Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria

Rites of passage.

 This morning, I received the most distressing text of all.

"I haven't been able to poop in two days cause I can't do it with everyone else here."

Well, this didn't seem much of a problem to me. "Poop!" I wrote back. "Go to that bathroom and let out the biggest smelliest poop you can. Be proud of your waste products. That's what stalls are for."

"No," she wrote back. "They can still hear."

I couldn't help myself. "Who gives a shit?" I texted her.

She was not pleased with that response. "I don't have any friends as it is," she wrote back.

"Ashes says she's afraid to poop," I told my father later that day, as I was phoning to to wish him well before his ten day trip to Italy.

"That's not a big deal," laughed my father. "Tell her to bring a radio into the bathroom with her."

That didn't seem much of a solution to me. I think everyone else in the bathroom would figure out what was going on pretty quickly. 

"Tell her to run the faucet," he said. That seemed like an even worse solution. Of course, my dad had never lived in a dorm. He had always commuted to school. Maybe he didn't understand that these weren't private bathrooms.

"I told her that she should just go to the central campus and poop in anonymity," I laughed. "Or, she could just bring a book with her into the bath room and read it until everyone left the room. And then, poop away."

"Don't even give her advice," was Josie's advice. "She will poop when she needs to."

"I suppose she wouldn't wait until she explodes on her bed sheets," I said. "That would be even more embarrassing."

"You have to understand, it's like the start of a relationship," said Corb, as we were driving home from Wal-Mart. "When we first started living together, I would wake up early and brush my teeth before you woke up, so you wouldn't smell my morning breath.  Now, I just breathe all over you, and you've learned to love my morning stank."

I smiled, somewhat bitterly. "If only we could go back..."

Look, I know where she's coming from. But if one is sitting in one's bed, afraid to even poop, then one is not getting the most out of one's college experience, is one? It makes me worry about the next few days, and what she'll do once school starts. If she can't master the simple act of making a doody in a public setting, how will she possibly be able to master the rigours of a demanding college schedule?

I know, I know, I have to be strong. In some ways, she's like Annie's baby, Kaeden. She's like an infant, just learning to crawl, then walk. Just learning to be...well, be diaper trained. If I caved in, she'd never figure these things out on her own, she'd never succeed in college. She'd end up moving back to my place and living the rest of her life in the basement of my house, a ward of society, dependent on the public dole. A nonfunctioning, non-contributing member of society. And we can't have that, can we?

But...gahhhhh! It's so hard not to WANT to help. It's so hard not to worry. It's so hard to not find a solution for her, the way that I have on some many times in the past. That's what a parent does, right? Nurtures, encourages, helps. Helps, until a parent realizes that the act of doing so is counter-productive, that it doesn't allow a child to grow past a certain point. Ashes was at that point, and I had to just sit back, relax, and..

About two hours later, a follow-up text.

"I just walked to McDonalds to go poop."

Hmmm. Maybe my little girl's going to make something for herself, after all. 

As Corb pointed out, eventually she'll get sick of trekking all the way to McDonald's and will use the facilities that are (literally) right across from her room. 

So, another hurdle crossed.
It's all part of life's rich fabric, I suppose. I should have known it would all work out. As someone wise once said (although perhaps not really about pooping at college), "this too shall pass."

Tags: ashes
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