Sometimes my toddler makes me crazy! I try to look at the world through her eyes and understand what she might be thinking or how things make her feel, but sometimes all I get out of it is “REALLY?!?”. I mean I understand the developmental stage of a two year old in complex and known to be full of frustration and power struggles, but do they really have to learn individuality and consequence by complete and utter defiance?
For the past few weeks I have been in just such a frustrating situation- the relapse of a potty trained toddler. I blame the woman at the pediatrician’s office who jinxed me with her story of how her toddler relapsed into diapers and refuses to go back. A week after that unfortunate meeting Piper starts pooping in her pants and wanting to be babied.
It all started in December when my big girl spontaneously decided to use the potty chair we had bought months before. It was a completely voluntary and blissful act that led to the following three weeks being almost completely accident-free (even at night)! We encouraged her, told her she was a big girl and celebrated.
However, now she is peeing in her car seat, pooping in her pants, and refuses to tell us when she has to go (which before she did and held it until she was on the potty as well). She either tells us during the act in a casual, just so you know kind of way or she ignores that she has done it at all and we smell or see that she has.
I. Don’t. Get. It!
Don’t get me wrong, I know why she is doing it- It’s hard to transition to a new stage and she realized she was leaving being a baby behind, she wanted attention that Baby Keeley gets, she’s testing her limits, it’s a big responsibility to do it in the potty, and a lot more work! I know the reasons behind her reverting; I just don’t get it though.
So I did what I thought would help her to feel comfortable in her independence from babyhood. I made a point to give her more attention, encouraged good behaviors, told her it was okay when she had an accident (a real accident, not the purposeful peeing right in front of the potty), had her help with cleaning what got soiled, yadda yadda yadda. It got better, but most of the time if I didn’t make her sit on the potty she wouldn't even try. So I explained my emotions to her, told her when she pee’s in her potty it makes me proud and happy. Now She’ll ask me quite often if I’m happy as she pee’s in the potty, I say yes and we seem on track again, But when she’s mad at me (or I’m busy with something else) she uses it against me and pee’s on the floor right in front of me... And all I can say is “REALLY?!?”
I’ve given up on the notion that she is going to go straight back to the potty trained toddler she was last month and excepted that I am going to have to earn this one like everyone else, taking it one day at a time. I knew it was to good to be true when she self-trained.... damn it!