Open your mind here. I had a mother report today that she is correcting her four-year-old daughter's constipation with tickling (and a healthy dose of Miralax). It seems her child is one of millions of toddlers with stool withholding, the annoying behavioral pattern of desperate stiffening and avoidance after encountering a painful turd. It's a silent epidemic that I confront head-on every day.
So here's what mom does: When it's clear that junior miss is passionately engaged in her potty dance (eye brows to the sky, head back, torso arched and up on tippy toes) she places her square on the pot and begins to tickle her unmercifully. And each time her daughter eliminates.
It's brilliant really. What's happening is the child initiates avoidance when she recognizes stool in the rectal vault. She withholds to avoid pain. Mom recognizes the cue and stimulates to the point where the child loses the iron-clad control of her pelvic floor. The laughter creates intra-abdominal pressure which exceeds the pressure of her external sphincter. Voila.
No word on the long-term effects of tickling on the toilet. But for now it represents a simple solution for one toddler in crisis.
For the record, this is my first Parenting Solved Hack.