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Me And My Big Mouth

Yeah, of course Maddie didn’t pee in
the potty yesterday. What else could I expect, since we went out
that morning and got a cool little toy? And since I was so sure she
had turned that corner, and was ready to move forward?

Honestly, I don’t get it. She used the potty once yesterday,
but deliberately chose to use her diaper every other time. At the
toy store, she said she didn’t think they had a bathroom, and
during the day at home she said it was just easier. I know
she’s not trying to be difficult or naughty; I just
can’t figure out the best way to help her over this hurdle. I
started asking her to sit on the potty every couple of hours, in
case she wasn’t planning ahead enough, and by the end of the
day she was crying every time I had her sit down on the toilet.
I’m making her miserable on this, and I know that’s not
helping the situation.

So what do I do? Go back to my nonchalant,
“It’s ok either way” kind of attitude? Or do I
press for her to go on the potty? I’ve never been into
negative reinforcement, and expressing my displeasure or derision
at using the diaper just isn’t my style. I also don’t
believe in guilting the kid into doing something –
“You’ll make Mommy so happy if you go on the potty.
Don’t you want Mommy to be happy?” And I don’t
want to add to her emotional issues on this, making it an even
longer process. On the other hand, this is clearly not a physical
issue – she’s perfectly capable of using the potty
full-time now. That means we need to find a way over this emotional
hurdle, or she’ll simply coast comfortably along in diapers
for the next several years. At least that’s how it feels
right now.

I’m working hard not to let my anger and frustration rule our
encounters on this; Maddie picks up quickly on any displeasure
vibes and begins doing the whole “what does it take to make
Mommy happy thing”, which isn’t good on a lot of
levels. So I have to stay calm and deal with it matter-of-factly.
But it’s hard, when I feel like this is such a charged issue,
and I picture her twenty years from now talking about the words
coming out of my mouth in her bi-weekly therapy sessions.
“And my mother used to make me feel so small, so little, so
stupid, when I’d pee in my diaper. I couldn’t even
control my body to her satisfaction. Which is why I now have
bladder infections every month, and can’t urinate if
there’s anyone else in the same building as me.”

I know, I know, it’s not that bad. I just wish I could figure
out the right way to do this, the magic phrase that would lock it
in for her, give her that confidence and help her just ditch the
diaper for good. But I’m stuck, so I’m taking it one
flush (or lack thereof) at a time.

I do know one thing – I won’t be doing any more
bragging about a diaper-free day for a long time. Next time you
hear from me on this subject, it’ll be when the diapers are
gone for good.

Look for that blog in the next year or so.


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