This gig, I could foresee, was going to take months, possibly years ...
Potty training is an onerous, frustrating mission. Two steps forward. Ten steps back.
Little A first began her 'ascension to the throne' back in January. That failed.
So I waited until she'd danced, skipped, and bunny hopped passed two and a quarter. This met with more success. Every day we held potty training sessions. A few hours in the morning. A couple in the evening. Little A sat on her potty like a true monarch. She climbed on her toilet seat like a record breaking mountaineer. She aimed. She fired. The wee wees flowed. A tinkle here. A flash flood there. But no poos. Those were still the reserve of her nappy ...
Then one day, of her own volition, Little A decided, "Mummy, I want to put my clothes on, on my woone (own), and my pants too." I spotted the opportunity. I saw the opening. And like a Roman with a big, big plan I carpe diemed with gusto ...
"Okay Little A, you go for it , but from now on, apart from nap times and bed times, you are wearing pants. If you want to do a wee or poo, you have to do them on the potty or toilet."
The first poo on the potty, after a few months of cajoling (and bribing), was undoubtedly a mile stone...
"Look Mummy, I've done a wiggly worm."
More followed ...
"Look Mummy, I have poo all over my hand."
"Noooooo Little A, we don't wipe poo with our hands."
And then it all came to a grinding halt. The sticker charts (we have a separate one for wees and poos) lost their glittering appeal, even the extra, extra special stickers for number twos.
Little A, protesting her anal rights, refused to do anymore poos on her potty.
"Mummy, I want to do my poo in my nappy."
There was no argument to be had.
Why? Why? Why? .....
Why won't you poo on the potty?
Why do you poo under the kitchen table?
Why do you poo (in a leisurely manner) just before bedtime?
And, whilst I'm on the subject, why do you insist on looking down the toilet ... when I'm on the toilet?
And... then we found ourselves in the throes of a vicious cycle. Little A needed a poo. But by the time I'd fastened the nappy, it had gone away. And over the course of a few days of 'nappy - no poo', she became constipated, scared of emptying her bowels, of doing what she describes as a 'hurty poo'. And when it did eventually arrive (after nearly a week's abstinence), it caused her considerable discomfort.
So now we find ourselves in the situation whereby Little A is scared of releasing her number twos in either her nappy or on the toilet (she still won't go on the potty, but we've managed a few successes on the toilet, which is actually a better result). And it takes her ages to go. She feels a bowel movement, then clenches her buttocks, withholding with all her might. She whimpers. She cries 'help'. I sit with her, rubbing her back, calmly coaxing, reassuring, that it will be okay, that she will feel much better after she's done the deed. Its almost akin to helping a birthing mother through transition and second stage.
Last night it took her nearly four hours to let go and release her goodies. In the end she did it in her cot - the act of falling asleep enabled her to relax enough to go. She felt very pleased, relieved that the battle of her bowels was at an end, for now .....
So... What have your challenges been with toilet training? Have you encountered a similar problem? How did you solve the issue?
This post was meant to be a response to a tag from the wonderful Bibsey but it morphed into something else entirely. The tag was for a meme called 'Why' - A kind of parental revenge for every 'why' asked by a demanding toddler.