Monday, July 28, 2008

Poop

Yeah, yeah.....I know. What a subject, right? Seems like my life revolves around poop right now!!! My DD has an issue with holding it for days at a time. Finally, at her Dr's suggestion, I pumped her up with a laxative to make it impossible for her to hold it so long. Well......

Friday afternoon I had so much to do at work so I picked DD up from daycare & came back to the office. I could tell she had to go so I asked her. No, she says....she wants to hold it til we get home. Not 2 minutes later, she tells me she went in her pants. Argh. Fortunately, just a teeny bit so I took her to the ladies room and she went on the potty. I washed out her undies and so she had nothing on under her dress. We come back in the office and I'm working away as she plays/draws, whatever. And she tells me she has poop on her leg. Hm...must have gotten there when I took her undies off? No, she tells me. She just pooped on my office carpet and then proceeded to kneel in it. Well, yay. I was absolutely stunned that she would do this!! Adding insult to injury.....it was 90 degrees and our office building AC shuts down after business hours so it's hot in here. I picked her up to put her on the counter and clean her legs off which led to me getting a smear of poop up the front of my shirt. And, we have no carpet cleaning stuff here so I'm left with dish soap and hot water from the Poland Spring cooler and cheapo paper towels that shred when you try to rub with them. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what kind of a mood I was in by the time we left here at 7pm.

That night I had a dream. About what?? You guessed it. Poop. In my dream, my girlfriend J and I were at a restaurant. We both had to use the ladies room. More specifically, we both needed to poop, (which is how we kept referring to it in the dream). So we both go into the ladies room which is like a single large open room with one toilet and two doors. One of the doors was where we entered from the restaurant. The other is like a screen door which you can see through, obviously. There was a man standing outside the screen door. J states that she needs to go first except she's tra-la-la-ing around the bathroom, goofing off, dancing about. I'm getting aggravated with her b/c I really need to go and I tell her to hurry up & go so I can go. Except then I don't want to go because there are more men gathering outside the screen door and I don't want them watching me. J says something like "I don't know why you're so uptight about it. Everyone poops. Why are you so embarassed that you have to do it too? I'll poop right now and I'll scoop it out and hold it in my hands and show it to everyone!!" I told her that I wasn't embarassed that I had to do it, I just didn't want anyone watching me.

I felt this dream was fairly self explanatory. I mean "poop" is a pretty obvious dream symbolism. From my favorite dream dictionary: it signifies aspects of yourself that are dirty and negative and which you believe to be undesirable and repulsive. You need to acknowledge and express these feelings, even though it may be shameful. Release the negativity in your life. To dream that you are unable to dispose of the feces, suggests that you are unwilling to let go of your emotions. You have a tendency to hold in and keep your feelings to yourself.

The way that I interpreted this dream was right along those lines and I thought it was funny how J was saying she'd hold it in her hands and show it to everyone because J is very open with her emotions and has no problem expressing them freely. So in T on Saturday, I discussed the dream & what I thought it meant. T agreed but also pointed out the significance of the people outside the door, indicating how I feel very self-conscious and judged, or like people are hovering over me and commenting on my "shameful" aspects.

Alot of this T session, I spent talking about my parenting struggles. DD is almost 4 now and she's got a very strong personality. When I was her age, I was already being abused and I was in a situation where I had adult demands and expectations being put upon me. By the name of my blog, you know I have issues with wanting to maintain a facade of perfection. Well, naturally the "perfect" woman would have a "perfect" child. I find myself so often over-parenting DD on things that really don't require any intervention from me. I am so programmed to do-do-do and I have a difficult time just relaxing and having fun. So when DD is having fun, I tend to cut her off. Now, part of this is practical in nature for me. We have a long day and not much time at home together. I try to make that time productive as much as possible. I always feel like we're running behind. It stresses me out.

So, for instance: DD's shower is over and she wants to play in the water that's left in the tub. I don't really get why it's fun and I used to just say no, we have to move on & get some other things done. Now, I do let her play b/c I've found ways to be productive while she plays. I wash my face, change into my PJ's, get our clothes ready for the next day. When I hear her splashing in there, all I can think is "Oh God, it's getting all over the bathroom, now I'm going to have to wash the walls, the floor and rug will be all wet and I'll have to deal with that. She's getting the soapy water all over herself and I'm going to need to rinse her again." All I can think is "time wasted...time wasted...time wasted." So I tell her to stop splashing. STOP!!!!!! And she's upset and I'm stressed out. Really....a 4 year old stop splashing in the tub? Is this a fight I need to fight?

I realize I am struggling hard to control her where I need to step back and simply appreciate her emerging personality. Where I need to give her freedom to be herself. There is a poster at daycare that says "Children are to be unfolded, not molded." I just find this a really difficult line to walk. But T tells me she feels I'm "micro-managing" DD which is setting her up for feelings of inadequacy/self-consciousness. She suggests I give DD more freedom, alone time to explore. I say the problem is that when I do this, she does something outrageous that demands my attention. T says I've already begun to program DD to need that constant attention b/c it's now unfamiliar when I'm not hovering over her and she turns up the "naughty" factor to get my attention now when I don't give it.

Another example of my control issues: we go to the grocery store. DD likes the carts that have the little fire truck attached to the front. But inevitably, she later wants to get out of the truck and stand on the shopping cart bar, holding onto the handlebar where I push. I've been known to get aggravated with her for this. Like "we got the fire truck cart for you to ride in the fire truck!! So get in there & quit climbing all over the place." T says this is me being "rule bound". It's the way I am with myself and I'm projecting it onto DD. Meaning "I did "A", so now "B" has to happen." Newsflash: not how kids operate!!!! And why is it a big deal if she wants to go from here to there and have a little fun at the grocery store??? Why? Because I feel judged when she is anything less that "perfectly behaved." I have been taking a good hard look at my parenting lately and not really liking many things I see. But I'm having a tough time figuring out when to back off. Right now, I'm trying to take a pause before I give DD any commentary to see if it's really needed &/or productive. I don't want her to feel criticized. I remember feeling & saying that my father only wanted to be a father when I'd done something wrong. I don't want DD to feel that way. I certainly don't want her to lose her childhood to my anal expectations. I want her to feel free and happy; to feel that she is exactly who she is meant to be. Not feeling the need to conform to the desires of others. The way I have.

2 comments:

Tamara said...

I feel for you on the whole "poop" thing. I think I might have just lost my mind dealing with that! ;-)

I commend you for being a wonderful mother and staying aware of behavior that you are using that might impact DD negatively. As I tell my husband (a perfectionist) all the time - there is no such thing as perfect. But, you are doing your best to allow your daughter to discover her independence - something you weren't allowed as a child. Don't be so hard on yourself. It seems to me you are doing an admirable job of walking a very difficult line between your needs and hers.

Take care,
Tamara

Maia said...

Sounds pretty tough. It's great that you're doing such self-examining work though! Your daughter is lucky to have you - and you her. Thanks for sharing.