Thursday, January 5, 2012

Waiting for the Wee

For no better reason than I am clearly a masochist, I decided this afternoon it might be a good time to put Miss Curly Mop in knickers.

Let's be clear - she has shown no interest whatsoever in the toilet.  To the contrary, she literally runs screaming in the opposite direction when I stick her on there.  Potty, toilet, big, small - doesn't matter.  She's not interested.

But overhearing a conversation this morning by a Mum whose girls have both been toilet trained well before their second birthday, that she felt the best time was between 18 months and two years before they become wilful and opinionated rang a few alarm bells. 

The Mop is two in a week.

She's already wilful and opinionated.

Looking into the crystal ball at her pre-school, tweenie and teenage years, I can't see her getting any better. 

Guess this is it then.

So upon waking from her nap, I bundled the Blonde Bombshell and the Mop into the car, and headed to a local department store to purchase some dinky little knickers.  If it wasn't totally weird and inappropriate I would show you a photo of the cute undies we ended up getting.  Little checks and ruffles and kitty cats and monkeys with stripes.  She was so thrilled, she insisted on putting a pair on in the middle of the shop, and I then had to contend with the possibility of getting nabbed shoplifting some size 2s.

Turns out it was incredibly easy getting her out of her nappy and into knickers.

The problem, it quickly became apparent, is getting her to NOT poo and wee in her knickers, because she is still terrified of the potty.

By some stroke of luck, the girls' daddy happened to be home mid-afternoon when we ceremoniously took off her nappy and pulled on her first pair of Big Girl Undies.  She and her big sister then went about the business of being kids and started playing and dancing, while hubby and I sat on the couch, eyes glued to her crotch, waiting for the inevitable.

'Should I roll up the rug?', he asked.

Eventually we got bored of waiting for the wee and started making dinner.  Before long, we heard the thunder of little feet pounding through the house.

'Here we go,' I muttered.

'Mum, the Mop pooed in her new knickers,' the Bombshell announced breathlessly. 

'Excellent,' said Daddy.

'I smelled the poo and then I saw the brown on her undies and then it started coming through,' the Bombshell told me helpfully.

I heaved myself off the chair and followed the Bombshell to the Mop's room, where she was already climbing up onto the change table.  I picked her up, letting her stand on my arm rather than have her squidgy poo butt sitting on my bump and we all went to the bathroom.  She started to shriek. 

'Nooooo Mummy. Noooo Mummy, not nice. Not nice,' she hollered trying to escape.

'I need to put your poo in the toilet darling, that's all,' I told her.

'Can I see it?', ask the Bombshell.

The Mop had already done a runner by this stage and I literally had to catch her by the ankles and pull her ponky knickers off as she grabbed at the carpet and tried to pull herself forward on her tummy. Thank god she hadn't done a wee as well.

With the Bombshell being the only interested party present, I scraped the mess into the loo.  The Mop poked her head around the door.  I convinced her to come in so I could wipe her bottom and she promptly assumed the position that the Bombshell is known for.  Feet and hands flat on the floor, legs spread, bum in the air, waiting expectantly.  Good to see she is learning something useful from her sister.

Bottom wiped, we all peered into the loo.

'Do you want to press the button?' I asked the Mop.

'Noooooo', she shrieked and ran off.

'I'll do it Mum,' the Bombshell said.  Thanks darling.

About 20 minutes later, with Pair Number 1 soaking in the laundry, and Pair Number 2 proudly being worn, we sat down to dinner.  I could see the wee coming before the Mop even realised what was happening.  She stood on her chair and looked at the puddle with a puzzled expression.  It began dripping on the floor.

'Ace', said Dad.

Her little face looked mortified. 'Uh oh' she said. My heart just went out to her.

While Daddy tried to get her to sit on the potty ['Nooooo Daddy, nooooo'] I wiped and disinfected the chair and floor.  Even the promise of a piece of chocolate could not convince her to sit on the potty.

'I'll run a bath', said Dad.

So at the end of Day 1, we have two pairs of little knickers soaking in a bucket, an unused potty in the family room, and four more pairs of new undies for tomorrow.

I know the rules: be persistent and consistent, never get upset about accidents, keep praising all effort, but does anyone have any other advice?  It would be great to the get the Mop out of day time nappies before the baby arrives, but I also don't want to force her if she's not ready.


  1. oh boy... I just heard the alarm bells with a shudder. The Smiling Tiger is nearly 19 months and memories of toilet training the Little Emperor are still etched in my brain so that I would not want to even contemplate beginning all that again... It's too late on the willful front anyway.
    Oh and the 'stance' you described - the Little Emp does that too!!
    The only thing that worked well for us with toilet training was a reward chart - one sticker for everytime he used the toilet, then after every five stickers he got a lucky dip (which had little toys and stickers in it - nothing fancy but he loved it and the anticipation of a surprise). by the time we had filled the chart he well and truly had it!
    honestly though, I think you are going to cause yourself and her unneccessary stress if she isn't ready - much easier to wait til she is and get it over with quickly and painlessly

  2. What to say....we started last thursday and I've had some of the most unenjoyable days of my life since then! I was completely unprepared (possibly a blessing in disguise). We just put T man on the potty every 20 minutes or so the first day, a bit less the second, by the third he was initiating most himself but the poo remains the elusive part of the deal. We have a star chart but he doesn't seem particularly fussed on that despite getting a cool car and a freddo. I think one of the most valid things I've read on this subject is about the parent being ready. The Mop will be able to do it now but waiting isn't going to harm her. I don't know that being trained at 2 or by 2 is that important - unless it is to you of course!
    Personally, I wouldn't have wanted to start much earlier given little Boo's age (6 months) and T man is your situation I'm not sure I'd have the energy to do it now! But if you do, grab a few reward brownies for your star chart, grit your teeth and we can commiserate in a week or so :)
    Liz xx

  3. Hi,
    I am interested to know if you have had any luck with the toilet training yet? I am a new reader and i found this post just today. The fact that your daughter runs screaming from the toilet suggests to me that maybe you should leave it for a bit longer.
    I have a two and a half year old who is only just now toilet trained. She has had many accidents, of both kinds, almost at least one a day in the first couple of weeks. But she is now for the most part dry and clean every day. It probably took us about two months to reach this point.
    We just decided one day that it was time. There was no planning involved or waiting and watching but having said that there were a few (i believe) important things that were in place before we started. 1)She has/had witnessed many times before other members of the family using the toilet. Sounds a little disturbing i know but she knew that the toilet had a purpose and that no-one got hurt or upset by using it so it wasn't a scary thing. 2) We had sat her on the toilet at different times, with no results, for a few minutes to let her get used to the toilet. 3)When we decided to officially start to toilet train, and put her undies on we made it clear (not in a bad scary, your not allowed to poo in your pants kind of way) that we are not supposed to poo and wee in our pants and 4) when she had an accident stayed calm and just reminded her that the toilet was where we went to poo and wee.
    It turned out to be very easy, as it was with both of my boys, and not at all stressful for any of us. I hope that this helps at least a little as i know it can be a tough job for some.
    Most of all i would say don't rush yourself or her based on what some other mum has said. Every child and family are different and there is no reason for you to feel pressured about doing something that your daughter may not be ready for.
    Good luck if you haven't nailed it already.

  4. P.S. I love your blog. It is fantastic.


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