I am in a natural parenting group , mamas I met online as we all were preparing for natural childbirths. And we've kept in touch over the years (sometimes, more than other...like during our shared celebrations and sorrows). Well, we were having a discussion about our kids learning to potty and I was in the throws of it, having just witnessed a huge change in Bowie and myself. We are a bawdy group, so O hope you can forgive my cursing. We let it all hang out together!
"potty training- we did partial EC stuff from early on. about 8 months ago he was loving sitting on the potty and wearing underwear a lot (at his request). we wore a diaper when out always.
anyway, i thought that maybe he was ready and tried to push him a bit. i knew that i could tell when he needed to go. i tried suggesting and asking him to go for a few days, but i got really totally frustrated when he would not sit on the potty and then have an accident moments later. so for one afternoon, i decided to try to "make" him sit. i totally let it become a power struggle. he cried and i got angry. then i knew it was wrong and apologized and told him that it was his body and that i would never try to make him do that again. that i would wait for him to be ready.
i stopped asking him about going potty at all for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. and he didn't ask about it either. that potty collected dust. and i was cleaning poopy diapers again. and i totally feel like i created that stall. i made that happen by pushing him. one afternoon made such a huge impact (i also know that some kids go through phases of interest, so i'm not floggin myself about it, but i do carry guilt about it).
then i made another mistake, i think. when he asked to wear underwear, i told him that he could *IF* he sat on the potty. and he always said no and i put away the underwear and he didn't protest. and it felt a little manipulative to me but i didn't listen to that feeling much because i was so fucking sick of cleaning the sofa cushions.
one night at michele's birthday party, i was in a conversation in which a mom said that one day her daughter said she was done with diapers. all diapers, even at night. cold turkey. and the mom said, "okay." readying the scene with extra sheets and pajamas, willing to wake up and change everything in the middle of the night. but her daughter didn't wet the bed. i was awed at her willingness to show her daughter that she trusted her.
so i decided that night that the next time bowie said he wanted to wear underwear, even if we were going out, on a drive, that i would say, okay. and pack a backpack with wipes, bags, clothes, shoes, underwear, and a diaper. i decided to trust that his own route would work, and probably work much better than my route.
and the second day he asked to wear underwear, he asked to wear it all day. and willingly sat on the potty. and had lots of accidents.
whoa. tomed ya. i really have been wanting to write about this. so this is all just a "this has been my experience" answer. not an advice answer. and as rosy as it sounds at the end, it isn't always rosy. i still get impatient. i still HATE cleaning up shit running down his pant's leg. i still find myself wanting to push him sometimes. but i'm getting better at sensing those feeling early so that i can open my heart up to how good this is that he is learning this so well, really (i am blown away that he is not afaid or adverse to public potties, there are rare days that have one or no accidents, he is so proud of what he can do, he standing at the toilet) and that we aren't in constant power struggle."
I wote that a couple of weeks ago. And I am still really reeling from my own changes in thought about Bowie (TRUST TRUST TUST) and also in what Bowie is achieving, at his own pace and direction. He is now sleeping without diapers (well, four nights) and is staying dry. We still have the rare accident and Bowie doesn't got sit on his own. We just have a ritual of going potty together before we leave the house, when we get somewhere, before we eat, etc. The times that he resisted, I said, "I'll just wait until you are ready." with as much patience and optimisim I could muster and he'd pretty much decide he was ready immediately. Amazing.
Over and over again he shows me that he knows what he needs. And I am learning over and over again that the more I show trust to him, the easier, more fulfilling and successful = JOYFUL our lives are.
Friday, February 09, 2007
We don't take our dog Tuba out enough. It's sad and I feel guilty about that. She misses us. So I am trying to make and effort to do more with her. Bowie and I took her to the dog park last week. It was cool out, overcast. And lovely. What fun we all had. And we got dirty too. So I'm inspired to take her again tomorrow.