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Toddler Shenanigans

Lily did something more than a little disgusting tonight.  I’ve heard of other children her age engaging in this type of behavior so I was able to keep calm but I’m still curious about her motivation.  So I looked it up on the internet, as is my habit, and found this funny little chain…just chock full of gems…


2 year old plays with poop, dad spanks her!!!
My b/f and i are trying to potty train my 2 year old. For the past 3 days, my child has been playing with her poop and smearing it on the bedroom walls and bed. The first time she did it, i just cleaned it up. The second time, I yelled at her (sorry to say) and then her dad spanked her. The third time, i wasn’t home so dad spanked her. After reading other parents suggestions, I will just continue to clean it up and explain to her that playing with poop is wrong. Dad feels he has the right to spank her whenever she does something wrong. I DISAGREE! I keep telling him that he needs to talk to her about it but since she doesn’t listen, he spanks her. Since he is her father, he feels the right to dicipline her however he choses. He will not listen to me, and I am upset with him! What can I do I am alot more patient with her than he appears to be, especially with potty training. She’s only 2 for crying out loud!!

Best Answer – Chosen by Asker

While I agree that his choice to spank her for everything is foolish, he is right that he has the right to do this. Obviously, the disciplinary methods that the pair of you have chosen are ineffective, so you need to come up with a different plan. This might sound like child abuse, but it can work- Have your daughter clean up her own mess. As for the disagreement in parenting, well, this is something that needs to be discussed before a couple has children. Now that she’s here, you’re going to have to come to an agreement. I suggest you sit down with him, and discuss what the rules and consequences will be. Have a mediator if necessary. If he’s unwilling to do this, then that tells me that he’s too lazy and set in his ways to effectively parent. He wants quick results based on what he knows, not to actually teach her discipline. Good luck to you.P.S.- Although it is normal for children to be fascinated with their excrement at this age, what she’s doing isn’t appropriate, and you may want to speak with her pediatrician about why she does it, and how to get her to stop.
Asker’s Rating: 3 out of 5
Asker’s Comment:
I chose your answer because you made a valid statement…”he’s too lazy and set in his ways to effectively parent. He wants quick results based on what he knows, not to actually teach her discipline.” With that said, we are separated as of today.

Other Answers (16)          

No, spanking her will lead to more problems in the future. I remember in school the smearing poop is a sign of some kind of childhood issue, but I can’t remember for the life of me right now. You can try asking the psychology section or look it up yourself. I think it was Freud of Jung who came up with the theory.
spanking is bad. it does not solve problems and he should be patient with a two year old. no one should ever spank young children like your 2 year olds.
you should watch her and prevent her from playing with the stool. over time she will learn to do this properly. also teach her not to touch the stool.
if she is playing in it, she is not totally ready to be potty trained. you may be ready, but she is not !!! give her a few more weeks and try again. good luck. try and get on the same page as her father. if you do not agree to discipline now, i foresee problems in the future .
Playing with poop isn’t “wrong”. Leaving her with a poopy diaper is wrong and if you have her in underpants already they YOU are wrong because she isn’t potty trained. As for the father hitting MY child…I would report him for assaulting my child. NO ONE hits my kids.

Which is worse: spanking or contracting e.coli when poop get in an ear or eye or mouth or cut? 
Spanking is good for kids. I was spanked as a child and am a better person for it.
Empty the “potty” whenever she has made a “deposit”. That way she can’t “play” in it, etc.
if he keeps spanking her she may associate pooping with spankings and hide it when she does it instead of telling you so she can go on the potty.
thats messed up. tell him other ways to decipline a child, or get counseling. patience is key.
smack the butt of the poop thrower.

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I read this and wonder why I even bother.  I’m not terribly witty on paper…not all too witty in life either.  I tend to be very dense and insanely literal, if you insist.  So I’m not sure what I’m doing here, in this virtual world full of interesting, funny, witty people.  


“Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself,” you say.  “You’re comparing yourself to someone who’s been doing this a long time,” you say.  “A writer,” you add.  

“Yes,” I say.  “A real live writer,” I mutter.


All this to say, it is not due to my delusional belief that I am all that interesting, funny or witty, that I am here with you this day (and the others).

