Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Now?

I wish I could figure out what's going on in Little Miss's head.

In fact, I need to figure it out, and I need to figure it out quick. Preschool starts for us on Tuesday next week. That gives me fewer than six days to figure it out.

Oh yeah... you want to know what I'm talking about, don't you?

Well, Little Miss is potty trained. I swear she is. Or was. Or whatever. And when she starts preschool on Tuesday, she must be potty trained, or they'll send her home. And then they'll kick her out if she doesn't get potty trained until she is potty trained. And I just can't have that.

She knows that she needs to be potty trained to go. In fact, that was a big motivator to get potty trained. She really wants to go to preschool and be like Mister Man. And she really wants to continue swim lessons. And I won't do swim lessons if she isn't potty trained because that's just too much yuck to clean up after 30 minutes in the pool.

In May, my mom started her potty training while they were in Florida, and she did pretty well. When she got home, we worked on it some more, and she did well and got it and had very few accidents of any type. She was still in diapers at night but even during naptime, she was in underwear.

Then she started wetting nearly every naptime, and we got tired of doing sheets on a daily basis. Into nappy-time Pull-Ups she went. And she is still in them. I'm totally fine with this part of it, as I know it's hard to stay dry when sleeping, and frequently she is dry.

Then we started getting streaks. And not the running through the house naked kind of streaks. I'd be sort of ok with that, too. Nope, these are the kind that you find in underwear. Just a little streak and a little pebble.

So onto the potty she'd go, and ... nothing. An hour later, I'd smell something, and we'd have another streak. And yep, nothing on the potty. And an hour later, repeat.

Seriously, I had to go out and buy her more underwear twice because I couldn't keep up with the laundry. Eventually, she'd poop in the potty, but it appeared to be completely not related to her streaks. And it sometimes wasn't until a day later.

My husband has had it and wants her back in diapers, but we can't do that -- one because it's not recommended to go back and forth, two because she'll be totally fine for days on end and three because she needs to be potty trained when she goes to preschool in a short five and a half days.

And yesterday, my mom watched the wee ones in the afternoon while I met with the principal at Mister Man's preschool. In the two hours she had them, Little Miss had two accidents. Two of the pee pee kind. And she didn't tell my mom when she did, she just kept on playing. In fact, I don't know that she noticed them.

When we got home, not forty minutes later, she'd peed in her pants again. She had gone to the bathroom before we left my mom's, so I don't get it. And again, we discovered the accident only because my husband was about to take her out on an errand.

What is going on with her, and more importantly what is she thinking?

Is this a game of wills with her?

Does she not feel when she has pee or poop coming (which would explain why she stops the poop, but not until it's started to come out)? In which case, what do we do about this? But she was fine for awhile, so something was working, right?

Am I doing something wrong?

I wish I could figure it out easily. But right now I'm stumped aside from reminding her that she needs to be potty trained to go to preschool, congratulating her when she does use the potty, and cleaning up after her. What else do I do? What am I missing?


Gloria August 27, 2008 at 1:58 PM  

Have you talked to her about the lapses and asked her what's going on? I would imagine that you have, but thought I'd ask.

Even though she is excited about going to preschool, she may also be a little fearful about the whole thing. The reverting to her former behavior might have a secondary benefit of insuring that she stays home where she feels safe.

It might be possible that she might be having a physical problem such as a low grade bladder infection, etc. A trip to the doctor could lay this to rest if you think this is a possibility.

If it isn't physical, it could definitely be a subconscious reaction to some sort of negative event in her life or response to fear of being in a new situation.

As the mother of six unique individuals, I have encountered these types of problems. One son just simply didn't want to bother with stopping his play for potty breaks. The behavior stopped when I just had him take care of the whole mess he'd make (it took him far longer to clean up).

These are just some thoughts that came to me as I read your blog. I'm sure with some careful discussion with her, you'll be able to identify the real problem and figure out a solution. Mothers have to be detectives sometimes.

Good luck.

Unknown August 27, 2008 at 2:00 PM  

Is it possible she has a UTI?

Anonymous August 27, 2008 at 2:31 PM  

Oh god. I am just beginning to contemplate how to begin potty training and this gives me nightmares. I have no answers, but I really feel for you.

Rosie : ) August 27, 2008 at 3:58 PM  

I don't know about your children, but from my experiences with potty training {5 kids trained, and 6th is poop trained ~ 7th is too young still...}, it comes down to when the child is ready.

I had a horrible first experience with our first child, mostly because I felt pushed to potty-train at the age of two. I found that most children *want* to be trained by 2 1/2, 3 years old.

I realize this is not what you want to hear...especially if pre-school is pushing her to be trained. We've always started by poop-training, and the pee training seemed to come by itself. At the age of two, it is probably a battle of the wills. They seem to want to assert their independance, and show you who's boss.

As for your worries about putting a diaper after you tried to potty-train, I seriously doubt it will mix her up. Consider her feelings on the subject. Is she ashamed when she has an accident? Does she really understand what happened?

Every child is different, and from my children I have learned to adapt to those differences and never push them into something they are truly not ready to do.

It might be time to sit down with your hubby and discuss the issue you have with her, the downfall of training her so early {some girls cannot use the "restraining" muscles until they are 3 or 4...the Kegel exercise muscles}, and what you can do if you decided she is ready, or not ready.

I have been in the position pushed by relatives :"Oh, she/he can be trained no problem!" only to realize that *I* was trained, looking for the "She/he has to go now" signals the child threw at me.

This is my advice, for what it is worth. :) Hope anything I wrote can help you...

Sydney August 27, 2008 at 4:15 PM  

Thank god I'm not the only one going through this! My little guy is 3 years and 2 months old. He's technically supposed to be potty trained before preschool too. But the daycare/preschool he goes to has a backlog of kids who are 3 who can't advance to the preschool room because they aren't potty trained.

