Tuesday, 22 September 2009

That dreaded call from school

“Is that Ian? It’s such-and-such from school.”

Cue minor panic attack, and immense apprehension of what the next line would be.

“Max has had an accident.”

Inciting, a virtually interrupting; “Is he OK?”

“Yes, but it was quite a big one, I think he may have an upset stomach, do you want to come and get him?”

So clarification of ‘accident’, read ‘soiled oneself’, a feat I almost replicated as I took this phone call.

I was relieved in part, as I am sure Max was, but obviously very concerned about the problem I was now more informed about.

My son has never been the most efficient toilet user. The whole potty training stage is still the single most difficult, and frustrating part of my parenting experience.

Even over our summer holidays, and as school fast approached, he was having the odd ‘number two’ incident. I generally put these down to him being too busy with other stuff, not acceptable, but the reason as to why it was happening.

His diet is pretty good, which means he is regular and loose, so I was ruling out encopresis, or any other medical reason I could lay my mind on.

I also discussed it with our ever-so-friendly health visitor, who thought the same, but did come up with a couple of suggestions.

Like building sitting on the toilet into the routine, straight after meal times.

That seemed to work for the last three weeks, even as he has been at school over the past two, where I cannot ask him to sit on the toilet after lunch.

Over the last 48hrs he has just had one of those eating spates, where he has just consumed a vast amount of food – synonymous with a growth spurt – which, in turn, means he has had rather a lot to deposit.

He performed at tea time, then before bed, and after breakfast this morning.

Therefore I sent him off to school not really envisaging a problem.

However there was one, obviously, and fortunately, as I was at home just around the corner, I was quickly on the scene.

I was a little surprise to find my son in class, still with a soiled behind, but I guess schools are not responsible for children who have ‘accidents’ as they no-so-eloquently put it.

Therefore he was a little sore as I cleaned him up, and it does concern me if, there is indeed a next time, that I may be further away, thus leaving him in a state for much longer.

I also need to step up teaching him to deal with the whole process himself, but while that is true, I have a couple of year 1 children that come here, and I have been known to clean up their derrières.

So I am still a little confused as to where he should be, and how capable he should be, at his age – approaching five.

We have discussed it tonight, and he seemed reticent to advise any of the teaching staff of his problem, but I believe we have agreed that he shall sit on the toilet, after his lunch, regardless of how his stomach feels.

I have also promised to include wipes, and cream in his bag, just in case the facilities at school are the problem.

I intend to discuss this plan with his teacher in the morning, see if she will remind him of what he has agreed with his father.

Fingers crossed that this is an isolated case, and that no similar incidents ensue.

As ever, I would absolutely welcome anyone reading this of their experiences, observations and advice. The comment section is open as always, or you can contact me at contactspd (at) gmail (dot) com, if you would rather not share it with others.

I look forward to your shit stories.