Okay so my threenager is heading towards her fourth birthday and, up until a couple of days ago, still wearing nappies. I have tried many times since she turned two to get her using the toilet or the potty without any success. I have had reward charts, incentive schemes, reading while sitting, turning on the tap, telling not asking, special seat on the toilet, three different types of potty (all chosen by her), multiple underwear options, modern cloth nappies blah blah blah. I’ve read books, blogs, forums and websites all offering up suggestions, opinions and judgement in healthy proportions. I consider myself to be a person capable of solving problems and developing alternative solutions yet here I am getting owned by a threenager. It finally hit me last week when she lay on the bathroom floor with a nappy containing a package only blueberries and grapes can deliver and told me we were “playing babies” oh dear.
Two days later little miss starts pre-school. So I take her along and inform the room leader that she is not toilet trained and I have supplied her pull ups in her bag. I feel fairly confident that a bit of peer input might help her to see that “playing babies” is actually for real babies or dolls.
So six hours later I pick her up and she is not wearing her nappy….and hadn’t done since about 10am. Her “teacher” asks if she wants to do a wee before she goes home to which she squeals “yes” and runs off to the bathroom. I am unusually lost for words. I knew that if she saw what the other kids were doing it would inspire her to do the same….unfortunately the other kids don’t come home with us so despite my supportive comments she was in the cupboard digging out a nappy for me to put her in about an hour later. I refused and reinforced the pre-school, big girl, you’re awesome message but after a solid hour of sobbing and snot exploding screaming – I relented. Yes I know….she owned me. But you know what – I’m tired. Sometimes I have the energy for the battle ahead and then other times I am just done….yep I’m human.
Now we’re on day two of no nappies since tomorrow is another pre-school day. So far our wee counts are one in the potty four in the pants on day one and today we have one in the potty and two in the pants so far….I have period pain that is so bad if it weren’t for the drugs I would be rocking in the foetal position so it will take all my power to persevere with wee watch today. Oh how I wish I had persevered back when she was two….she’s always been willful and independent but is definitely a tougher nut to crack as she heads closer to four. Wish me luck….this won’t be the only battle of wills that she and I will engage in – this is just the battle du jour. And I don’t think my mum has stopped rubbing her hands with glee since our little miss arrived….
Little Boss is three and a bit. Up until recently we have been able to talk in whatever manner we have wanted and have not had to worry about what we say or who we say it about. And then IT happened. I had my niece – technically she’s my second cousin but her mum is like my big sister so let’s just say niece – over to stay for a couple of days and she was helping little boss colour in some Hello Kitty. I was taking full advantage of the distraction by catching up on chores – yewwww! Anyhoo Mr B Badger yells out from the bathroom for a towel and in my moment of frustration I mutter “ohhh farken hell”. As I walk back to the bathroom with the towel I see my nieces face – eyes wide in shock/amazement and hands over mouth to prevent laughter. So I drop off the towel to the lord of the living room and I return to see what had happened…turns out that my multi-tasking little dynamo got my tone and the pronunciation spot on as she coloured Hello Kitty with one hand and held her forehead with the other while repeating after me. This seemed to spark an increase in the amount of phrase mimicry with “you’ve got to be joking” a new hit and when asked “would you like a ” the response is mostly “ahh maybe that’s a no” complete with eye rolling…not sure where that came from but I do know that I don’t like it, despite it being pretty funny the first time….
