Sunday, May 22, 2005

Differences, Diapers, and a Delicate Subject

Things I need to do differently than the typical mother:

- scoot down the stairs with my daughter on my lap. She's used to this routine and has never questioned it or struggled for me. Soon, though, she'll be able to comfortably walk down the stairs on her own, then so can I.

- have her wear her toddler safety tether if she and I go out on small trips together.

- during her infant days, I became a pro at soothing her cries by sitting with her on the couch, swaying side to side and singing a familiar tune.

- acquire tricks (okay, bribes) to get her to walk to her highchair for me, or come over to me for a diaper change. She's getting way too smart for me, though, and doesn't always take the bait nowadays. If that's the case, and daddy's not around to assist, then we may have to eat in the family room where she can stand or sit on the floor, and/or I lightly tackle her to the ground when she finally ventures near enough for a quick change.

I think we'll give potty training a shot later this Summer or maybe early Fall. My nieces and nephews have been successful with this closer to three years old, so I'm in no rush with her to train yet at not even 2 1/2 years old. We did get her a potty chair earlier this Spring and, on that first day, she was very excited to know about it and "teach" her teddy how to use it. Even though I didn't plan to start training her at that point, I thought it would be a good idea for a potty chair to be in the bathroom so she could get used to it and "use" it when she wanted. Every once in a while she'll go in the bathroom and sit down, telling us she's "going potty". And every once in awhile I'll talk to her more about getting out of the heavy, wet diapers in favor of using the potty like a big girl. I think once we really make a concerted effort to train her, she'll catch on quickly and lose the diapers forever.

My biggest "worry", I guess you'd call it, is that I don't feel like I know how to potty train her. I know for myself when I have to "go", but I have always catheterized myself so I don't know what one really has to do muscle-wise to use the toilet. I suppose just knowing the feeling of having to go is good enough, but I don't know. Maybe my husband can give her some insight and help with the training. If not him, then my mom should be a big help, as that's where my daughter spends her weekdays. I'll have to read some potty training books, I guess, just to see what the general practice of potty training is like. As for our Sweetie, I know she knows when she has to "poop", but I'm not sure if she knows the words for/function of "peeing". So I think she'll master the "pooping" part of toilet training a lot sooner than the "peeing" part. I've tried to ask her more and more in recent weeks if her diapers feel wet and heavy - does she need a change? And sometimes she will tell me it's "time for a new diaper" - but then she resists me when I go to change her.

It seems most signs point to her being ready for the potty. So I'll keep enforcing her to "use" her chair whenever she wants (sitting on it fully clothed) and in the meantime I'll research more about how to help her learn. I wonder - are my concerns really all that specific to me, being a disable mom, or do many new moms worry about potty training their toddlers? Am I so different after all?

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