Sunday, March 3, 2013

Party Pooper

I often try to write post titles that include puns. However, in this case, the title should be taken quite literally.

About a week ago, a few of us got together to honor my girlfriend Christina who is about to have her second child. Ella was very excited to go to the "shower party" and play with her friend Loreli. She wore the Christmas dress she refused to wear during the holidays, sparkly pink tights, and her pink boots. We were all dressed up in matching black and white dresses and looking forward to a very grown-up day.

Now, you know that the potty training saga has been going on for close to a year now, but we decided a few weeks ago to really go all in and make this thing happen. So, for about three weeks she's been wearing underwear all day except for at nap and bedtime. This is working out quite well in terms of peeing. She never has a peeing accident, and we can even go out for the day, and she will pee in stores or wherever we are. Great. Awesome. A lot of progress. However, the whole pooping on the potty thing is an issue. She doesn't want to do it, and she will hold her poop in for days to avoid the issue. The only time she will poop is if we put a diaper on her, but sometimes she still refuses that and just holds it in.

So, there we are at Christina's house enjoying some bagels and company, and somewhere in the house is my pretty little daughter who hasn't pooped in three days. Suddenly, my friend Kye emerges from the bedroom and tells Christina, "I think your dog pooped on the floor." I stop for a second, look around for Ella, can't find her, and begin to panic. "Oh no," I say, "I don't think it was the dog."

I find her playing in the living room seemingly unaware of the fact that she's taken a giant crap on Christina's bedroom floor with poop all over her pretty dress, feet and legs, trailing it through the house. Embarrassed doesn't begin to describe how I felt. Mortified comes a little closer. I knew that I shouldn't scold her or try to make her feel bad about it, but I'm telling you the kid didn't seemed affected at all. Is it bad that I wanted her to be a little bit ashamed of what she did? I took her into the bathroom and cleaned her up while simultaneously yelling to Chris and her friend Teresa to stop cleaning up the mess. I put a diaper on her after that, which was a good decision because she pooped again before we left. I guess holding it in can only last for so long.

I went home feeling a bit defeated about the whole potty training thing. It's frustrating because she's obviously physically capable of controlling it, but has decided she just doesn't want to go in the potty. So, how do I convince her that pooping in the potty is where it's at? In the past three years of her life, I haven't been able to convince that girl of much of anything.

Later that day, I started reading a potty training book that asks you to take a personality test for your child before you begin training. Shockingly, Ella falls into the "Strong-Willed" category. So, for her, everything is about control (like I needed to take a test to know that). I'm supposed to act very nonchalant about potty training, as in, "Oh hey, there's this thing called potty training. You may have heard about it. Some kids are doing it, but you know whatever, it's not a big deal." So far, this does seem like the way to go for her. We ask her if she has to go, but if she says no, we don't push it. I think this makes for a longer process, but I'm just going to have to accept that this will take a while.

Update: A few days after this incident, she did poop on the potty for the first time. She looked absolutely terrified, but she did it. So, small steps in the right direction. I know she won't go to college in diapers. Live and let poop I say, live and let poop.

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