Friday, May 27, 2011

Last Dance

The good news is that we spent three hours yesterday out of diapers and there were no accidents. The bad news is that at the end of those three hours, she was crying and pleading and screaming for me to put a diaper on her. She even got one out and sat down on it for me to do up the tapes.

I think I've been pretty cool on the subject of potty training. All of the parents that I have talked to, particularly those that have 3, 4, 5 kids, have said that it happens when the kid is ready. It's like AA, they're never gonna give up the diaper until they're good and ready to quit. Some kids that's 18 months. Some, like mine, that's 42 months. SIGH.

I remember when she was much, MUCH, younger and she showed interest and I was so excited that she would be an early adopter. Alas, that was not to be the case. Despite constant encouragement and more than a little cajoling mixed in with a healthy dose of peer pressure from all, and I do mean ALL, of her potty-using friends, that interest dried up faster than you can say "tinkerbell underwear." Except when stalling bedtime. Then, why she's all about the potty. Even cries in mock distress that the "poopie is coming!" Which, of course, it never is.

When she's sitting on the toilet, and we do a fair amount of that, I'll run the faucet and make the appropriate facial expressions associated with the activity, maybe even throwing in a grunt for good measure. But still nothing. We sit there, read a few books, maybe do a puzzle as it teeters on her little knees, and then she declares herself done and we go about our day.

I've been patient, but I am so done with changing diapers. More importantly, I am sick to death with BUYING them. Mama needs a new pair of espadrilles and they cost about the same as a box of diapers. I want to do a three day commando bonanza where diapers aren't even an option, but I feel like if she's screaming and crying for a diaper that she's not really ready. I was never good at "cry it out," in sleeping or anything and it goes against my nature to do it now, but am I doing her a disservice?

So I put it to you, friends and denizens of the interwebs, do I force it on her? Or do I wait just a skosh longer and see if the lightbulb goes off? But the bigger question is should I go ahead and buy those espadrilles? They're really cute. Parenting is hard.


  1. make the appropriate facial expressions associated with the activity LOL
    I think you're doing it all right with no forcing. You know she's been a stubborn one from the start. You might try casually hinting that she can only do this or that if she goes on the potty. Or tell her in order to go to school she has to get out of diapers.

    I know it's frustrating, but it'll pass soon and become a vague memory. And then of course you'll have some other issue to deal with, lol.

  2. Let her be. She'll do it when she's ready and it'll likely be all at once.

    My oldest learned to take his diaper off at 18 months, so we bought the little potty hoping he'd train early. It worked until he turned 2 and flexed his toddler muscles. One day, while sitting on the bathroom floor, hugely pregnant, singing a potty song, I realized it was fucking stupid and I was done. We put the pot away and he trained himself, with the big toilet, right at 3.

    The younger one was resistent to the idea, so we gave her a deadline ("You don't have to use the potty now, but when you turn three you do.") I think it took the pressure off and she trained herself, within a week, a couple of months before 3. She didn't use the little potty much either, once she was coordinated enough to get on the big one unassisted, I gave the little one to my brother (For his toddler. Not for him.).

    Does she have to be PT for preschool? Because that might be a good deadline for her.

    I'll also say to go ahead and buy the shoes. Daytime dryness doesn't really mean the end of diapers. M is 4 1/2 and still wears a diaper at night because she's such a sound sleeper, she doesn't wake up to pee. I'm SO TIRED of buying the darn things, but a box lasts much longer than it used to.

  3. This is something that Fathers (like me) usually don't get to deal with very much - so I have to admit my experience is a bit limited - even though we did have three sons. Mom nutured. I worked. So that's the way it worked out. That said ... There comes a time when there has to be a clear definition of roles in the parent child relationship - She needs to be reminded (gently) that YOU are the Mom and the person in charge, YOU are the person charged with the responsibility of making decisions for her that with form her own decision making processes later, YOU lead and she must follow - until she's old enough to make informed decisions on her own.

    I understand that a certain measure of independence and self-assertion is to be admired in a child. And encouraged. But some things are demonstrations of obstinance, and in those cases, parental authority and will may need to step up a notch - not to the level of force, but to a level where the child understands who the adult is - who it is that makes the informed choices - who it is that is ultimately responsible.

  4. Sheila is so right about the "vague memory"...I can't recall exactly when mine were trained, but I do know my boys were WAY easier than Isabel. Four years old and starting preschool was the impetus she needed. I did it over the summer, buying cheap summer dresses and panties and not buying diapers at all. Bought one box of pullups for nighttime and going out, and just accepted the fact that it was going to be a lot of laundry. I also used a sticker chart, with one sticker for pee and two for poop, and when the chart was filled up (25 stickers) she got to shop for a little prize.

