10 Things Only Parents of Constipated Kids Will Understand

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Toilet training is definitely no one's favorite part of parenting, but the struggle gets extra real when your kid's colon gets backed up. If your child's bathroom trips are measured in hours, not minutes, you know the pain -- literally -- of dealing with a constipated kid. Here are some of the unique joys that go along with this particularly unpleasant territory (and of course, if your child is having problems with constipation, you should consult a pediatrician).

  • Your kid rocks a sippy cup of diluted prune juice.

    If your kid is constipated all the time, congratulations, your doctor has probably given him the green light to drink juice -- as long as it's prune juice. When your kid was a toddler, he probably thought this was rad, because prune juice is sweet and syrupy as hell. But if, heaven forbid, he gets to taste the forbidden fruit of actual juice, the jig is going to be up, and he will realize what all of us already know: that prune juice is disgusting.

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  • Your child's poop is celebrated with an outpouring of emotion usually reserved for major life events
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    Other parents get all choked up talking about their children's first steps, or the first time they said "I love you," or how proud they were when their kids recited the ABCs. Meanwhile, you're crying with joy on the bathroom floor because your kid finally decided to use the toilet. 

  • You buy MiraLax in bulk
...

    ...and are always tempted to tell the drugstore cashier, "It's not for me! It's for my 4-year-old, who's chronically constipated." Because who doesn't want to have that conversation? 


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  • You have uttered the words "No more cheese (or bread, yogurt, etc.) until you poop."

    It's no secret that most preschoolers would happily live off Goldfish crackers and macaroni and cheese if we let them. And it's no secret that, honestly, most of us would let them, if they didn't require actual nutrients to live. But if your kid is constipated, every bite of cheesy, starchy food looks to you like a time bomb, waiting to go off. Or not, if you know what I mean.  

  • No bribe is too extravagant to try to get your child to use the bathroom
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    We all enter parenthood thinking we're not going to bribe our kids, right? But just wait until you're on Day 10 of no poop, and you'll be offering your kid the moon. And by "the moon," I mean "literally any candy you could ever possibly want, and also that toy we told you Santa Claus was not going to be able to bring, and, would you like a puppy? WHAT'S IT GOING TO TAKE?!"

  • You have considered locking your child in the bathroom until she goes
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    Listen, I'm not saying this is a good strategy. But I'm also not saying it won't work. I definitely read on some website that it was okay to basically make your child a prisoner in the bathroom until you finally crush her spirit, and she gives in to your cruel and unusual demand that she go to the bathroom. Seems legit, right?

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  • Life events revolve around your kid's bowel movements
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    Oh, did you want to go to play group today? Well, that's not happening because "we" haven't pooped yet (yes, you may also start referring to your child's bowels as if they actually reside within your body). Because if your kid isn't going to go at home, he sure as hell isn't going to go in a public toilet. So let's just spend another afternoon sitting home waiting for the Poop Fairy to arrive, shall we? 

  • Two words: Glycerine. Suppositories.

    The less said about this, the better, except to briefly reflect on the utter joy of having your toddler scream at you, "No, Mama! No medicine in my bottom! No!" 

  • You have had lengthy conversations with your spouse about the specific qualities of your child's stool.

    Clearly the first conversation after every "successful" day is going to be, "He finally pooped!" But that's just the beginning. There's no better way to relax with your partner after a stressful day than to sit down and debate whether or not your kid got it all out this time, if he still needs to go, what he should eat (or not eat) the following day, etc. 

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  • Your kid can name at least 10 foods that are high in fiber
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    That feeling of mingled sadness and embarrassment (and, weirdly, a touch of pride?) when your child happily informs the grocery checkout clerk, "We're getting more blueberries, because they help me get my poop out better!"  


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