRemains, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    We went shopping for Halloween costumes last night. While we were in the store I caught a whiff of difficult child. We were having such a nice night that I just sort of pushed that out of my mind because we were leaving by that point and I didn't want a scene in the store.

    When we got home, I motioned to husband that he needed to 'check' difficult child. When this happens, without fail, every time, husband tells difficult child that he needs to wipe better. I'll admit that sometimes he doesn't wipe well and gets the regular skid marks which I find and I don't really mention those very often, because they are much less offensive than when he's actually pooped his pants.

    difficult child gets into the shower and husband comes out. The words I say are "Do you realize that this isn't just him having "accidents" and it's something psychological?". He's already frustrated so he gets defensive, like normal, and tells me that when HE looks, it's only skid marks. I know that's not true, because I've seen the evidence after it's been dumped into the toilet. You can't dump a mark into a toilet. ARGGG! I've had way more than my fair share of experience cleaning up or monitoring cleanup.

    I've mentioned this before but he did stop with the feces issues for a year before he went to his biomom's for vacation last year, now it's back and hasn't gone anywhere. So I KNOW that it isn't a physical condition and his motor skills are perfectly fine- there's no reason for him to not wipe properly in any case. It is a psycological issue of some sort that the docs shrug off.

    We are back to the smearing- the other day I found his bed rail AND the curtains just covered.

    I guess the best we can do is keep on with the consequences and preventative stratagies, so it's almost nitpicky of me to be upset that husband won't even call the most blatant of issues what they are instead of 'accidents'. It's just frustrating in the moment and it led to another argument between us.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We had this problem with the two middle kids when they were about your son's age. Part of it with our kids, was lack of planning. They would be wiping (at least a bit) and get it on their fingers, so would immediately wipe it off on the walls. I dealt with that by handing the kids a scrubbing brush and making them scrub. When they said it wasn't them, I said it didn't matter who it was, I had to take a turn cleaning and I had done it many times. It was their turn now.

    difficult child 1 would swat mosquitoes and smear the blood on the walls and ceiling (top bunk bed). He refused to clean it off, claiming that the bloody mozzie corpses would act as a deterrent. I asked him where mozzie brains were, that they would see a blood smear, recognise it for what it was, AND understand it as consequences for doing what they HAD to do anyway, in order to survive. I said, "How big is a mozzie's head? How many neurons are in there for them to think with?"
    I do think it was more trophy counting for him, than mozzie deterrent. Yes, scrubbing brush time again.

    When kids paint poo around the place, it does indicate a problem. I have a friend whose daughter (at age 8) had friends over who would leave little 'presents' in various places, such as the laundry hamper. When my friend tried to talk to the other kid's parents, they brushed the issue aside as being of no concern.

    Some kids do this because they don't like touching that part of their body, or don't want to risk contamination. This might require a combination of strategies and education. We keep wet wipes beside the toilet, for example. We also have a bin for the soiled ones. We line the bin with plastic bags and empty them when needed, well before they get full or smelly. These days they're most often used for facial tissues and cotton buds. Having something like this for him to finish the clean-up, might help. have him do the sniff test on his hands after he has cleaned up AND washed his hands, will also help. If his hands smell clean, then he has successfully cleaned off any contamination. A nail brush may be needed to begin with. For nails, of course.

    When a kid gets a sore tail from not cleaning properly, they can avoid wiping because it hurts. This makes the problem worse. The trick for this - use a wet wipe to clean up. Or a hand-held shower. After cleaning, apply a vegetable oil. Creams are too aqueous, they don't provide enough of a soothing barrier. The oil may need to be reapplied several times a day, but from the first application, the pain will ease. A good oil to use is coconut oil. Don't buy expensive stuff from the pharmacy, just get a block of copha and melt some into a jar to keep by the loo. Another jar in the shower area, get him to apply a small amount after bathing.

