Apr 25, 2011

Adventures In Potty Training a Smart, Stubborn, Unique Girl

WHO KNEW that potty training would test me to just within the bounds of my sanity!!! (Please any parent with experience, read this whole post and give me some advice! Or at least encouragement!)

Quick backstory: We started potty training Ella at 22 months. She was interested and excited by it. Because mommy and daddy's observations and good timing, we had a few successes. But other than that it was clear that she really couldn't tell when she needed to pee. She did however know exactly when she needed to poop. And the one time she pooped on the potty it really traumatized her. She had a belly ache, it hurt when she went, she was crying after she did it. No good. She was petrified of the potty after that. So we took a break.

6 months later makes a WORLD of difference. We've been at it for 7 days. She's in underwear all the time. We have a chart. She gets to put a sticker on the chart for every try. After 10 tries she gets a piece of candy. For every success in the potty she gets candy and a prize! She 100% understands the system. She TOTALLY understands wet and dry. She TOTALLY understands that she's supposed to go in the potty. She COMPLETELY knows when she has to pee. And she has control over it. OH BOY DOES SHE HAVE CONTROL OVER IT!

There's the rub. Ella's very particular about MANY THINGS. And she's averse to new sensations. She HATES change. This being said. She does not like the feeling of going pee in the potty. However, she also does not like the feeling of being wet. Lucky for her (not so much for me) the girl can hold liquid inside of her like a camel in the driest season of the desert!

She's also ridiculously smart. She knows that she gets to wear a pull-up while sleeping or when we go out of the house. She knows our weekly routine so she knows when any of these two things are going to happen. So she will HOLD her pee (We're talking up to 5 HOURS) until she gets a pull-up on and then immediately go in her pull-up. OOOHHHH so frustrating!!!! We've been at this for 7 days. She's gone in the potty 3 times (only because I'm sure she was on the verge of her bladder bursting) and been wet in her underwear only once. Camel. I'm telling you.

So this morning I switched it up! We'd been at this since 8am. It was now 11:15am. The child was crossing her legs, holding her crotch and doing the potty dance like I have never seen before, in her desperate attempt to hold it in. Then I knew she was getting close to her breaking point because she started asking to go down for a nap!

"It's not time for a nap. Why do you want to take a nap?" I lovingly inquired.

My 28 month old replied, "I put big girl pull-up on on go nigh-nigh. I pee in pull-up." (At least she doesn't know how to lie yet!)

Impressed with her communication, forethought and sheer determination, but livid at the same time, I made up my mind and upped the ante "Sure," I said, "You can take a nap, but NO PULL-UP FOR NAP."

Whadaya know? 30 seconds later, she'd trotted herself to her potty, pulled her pants down and peed a lake.

Oh man. I'm really up against it here folks. Give me anything you've got!


Brenda McCleary said...

Sarah, I am sorry that it has been so difficult for you. I hope that you aren't feeling pressure from others to get this done. My youngest didn't get potty trained until after he was 3 yrs. old. No matter what we tried it didn't work so I finally just gave up. One day he came to me and said he wanted to pee just like Daddy and after that it was no problems. Again...it wasn't until after he was 3 yrs. old. Each child is so different. Don't make yourself crazy about it and don't let others make you feel bad. It will happen.

Maggie said...

LOL Oh man..I've never potty trained a child, but it sounds to me like you handled it pretty well. If she knows she won't be allowed to go in a pull-up, I don't think she'll have much of a choice!

I have to say Sarah, this made me chuckle quite a bit. :-p

anxiousknitter said...

Nate didn't want anything to do with potty training until he was 3 and then he would only pee on the potty. It wasn't until much later, like between 3 and a half and four that he gave up his pull up in favor of pooping on the potty. I remember Christine telling me each kid in his/her own time and feeling like it would never happen! You are doing exactly the right thing and Ella will eventually give up her control when she realizes how much easier it really is to do her business on the potty! I feel your pain but don't give up! Stay consistent - that is the KEY! Soon enough it will just click :) I'll say a little potty prayer for you! LOL!

Joe Cousins said...

I think you are doing the right things and doing a great job! Lily potty trained right before she turned two and I'm not going to lie- she was just easy (I'm not expecting to get so lucky the 2nd time around). Based on what you said the only recommendations I have would be to not allow her to wear pull ups when you go out. We went straight to undies from day 2 of potty training (except at night, nap time, and when traveling cross country to Colorado). I think she had maybe two accidents when we were out, but I was prepared and it wasn't a bit deal. Ella is smart obviously so I think if you take the pull ups away when you are out (and possibly like you did at nap time) she will eventually give in and then once she gets used to going in the potty she will be fine! I've also heard of people giving their kids LOTS and LOTS of fluids during the day when they are training so that they are sort of forced to use the potty more than usual (and get used to it)! You (and Ella) are doing great!

Joe Cousins said...

P.S. Just realized that I'm signed in to Joe's computer- obviously this is Angie, not Joe!:)

Cheryl said...

That's awesome! Just quit with the pull ups altogether and let her deal with the wetness. You know she doesn't like to be wet, so she will soon get with the program if there are no pull ups to fall back on!