Monday, July 27, 2009

Three Day Potty Training Is For The Birds

Paprika is slowly getting the idea more about going on the potty. The 3 Day Potty Training book wasn't for had some good ideas, but it didn't address the issues Paprika has, and it really oversimplified things.

Paprika's big issue (with everything) is her fear. She gets so scared, and nothing can convince her to do something until she is ready to do it. She does things her own way, and in her own time. Being Paprika's mom is an exercise in patience- I learned that long ago....

She is the child who did not eat a bite of solid food until she was 14 months old, no matter what we offered her. Nor would she drink from a bottle. So, for the first fourteen months of her life, the only nourishment she got came straight from my solid food, no water...just breastmilk. She nursed voraciously until 23 months old, and still would be if I hadn't weaned her when I left for four days to deliver Vivian and Annemarie at the hospital. She still asks to nurse!

She is the child who dropped naps early on- down to one nap/day at 6 months old, and down to zero naps by 2 years old. She still can't sleep anywhere but her bed and wakes up at the slightest noise. Until two months ago, she went to sleep between midnight and 3AM and never woke up before noon.

She is the child who can go days without sleeping...I think 40 hours straight with no sleep is her record. She pushes her "go" button and can't be stopped! Downtime is not her strong suit!

Ahhhhh....sometimes I feel like raising Paprika takes everything out of me.

But, I can't complain.

She is also the child who could speak in full sentences by one year old.

Who can watch a movie one time and have entire scenes memorized.

Who randomly busts out speaking in French at the dinner table.

Who sings Sara Mr. Mustards and Dolly Parton and Disney princess songs in their entirety at the top of her lungs.

Who has fashion sense that rivals her mama's.

Who has a heart so big that she loves everyone she meets.

Who does not have one jealous bone in her body.

Who is outgoing and social, and includes everyone as a friend.

Who lights up my life with her uncontrollable laughter and wicked sense of humor.

Who made me a mom and stretches me in new ways each day, making me grow better as a person.

The 3 Day Potty Training book was not made for kids like Paprika. The issues Paprika has were not addressed by the book. Paprika knows what to do, and she knows how to do it. But, she will hold it until she makes herself sick, and then with many, many tears, will go on the potty very slolwy, fighting it with all her might.

Accidents aren't an issue. How can you have accidents when you have the ability to hold in gallons of liquid despite crippling pain?

Rewards don't work. She is self-motivated. I could promise her the moon, but it won't make her change her mind.

Comparing her to her friends doesn't work. She doesn't care that all the kids at preschool are potty trained and all her friends are, too. She really could care less. She watches the kids go at school and says, "That's for them. That's not for me."

I am frustrated, and tired...well, exhausted is a better word. But in the big scheme of things, these frustrations are so not a big deal, right?

I know she will get it eventually...when she decides she can, and when she casts her fears aside. I just have to be patient, and gentle, and guide her as she walks through this new milestone in her life. It's not going to happen overnight...or in three days.

Mr. Mustard and I watched Marley and Me over the weekend. And as bad as it sounds, that dog reminded us so much of our sweet Paprika. Spirited, wild, outgoing, irrepressibly energetic and loving, sensitive, smart, loyal, and completely defying all expectations. And we wouldn't trade her for anything.

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