As best as I can, I will try to not make this another blog post about poop. I will say, however, I’m starting to think that Jonah’s constant potty talk isn’t just impart to his age. But rather, much like Degas’ fascination with ballet dancers, there is an underlying theme to my young artist’s budding imagination and visions. Perhaps his bowel movements, or lack thereof, are on his mind, as much as they’re on mine….

Take these series of drawings if you will….

When asked what he was drawing, he said matter of factly, “They are squiggly circles.”
And then I saw this picture, drawn at school and dictated to one of the teachers.

Look people, I’m not trying to get too heavy but clearly, J’s obsession with “squiggly circles” and recurrent severe constipation is no joke. Jonah is clearly amidst what Freud dubbed as the “Poop Phase.” Well, I dubbed it the Poop Phase. Freud actually calls it “The Anal Stage.” Scholar.
Here’s what it is:
At one and one-half years, the child enters the anal stage. With the advent of toilet training comes the child’s obsession with the erogenous zone of the anus and with the retention or expulsion of the feces. This represents a classic conflict between the id, which derives pleasure from expulsion of bodily wastes, and the ego and superego, which represent the practical and societal pressures to control the bodily functions. The child meets the conflict between the parent’s demands and the child’s desires and physical capabilities in one of two ways: Either he puts up a fight or he simply refuses to go (<---THAT'S JONAH!!).... A child may opt to retain feces, thereby spiting his parents while enjoying the pleasurable pressure of the built-up feces on his intestine. If this tactic succeeds and the child is overindulged, he will develop into an anal retentive character. This character is neat, precise, orderly, careful, stingy, withholding, obstinate, meticulous, and passive-aggressive. The resolution of the anal stage, proper toilet training, permanently affects the individual propensities to possession and attitudes towards authority. This stage lasts from one and one-half to two years.
While I’m slightly concerned that he’ll grow up to be “obstinate” and “anal retentive,” I think it’s much better than the other kid who poops a lot. “ … an anal expulsive character. This character is generally messy, disorganized, reckless, careless, and defiant.”

Anyway, for now, I’m happy to be be in the Anal Stage of life. Apparently up next is The Phallic Stage. And that is one phase I’m definitely not ready for…
FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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  1. Thursday, May 19th, 2011
    Too funny... the drawings. The rest of the Freud stuff... eeeww.
  2. Friday, May 20th, 2011
    well, my son never had any kind of constipation issues, but if any kid fits the anal retentive description it's him.

    Don't worry too much - he'll grow out of it and into a perfectly normal guy. Who probably still has a fascination with the scatological (because don't they all, really?)
  3. Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
    This is a pretty awesome post. Educational and funny! I think I just learned way too much about what my dad was like as an infant.
  4. Monday, May 23rd, 2011
    I love the intestinal drawings, I think you and Frued are definitely on to something.

    Not pooping, for whatever reason, is no fun though. I have a friend who had to give her son a suppository for a year to help him poop...these are the times when I wonder how Moms have been doing this for centuries. It's all part of it. Poop seems to be a pretty huge part of it.