Scared to Let the Poop Out

Potty training a child can be a challenging time for parents.

I know. We have two children who are now ages 13 and 15. Both were very different when it came to potty training. One evening, when we were in the midst of the potty-training life, Jami and I, and the child who will remain nameless, were at a very nice optical boutique. The nameless child asked to go potty. (We say pee in our household, but we’re trying to keep it classy here.) As the nameless child sat down, the child said they couldn’t go because the poop was blocking the pee (at this point, it had been THREE days since the child last went poop in their pull-up).

Then, five minutes later, I noticed out of the corner of my eye the nameless child running and hopping through the store while holding their butt screaming, “I HAVE TO GO POOOOOP!” Ding ding ding. Can you say, “turtle head?”

So I scooped the child up and took them to the bathroom where the child yelled and screamed about how they didn’t want to poop on the potty. I then said that the poop was going to come out whether they wanted it to or not, and to just poop it out and everything would be just fine. So, the child did. And the pee came out that was “blocked” by the poop earlier, which splashed off the rim of the toilet and onto my glasses (which is another post on its own). I think you have to be a parent to be able to look past the piss on your face to cheer for your three-year old who purposely pooped on the potty for the first time. This will probably be a life lesson to be learned even in the teenage years.

So, as I’m thinking and laughing and telling people this story, it hit me. Why was the nameless child so scared to do something new? Something that is good. It’s not like it was going to hurt the child or kill the child. But the nameless child was so scared.

Maybe they were scared of change.

Maybe this signified to the child they were going from baby to big boy or girl.

Maybe they were scared of the unknown.

Maybe they were scared of what people would think of them.

And as I thought about the nameless child and the struggle to poop on the potty, I couldn’t help but connect his/her crap to my crap… why am I scared to start something new? Why am I scared to tell people? Maybe I’m scared of change. Maybe I’m scared of the unknown. Maybe I’m scared of what people will think of me. Starting something is good. It’s new. It’s cool and exciting. If we’re honest, a lot of us have been struggling with what the nameless child has been going through… Change.

During this time of quarantine and global shutdown, now might be the perfect time to pivot. Now might be the time to change things up. Maybe it’s a change in a job situation. Maybe it’s trying something new. But fear grips us all at times… from the three year old potty training… to the 43 year old getting back to his roots… to the 68 year old knowing that God is calling them to a life change. Fear of change can hold you. Check this out:

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1st John 4:4

In other words, God is greater than the giants you face.

In the end, it took the nameless child trusting his/her daddy telling him/her that it will be ok to poop on the potty… trusting that it will be cool and exciting and sa-weet and good. And, I’ve got to get to that place too… to trust my daddy… my Abba. And I think I’m finally there… most days. Thanks to the nameless child for the perfect illustration.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17: 7-8