    Hope it all works out. And you should definitely buy the shoes for vacation!

  5. May the force be with you. I had a boy and got him to go by 'shooting' Cheerios in the toilet. Went really quick after that but we did use Pull-Ups for a while as he just really slept too hard to wake up.

  6. Totally laughed out loud at you making the facial expressions and noises. I did the same thing and the little stinker would just laugh at me. LOL!

    She will get it. I promise. I would not stress her or yourself out in the meantime. I do get that you don't want to buy diapers anymore.

    Have you check with the doctor to make sure there is nothing else going on?

    Just keep asking and trying, but not in a way that there is pressure.

  7. Yes! Buy the espadrilles!

    I've potty trained only one person, my boy. *It took me a freaking year.* Sometimes, it goes in fits and starts, and maybe that's what some kids need.

    Did your child ever stand on top of the table to pee, then dance in the puddle? No? Well, then you're still ahead of us....

  8. I haven't potty trained anyone. I do remember that my little brother wouldn't sleep in a bed, and I was the one to get him in there, and lie with him each night while he cried. It really only took a week before he was cool with it - which is an extremely long time for a toddler. So I'm more in the camp of folks who would lovingly disallow the diaper. It really wouldn't take all that long in the big scheme...
    oh, and I would love to see these facial expressions!

  9. Um.... yeah. I kinda remember potty training. i remember Essie got the pee-pee thing down, but took FOREVER to get the poop thing done in the potty. Gert potty trained pretty early because she had an older sibling AND older kids at daycare and she always wanted to "be like the big kids"...

    I'd say keep it chill - give her the options, give her rewards for doing well, but don't stress it too much.

    Big hugs.... I promise she'll figure it out.

  10. I don't know any healthy kids who are still wearing diapers in junior high. It'll happen, when she wants it to. :-)

  11. I got my daughter, who sounds like about the same age as yours (Arielle will be 4 in July), a "Potty Watch". Literally. I think from One Step Ahead. You can set it to go off at certain intervals, and when it does that means it's "potty time"!

    With the watch I then took her out of diapers (except at night), and she wore panties, pants, and Crocs (waterproof, sneakers and pee don't mix!). If she peed herself she felt it and knew. It took about a week, and she was done. She was about 2 1/2 at the time.

    Amazingly my little one was dry at night before being completely dry during the day. She no longer even wears pull-ups at night.

    Whatever works for her and you is what works best!! Good luck!!

  12. First of all, stop reading this comment and go order the shoes.

    Done? Good.

    I have no advice. I tried all kinds of stuff and then Bub did it when he was ready. Our middle guy isn't trained but needs to be before the end of August for preschool. I don't have a plan in place yet, except the idea of talking up going to school and how much fun he can have there if he uses the potty during the day. I will also bribe him (Heather's sticker chart sounds good). I'm intrigued by the potty watch, I have to say.

    I wouldn't worry about night time yet.

    Miss you.

  13. Buy the shoes. She'll do it when she's ready. And the bigger deal you make of it, the longer it will take her to decide she's ready. How do I know this? From battling my daughter over it for months and months until I dropped it and pretended like I didn't care. In a couple of weeks, those Elmo panties looked pretty good to her. Hang in there, and buy the shoes. Buy the shoes!

  14. it's tough Cara - my son was the same way - bu the had feeding issues - BUT - we tried cutting a hole in the diaper and let him sit ON the toilet with the cut diaper - it worked!!

  15. Well, my son was 43 months (almost 44) when it finally happened. He wasn't going to be allowed to move up to his new pre-K class with his friends. It wasn't that he COULDN'T -- it was that he didn't want to and didn't care. It took about four or five days when he decided he no longer wanted diapers.

    We used stickers and small "prizes" to entice him. Once he used the potty five times, he got a small toy. We increase the number each time until he hit ten times and then it was done. :)

  16. We just went through this! My son had great interest, then lost interest, then recently refused any potty suggestions and begged for diapers constantly. It was a power struggle, you know? So to take away the power, I put all his diapers away (when he wasn't looking) and told him that we just didn't have any, so he'd have to do underwear and go on the potty. Like, sorry, I'd love to give you a diaper but there just aren't any. We're on day 4, and he's been doing great. Not to say this will work for anyone else, but it's what finally worked for us. Good luck!


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