Thursday, January 14, 2010

How I am being defeated by the potty

When Will, at 18 months exactly, started pointing to the toilet and asking to sit on it, I went out and immediately bought a potty that was more her size. I figured that it would all just sort of happen. She was a little bit interested, the potty was there and offered, and eventually she would just decide it was time.

She's almost 3 now. And while I know this isn't even slightly out of the range of normal for potty learning, 3 has always been my "scary age" (like Carrie and Miranda in Sex and the City). As in, surely she cannot be more than 3 years old and still in diapers. Or pull ups. No way.

What is most frustrating is that all the pieces are there.

She wants to wear underwear. She wears underwear whenever she can.

Whenever we put the underwear on, she talks through the process that goes along with it: "When I have to pee or poo I will say, 'Mommy! Daddy! Take me to the potty!' And then I will pee or poo on the potty."

When I notice she has to go, I announce that it's time to try to use the potty. (I learned not to ask if she wants or needs to go. Ha.) She invariably either gets upset or angry or just insists she does. not. need. to. use. the. potty. Period.

Then she pees in her underwear. Or demands a diaper. Or puts on her own pull-up and then goes.

Case in point: As I was typing this post, Will called me upstairs because she was done her poop. She had a dry pull-up all morning, and when I insisted that we "try" to use the potty before nap, she very matter-of-factly told me that she would tell me when she needed to pee or poo on the potty. Self-directed. Perfect. So I left her to sleep and she crouched in the corner and then called me upstairs.

We have the cutest potty books available. She even changes the name of the girl in "The Princess in the Potty" to her own when we read it.

She knows and is excited about all the things she will be able to do when she uses the potty: Preschool! Regular school! Gymnastics by myself! Ballet!

I also know this is probably going to work out the same way her language development has. At this time last year, she was still barely speaking, and never on demand. She rarely made animal sounds. Some of her friends were referring to themselves by name and speaking in full sentences. But although I was anxious, I wasn't worried. Does that make sense? I could see her observing, constantly, and I knew she had a clear understanding of her world. She was just waiting until she was confident that she could speak the way she wanted.

Of course, when she did start speaking for real it was in complete and compound sentences, and now she never stops talking. (Unless she's singing. Or sleeping.)

I feel like this potty thing will be exactly the same. Will is waiting until she knows she has it right. And when she finally believes in herself enough to act, there will be no turning back.

But believing that doesn't seem to make me any less likely to rage, you know when you have to go and yet you won't do it why? why? why? At least in my head.

Then I say out loud, as if it doesn't matter to me either way, "Just let me know when you have to use the potty, okay?"

1 comment:

statia said...

I can't believe I have a child old enough to be potty trained. I can't even tell you my fear about said training. I'm fully expecting it to take a year. Maybe I'll get lucky and the younger one will want to train during that time.

HAHA. I kill me.