December 6, 2007

On Edge.

Yesterday things took a sharp downward spiral in the potty training department. There were many, many, many accidents... accidents that he seemed to be holding on to until the very moment I got him dressed and put on his shoes. He started screaming "NO!" when I would ask him to use the big boy potty. He would have nothing to do with it. He is refusing to tell me when he needs to go. Today, as a result, he has no clean socks. No clean underwear. No clean pants. They are all in the wash at my parent's house.

When I try to explain to him that he needs to use the potty, he ignores me. Won't respond to me. Looks right through me.

I'm trying not to get angry. I am so frustrated.

It has only been one and a half days of this...the days before were great, but I feel I am at the end of my rope. On the verge of giving up again. He has a diaper on now. Because his undies are in the dryer. Meanwhile, Ezra seems like he has been on edge through all of this as well- like all this potty pressure has been too much and now, as a result, he is acting out in ways that are really unlike him.

I am tired and need help. I am worn thin and feel like I'm about to cry.

Is this all too much? What with being away from home and switching between grandparent's houses every couple of days? Ezra keeps asking for his room. His house. Maybe this pressure is just too much for him right now. For me right now.

But the kid is almost three. I know he is capable of using the potty. He's just being stubborn and refusing to do it. And this is the kind of kid that completely shuts down if you push too hard about something... he can't be bribed or talked into something that he has set his mind against. This I've learned for sure about him. It's just like with him refusing to speak until about two months ago- as soon as I stopped trying to force the issue, he started speaking. In sentences.

I know it often does more harm than good to give up once you've started potty training. It can confuse the kid. I know it's bad to wait too long, as well. I also know that accidents are completely normal and have to be expected, and I could totally deal with that if that's all this was... but it feels like something greater. Like it's just too much on top of being away from home. I can see it in his eyes.

So. I'm at a loss. I will push through the rest of today, but my motherly instincts are telling me to be very sensitive to Ezra right now... to understand that being away from his house and his room and his routine is harder on him than I thought it would be.


Maggie said...

I think your maternal instincts are right on the money. I bet Ezra would understand if you talked to him about it. He's such a smart boy! I know traveling is super stressful for Liam - especially the moving back and forth part. If Ezra is the same way, he might just need more comfort and less change right now. Besides, you'll probably have to start all over again anyways once you transition back home - why do it twice if you don't have to? :)

sufferingsummer said...

I have three nephews. Two are potty trained (one is only a year old). This is what I observed with them. The eldest (who is now five) was interested in the potty at a young age. They tried to potty train him at about 2 1/2 and went through similar frustrations but decided to wait for him to show more initiative on his own. One day (a few weeks after he turned 3) he said, "I want a potty chart, I'm all done with diapers" A week later he was done and hasn't looked back aside of course from an accident now and then. When his little brother (now 3 and 3 months) was 2, they started talking about the potty but as his situation is different (in that he has a different biological father who has visitation and he had his first overnights coming up)so when he showed little interest they did not push it at all , then at around 3, like his brother he decided it was time and asked to use the potty. Because of all the change going on in his life he has had a harder time, more accidents and such but he is older and seems to really want to work through it. My point is this, Ezra is still young and I don't think there is anything wrong with seeing the stress in Ezra and responding with the only thing you have the control over-eliminating the pressure. You are a good Mama who knows her child and herself so following your instincts to me seems like the wisest route. I know there is tons of pressure to have your kid potty trained before 3 and certain stigmas go with kids who aren't but I can tell you that after working in a daycare teaching 2 year olds who HAD to potty train to move onto the next class no two kids are alike and boys especially it seemed to take quite a bit longer. We had at least 3 three year old boys still in our 2's class due to potty training and I wish that could have been seen as just fine instead of some much pressure being put on these poor boys to hurry up and figure it out.
Anyway, sorry for the long winded response but I just feel so strongly that us Mamas know our kids and need the freedom and validation to do what we feel is the very best for them.

Cheatwoods said...

I might get yelled at by other moms for saying this buuuuuuuuuut, Im going to say it anyways hahaha!
Josiah did that after a few weeks of going in the potty at home and he just wanted to wear a diaper, so I put him in a diaper. My doctor said that he would tell me when he was ready! Jerami took him in everytime he peed and Josiah only did that for about 2 weeks, and then we wanted undies full time! And its been ever scense.
I would say just relax, its ok Emery, My doctor said most boys dont even want to or even think aobu it until they are 3 wich is 3 months away, and in toddler years thats like ayear! Ya know? A lot can change and I promise he wont be 5 with a diaper! It well happen in his third year, we well be totally trained by the time he is 4. Thats just how boys are! So your doing good, its ok Emery, he feels your frustration. It is trustrating isnt it! I ahve beent here! But your gunna make it, beucase your a great mom and your awsome! Love you Emery! Its ok

Amy said...

I think it's OK to let go until he's back home if you sense he's stressed about it. That's not good.

There's really no pressure darlin! He won't go off to college in a Pull-Up. Trust me!

Talia said...

aw, I'm sorry! I know the feeling of being ready to cry, it is just all so frustrating.
You know your boy better than anyone, and I know you'll be able to figure him out in this too and do what's best for both of you.
Remember, even if you have to backtrack now, the great thing is that you DO know he is capable-- so it's only a matter of time. Your child will NOT be in diapers forever, and potty training and all its trials will someday be a distant memory. :)

Anonymous said...

My oldest who is 4 and a 1/2...wasnt fully potty trained until about 4 months before his 4th birthday. We bought his first potty at 2 and tried..he wasnt having it..tried again at way...and finally he wasnt so resistant and thought it was cool. My doctor told me..dont worry, he wont go to school without being potty trained..i know thats not encouraging now...but it WILL happen..dont let it stress you both out


Misguided Mommy said...

have you tried a cool pooty seat that goes on the big bboy potty with a neat stool? we got a cheap elmo seat and stool at babies r us

Mommy to 5 angels said...

