Friday, February 4, 2011

(making) water torture


I have discovered the dark side of potty training. At great risk to my personal safety, I'm going to tell you about it.

This is why you don't read a lot of Potty Training Follow-Up blog posts. It's why there aren't many bloggers out there reporting from the middle of the training, telling you what works and what doesn't, giving you a roadmap for what to do and not. It's a conspiracy.

Here it is.

Upon entry into the Great Potty Training Unknown, the Training Parent may congratulate herself on the smooth transition. She may find herself saying, "Self, you're doing GREAT! So patient! So positive! You're acting like AN EXPERT!" Meanwhile, the child in question, the Trainee, is quietly listening and snickering as she wears her brand new underpanties, BIDING HER TIME.

Several days pass. Smashing success after success. There is pee! And poop! With some prodding from the Training Parent, the Trainee responds with patient cooperation. She puts stickers on a chart. She cheers. The Training Parent begins to wonder when she can proudly crow to her friends that they are PAST THE BEGINNING STAGES OF THE TRAINING, AND ENTERED A MIDDLE GROUND OF DEEP BREATHS.

Which is when the Trainee puts her devilish plan into action.

Part one: Training Parent is cooking lunch, Trainee runs into the kitchen, dancing, "Mommy! PEE! PEE! PEE!" Training Parent then whisks Trainee off to the bathroom to take care of business. Upon placing the Trainee on the toilet and waiting for action, the Trainee then announces, "I don't have to pee." The Training Parent takes Trainee off the toilet, pulls up Trainee's pants, washes two sets of hands and then heads back to the kitchen.

Five minutes later, Training Parent is putting lunch on plate when Trainee runs into the kitchen, "Mommy! PEE! PEE! PEE!" Training Parent puts lunch plate down and gathers Trainee into arms for run to the bathroom. Training Parent places Trainee on toilet for the deed. After several seconds of silence, "I don't have to pee, Mommy." A sigh from the Training Parent as she picks Trainee off the toilet, dresses the child, washes hands, goes back downstairs.

And five minutes later, while Training Parent is taking first bite of lunch, the Trainee again approaches, "PEE! PEE! PEE!" Training Parent harumphs loudly, pulls Trainee into her arms and heads back upstairs. Again. And repeats the whole process. Again. Bum on potty. Waiting in silence. "Mommy? I don't have to pee. Mommy?" Deep sigh, off toilet, pants and unders back on body, washes hands, goes back downstairs.


During the eighth trip up the stairs I told Alice that I was losing the will to flush. I needed ACTION. So she complied. Finally.

But I am here to tell you that these potty training trenches are rife, RIFE, I TELL YOU, with little tortures like this. I've experienced hours of The Girl Who Cried Pee--- and when I'm ready to make my bed in the bathroom and sleep there for the night, she finally comes through with something, only to then spend the next several hours having her deny the entire existence of (or need for) the bathroom.

"Hey Alice, do you need to pee?"
"No. I don't need to pee."

Twenty minutes later,
"Hey Alice, do you need to pee?"
"No. I don't need to pee."

And twenty minutes after that, as I'm envisioning puddles of urine forming in oozing circles across the bamboo flooring,
"Alice. Do you need to pee? Surely you need to pee?"
"No. No, I do not need to pee."

Annnnnd twenty minutes after that, I'm dancing around the child, practically holding a cup underneath her (surely) bursting bladder area,
"Alice. You must pee. Don't you have to pee?"
"No, Mommy. I don't need to pee." (and silently in my head, I hear EVER AGAIN! I AM HOLDING IT FOR THE REST OF MY EXISTENCE JUST TO MAKE YOU SUFFER........FOREVER!!!!!!)

Forget water boarding, I say we need to employ a whole slew of Currently In Potty Training Toddlers at the CIA. They can crack a person in an afternoon. And it doesn't leave a mark.


Rainyday said...

I hate potty training. I have mental scars from Elliot. I'm putting off PTing Felix until he's, oh, maybe married? Then his wife can deal with it. Elliot's devious plan of choise was withholding bowel movements until it wasn't physically possible anymore. (I think his max was 10 days??) And then, whooooo boy. If there's ever a time to pass the torch to the other parent, that's the time.

I hope things flow sooner for you guys!

stacie d said...

I just hope you don't have a repeat of the "Pooh Incident" - hahaha!!

Tamara said...

If ever there was a wish a mother could make for her growing child I wish it could be a snap of the fingers: my child would know how to use the potty! The End. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we must prove our great worthiness as parents and conquer the beast we know as potty training. Good luck, dear whimsy, I know I need it too.

ixBeths said...

I just knew you were going to say she was going great guns and then fell off the horse. That's what happened with Anneke. It was a few days of no accidents, and then EVERYWHERE. I still remember. On the slide at Kieran's end-of-school preschool party. In the house. In the car. At the store. I wanted to give up SO BADLY, but we stuck it out somehow, and she is now perhaps our "most" potty trained child! (I will let you ponder that one a moment.)

tearese said...

that sounds a lot like Elora when she was potty training! Except she'd insist on sitting on the potty for 20 minutes at a time, sure she needed to go. But I had to stay with her the whole time until it finally worked.
I also learned that she could hold it for at least four hours after she said she had to go, because she also did that thing where she'd get there and say nothing was coming. I stopped worrying that she was going to wet her pants.
Usually the only times that happened where right in front of the potty, because she couldn't get her pants down fast enough.
The boy was completely different- he said he had to pee every 10 minutes- and he really did!

tearese said...

oh..and at our old apts. There was a girl Josh's age. They told us she was potty trained, well before Josh was. Then suddenly, she wasn't. Every time we saw her, her pants were soaking wet. Everytime my kids played at their house, they came home with stories of accidently sitting in something wet, and the mommy told them the girl must have peed there! It was horrible.
But I think their problem was, she was almost trained, then they started letting her wear pull-ups again randomly, so she got confused.
Good luck!