in 42 very quick days our wee baby girl will turn three. and a whole lot of stuff has changed in that time but the one thing that still remains is….nappies. clearly it is bothering me more than anyone else because I am the changer of all nappies, the wiper of the bum, the person that has – on more than one occasion – put my finger in the back of a nappy to see if it’s mine with the offending odor only to find that it is also now my finger that smells as well. so I’ve read books and blogs and web sites and articles and spoken to other mums and the advice ranges from she’ll do it when she’s ready to just take away the nappies and she’ll have to use the toilet….or wee and poo on my mums bamboo flooring – not my preferred option. we tried last week – I had days of not much planned so we could stay at home and give it a red-hot go. we have the toilet all set up, she picked the pink seat for the toilet, we made a chart to show progress with stickers, she picked underpants and we had a chat about being a big girl and nappies vs toilet…so after many attempts and lots of wiping and flushing and washing of hands at approximately 3 pm she declared “I don’t think I am ready to use the toilet yet mummy, can I have my nappies for a bit longer please?” so while the experts may disagree I did what she requested and pulled on another nappy….but today she said she needed to go to the toilet – nothing happened, despite my initial excitement – but it’s a start, right?
I blame disposable nappies. their absorbency is ridiculous. I’m sure if you were on a tight budget you could get away with using less nappies simply due to their ability to stay drier for longer. I wanted to use the modern cloth nappies and after getting my mum to bring them home from the US for me we found that after a very short time our very hot-blooded bundle of joy was suffering from heat rash from wearing them….disappointed doesn’t explain how I felt. Mr B Badger was less upset as it was he who wore the mustard coloured goodness that leaked out of one of my earlier attempts at putting them on.
I’m certain that if the children of today had to walk around with half a wet bath towel between their legs held up by a pair of plastic pants they’d be trained a whole lot earlier than they seem to be. I can’t help but think that the nappy is her remaining tie to me and that in giving that up she won’t have that extra bit of one on one time that for her is probably still quite fun but for me can sometimes resemble mud wrestling gone horribly wrong.
anyhoo I will persevere and she’ll get there eventually – or I’ll just have to start buying the adult diapers once she gets too big for Huggies….
so up until recently I had thought the terrible twos would consume my days and nights for at least another couple of years….that was until one of my mummy friends mentioned the term “threenager” and it all fell into place. this is now my life….dealing with a toddler who behaves just like she is about to hit 13, not 3. when you hear your baby utter the words “I want the i view app” or “there’s no network connection” you are probably dealing with a threenager. I am struggling to find a comparison to what my threenager is experiencing and my own childhood…my mum has always told me that I was “good as gold” until my brother came along only two months after my second birthday when I decided to unleash hell on the household. so we’ve always put my tantrums, fierce independence and demand for attention down to my baby brother. turns out this may not truly have been the case….maybe I was just starting the transition from terrible two to threenager. either way I am missing my mum like crazy right now as she visits my baby brother and his gorgeous family in the US but I am also a little bit glad that she can’t see what’s occurring in my world as this might cause her to rub her hands with glee while watching me go through the same treatment she would have experienced – at my hands – some 40 plus years ago. if knowledge really is power then why do I feel like I am NOT the one holding that power?? we have so many avenues of information available to us that I think we’re just making it harder for ourselves – oh no my threenager’s not listening to me I better hit Dr Google and see if she could have a problem – how about she’s just ignoring me…or the options I am giving her haven’t yet reached her desired choice of beverage….or maybe she’s just that engrossed in the 24 piece jigsaw puzzle challenge I set for her that she can’t handle anything more right now. I know sometimes, after a day that has had more arguments than minutes, Mr B Badger will come home and observe the goings on and will remark “so you just let her do whatever she wants?” and the reality is that sometimes – within reason – yes, I do let her do whatever she wants…because sometimes I get sick of my own voice. so if you put on your tracky daks and one leg is quite noticeably longer than the other it could be due to the threenager swinging off them while singing ring-a-ring-a-rosy while I hung out the washing. or if my parents return from their vay-cay to find their vege patch decimated of all life it could be blamed on the parrots OR it could be the threenagers desire to do the “weeding”. either way these are fights I do not have the will to fight so I chuck another Ristretto pod in the coffee machine and watch while my very willful and independent child weeds and digs and identifies worms and bugs and generally just messes shit up….it’s okay, we have a couple of months before we have to do the work on getting it all back together before the parentals return home….or we could resort to having the threenager take them on a tour when they get back to show Poppy all the great gardening shes done….