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Um, Next

Ok, so that didn’t work.

This weekend I put Maddie in big-girl underpants and told her we
would no longer do diapers. I explained that if she pooped in her
panties, we’d have to throw her new Ariel underpants away. I
also told her there’d be no leaving the house – no gym,
no ballet, no playdates – until she was well on her way to a
perfect no-hitter – er, pooper.

Twenty-four hours and four trashed pairs of panties later, we had
to revisit our plan. Maddie was a nervous wreck, crying at the drop
of a hat and jumpy. She’d run off to hide to poop, then come
to us, shame-faced and crying.

Brian and I retreated, prayed, and came up with a new game

So now, Maddie wears her big-girl
underpants all the time, and when she needs to poop she tells us
and we put her in a pair of pull-ups. Our goal is to have her only
pooping in the bathroom, and sitting down, and eventually
we’ll get rid of the pull-ups completely, but for now we need
to get our girl back in her comfort zone.

When we told Maddie the new guidelines, the relief was evident in
her face. For whatever psychological reason, she simply refuses to
poop in the potty, and since we’ve never been comfortable
with negative reinforcement (and it clearly didn’t work, but
only stepped up the frequency of her furtive poops) we’re
trying to grit our teeth and be patient. We’ve got all the
time in the world for this, we tell ourselves. Maddie knows she
can’t go to school until she gets rid of the diapers, so
it’s simply in her hands.

She even pooped in the potty once over the weekend, and told us,
triumphant and proud. This girl has complete control of her
elimination system, and why she chooses to use the potty sometimes
but mostly clings to the pull-ups is a mystery to me. It’s
obviously a complicated issue, though, and I’m not going to
put my three-year-old through obvious psychological trauma just
because I feel like a loser mom with a kid her age still in
pull-ups. That’s my issue, not hers, and I need to back off.

So wish us luck on this latest venture, and we surely appreciate
prayers too. I’ll let you know how it’s going.


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