    Another option, if he has trouble shifting stuff (from hands or tail) is to make up a salt scrub mix. You can also use sugar instead of salt, but I don't like anything that risks attracting ants. You put salt into a jar (plastic lid, not metal) and cover it with olive oil. Or almond oil, if you want to be extravagant. it's still cheap. I sometimes add a drop of essential oil at this stage - ti-tree oil is good for boys and men needing to clean out stubborn dirt.
    To use - put a small amount (I keep a plastic ice cream spoon or pop stick in the jar) in your hands. Scrub your hands together. Rinse off. Pat dry on a cloth or paper towel. As you rinse, your hands feel gluggy and oily, but as you pat dry the cloth and paper take off the excess. The amount left on your skin is exactly what it needs. I use this mix after gardening. husband uses it after working in the garage and covering himself in black grease. If you shop around the expensive boutiques, you can find salt scrubs and sugar scrubs being promoted and sold for $50 a jar. You can make it for less than 50c.

    I hope this helps.

  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This can be a sign of sexual abuse. Is there a chance something happened at biomom's? or is ongoing?
  4. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Great idea about salt/sugar scrubs and oils. As a matter of fact these are they types of things I create for my at home business. Making him his own may help him WANT to clean better in the shower. He loves it, especially if I let him help.

    I don't think it is a fear of contamination. It started when he was young with the hands down the back of his pants, all the time. I have seen him more than once sniff and taste, then spit. Ugh. I might think it was a sexual issue, but I've never seen any other indicators of that. The preventative measures I use are to make him come straight in from school and go every day. That did help. With summer we got a bit off schedule so it needs to be reimplemented full force. The consequences are that he has to clean everything up. For about a month, not long ago, he started leaving some sort of smear, etc, every single time he used the toilet, so it went from cleaning up his mess to cleaning up his mess AND having to clean the entire bathroom. Sometimes the bathroom got cleaned more than once a day. That stopped that for the most part within the week.

    JJJ- I cannot tell you how badly my heart dropped when I read your reply. I know there has been physical abuse in the past and there is definately emotional abuse, but there have never been signs of anything sexual. If I had to guess, I would say no, I don't think there is sexual abuse going on at biomom's. But I just don't know. She's got severe issues- I don't really put anything out of her reach. I'd never even considered it before and I'm sick to my stomach right now....
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    (((hugs))) I know this is hard to deal with and it certainly doesn't help when your husband isn't on the same page. When my difficult child was young (around 5 and 6). He used to play with his feces and hide it in his bedroom along with some smearing. It was so difficult so I'm sending calming thoughts your way.
  6. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Thanks, Wiped Out. Really needing those calming thought!
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you but it is a very real possibility if bio mom has severe issues and a history of physically/emotionally abusing him. Is he in therapy?

    Other issues could be sensitivity to certain foods which make it more difficult or him to not leak....dairy and apple juice are too main ones that can cause that issue.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We had this problem up until just a cpl yrs ago. I bought baby wipes, thinking that difficult child did not like the sensation of wiping, and I was right. I also had him get in the shower and wash. After observing him and embarrassing him 3X, he finally caught on.
  9. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    JJJ- Yes, he is in therapy with a great guy. He has worked with him on behavior (he's been seeing him for about 8 months, I think?) using the REBT model. It did seem to be working, especially in the summer when he was coming to the house and having sessions with me (sometimes husband). During the school year he goes to the school to meet with difficult child. But he's not ever really jumped into the whole biomom side of things. He's aware of it, but his take on it is that if we keep providing a good home it will negate her ultimate effect on him over the years. (Because we have no grounds yet to have visits revoked or supervised, he's working with what we have.) I do wish he would probe difficult child a little about his biomom's house, he sure gets more info out of difficult child than we ever do alone. I keep him updated on things that we KNOW have happened or been said, but I don't know how far he goes in talking about those things with difficult child- he never focused on them when he was doing sessions at home.

