Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Ridiculous Negotiation

So from the heartfelt and gut wrenching posts of the past few days to the absolute ridiculous topic for tonight...

Today I spent a good portion of our day  - and most of the evening - deeply involved in potty negotiation.

Madison, if this is still floating around the internet in your teen years, and someone finds it and shares it with your friends, I am deeply sorry and I do apologize.  Once you have some sort of true awareness that Mommy writes about all your little quirks, I'll try to remember to take it down.

Madison basically potty trained herself in September.  She had been potty experimenting for a while and was pretty successful, and one day she informed me that she didn't want any more diapers - she wanted to be a big girl and wear her new underpants. *I* would have been ok with her staying in diapers for a few more months.  It's one of those "be careful what you wish for" things.  Changing diapers isn't fun, but it certainly beats changing the same mess out of underpants, having to plan errands and trips around potty visits, carrying a portable seat with me, etc.  But I also felt pretty silly forcing her into diapers if she wanted to be a big girl, so I went with it.

She was doing really, really well....until about a month ago.  She was regressing a little...then Thanksgiving hit and she regressed a lot.  Being the dork that I am, I did some research, and pretty much everything I saw said that regression is completely normal, especially just when it seems they've gotten it.  It's not new, you're not throwing a party for every successful visit, it seems like getting a little wet is a small price to pay for not having to put the princesses down.  That made me feel better.  The research suggested going back to whatever method worked well, and they should turn it around quickly.

This has been my go to guide.  Somehow I am still stressed.

Well, I don't know what quickly is, but we're not back to trained yet and it's been a few weeks.  We're back to being (mostly) accident free...because she refuses to wear bottoms (thank goodness tunics are somewhat fashionable now).  She gets up, takes off the overnight pull-up, we put on underwear.  Then she takes them off the first time she sits on the potty and stays naked until it's time for us to leave the house and I lay down the law that little girls who leave the house in December must wear pants.  And underpants.  This negotiation is getting a little old. 

We are also in a delicate balancing act between having a potty easily accessible for one child and INaccessible to the other, who treats the potty like some sort of Holy Grail that she is drawn to.  

See why I'm sort of missing the diaper days?

Anyway, I completely refuse to do any sort of "boot camp" type training, mostly because it sounds awful for both of us.  I've really been following her lead and not getting into a battle of wills.  But I put my foot down this week and decided that this nudist situation has got to stop.  So as soon as she takes her underpants off, I calmly put them back on.  She's actually been ok with this most of the time (whew, because I really didn't have a backup plan).  This means we're going through a few pairs a day, but hey, baby steps.

So I'm reminding her often during the day, without forcing her on, but definitely mentioning it until I'm blue in the face.

Well tonight, she was downstairs playing with Adam while I was bathing Reagan, and she clearly needed to ... sit on the potty for a while.  Let's just say longer than a quick pee.  Adam suggested she take her leappad and go in her "green potty" downstairs, but she didn't want to.  I heard her screech "nooooooooo" and scamper upstairs to me to save her from the apparently horrific torture of sitting on the green potty.

So while Reagan was in the tub and Madison hid in the bathroom, I tried to talk her into sitting on her "princess potty" with us.  Finally I managed to negotiate with the two year old by offering up the chance to have some iPad time on what has truly become her iPad.  No, we didn't buy our two year old an iPad.  It belongs to Adam's company.  However, it's not the latest iPad and therefore can't handle the program they need it to, so they upgraded, Adam has a new(er) one for work, and somehow that became...the two year old has her "own" iPad.

Yes, that is a giant monkey sitting next to her.  "This is my friend, big monkey."

Success!  We haven't had to use the iPad bribe for a while, so it seems all fresh and new and she was intrigued.  She happily climbed on her princess seat.

And sat.  OK, all done?  (silence).

And sat.  Madison, are you ready to go play with Daddy?  (No, I sitting on potty).

And sat.  Madison, it's time for Reagan to go to bed.  Are you ready to get down?  (silence).

Reagan's water had long since gone cold, and she needed to get into bed, and Madison seemed to have no intention of getting down.   Adam came to supervise potty time (when she's on for that kind of business someone needs to stay close) while I got Reagan out of the tub, into her PJs, fed, rocked, and into bed.  I heard the negotiation continue during this 20 minute process.

Once Reagan was down, Adam needed to go back downstairs to get on the phone, so I took over.  But we were now pushing a full half hour on the potty and the Princess herself needed to get OFF her throne and take her bath.

I offered her colored water.  Nope.  (Although she did ask for blue, before telling me she didn't want to play in the blue water).

She normally LOVES this.  She pretends she's swimming.

I offered her glowsticks.  Nope.

This is a VERY rare treat and she LOVES it.  Turning it down is serious business.

Finally, I put my foot down (so to speak) and basically manhandled her off the seat and out of her clothes and into the tub while she cried and begged to get back on her potty and put her "big girl underpants" back on.

So as I bathed my wailing toddler, I thought about how ridiculous it was that I spend a majority of the day trying to get her ON the potty, just so I can start negotiating with her about when to get OFF the potty.  And how I spend so much time convincing her to keep clothes ON, just so she can fight me on taking clothes OFF.

Naturally, once I pulled the drain, she was happily playing and had absolutely no desire to get out of the tub.

And then wanted back on the potty.

Man, do I miss the simple days of diapers.
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