The kid flat out won't tell us when he has to go. He's never pooped in the potty. But he knows he's supposed to go potty in there. I really do think it's a battle of wills and it's all about the kid being in control of the situation.

I've had people tell me to put him in underwear full time. Umm... I thought you were supposed to be consistent with potty training. How is me putting him in underwear on the weekend and in the evening, and then in pull-ups at school consistent?

I wish you luck with the next 5 days. Does Little Miss understand that if she has accidents she won't be able to go to school? Maybe a real heart-to-heart about that will help it sink in, especially if she's really excited about school.

Jeff and Charli Lee August 27, 2008 at 7:25 PM  

This is kinda funny in that I could probably point you at 5 other bloggers who are asking the same exact questions. There really is no right or wrong answer to potty training. It's just like Rosie said... when the kid is ready, the kid will train. It's almost a waste of energy and stress to worry about it and try to fight it.

Michelle August 27, 2008 at 7:55 PM  

Gloria - Welcome! I have talked to her about the accidents, and she just tells me that it's ok because she has more underwear! I do wonder about the underlying fear though... that's a good point.

Megryansmom - I hadn't even thought about that, and it made so much sense with yesterday's issues. But today? Not a single problem. So that's probably not it.

Shelly - Do it when they're ready. We waited with my son and had zero issues. I thought we waiting with Little Miss, too, but she's more difficult! But "no one went to college still wearing their diapers" as my mom likes to say.

Rosie - Welcome! I totally agree that it's when the child is ready. We waited until she told us she wanted to do it and then only moved into Pull-Ups and into underwear after 4 straight days (each) with no accidents to ensure she was ready. She is already 3 though, not 2. And she'll be totally fine for weeks at a time, then have a run of accidents like this. And NO she is not ashamed when she has an accident. She won't admit to it (I wonder if she doesn't realize), but then she is fine with it.

Sydney - I'm with you on the control part of it, which is why I waited for her to tell me she wanted to use the potty. And yep, she understands no preschool and no more swim lessons if she doesn't potty train. She *knows* it. And today? Totally fine. Zero accidents or issues. That's part of what's so frustrating. We may go another week before we have streaks, but then we'll have 6 in a day.

Michelle August 27, 2008 at 7:57 PM  

Jeff - You're right; it's funny ;) The stress of it (besides the preschool issue) is that she was the one who wanted to do this and she's been fine with it (c'mon, road trip to MN, State Fair, MOA, etc and back and no accidents or issues once?). Then out of the blue we'll get streaks or this new pee pee thing. It's trying to figure out why we have sudden lapses then go back to "normal" that I wish I could figure out!

KatBouska August 27, 2008 at 10:28 PM  

Oh man. I'm of no help. This must be really frustrating though...bribery??

MaBunny August 28, 2008 at 5:58 AM  

Hmm, have u considered a bladder infection? My daughter used to get them quite frequently until I stopped giving her baths.. now she onlytakes showers. The occassional baths r ok but NO BUBBLE BATH!!
or maybeshes nervous about going to preschool , even though she wants to be like her older brother?maybe she got nervous and backslid a bit.. good luck;)

anymommy August 28, 2008 at 9:16 AM  

Wow, they are stubborn little devils sometimes aren't they? This is just an idea, but it works sometimes with my son. He is NOT a talker and never tells me when he's upset (he's three). But, if I rock him quietly by ourselves before bed, sometimes he'll spill the most amazing things. You could try. Maybe she's a little more nervous about preschool than she let's on?

Or, maybe she's just regressing a little on the potty training at an inconvenient time. Because you don't have enough to worry about! Lol.

Michelle August 28, 2008 at 8:56 PM  

Mama's Losin' It - She gets to do sticker pages (I LOVE Usborne sticker books btw) when she goes on the potty... and when she's potty trained, she gets to go to preschool and do swim lessons. Maybe I'll have to find something else.

Mabunny - I hadn't considered a bladder infection, then did when someone else mentioned it. BUT now we've gone two days with no pee pee accidents. But tonight just before bed we had another streak. *sigh* And she's a shower only girl now, so that's not it.

Anymommy - Yes, devils is right! I may have to try the rocking before bed theory. I couldn't do it tonight because she was EXhausted, but maybe tomorrow. I like this idea of talking about it when she's not stressed about anything. But tomorrow has its own challenges -- she's being evaluated for the special needs preschool Mister Man attends, so all this may be moot.

Angie's Spot August 28, 2008 at 10:46 PM  

Wow, I don't have any keen words of advice. However, I saw that someone else mentioned her possibly having a bladder infection. That was going to be my first guess also. Whatever it is, I hope she's ok by next week for preschool fun!

Cookie August 30, 2008 at 1:13 PM  

I wish there was an easy answer to potty training. I don't consider myself an expert, but I do know that each kid is different. You are right that you have to figure out what she's thinking. you need to figure out what will motivate her to use the potty every time, and not sometimes.
With my older son, he wanted a toy at the store. I picked up the toy and read the package out loud. It said (or at least I said) "This toy is only for big boys who use the potty." My son of course believed me. I put the toy back on the shelf and he quickly picked up the toy and told me that he would use the potty. So we bought it and took it home and he ran to the potty but nothing came out. So I put the toy on top of the TV so that my son could see it all the time. I told him that the next time he used the potty he could have the toy. And he did use the potty and he did get the toy. But he did have some accidents after that. So each time he didn't use the potty, the toy went back on top of the tv and he could get it back the next time he used the potty.
Of course, I didn't know that a toy would be the motivating factor. I had tried clapping, those flushable targets and lots of other things, but the toy was what worked for him.
Good luck finding Little Miss' motivator!

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