Potty Training Part 4

Yesterday I learned a few things about my daughter:

  1. She would rather pee in her underwear than use the potty.
  2. She generally pees every 90 minutes.
  3. She can hold it forever when she wants to.

We had several accidents in the underwear yesterday. Every time she looked like she wanted to pee she’d refuse to use the potty.I’d keep asking, she’d keep denying, and eventually we had wet underwear. She didn’t seem to mind. The potty was just someplace to sit for extended periods and get to use the Kindle. But as soon as she felt she had to go, off the pot she came. Frustrating.

This morning I got up immediately when I heard her awaken, hoping to get her on the potty first thing. Who doesn’t have to piss like crazy in the morning? Her diaper was even mostly dry. Jackpot! Or so I thought. It seems she’d already gone that morning, and didn’t pee until a good while after waking. After she peed I set a timer for one hour and 15 minutes.

Thursday is a playgroup day, which means we have to start getting ready around 10:15 if we want to be on time. At 9:40 the timer went off and I put her on the potty. I was determined to keep her there until she’d gone. We waited. And waited. And waited. She played with the Kindle. At 10 she began having trouble holding it. She’d put down the Kindle, start to get up, and then complain profusely when I put her back down on the potty. But she wouldn’t go. This happened like three times. I kept telling her to just relax and let it out. Nope.

I decided to try a method another parent was using. A bowl of warm water and a bath toy. It had the desired effect (she had to pee), but instead of going she got really upset and tried to get off the potty. I put her back down. We fought, me struggling to keep her on the damn toilet until she went. I held her down on the potty while my husband looked on and tried to encourage her to go. Eventually she went despite herself (a good 2.5 hours since last peeing) and cried the whole time. We praised/rewarded her like crazy and I felt like a terrible parent. It’s not supposed to be a struggle, and it should be a positive experience.

We went to playgroup. I packed a change of shorts and underpants, and had to change her shortly after arriving because she peed her pants. Even though she went before we left, it seemed like a lot less pee than I know she’s capable of. She’d apparently released some in the potty and held back the rest for underwear. I warned her we now had no change of clothes, and if she went again we’d have to go home. Then I set my timer.

Halfway through playgroup my husband called. He’d been talking to a woman who also had a child like this, one who did the exact same things. She recommended just putting potties around the house, putting the kid in underwear and telling her “Here are the potties. Let us know if you have to go pee.” No pressure on the kid. Her own daughter started using the potty on her own within 24 hours with this method. If she went on the potty she was told “thank you” and perhaps given a reward, but it was not an event treated with any fanfare. This is pretty similar to the other thing I read about strong-willed children. I had tried to back off, but V asked to wear underwear so I felt I had to force the issue again.

I’m going to attempt, once again, to back off. Maybe I’ll give her a choice “underwear or diaper” when I let her choose her clothes in the morning. I’ll try not to ask her if she needs to go, and just change her if she wets herself. Hopefully we’ll have a turnaround. God I hope.

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