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Out Of Options

Maddie is once again peeing in her diaper,
and I’m at my wit’s end.

We’re a week out from her urinary tract infection, and all
symptoms are gone though she still takes her medicine. During the
first few days of her infection we allowed her to use her diaper
– the pain was too much for her to try to hold it in while
she got to a potty – but quickly saw that becoming a habit.
She’s declared a preference for peeing in her diaper –
something she hasn’t done for months – and would like
to go back to it full-time.

Two days ago we told her she was losing
her video privileges until she started using the potty full-time
– peeing and pooping. We explained that she’s too big
to use diapers any more, and we don’t want her to get another
infection. So she’s lost her daily video until she’s
into underpants, and she’s gone two days thus far with no
complaints. What else can we do here?

Yesterday she peed twice in her diaper, both times in secret and
both times not wanting to confess. Every time, she’d cry and
say she promised she’d use the potty from that point on. This
is turning into such a huge emotional issue, and I’m afraid
it’s going to be top of her list of Things To Tell Her Shrink
in twenty years. We’ve tried to be casual about it and not
push her – no forcing her to run around naked, no threats or
bullying or emotional manipulation. We reasoned that it’s
completely psychological – she can (and does) use the potty
any time she wants – so there’s no reason to push it.
We laughed together that we’re fairly certain she won’t
be going to her prom in a pull-up.

Now I’m not so sure.

I feel this starting to get in the way of our relationship, and I
hate it. I get so frustrated and angry with her, and don’t
know how to encourage this to a speedy end. I see her worry that
I’m angry with her, or that I’ll withhold love from her
– I know that’s why she hides what she does. For the
past few months, we were completely positive reinforcement,
shouting with joy when she used the potty and shrugging and saying,
“It’s ok, let’s go change that diaper” when
she didn’t. But now it’s getting so negative and
stressful I can’t find a way out of it. I hate being
frustrated with her, and have to work hard to keep from punishing
her by holding back from her emotionally. So everything’s
getting messy and I’m digging through the freezer for some
passeded-over chocolate, which lets me know this is really
stressing me out.

Brian and I have wanted to be united in our approach to this,
bending to the more conservative person’s wishes. But
we’re both seeing that drastic measures may need to be taken.
I’m thinking that tomorrow I may simply say that all the
diapers are gone and it’s time to live with underpants and
suffer the consequences.

It may be a long couple of days, with messes or, worse and more
likely, a return of monumental constipation. I may not have the

I’ll let you know.


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