Potty Training with Three Strikes Against You

Sam the Anti-Preemie: Potty Training
Potty training is something many parents fear. Hundreds, if not thousands, of books are dedicated to helping ease the transition from diaper to potty. There are even “How To” videos on the subject. There are also the antidotal horror stories people are more than willing to share with you when they learn you are potty training.

I laughed at all of this when my daughter potty trained in less than an hour and within one week was fully trained at night. Little did I know. She was an outlier, a rarity, a unicorn in the world of potty training.

I am now deep (we are talking MONTHS) into potty training Sam with only mild success. He is fully trained when it comes to pee. But, poop. OH. MY. GOD.

Yes, there are three major factors working against Sam:

  1. He is a boy. Apparently that matters. Boys are harder to potty train than girls. I couldn’t agree more.
  2. He is autistic. Not having all your synapses from brain to body functioning in perfect, neurotypical rhythm apparently matters. I couldn’t agree more.
  3. Sam has major issues with constipation. As anyone who has read this blog know, poop is a major issue with Sam. Trying to potty train a boy who is either totally constipated or basically peeing out of his butt is hard. Apparently bowels in good working order matters. I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, I know he can poop on the potty. He has done little itty bitty poops for me… and huge normal poops for his nanny.

(Yes – I am very bitter.)

But seriously, I am at the end of my rope here. There are only so many pairs of underwear I can wash every day. I have tried everything:
A Schedule: Every hour Sam is placed on the potty for 5 minutes. Trust me – that boy has every opportunity to poop a kid could want.
Pure Bribery: For each pair of clean underwear, he gets a chocolate chip. For small poops in the potty he gets 2 chocolate chips. For every big poop in the potty, he gets 6 chocolate chips.
Threats: Sam is terrified of getting a suppository. We have told him if he poops in his underwear we are going to give him a suppository. All this has done is terrify him into shitting his pants.
Emotional Blackmail: We tell Sam he has made us sad by pooping in his underwear. Sam hates people to be sad. Of course, he doesn’t hate it enough to stop pooping his pants, just enough to scream “I want you to be happy”.
Excessive Celebration: No matter how small the poop may be, we jump and cheer and high five like Sam has had the biggest poop any of us had ever seen. Even the two year old at his nanny share gets in on the action, offering high fives and congratulatory hugs.

So, here I am, at wits end with no idea what to try next. So, dear readers, lets hear all that advice you are just dying to share. How the hell can I potty train a boy with three major strikes against him?

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