"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."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do Not Look in the General Direction of the Great Lakes

...because, as has been scientifically proven by no studies whatsoever, radlets can sense from great distances the distinct clicking of the keyboard that signifies they are being celebrated.

And they HATE it.

But. Now that you're not looking,

Everyone in this house has been using the toilet consistently for four weeks.

Well. Not Jorge. And some of the Cuddle Bear's toilet usage has involved the inappropriate, like flushing entire bars of Ivory soap and giving toys baths. But otherwise.

During the accursed 11 1/2-day spring break I began sending Princess to sit on the toilet once an hour for five minutes. I didn't sit down and talk with her about it. I didn't explain any change. Just, "Princess, it's time to sit on the toilet. You can get up when the timer beeps." That's it. And she complied, which I would have been thankful for even if it hadn't gotten even better.

After about ten days, she started taking herself there at 4:00,. 5:00, and 6:00 about five minutes before I would have told her to. That child has the most impeccable sense of timing. It is actually quite bizarre. Then last week, I started to see signs of dissent. I'd send her at 4:00, and she'd tell me she had just went before leaving school. Which she very well might have, but I was NOT going to go down the road of the unprovable, so I responded each time with, "good for you! And now it's time to sit on the toilet." She continued to comply. I continued to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Then earlier this week she pulled out the "I went upstairs while we were playing ponies." Uh-uh. Uh uh uh uh uh. NOT going to go down that road. I have been there before. It is very loud and filled with strife and kicking. I said, "I'm sorry Princess, but if I don't see you or didn't know about it, I won't count it. And now it's time to sit on the toilet." That one generated some minor (minor) fussing and a hovering over the toilet seat instead of actually sitting on it, so I've been holding my breath. But instead of quitting, she's been coming to me and announcing she is about to use the bathroom. The first couple of days, it was total overkill. She must have been thinking about it all the time, because she went every 15 minutes or so. But now, she honestly is going about once an hour.

I think it worked for two reasons. One is that sense of timing. It takes her a while to ingrain it, but once she does it is STAYING. I wouldn't be surprised if she uses the toilet once an hour for the rest of her life. Yet another thing for her to blame me for to her therapist as an adult. Oh well. The other is the timer. All the other times I have attempted a version of this, I would inevitable run into the problem of her faking it. She would literally pull down her pants, sit on the toilet. NOT p.ee, wipe, flush, and wet herself five minutes later. I am not exaggerating. This time. Initially, I wondered if five minutes was inappropriate, because that's a loooong time to sit hanging over a bowl. But now I think it needed to be that long. I think she decided it was better to go on her own terms than to sit, uncomfortable and bored out of her mind for that long.

But this all could have still bit me in the behind with her wetting herself anyway. I think she's staying dry because it was just *time*. I started this whole thing when I did solely because I had a hunch that she wasn't happy wetting herself anymore. The flip side of her ingrained timing issue is that once she got used to wetting herself, I honestly don't think she had any idea how to stop. And learned helplessness says, "well, I guess it'll just always be this way. I can't change it." She won't ask for help with anything she actually needs help with, so I have to be alert. I have to see it.

Remember: viewing the Lake Michigan area, even on a map is off-limits. I'd really like this change to stay put.

1 comment:

  1. shhhhhhhhhh, I am looking left to write this. I tried about 1000 things to keep Genea's butt dry and I think that the intense structure we were forced to use in the end is what did it. However she has had 3 "accidents" in the last 2 days out of nowhere. One more and she is going back on the schedule. Full moon never seems to work in our favor!