    Terry- Thank you for the suggestion of the wipes. I will pick up a box and see if that helps at all.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you are having this problem. Of all the problems our difficult child can have/show, this one seems to be one of the most emotionally charged.

    Given that this was resolved until he went to visitation with his biomom, it seems more than probable that something happened at biomom's. If the therapist that is currently treating difficult child won't get into the issue with difficult child, then you really need to take other steps.

    This is one of the signs of sexual abuse that is pretty much "in your face". I would contact your divorce atty or CPS (yes, I know that CPS can be big and scary but really they oonly want kids to be safe and healthy and happy.) and tell them that you think your child MAY have been abused at his mother's. Tell them that you didn't know this can be a sign of sexual abuse, but since you have learned that, you want the issue investigated.

    WHY call CPS and not have the therapist just ask him? Chances are VERY high that this therapist has no clue how to do the forensic interview with a child. This intervew MUST be done by professionals with lots of experience because it is very easy to skew the results. Mostly because if you ask a kid the same question again and again, eventually the child wll start to believe whatever answer you seem to want. Say you had a child look at a bouquet of balloons that were red, blue and yellow and then took the child into the another room. You sit down with the child and start to ask questions about the balloon bouquet. Do you like balloons? Are they pretty? Do you like the green one? Did you see a green balloon? How many green balloons did you see?

    Keep asking about the green balloon and after only a few (4-5 with many kids) questions about the green balloon, the child will start to not just say he saw a green balloon but will actually come to BELIEVE that there was a green balloon.

    It is something that is very common, and when abuse is an issue it is crucial to have ALL questions asked by an expert who knows how to handle this.

    I would want that forensic interview done as soon as possible, because you cannot address the issue until you know what it is. The cleaning and scrubbing will help, as will the wipes, but difficult child will likely need therapy to help him dealw ith whatever happened at his biomom's house.

    Baby wipes are AWESOME for cleaning, in my opinion. I use them all over the house but esp in the bathroom. As they are designed to deal with what the body expels, they are esp great at wiping down the outside of the toilet, the seat/lid, the floor around it where the guys 'miss', etc.... You can get a big box of them at Sam's for not very much money. If difficult child doesn't want to use 'baby' wipes, put them into an airtight container like the gladware/ziploc plastic containers and decorate the outside with something he would find 'cool'.

    I would also put 2-3 wipes in a sandwich size ziploc to carry in your purse so that if he has a problem while you are out, he can use those to clean himself up. The fragrance free wipes are the best choice if he s sore because the fragrance can burn.
  11. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Wow. I think I need to do a little research on this. Thinking out loud I would say, oh, if I introduce this to husband or if we go ahead and were to call CPS, it's going to look as though I/we are stirring up trouble in retaliation to her filing false charges on us. Now, if there is an issue, obviously this is a ridiculous thought and of course it needs to be explored!!! I think I might just have husband read this thread to introduce the thought to him as it was introduced to me.

    I absolutely know the tactic of asking a child over and over to get whatever response you want. I was introduced to that when biomom had him lying about being hit. I actually think he believed it until he knew it was safe to 'not' believe it. When we asked him why he ever said I hit him in the first place, his response was "She just kept asking me over and over and over...".
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Tell your husband - my husband began reading my posts here and found that it helped him understand better what I had been trying to tell him. My husband and I have an amazingly close relationship and thought we were completely on the same page. But when I posted here (which distils your thoughts on an issue) and he began reading (often while he was at work) then he 'got' what I was trying to say with much more clarity. Similarly, he would sometimes post his own responses, especially if it was something he knew more about and that helped ME understand.

    When husband's views and posts (using my ID) began to interfere with my knowing if I had read thread updates or not, I got him to join in his own right. There aren't a lot of men who are members here, but look for "Marg's Man". My husband.

    We've found it really has helped us a lot.

