Sunday, December 09, 2012

Potty training and other adventures

We are in full-throttle potty training mode these days. We have extra motivation because Layla is moving up to the 'pre-school' room next month where most of the other kids are potty trained. She hates being wet and learned right away how to hold her pee all day so she didn't wet herself... but didn't get the idea of actually peeing in the potty at all. For two months now she's been requesting a diaper whenever she has to go pee. We've tried explaining, reasoning, bribing, scheduling, and even hiding the diapers to get her to pee on the potty and none of it worked (the daycare recommended we back off so we don't create a bigger fight). Finally she started peeing so much in her diapers that they've been leaking and that seems to be motivating her (like I said she hates being wet). Tonight she finally peed in the potty, and we're hopeful we're on the right track.

In other news for the past four months we've dealt with a variety of other troublesome toddler behaviors. In August and September there were excessive night time wakings (I'm talking 6-10 times per night), which really fried both of us. Then in October and November it transformed into frequent and very long, loud crazy tantrums. We think she resumed sleeping because of some sleep training we did (the toddler version, a bit more painful than the first time around but equally effective). We learned how to divert many of the tantrums but still had at least one a day for a while, and several really outrageous public disasters including one at the airport. Now, finally, she is both sleeping and the tantrums have ebbed. We are hopeful things are getting better. We're still dealing with some little problems like she will only wear a swimsuit and it takes us forever (like almost 2 hrs) to get out the door in the mornings but these seem manageable compared to the other problems. Now I finally get why some parents don't seem to care about some things.

We've started finding and reading books on how to manage 'spirited' children which has been really insightful. My mom gave me one book in particular about what spirited children turn into - 'highly sensitive people' - it's a wonderfully positive take on how this can be a really good quality. I can really see what they mean and hope it's true!


Peggy said...

Only wanting her swimsuit or her Cinderella dress and will wear nothing else, is very typical 3 year old territory. Thankfully, I had boys who didn't seem to care what they wore and accepted anything they were given. Was it because I never identified clothes as important? I never made a fuss about them. e.g. "that looks pretty" or "what shall we wear today?" The sleep thing has to be the complete pits! She's never been very keen to sleep all night, has she?

EZEthan said...

Wait?!? No!!! I thought its supposed to get easier after the first year... hmmmm... wait a minute... Does it ever get easier? TELL ME IT GETS EASIER!!!

Good luck with potty training. I'm was laughing out loud about her holding it and then asking for a diaper to pee in... its amazing how children can be so smart and so challenging at the same time!

J-Funk said...

Peggy - interesting idea! We do fuss a lot more than we should. But, I also get the impression there are other motivators (e.g. she wants to pretend she's going swimming).

Ethan - Hmmm...! Sure, it gets easier... :P

Actually, Derek and I agreed that overall it's easier, but at specific times it's harder (like when they're running around naked and screaming at the airport). Maybe this is the trend throughout childhood (??) - they continually get easier overall but at times they are more and more difficult. One of my older colleagues told me he missed the newborn stage because all the problems were so 'simple.' At the time, I thought, how is not getting enough sleep simple? Now I realize it sucks a lot more, but it is simple compared with naked screaming fits in public. Just like naked screaming fits in public is probably simple compared with bullying or self-esteem problems or not doing homework...