22 February 2007

Report From the Potty Training Front Lines

The weather around here continues to leave me feeling a bit like the whole world is wrapped in a shroud. The air is warm and humid and it hangs thickly above slowly receding snow. It reminds me a little of looking out the window of a plane as you pass through the clouds just after take off, or before landing. The air looks too thick to breathe.

Which probably accounts for my desire to curl up into a little ball with Sprout on my lap and the shawl I just finished knitting wrapped around us both. It's a dangerous thing to do, however, sitting with a toddler in "big girl panties" on your lap when she's on a potty strike. It feels a little like today was a study in "one step forward, three steps back" on the potty training front. Sprout seemed determined that she would not step foot into the bathroom unless dragged by the hair. (A tactic which, no matter how tempting, I refused to take...)

To be honest, I think that this was really about showing mama who's boss... We got up this morning and Sprout's pull-up had leaked all over her sleeper. I stripped her down and cleaned her up, and snuggled her under the covers for a few minutes just to enjoy the feel of her skin against mine. We then ventured downstairs where I gave her a choice of shirts to wear and a choice of underpants or pull-up. When she chose the underwear, I reminded her that she had to tell me when she needed to go to the bathroom. I asked her if she wanted to go and she declined. A couple minutes later, she was standing in a puddle in the living room.

I tried several approaches to the whole question of going into the bathroom. Every time she answered with denial that she needed to go and refusal to humor me by going anyway. Not long after breakfast, I again suggested a field trip to the potty and she again refused only to release the contents of her bladder moments later while she sat on the floor. I put her in a pull-up (over her protests) and suggested that we'd try underwear again after her nap since she seemed tired and unable to concentrate.

A short nap later, we tried the "Big Girl Panties" again only to repeat our earlier experiences. Four pairs of soiled toddler briefs in a single day is the limit of my patience. I put her in another pull-up and gave up for the day.

How did we go from a landmark success day, with no less than 5 potty triumphs, yesterday to today's dismal failures... I'm sure that I'm doing something wrong. We have plans to be out of the house tomorrow so we're doomed to another pull-up day. For now, I'll stop worrying about it and just accept that today didn't live up to the promise of yesterday and tomorrow isn't even in the running.

TITLE: Chicago, Illinois. An unusually heavy fog in the early afternoon
CALL NUMBER: LC-USW3- 012514-E [P&P]
CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Dec.
CREATOR: Delano, Jack, photographer.
PART OF: Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

1 comment:

Daria de la Luna said...

Good lord, how can she possibly ready for potty training? Wasn't she just born in August??? Hmm, I am not sure what to suggest. What I found as a toddler teacher is that the kids were invariably more compliant about trying the potty when they were at school than when they were at home. We were on a schedule & everyone went to the potty at specific times throughout the day (and solo other times as needed). I expect seeing your peers on the potty at the same time as you helps.