  13. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    I have seen replies by Marg's Man. It's wonderful that you guys can support eachother like that!
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would not worry about seeming to be retaliating against false abuse charges. I would worry a lot more about what may have happened and want to figure it all out to find out what is behind his return to encopresis. This is not something that most people do. there have been studies done where adults were put in a room in an adult diaper and they could leave the room as soon as they used the diaper. Most adults simply were not able to do it, not in 24 or even 48 hrs or more. I read about a study like this back when I was in college and they had to send several of the adults to the hospital because they held it so long they became unable to go even on the toilet. it was such a strange thing to study that it stuck with me. Our society has such strong taboos about feces and using the toilet that it is actually quite uncommon for encopresis to last or for people to return to it after they have moved on and learned/developed whatever is needed to toilet appropriately.

    I hope that you and husband can become on the same page and help difficult child through this, whatever is causing it.
  15. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    susiestar- I know, I knew it was a ridiculous thought even as I had it. It was just such an awful experience and it always brings up emotions and fear in me. That is a very interesting study. I also did some reading and came across someone who made the point that inappropriate defecation is the ultimate form of rejecting society and it's "rules", along the lines of the study you mentioned. I'm always amazed that none of the doctors have taken it seriously or asked him about it at all.
  16. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Wot? Me support Marg? Of course doesn't every bloke support his lady? (I know this is not true - unfortunately)
    Now back to topic - Sore tail because of not wiping properly (or other issues). We used to use a commercial balm that is no longer available because an ingredient is sassafras oil, banned in many countries because it is a drug precursor. As a result the manufacturer discontinued the line :(
    As a chemist I dug into the formulation came up with a simple herbal balm that works almost as well. I suffer from pruritus ani and this balm helps keeps it under control. It's made from five readily available ingredients but you need a good set of scales to make it.
    PM me if anyone wants the recipe. If I get enough request I'll post it here.

    Marg's Man
  17. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Hi there, Marg's Man! So glad to hear of a man who takes things seriously and puts in some effort. *pats on the back for you*

    I make my own balm which includes beeswax and coconut oil/sweet almond oil infused with lavender and calendula. I would love to hear your recipe!
  18. Texasmamma

    Texasmamma New Member

    Your son likely has encopresis and it's a common medical condition that can be caused by many different reasons- biological, food alergies, anatomical, psychological. About 40% of kids with enco also have ODD. Sometimes it's just being chronically constipated (poor diet, not enough water) that causes the kid to hold his poop. This accumulates and eventually he loses all control and loose poop goes around the compaction. This is the skid marks. He has no control over it. And yes it gets messy so all the mess pn his bed isn't necessarily on purpose. Another sign is bed-wetting. Join the yahoo encopresis kids group and you will be in good hands. Soiling solutions worked for my son. Here is the best part of this. Once wefixed his encopresis and all his behavior problems- ODD practically disappeared. I found once he got control of the encopresis and we put him on probiotics and a multivitamin then his behavior is absolutely wonderful. I found our son to be just a normal kid who has a medical condition (encopresis) that caused him to be malnourished (vitamin deficiencies) which was causing his ODD.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Interesting point, Texasmamma. I am glad your son is doing so much better now.

    What we are often dealing with, is "chicken or the egg". Is the encopresis the primary problem which is then leading on to other presentations? Or is the encopresis a result of other issues which are underlying everything? Trying to find out why is difficult, but it is also important because the primary presenting problem is the one most in need of treatment. Fix that (as you found) and the rest will (hopefully) follow.

    We had encopresis issues in our house, but for us the primary presenting problem was autism. We had to adopt a piecemeal approach, dealing with each issue as it arose. Some issues we needed to walk away from - stims, for example. For us, we dealt with the encopresis by setting up a toiletting routine and a system of reminders. No shame, no stigma, but regular reminders to "go". Plus checks, availability of wipes, support with laundering and bathing. They took it on board as they were ready to.