a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Potty Talk

Parenting is a day by day experience and I find myself just learning the ropes one day at a time. Crossing each bridge as we get to it and moving on to the next; that's just how we do things around here. So, the bridge that is currently stretched out in front of us is one that I'm not thrilled about crossing, mainly because I have NO. CLUE. how to.

Potty Training.

It's been on my mind for a long time now. I just bought Oia size 6 diapers today for the first time since the 5's are getting a little small. As best as I can tell, 6 is the biggest size stores sell, unless you special order these things. That made me panic a little; I felt the pressure to push the issue and really begin tackling this process. I have mentioned in previous posts that Little Miss has in fact christened her mini throne and not once but three times, by the way. However, these pee-pee's on the potty have turned into once in a blue moon ordeals. She knows where the potty is, what it is used for, and she even knows how to flush one all by herself. She thinks it's great fun. She loves to have her own square of toilet paper and she shows me she knows just how to use it.... problem is she doesn't GO while on the pot. Most days, I set her on the pot after she wakes in the morning and after naps which one would think are likely times to pee but Oia doesn't. Sometimes she may even refuse to sit down at all, arching her back and stiffening her whole body. I don't force it. But what in the world does one do??

I talked to Oia's developmental pediatrician about how to potty-train a kiddo with CP. I questioned whether Oia 'feels' the urge or sensation that signals one to use the bathroom. Afterall, this is a muscle related issue and what does CP affect? The muscles. Doctor said this may be an issue but Oia, as any kid typical or not, has to 'learn' these urges and how to control them, it's just something that will take more time for us.

Diapers these days are so technical and wick away any moisture so quickly that kids don't even feel wet. Oia has yet to be bothered by a wet or soiled diaper (which is a sign that one is ready for toilet-training) so I thought perhaps a pair of wet undies may get her attention and alert her to what she just did. So, that was my experiment this evening. I put Oia in a pair of teeny undies for the first time, no diaper, to see how she'd react once she pee'd in them. Mind you, I kept asking her if she wanted to go sit on the potty and go pee pee and she'd say yeah but then once we'd get to the bathroom door she'd say no and smile. Somehow, she's turned this into a game.

Well, after about an hour of wearing her undies, she pee'd. And then laughed HYSTERICALLY as her pee ran down her legs and splashed into a puddle on the floor below her. Massive amount of pee, all over. And who wanted to proceed and carry on about her evening after she just pee'd all over herself; as if nothing just happened? I'll give you one guess.

I'm not convinced she's ready. But maybe she is. Rob says she is but let me mention he's the one who frantically hollered upstairs for me to come down and take care of our daughter after she just soaked herself and the floor. He hates messes and wanted no part of it. Umph. PT says don't force it until Oia and I are both ready, otherwise we'll both just end up frustrated. I just don't know. Quite frankly, I don't mind having a toddler in diapers. I still find myself focusing on physical gains and Lord knows getting her to wear an eyepatch for a total of two hours a day is enough of a chore; potty training aside. It just hasn't made it's way to the top of my priority list yet. Bad Mommy, I guess. What in the world do I do? How in the heck do we cross this bridge? I'm just not sure.

Pictures of Oia were taken today while she was checkin' herself out in her first pair of undies.


  1. Oh, but she looks so cute in those undies! :)
    The last thing you want is to get frusterated. You've got enough going on as it is. I know what you mean about priorities. In my own experience though, the peeing on the floor has worked. If you do still want to try to train her, I would let her stay in her wet undies until she feels how uncomfortable it is to be wet. Just something to try if you haven't already. :)

  2. I love how she checked herself out in the mirror! I think that means she was proud of herself and excited about the panties. That is a good sign!

    I don't have much advice as we are still working on this with Gracie. I have found that routine trips to the potty are what work the best. I also watch for clues that she is going or needs to go, then we go to the potty.

    Just keep at it. As you said, this may be a slow process but with time and patience, it will pay off.

  3. Hello there! I have been following your blog for awhile now but have not commented. I work at a preschool for kids with developmental disabilities on the campus of my university, and we do a lot of potty training there. When and if you are interested, I can tell you about some of the things we do to make sure both mom and kiddo have the best chance at success. Just drop by my blog and leave me a comment if you are interested in outside opinions. By the way, Oia is remarkably beautiful. The boys are gonna be chasin her when she gets older! :) -Bailee

  4. oh she looks so cute! I found that me and my husband had to really be ready too. We had to be so darn sick of the diapers that we were motivated to be done with them. It doesn't sound like you are there yet. We have a 20 month old who is addicted to his bottle and two parents who are really unmotivated about weaning him from it so know that you are not alone!!!

  5. She just turned 3, so don't rush it! I still have accidents with Dani AND we have to wear a pull up to bed because she just does not wake up.

  6. My typically developing daughter did not really potty train until three years and three months, and her good friend who is nearly five now still sleeps in pull ups because she just doesn't wake at night. You aren't really behind, Mo. At my large day care, they encourage the use of panties with characters, so they can say "don't pee on Dora." And boy does she look cute in panties!

  7. Hi Mo! Don't feel pressured to start training Oia. I think you had the right idea testing out the waters with her undies. I personally switched my kids to cheaper (meaning more wetness/uncomfortable feeling) diapers when they turned 2...and then waited. Our oldest did that for over a year before she showed signs of being ready. You'll know when the time is right, trust your instincts.

  8. Well, I've heard that pull ups come in much bigger sizes, so you've probably got more time than you think. I've heard the bit about the princess/character underwear before, but maybe short-term rewards? An M n M or a sticker every time she uses the toilet. Like you said, she just might not be ready and there's very little you can do but wait it out.

  9. I could have written this post! I'll start by saying that I noticed today that Pampers come in size 7.

    I also tried the underwear thing with Bennett - he did the exact same thing - he thought it was hilarious. He too does not mind a wet or soiled diaper. We've also tried the treat thing - he was happy to take the treat but it didn't seem to motivate him to sit on the potty.

    We'll keep plugging away I guess and hope that at some point it just comes together and he gets there. As you've said - we've got a lot of other stuff on our plates.

    Good luck and keep us posted!