Little Miss is quite the independent little cuss. Mister Man, in many ways, was so easy. His personality wants to please others and be a good and helpful child. When he was a baby, he wasn’t colicky and he wasn’t a crier. In general, he has a sunny disposition and goes along with what those in authority tell him.
I don’t want to paint Little Miss as a bad child in anyway, but her personality is very different. She does want to be a helper and is very good about helping me do laundry and putting her dishes in the right spot in the dishwasher after meals. But she wants to do things for herself, and she is loathe to accept help no matter how difficult the task.
Good luck putting her to bed if you try lifting her into the bed versus letting her climb in by herself. Don’t even think about helping her feed herself or put pants on or buckle her carseat or anything that she gets into her mind she can do. And woe is the person who makes that mistake.
I will say that I’ve put my foot down on something that has already been done. If something has already been done, she may not undo it to redo it herself. She does accept this now – but only from me.
With this in mind, I thought about how to potty train my little angel. I knew that I would have to make potty training her idea. There would have to be something that she wanted rather than something I was wanting her to do.
I talked about how Mister Man gets to go to swimming lessons because he is potty trained. I discussed how other children in her preschool class use the potty. We chatted about how next year’s preschool won’t let her go to school unless she’s potty trained. I showed her the big girl underwear that Grandma had bought her. We went to Costco and drove by the Pull-Ups aisle where she decided she wanted to get princess Pull-Ups. I also told her that once she’s potty trained, she won’t have ouchies on her bottom anymore – the poor girl gets diaper rash in the blink on an eye, and it’s so hard to get rid of.
When she was in Florida, after I’d bought the Pull-Ups but before we’d started using them, she started using the potty. My mom started keeping her just in Lil’ Swimmers, which I thought was quite brave, and she kept them mostly dry.
When she got back, I told her that she could start wearing Pull-Ups if she kept her diaper dry for two consecutive days. She did it, and we moved into Pull-Ups. She did a great job, and I told her that she would get to wear big girl underwear when she kept her Pull-Ups dry for four days.
She did great. She told me when she had to go potty, and if she mentioned that she was keeping her Pull-up dry, I knew that meant that she needed to get to the potty soon. And it was fully dry and clean. Monday was good, with one small accident at daycare. Tuesday was dry all day long – including telling me when she had to go when we were in the library. Wednesday was pretty good until someone at daycare put her into a diaper instead of a Pull-up and it was soaking wet when I got her home. Thursday my parents watch her, and she had accidents of the wet and dry variety multiple times.
Uh-oh. By the time I got her back on Friday, she was no longer keeping herself dry, so we moved back to diapers since she obviously wasn’t ready. Now, she understands that she can’t wear Pull-ups until she keeps her diaper dry for two days. But she only goes on the potty sometimes. If we go out to eat, she’ll go two or three times during the meal. But tonight she did that, and when we got home she had poop in her diaper. I changed her, and immediately there was more poop. Argh!
With Mister Man, he did great until he had six accidents in one day – pressure on himself, I’m convinced – and we moved him to diapers and didn’t mention the word potty for a month. He was trained within two days when we brought it up again.
With Little Miss, it isn’t about the pressure though. It’s almost like she doesn’t care, and I’m not sure where I go from here. If she doesn’t want to be potty trained yet, that’s fine and I won’t push her, but she talks about wanting to be potty trained. And then she won’t tell me when she has to go. And come September, she must be potty trained to go to preschool although I know that’s three months away.
In the meantime, I’m stumped. Do I quit trying for right now and buy more size 3 diapers (yes, she’s only 26 pounds although she’s really tall so anything bigger leaks because she’s not round enough)? Do I put her in dresses and underwear once summer finally arrives and keep her outside until she figures it out? Do I put her in Pull-ups and grit my teeth? Help!