"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pe(e)- A Thorn in My Side

Princess has never been completely toilet-trained. She was just over three when she came to us, and, trust me, I have used every toilet-training technique know to man in the past four years. Well, three years. About a year ago I had a conversation with myself where I decided that it really wasn't a "training issue" anymore. It's not a matter of whether or not she can use the toilet, it's a matter of whether or not she does. It's a control thing. No one can make you eat, no one can make you sleep, and no one can make you pe(e). A lot of kids choose one as their battle ground. Pee is Princess's ground of choice.

So, for the past year, it is not my problem. Sure, it grieves (and annoys) me deeply, but it's not my problem. She has 20 pairs of underwear and 15 pants or skirts. If she's out, she can rent from her sister. She puts her laundry in a rubbermaid box that sits behind the curtain in a rarely-used shower. She does her laundry every Saturday. She puts it away. She sprays down the box with vinegar and starts over. Not my problem.

It comes and goes. Until her teacher had the audacity to have a baby, she WAS using the toilet, at least some of the time. Once, for an experiment, I mentioned to Josh in her hearing that her box smelled nice. Immediate toilet boycott. Hmm, I say. Hmm. This week has been especially bad. She was through all 20 pairs of panties by Friday. She's paid Peanut $4 dollars so far, and I've already discovered an additional pair of un-paid-for undies. She has lost A PILE of cash. And it's going to the sister. And so, an hour ago, it hit the skids.

"Princess, it looks like you didn't take a sticker off your money chart. Why don't you fix that."
"Um, Princess, it looks like you didn't do something else, too."
Princess goes and stands by her wallet with her finger in her mouth staring, staring, staring.
Peanut says, "can I have my dollar, please?"

"Oooooh, Princess. This is so hard. I'm right here. You want to be SuperInControlOfTheToilet Princess, but you want what Dry Pants Girls have, too. It's a hard, hard choice. But you chose to be Super In Control Princess, so you must pay Peanut her rent."
Peanut thanked her.

Josh reminded Princess that the more appropriate response would be "you're welcome," which must mean "please start a tantrum" in Princess language.

Soooooo I walked her upstairs, commiserating about how hard these choices are, sometimes they're so hard that they exhaust us, it looks like she needs some time to rest and get strong, here's a blankie and my bed, I'll see you in an hour." Which was probably hard to understand, as I kept getting hit in the mouth.

I wish that I could make her choices for her. Mommies, at least, should have that power. It's so painful to watch. It hurts me. I want her to feel proud, and successful, and, well, powerful. And sometimes she seems to want something entirely else.


  1. Who's to say she's not feeling powerful and successful? I have a Pee- controller too, and she also has eat-control issues. We eventually brought down all the tools in our arsenal, made up a few more, and multiplied it all by 4, then used them all at the same time. It worked and it only took a few days. Of course those few days were what you could call hell.
    Ya know, I thought you gave up blogging really quickly. It happens. Turns out I am not getting your new posts in my reader. I am going to try to fix that now.

  2. You have an arsenal? Quick! Share! She stepped it up today to a place it's never been stepped up to before.

    I didn't give up. This is cheaper than therapy.