We meet again with Dr. Rita this Friday. I like your ideas of the reward system, but I’ll admit to being an asshole of a mom and stating it’s just easier on many days to wish I could thump Doodicus for being a real butt. However, since this is about HIM and not about ME, I’ll get some more ideas from the doc on how to implement a system that doesn’t backfire by bringing more attention to Dood at school. Seven- and eight-year-olds don’t notice that a classmate is walking around with a keychain of privilege cards or that the teacher is keeping a sticker chart. Ten- and eleven-year-olds will, and being the blood-thirsty heartless, little vultures that they are, they’ll go straight for his soft underbelly.
Let’s talk about Aitch for a bit now, shall we? She’s got me wound so tight around her little finger, my head is up my ass…twice. "Mommy, will you lay down with me? Just for a little bit?" she wheedles sweetly. And I perch myself carefully on a sliver of the bed she gives up for me. "You’re the best mommy," she sighs. "I love you," at which time she strokes my face with her still babyishly soft hand and tucks her feet between my knees to warm them. I’ve been lulled by her angelic nature.
She wrote her name on a piece of paper the other day, without any assistance. Sure, the "E" was backwards and the "L" was upside down, but it was her first autograph. She drew a picture of a person that same week. Again, without any insistence from us, and then came running up to me with a coloring of a very large-headed, stick-figure with three legs, tree branches for arms (per Aitch), and purple hair. She said it was me.
She’s as subtle as a hammer. Days spent at daycare means her "indoor" voice would rival a howler monkey. And she isn’t just loud, it’s constant. She’s either carrying on a self-monologue, singing or humming. My favorite is her trying to sing the Lion King’s opening credit’s song. If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear she was speaking in tongues.
What I’m really enjoying is her personal level of responsibility. When we ask her to get dressed for the day, she’ll happily skip to her room and come out just a few minutes later ready to go. Sure, she’s most likely wearing a yellow-striped tank-top under the purple polka-dot, long-sleeved t-shirt, zebra-striped leggings and a green tu-tu, but hallelujah! She. Is. Dressed. Most of the time, she’ll even remember to put the empty hangers in the hamper and shut off the lights to both her room and closet.
Doesn’t she sound positively PERFECT??
Yeah, well, before you hate me any further, I’m going to tell you Aitch’s dirty, little secret. She won’t poop in the potty. Oh, sure, she’s been potty-trained for nearly a year. She’s only had a couple of daytime accidents. But that ONE time she actually gave us a No. 2 in the potty was so traumatic, she utterly and adamantly has refused since then. Want to see a normally agreeable child figuratively lose their shit when they literally need to do so? If you don’t act quick enough for her liking, she’ll go put on her own diaper. Not a pull-up, mind you, but a diaper. She diapers herself.
After the first few months of her being potty-trained, we tried so hard to get her to try pooping (again) in the potty, but we only succeeded in causing such major constipation that we had to provide enemas and mira-lax. I have had a child before who refused to be potty-trained on both levels so I knew it just wasn’t worth the fight. It makes everyone unhappy and even unhealthy. In fact, knowing that it took us over eight years to finally feel confident that Dood wasn’t going to come home from school with "damp" underwear, I have given myself permission to wait out Aitch’s rebellion for at least another two years before I get my own panties in a twist. She’s never had an accident. She always waits until we’re home before the urge hits her. On our trip to Disney World? She regularly came to me in the morning to announce her intention, did her deed, and away we went to the parks and never had to give it a second thought.
I guess if there’s a potty-training issue to be had, she’s got the "easiest" kind. She asks for the diaper. She stays in her room (as required) until she’ done. She then gives us a shout. We get cleaned up and away we all go. There’s no impossible to reach awkward-tushy-spot on the toilet. There’s no embarrassing public call-out in the Target bathroom, "Mommy! Wipe my butt!" Of course, I would like to not have to buy diapers and would love to finally move the diaper pail into a recycle heap, because as wonderful and as sweet and as loving as she is, her shit STILL does stink.
In this case, I’m not calling out for help. It’s more of a hey, we may LOOK like we pretty much have it going on in the Big Kid department, but in reality we are letting a nearly four-year-old continue to dictate parts of our lives I would much rather have back for myself. Especially Sparring Partner who has brought her to the edge of Meltdown City before remembering there are much bigger battles to be waged and won coming our way, including prom-season. I don’t care if it is another 13 years away. She just better watch her step because if she even tries on a dress with cleavage cut to the naval, I will not be afraid to remind her how it wasn’t that long ago she was crapping in her pants.