Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Potty Training: Day 2

So far, so...good?

Well, there have been ups and downs to our potty training experience thus far. At first, Adrianne was doing perfectly. She wore her panties proudly and knew to tell me if she had to go potty. Of course, about three times in a row, she didn't make it in time. One of those times was my fault, I admit.

However, come night time, I suppose she started to feel the pressure of having to go pee on the potty (literally) and began to feel scared. And so it began: potty fear.

I know she is ready for this because she knows what to do. She knows when she has to go potty, she knows she isn't supposed to go in her pants or on the floor, and she knows where the potty is and how to sit on it. I also know she is ready because she has impeccable bladder control. This little girl can hold it for hours. And she has.

So the problem we have encountered is: Adrianne is terrified of releasing. She is afraid to release while wearing panties or naked because she knows that it is not the right thing to do and she very much wants to do it right. But she is also terrified of releasing in a diaper because she wants to be a big girl and not use diapers anymore. You'd think this would make it easy to go on the potty, but she is terrified of releasing while sitting on the potty as well.

Adrianne will run around in circles for hours, clenching her legs together and busying herself to distract from having to pee. She will even get to the point of running around and whimpering because she has to go so bad. Then she feels ashamed and sad when she leaks and drips onto the carpet.

It is seriously heartbreaking to watch her suffer but no matter what I do, I can't soothe her or convince her that it's okay to pee on the potty.

I eventually did something that I thought was creative, but it turns out it is a semi-common solution amongst potty training parents. I put Adrianne's potty in the bath tub and ran the warm water over her feet and ankles.

Well, it worked. She filled that potty like it was nobody's business! But unfortunately, after that, it was back to potty fear... Hmmm...

After about an hour or so of forum searching, I have come up with a plan for Day 3. I read about a hundred moms testimonies of their child doing the exact same thing as Adrianne (which was extremely comforting and very encouraging since that means Adrianne IS ready despite being so young). And I also read a few of those moms telling their eventual success stories. Few helped, but one thing struck a chord in me.

My plan is to actually stop praising Adrianne so much for doing her business.

I have not been scolding her for any accidents. I didn't want to foster shame by telling her that she was doing something wrong when perhaps she couldn't help it. It's not her fault if she has an accident, she is new at this and much younger than most babies I have ever met being potty trained. I am so proud of her for even giving this a try!

However, I do praise her. Probably way too much... I praise her ridiculously for sitting on the potty and for even dribbling a little on the potty. My theory is that I actually praise her so much that it has been fostering shame anyway. Since I praise her so much for every little thing, it has made her terrified of the idea of disappointing. She claps her hands peacefully and joyfully for herself when she does something right. But when I sit there staring at her, hollering and whooping and clapping and cheering, I'm creating a tense atmosphere.

Adrianne picks up on my emotions very well, and she has more than definitely picked up on the fact that I have been extremely stressed out the past couple of days. How can I not be when she is so blatantly suffering while holding her pee in for hours on end?

Well, perhaps all she needs is a little privacy. Instead of sitting in front of her and holding her and everything else, I will try helping her onto the potty when she asks to go and then going and minding my own business, pretending to busy myself at the bathroom sink. After all, she has had privacy going pee her whole life. Going into a diaper, no one can know you are doing anything at all!

This way, peeing on the toilet can be her triumph instead of mine. So, we'll see how this plan of mine helps her out tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Oh and P.S. These are our triumph stickers! We actually have been doing okay! We just need to work on releasing all at once without the fear!

Double oh! And I'll link back to my Potty Book tutorial once more here.

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