P is for Poo

Sam Bowen's avatar

by Sam Bowen

Okay so I apologise from the get go that in my long list of posts through the alphabet P is for Poo, it could have been worse – S is for...

The point is this. Before I became a parent all my friends who had babies invariably always turned conversation to the topic of poo.

Within minutes of a long overdue phone call to a friend who I hadn’t seen in ages, there it would be raising its ugly head again!

Talk of colour, form, amounts, frequency on it went as if they had graduated in some ghastly qualification I knew nothing about.

My attempts at trying to join in the conversation with comparing the toileting habits of my cat seemed to not go down well.  

So it’s something I put up with for a few years until their babies grew up a bit and were out of nappies, plus that anxious ‘potty training’ few months.

Fast forward a few years and I now get why they were so absorbed with the subject.

You can tell a lot about someone’s health by their Poo Status, or PS as I like to call it.

I’ve not become obsessed, but the very fact that I’m sat here writing a blog post on it, means I care about the subject!

The thing is with the ‘normal’ parenting experience, the topic of poo is only going to linger for three to four years tops as the child progresses out of nappies and into toileting independence.

For parents of special needs kids, well us anyway, this isn’t the case.

My daughter turns seven in a couple of weeks and will be wearing a size 6 Libero nappy courtesy of the NHS continence service to her birthday party.

I remember the first meeting I had with the NHS Continence Service.

A rather stern woman shoved an A4 questionnaire in front of me and asked me to identify from a selection of eight tiny line drawings, what my daughter’s poo looked like, on an ‘average day’ (what’s one of those I asked?!).

I’m sure you’ll probably have seen the same form, if so I was a bit shocked at pictures one and two which depicted what can only be described as the PS of a constipated Rabbit!

The poo chart, I realise now was a form of assessment to how many free nappies we would get from this service.

After a child in the UK turns four, if they are still in nappies they can get them free. But only four a day mind!!

I don’t know about you but I have more than four trips to the loo a day, also to keep a child in a nappy for six hours without changing it is not hygienic or comfortable.

I argued for more... and got an extra one a day.

When they run out before I can order any more, which they invariably do, I restock from a supermarket.

Here lies another problem, supermarkets only sell up to size 6 nappies.

There is clearly going to be a gap in my plans when my daughter grows.

We are having some success on the potty training front however. We even moved house to get a downstairs loo to help with this.

Possibly the most expensive PS to date!

She is really taking to the sign choosing to ask to go, and tell us when she’s been.

I have some motivating tactics to pass the time as I sit on the downstairs loo floor whilst we wait. These are songs mostly.

The ‘Once I caught a fish alive’ song (complete with Makaton signs) works particularly well for some reason.

The Makaton sign for ‘toilet’ is rubbing a middle finger on your left shoulder blade. Perhaps I’ll use that at the next meeting with the next Continence Nurse! 

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