I read your blog once in awhile and saw this post and had to comment. I have 5 kids and my oldest had a hard time with change. He had a hard time with the potty training thing. I pushed him on it when he had a couple of days like that (we were in CO visiting). I finally did back off and
2 months before his 3rd he decided on his own to go and didn't have anymore accidents. But even now, at 11 yo, he still can't handle a whole lot change and throws up if we are gone for too long or things are stressful (like great-grandma dying). There are some things that just aren't worth the fight.
Christy from Oklahoma

Anonymous said...

Hi Emery,
I'm another random Blogstalker :) ...friend of another blog stalker. My little guy is roughly the same age as Ezra so it's fun to read about him.. Mine is extremely type A (um, like his poor mom) so I have had to choose my battles wisely. He is extremely opinionated, yet sensitive and seems to crumble when overwhelmed as well. He is also in the midst of the terrible twos... for me we are waiting until 3. I tried once and could tell that it was just too much. Yes, he is capable but I want the experience to be someething fun, exciting..not overwhelming. I have several friends who have waited until 3 and have had 100% success...there is just something maturity-wise that enables them to be a little more in control of their emotions and less controlling of the matter. Once I decided to let it go it has been so much better for us..he has even gone a couple of times on his own will.. and that's how I prefer it. If I have to battle at 3 then I will but I am just enjoying him for what it is until then (March) GOOD LUCK!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing on the "capable" front... just remember there are more factors that are equally important. Think about those smart kiddos that get moved up to 1st when they should be in kindergarten etc...just because they can handle the work doesn't mean that they are socially or emotionally ready. With the pressure of feeling behind or that our kids should be keeping pace with those 2 year old pottytrainers, we sometimes overlook those areas... and for us they are SO important. Your instincts are dead on. :)

Cameron Ingalls said...

in my opinion..... (because of all the potty training expertise i have in my background) your child is suffering from UES or (unstable-environment-syndrome) and he is trying to regain some semblance of control or routine. when everything is different and no place feels like home just tell him to tap his heels together and chant 'there's no place like home....theres no place like home.'
that will fix everything.

Dr. Ingalls

HAHA... i don't know anything, but it sounded good!

Davi and John said...

I have a sister-in-law who determined how many kids she would have based on how many she was willing to potty-train. When my son Finn was 3, we started training him, and it went ok. Then I got pregnant with my 3rd son, and Finn started having around 6 accidents per day, so we took a break for almost 2 months. When we started back up again, he did a million times better. So even if you wait till you get home, don't feel like everything you worked so hard for has been a waste. You laid a great foundation and he will pick it up much quicker next time. In the meanwhile, you can talk about it or practice if he seems interested. For my next 2 sons, I'm gonna wait till they are BEGGING me to do it!

Momo Fali said...

My daughter was potty trained in two days, at the age of 2 1/2. Never, ever had an accident. My son, however, wasn't potty trained until a couple of months after his 3rd birthday. He's five now...and STILL having accidents. It's a male thing!

Mishelle ( said...

Boys are just like this, in my opinion. My boys trained late, my daughter trained early. That being said, the best advice I ever got was to let the child lead the training. You might have an almost three year old in diapers, but it's better than all the frustration and stress (especially while he's away from his home) that you are all feeling.

Go with your instinct and not what those around you are saying. So what if he's not peeing and pooping on a potty. He will eventually.

Good luck and God speed, dear.

Tara Jones said...

i totally think your mommy instincts are right on! i had a big part in potty training my neice and what she needed was everyday routine (don't try to do the entire potty training over the weekend-my brother likes to schedule everything!) and she needed to WANT to do it. pressuring my ella will get you no where:)

Jeninacide said...

I have (very) limited experience with this- but I say that if it seems like too much and he wants to be in a diaper then put him in a diaper. It's totally normal for boys not to want to potty train until AFTER they are three. It's ok to take a deep breath and a step back from time to time. You are doing GREAT!!

Mr Lady said...

I'm sure this is totally redundant, but relax, dude. Boys take longer. MUCH longer. My first wasn't trained until 3, and not well until closer to 4. His little brother did better, but that was just because he was trying to be like his big brother.

No kid goes to kindergarten in diapers. He'll get it. Just don't make an issue of it.

Good luck!

Lisa said...

I'm not going to say that I am the expert at potty training, but I have potty trained five kids. Two girls and three boys. I can tell you that they are all different.

I would not attempt it when there has been a change of routine. It really does stress them.

Other than that, I have had luck with M&M's. If you do that, then the reward has to be just a few every time. If they get a whole bunch, they don't work as hard to get more. Of course, lot's of positive reinforcement is the best.

My youngest daughter was very difficult and I used a combination of bribery, positive reinforcement and reverse psychology. With her, I would suggest that she wasn't big enough to pee on the potty. Then she would smile and proceed to fill her little potty. She was very happy to prove me wrong.

The bottom line (pardon the pun) is that they all learn eventually. If the timing is wrong, there is no reason to push it. He'll be in big boy pants in no time.

Loralee Choate said...


I had a hard time with my two. The trick was finding what worked for their respective personalities.

For one, I did what one of the other mom's suggested and used a diaper. That was his motivation...He didn't like them and wanted big boy underwear.

For the other? NOTHING WORKED. Finally? I didn't let him wear ANYTHING. we had one gross accident but he hated it so after that he worked with me.

I may get the smackdown for it but that was all that worked and we tried everything.