Saturday, 5 October 2013

Potty training blues

My darling daughter is determined not to potty train.  She's 2 and 7 months and doesn't want a bar of going to the potty.  It's not like she's never used it, or had nappy-off time and made messes on the floor, or been put in knickers to 'let herself feel uncomfortable' as a motivator.  We've also had the sticker chart that had been up on our wall for so long the BluTac lost its tac!  And lollies she chose as her 'poo reward' sitting in the pantry so long they're kind of gross-looking now.  And stickers for the aforementioned chart at the ready that are getting so old they're losing their stick too!  She knows what they're all for, how to get them; she wants them but not enough to use the potty for anything other than storage.  That connection between 'I need to go' and 'I'll go to the potty' is totally absent - either by design or by determination.  I even got my very first parenting book - the only book in the library about potty training, produced by a toy company!  But surprisingly, a lot of it made sense and showed me that the essential ingredients for potty training just aren't there with her yet.  And that's okay, because they will be.

In my mummy-mind, the fact that my more than 2 1/2 year old isn't potty trained makes me a failure because everyone knows girls should be toilet trained by age 2!  I didn't start early enough.  I've been too distracted.  I didn't try hard enough at the right time.  I'm doing it wrong.  I'm doing it wrong for her learning style.  The fact that I work and don't have the full-time availability to focus on potty training makes me a bad mum.  And on my days at home I'm running around trying to keep all the balls in the air, and because I'm not letting the washing overflow and the kitchen turn rancid to focus on potty training makes me a bad mum.  My child will not be allowed to go to kindy because she'll still be in pull-ups!  Bad mummy!

It might seem ridiculous when you read that back again, but that's the circular thinking I have going on most of the time these days.  I know she'll get there when she's ready and willing, like all the other milestones to date.  And if I try and force it beforehand, it turns into a battle of wills and not about learning to use the potty!  And with her heritage, she'll be wearing nappies into her teens just to spite me!

My husband and I have been on holidays this past week, and we had such great plans - one of which was trying out some of the new potty-training techniques in the book.  Perfect!  We're both home, nowhere to go, all the time in the world.  But then we all got gastro and have spent the week holed up in the house, feeling tired and 'delicate', riding out this virus!  Our next holiday is in January where we're going on a massive road trip!  Hardly conducive to potty training either!  Faaaa crying out loud! 

BUT!  She will get there.  When she's ready.  Like rolling over, crawling, walking, eating solids and using utensils.  She is a clever kid and I believe in her.

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