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October 21, 2001 - Sunday
For the last few weekends, Harry has refrained from having bowel movements while at home. It's a disturbing trend that yields all kinds of questions. The most important is whether he'd shown the same behavior during the weeks and we've called his daycare on two different Sundays after poop-free weekends to see if there has been a continuing problem. There has not been and that's comforting in ruling out any major psychological problem with "pooping," but it does beg the question whether or not we are doing something to dissuade him from doing it at home.

Harry had his first experience with the potty several months ago and it gnaws at me a little that somehow that may have been too soon. It's not that he's ever had a bad experience with the potty, save just one occasion when he came up dry. But, I do wonder whether the praise that we've showered on his every other potty success has somehow put extra performance pressure on him. Since his initial fascination with the potty, he's been quite inconsistent in his interest and we've tried not to push too hard, though it's easy to wonder if we have just by mere suggestion. Before this string of bad weekends, Harry had started saying "poops coming," and sometimes even "poops coming, big!" at the appropriate time. We'd say how good that was, but for some reason, his confidence or pride has faded.

Harry's certainly gone through many periods of "don't like potty," but he has also had the same negative reaction lately almost any time we change his diaper. That gives a stronger indication that he's just reached a normal developmental stage of realizing that it's rather embarrassing to have someone else wiping your private areas. Nonetheless, that he once apparently told his daycare provider that his poops were "bad" is something of a minor alarm. It's a potentially harmful attitude if kids somehow try to prevent themselves from natural bodily functions. I'm fairly certain that he didn't get that word from his mother or me, as we've been very careful to never refer to his functions that way, but who knows what kids pick up on. Whatever the source of the idea, it's playing out here at home. Harry has shown on many occasions that he is an independent boy and someone who likes to be good at what he tries. We've seen before with completely unrelated actions that he'll show off when he can do something, get frustrated when he can't, and often avoid doing new things until he's had a little time to work them out in his head. Hopefully, he's going through that process now with this problem

Comments, opinions?