Just so you know.  Just so we’re clear.

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I’d like to take this opportunity to say…

Hi, Sweet Juniper!  

I’m just sitting here with my medicated husband listening to NPR’s show on the best music of 2008.  I didn’t hear who we’re listening to right now but it’s nice.  So far, my favorite has been the Fleet Foxes.  Oh I just can’t hear that song in my headphones without dancing in my cube.  So serious.

We’re debating what makes a good song.  My husband is such a music snob that he won’t let himself enjoy a band if they sound too much like someone else.  I think he’s missing the point but he’d say the same about me.  But this is my blog, so…

What does it matter if the sound is familiar.  If it makes you feel good when Neil Young sings it, why wouldn’t it make you feel good if the Fleet Foxes are singing?  I honestly don’t see the point.  It’s like an extension of a really good album that you’ve had for years and know all the words by heart and the cover is falling apart and you remember a distinct moment in your past with your boyfriend, getting high, drinking cheap beer…a good song in the 70s that does that can also exist today.

Plus, don’t we have a responsibility to share with Lily the music of the ages?  Our music, our parents music, someone elses parents music?  Otherwise, how will she know if someone in her time is dirivitive of something else.

Also, the same theory that says budding authors should attempt to imitate their favorite authors in order to help them identify their own style.  Only once they have a good understanding of what’s been can they truly appreciate where they’re able to go.  And then, after you’ve been copying all your favorites, you actually create something new and all your own.

Am I over simplifying matters?  Quite possibly.

There’s a difference between a band who’s trying to sound like someone else and does a good job of it than a band who’s trying to sound like someone else and fails miserably; like a bad cover band.  There’s a significant difference.

Oh, by the way – I hope I win that photo!

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a new world

president-elect obama promised a transparent government, and he’s already begun with  among many wonderful features of the website, like a blog and profile of each new position as they’re added, people can send suggestions of what they think should be done in the new administration.  i read an article recently, a national mobility project, by david brooks, who is one of my favorite political commentators even though he’s conservative and have been inspired to submit my own suggestion.  i believe (hope) they’ll listen.

Dear Mr. President-Elect,

I have been insanely effected by your campaign.  Beginning at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, I was energized by your words and have been increasingly grateful throughout your campaign and now your election that you exist.  For the first time in my life, and many of my friends lives, I am proud to be an American (just like Michelle!) and excited to be a part of such a wonderful time in our country’s history.  In spite of (or maybe even because of) the economic difficulties we’re going through right now, we have begun the process of putting our differences behind us and we’re learning how to embrace the things that make us human.  I believe we’re a good people, we just needed to get behind someone who could allow us to see past the pain we’ve all experienced together.

Thank you.

But that’s not the only reason I wrote today.  I wanted to give you my suggestion on what we could do to move forward.  I read this article by David Brooks (I’m not smart enough to have thought of this on my own), A National Mobility Project, and was inspired to ask your administration to consider the following ideas, if you haven’t already.

  1. Invest in public transportation systems.  I live in Memphis, TN, and our MATA is terrible.  It’s late, unreliable, dirty, inconvenient and frankly only the lowest income folks take advantage of it’s service (and I use “take advantage” loosely because really they’re more forced to because there is no alternative).  I had to use it in college and while it got me to school and back most of the time, I quickly turned to riding a bike, which is equally unpleasant in a city with no bike lanes and some pretty crappy drivers who didn’t like sharing the road.  Not to mention the obvious environmental benefits of less people driving.
  2. Invest in renewing the highways and mobile infrastructure of our cities.  I also work for FedEx, the largest transportation company in the country (world?), and not only would we benefit from better highways, but so would our economy.  And the lower income folks who could be employed by such a massive project would totally get so many people through this economic crisis.  It would cost money but it would be money well spent and worth the effort.  Like the New Deal.

Thank you so much for offering us this forum for advice and suggestions from “real people.”  I can’t express enough how grateful I am to finally have the opportunity to explore this side of my own personality.  I didn’t realize until Election night how mentally separated I had been regarding Washington and government in general.  I’m looking forward to the next 8 years (yes, I meant to say 8).

Cathi Holmes

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