#204 In which our hero discusses a certain bathroom activity of his eldest that appears to be happening everywhere except the bathroom.
So, potty training.
Lily is three, a bright kid, and completely able to articulate what she wants and when she wants it. You’d think she could tell us when she’s about to fill her pants. But no. She appears to have no real interest in pooping on the potty, at least with any regularity (not to say she isn’t regular… this kid craps as much as a construction worker after a pot of coffee). She doesn’t seem to mind have a wet, saggy butt.
Lately, she’s been crapping herself silly at day care; like, through her pull-ups and into her pants. It’s getting a little old to pick up a reeking bag of shit-stained trousers along with my child. Problem is, Lily doesn’t seem to care. We had this conversation last night at dinner:
ME: Lily, did you poop your pants today?
ME: Honey, that’s gross. You should only poop on the potty. You don’t want to have poop in your pants, do you?
LILY: Yes I do!
ME: Ugh, you do? Why? Why would you want poop in your pants?
LILY: Because I’m Poop-Girl!
I’m really torn on how to proceed. I want her to be potty trained, of course. Lord knows it would be nice if the house didn’t constantly stink (side note: thank God for warmer weather, now we can open a window once in a while) and we could save a small fortune in diapers. But I don’t want this to turn into a terrible contest of wills. Because no-one is going to win that battle. Lily is strong-willed (although not as much as her little sister) and there’s already been some instances of The Scientist holding her down on the potty while Lily screams “No! No! I don’t want to be on the potty!” I don’t want to make that a daily occurrence.
Now, The Scientist wants to be more proactive about potty training. Lately, she’s been espousing the idea of punishing Lily when she fills her pants. I’m really not sure if that’s the way to go. While I’m positive that Lily’s past the point where she can’t control her bowels, I don’t think she’s being willfully disobedient with the pants-crapping. It’s not like, “Okay, Mommy, I can’t have a sucker before dinner, huh? Then how about this?!” Pfffffft-plop!
And, y’know, I just don’t want to see my little girl cry. Which will happen if she has to go to time-out three times a night.
Our day care provider has been suggesting that we take something away from Lily when she doesn’t poop on the potty. Like no computer or videos for the rest of the night. More tears.
But, more importantly, I think, is that I don’t believe any of this will work unless Lily has to do it 24 hours a day. And what are they going to take away from her at day care? Would they make her stand in the corner while other kids played? That’s shitty, and I’m not good with that.
Our pediatrician has suggested we take Lily to see a child psychologist about potty training. This sounds like a waste of time and money, but maybe this psychologist has a magic technique to turn Lily’s attitude around. I don’t know… but I’m willing to go. If nothing else, I’m curious how Lily will interact with him/her.
My real fear is that this will lead to big fights between me and The Scientist. We had some colossal arguments when it came to our differing opinions on how to get Lily to sleep through the night; this potty training thing could be another hot-button topic.
It hasn’t been, at least so far. Neither of us wants this to turn into something terrible, and my wife hasn’t pushed the issue (which I do appreciate, honey--honestly). I do find it amusing that this time, I’ve advocating the low-stress, no-cry method while The Scientist is more in favor of doing what needs to be done, and crying be damned.
We’ll see what happens. It would be great to get at least one kid out of diapers before we have to shut all the windows in the house for next winter.