Friday, July 28, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #18 - "Put A Cork In It" Edition

Behold, The Plug - our Saving Grace and Sweetie's Trusty Toilet Totem.

I realized within a few hours of staying home with Sweetie on Tuesday that her toilet fears went even further than I had first believed. Not only was she afraid to use any public toilet, but she wasn't even using our toilet at home or the one at Nana's house. Instead, she'd go in her potty chair. Yeah, I guess she had been favoring the potty this last week or more. I just hadn't paid attention to how much.

So, by Wednesday morning her potty chair had mysteriously vanished. Oh, I might have let her use it first thing in the morning, but after that, it was bye bye potty, hello toilet!

It took a lot of encouragement and a lot of bribery. But little by little, she got on the toilet.

First she would stand with her pants down, but not sit on it. Then she sat on it for a mili-second and did nothing. Then she finally peed in the potty the tiniest bit and got off practically before she was even finished (this earned her a brownie-making stint in the kitchen with Mommy). Finally, when Daddy came home, she was - very nervously - able to prove to him that she could use the potty like a big girl (thus earning herself a trip to the ice cream store for dinner and dessert).

The next day, Thursday, included a visit to Nana's house. I emailed my mom ahead of time, telling her to hide her potty chair.

After a short time there, Sweetie took herself down to the bathroom, but came back crying and asking where her potty was. I reminded her that she's a big girl now and she needs to use the regular toilet. And, if she can use Nana's potty, then we could go to the Children's Museum or the pond the next day - Sweetie's choice.

She finally did it, but she was nervous.

Later during the visit she was crying that she pooped in her pants. But when we got to the bathroom, she was clean. No accident! It was so cute to see Sweetie so happy with herself that she didn't have an accident. What a proud girl! So then she was easily able to sit on the potty and do the deed. Yay!

Sweetie earned her Friday trip and she wanted to go to the museum. Yes, ma'am! You betcha!

Still, Sweetie continued to be pretty leery of our toilet for the rest of the day and into Friday morning.

Then I found that cork. I presented it to her, telling Sweetie that it was a plug she could take with her into the bathroom and it would stop the toilet from flushing on its own.

Well, whattayaknow! It worked! She bought it! We were able to go to the museum and she went to the bathroom 3 times (okay, so she wasn't thrilled about going into the bathroom, but this seemed mostly because it was taking her away from the acitivities. And the last time we took her in was because she had a small peeing accident - which was amazing because she had just peed, a lot, just a short time before this. But I digress....).

All throughout the rest of our day, she did great! Hubby and I even went out to dinner last night, leaving Sweetie at Grammy and Grampy's house, and she used their potty just fine because she had her plug. (Well, again. I think Grammy pretty much made her go because it had been awhile since she last peed. But there was no mention to us about any fights or fear).

Now, I just suggest to Sweetie that she go potty, and I tell her her plug is already in the bathroom. She nonchalantly strolls into the bathroom, wordlessly takes the plug off the counter, and does her thing. Easy beans.

Looking back at Sweetie's progress, I don't think this miracle plug would have worked a few days ago. I really think she needed these last few days to work up her courage to use the toilet at all. Plus, we've been telling her over and over about sensory flushes. How the park toilet had that type of flush, but we're not going back to that park again. And no other place we go has them. They all have handle flushes that Sweetie can do herself. Sweetie is in control.

I also don't think this "totem" would have worked for Sweetie if it was something she'd seen before. As it stands, to her, this plug really is a very special thing that helps bring about the results she's after.

So - yay! I guess I really don't mind that she needs this little crutch to help her feel more comfortable right now. And we're really not making a huge deal out of it. Like I said, I just let her know the plug is there. Because of this, she's able to use, and has used the toilet whenever she needs without fuss.

At least, that's been the experience so far. But I'm confident this trend will continue. Maybe by next week she'll be able to go without. We'll see.


Because of all this sensory flush talk (calling the museum to ask if they have regular or sensory flush toilets, talking on the phone and in person to friends and family about Sweetie's difficulties, and telling Sweetie all about sensory flushes and how we don't have one at home, etc., etc., etc......) Sweetie's playtime discussions have taken an interesting turn.

At Nana's on Thursday, Sweetie was marching around in a circle, rhythmically calling out as she went,

Sensory flush! Sensory flush!

Oh my. Can you imagine how peculiar that would sound to someone who had no background on this week's trauma?


You know how last week I said that Sweetie was saying, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to go in my pants. when she had an accident? Well, she's still at it, but now she's applying this cure-all phrase to everything.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to spill my drink.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pinch you, Mommy.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cry.

This would be all fine and good, except for that lingering smile/smirk. That look in her eyes that says, I-know-this-is-the-right-thing-to-say-and-now-everything's-all-better.

But I guess she's got to start somewhere. The sincerity will come in time.


And now for something completely off topic...

We stopped at Target Thursday afternoon to pick up a few things, and I bought Sweetie a couple new shirts. I hardly thought she was even paying attention, but apparently, she was.

That evening when I wanted to put her in her pajammas, Sweetie was insistent that she wear one of her new shirts.

No, Sweetie. I bought you play shirts, not jammie shirts.

But I want to wear a new shirt!

No, you have to wear this pajamma shirt. You can wear a new shirt tomorrow.


This fight could have gone on and on, but Hubby stepped in to rescue us both.

When Sweetie wasn't looking, he took the pajamma shirt I wanted her to wear, went into the kitchen where the Target bags were, and produced the desired "new" shirt, much to Sweetie's delight.

Oh! My new shirt! I love my new shirt! Thank you, Daddy!

I still don't understand why she didn't recognize it as a pajamma top she's worn many times before. But I wasn't asking any question. She and I both got what we wanted out of the deal. So all was well.

Another battle won. Another happy ending to another happy day.

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