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I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Whoever said that potty training is easier with girls can kiss my ass.

(I'll bet it was the same person that said that your labor comes early with your second pregnancy. I believed that shit, watching my due date approach and fade into the distance, growing bigger and hotter every early September minute.)

At first, it seemed like things would be easier with Roo. When her brother O. was a toddler, he dutifully sat down and peed on the potty his first experimental try at 18 months, but after that wouldn't go near the thing again 'til he was fully three. Once he decided he wanted to go for the big boy undies, however, he never looked back. He never once had an accident. (Okay, never once 'til he got cocky at age five, held it too long, and peed his pants in the back yard.)

Roo started showing a sincere interest in the potty in April, at the tender age of two-and-a-half. By May, she was in pull-ups and peeing exclusively in the potty. (Let me pause here to say that I never used the word "potty" before I had kids, and I fully intend to scrub it from my vocabulary as soon as Roo is using the big toilet full-time. As the daughter of a man who used "potty" as both a verb and a noun well into his fifties, I must announce this resolution to anyone who will listen.) In June the big moment came: poop in the potty. We celebrated and moved her into undies. Everything was awesome. Girls are easier!, I thought to myself.

Not so fast.

After a few successful poops in the potty, the first red flag: Roo shit her undies. What the hell? I was at a loss. I had never experienced this with O., but I figured that accidents happen. I threw out the poopified undies and considered it a fluke. Then it happened again. And again. And again!

As truly horrifying as it is to clean up, you can't really yell at a little kid for shitting her pants, nor can you punish her. We just went back to pull-ups and figured the poop part would work itself out if we continued to encourage her. Which we did. We even let her wear undies once in awhile when we were reasonably sure a poop wasn't imminent.

Then, a couple weeks ago, she started peeing in her undies.

Shit! I mean piss. I mean shit and piss! Fuck.

Part of me was tempted to see this as a case of parental error. We just started her too early. Except we followed her cues. And she did great for weeks.

Now I see it as an issue of control. The potty drama of the past few weeks has been accompanied by bed time drama. Our little girl, who we successfully trained to be an easy and solid sleeper, has started playing crazy-making games at nap time and bed time. Since she was a baby, she's been a snap to put to bed. Lately, though, it's taking my Old Man and/or me 45 minutes to an hour, with lots of negotiating, to get her down to sleep. Hit me with whatever advice you will, but know that we have tried letting her cry it out. She's mobile and tenacious and talented. She will not be kept down.

So, I think it's a control thing. She doesn't have a whole lot of power in her little world, but she can control where she pees and poops, and (to an amazing extent) whether and when she sleeps.

She's back in pull-ups full time now, and we're just letting her use the potty when and if she wants. Hopefully if she gets the idea that we don't really care that much whether she uses it, she'll start to want to use it again.

As far as bed time goes, wish us luck. I just hope this toddler weather blows over before school starts in two weeks.


Blogger Lisa said...

Oh! The agony...
I know this was a month or more ago, but I hope it has worked itself out, more or less. I have no advice, because I think you figured it out yourself--just act like you don't care. Huh. Reminds me of the games teenagers play in their dating games.

Oh my word verification is "twingl" and maybe you see "tingle" or "twingle" but I see "twin girl". I live in fear/hope of having a set of twin girls some day. To balance out the hideous surplus of BOY in my life. :)

7:37 AM  

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