Friday, November 16, 2012

Potty Training 2.5

So, remember way back in the beginning of the summer when I talked about how one of our big summer goals was to really work on this whole potty training thing? Yeah, well, we're still kind of working on it. Now I know that it's totally normal for a two-and-a-half-year-old to still be in diapers, but the problem is that being fully potty trained doesn't even look like it's on our horizon.

She knows how to pee in the potty, and if you take her diaper off and leave it off, nine times out of ten she will remember she has to pee and run to the bathroom like a good little girl. I have gotten so confident about this that I've even let her ride home from school with no diaper on (if I know she already pooped and she pees one second before we leave). She pees pretty regularly at school, and we've set up the whole sticker chart thing with the promise of some sort of prize when she fills it up.  She likes to go to the bathroom alone, and she also likes to "pee like a boy" meaning she turns around and sits facing the back of the potty. Whatever, it's fine.

The problem is, she's really just not that into it. She loves the idea of wearing underwear, and she's very pleased with herself when she goes on the potty, but for the most part, she seems fine with the idea of wearing diapers for the rest of her life. 

I was looking at a development chart the other day and noticed that it says that most girls are potty trained at around thirty months. I did the math on my hands and realized that means Ella, right now. I think a little bit of egotistical panic set in because although I've always complained about how difficult Ella is, I've also always praised how early she did everything. She crawled before she was six months, she walked before she was eleven months, and she's been speaking in full sentences for what seems like forever. I have always felt a little secret pleasure about how "advanced" she is, and that's why this whole potty training thing is such a blow to my parent ego. This is the first time she isn't "early" and at this rate, she not only won't be right on time, but she'll be the dreaded "late." I'm used to so many difficult things with Ella, but I'm not use to worrying about when she's going to reach a milestone.

I think the problem is that potty training requires cooperation. You can force your child to be sleep trained (with a lot of screaming), or to sit for time out (with more screaming), or to wear a coat when it's cold out (sort of), but there is no amount of bribing, pleading, yelling, or dancing that will make a child pee or poop on the potty if she doesn't want to. So I guess it makes sense that this is the developmental roadblock for us, because Miss Ella B understands that this is something she has control over, and this lady likes to be in control. 

So, we're working on it, but I know my little girl, and pushing the issue is not going to work with her. Perhaps the promise of a trip to the chicken nugget store or a new set of batteries for her flashlight will do the trick. She may be stubborn, but she's not made of stone.

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