Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bladder of Iron, Will of Steel

Joy and I started the day with one hour and eight minutes in the bathroom.

One hour and eight minutes, before she finally gave in and let the first morning pee loose on the toilet.

She woke up dry, so she had to be holding something.  In fact, she woke up with dry jammie-pants but without a diaper!  (I thought I might have somehow forgotten to put one on her last night, but turns out she'd taken it off in the bed-tent.  Definitely dry, though.)

As we camped out in the bathroom, she drank three glasses of water, sat and sat, played game after game on her iPad. Occasionally she'd get up and jump around a little bit.  On one of those jump-arounds, at about the 45 minute mark, she peed just a little on the floor.  I quick swooped her onto the pot, and mopped up the little puddle, and expected the rest of the release any second.

That little bit of release was enough to enable her to hold the rest for another 23 minutes.

She gets a much-desired candy reward when the pee goes in the toilet.  I can't have the candy in-view-but-out-of-reach, though.  Tried that, it only makes her mad, and puts Mama at risk of getting swatted in the face.  Which never feels good, and is even dicier when Mama is balancing on the edge of the tub.  There aren't a lot of seats in the bathroom, and Joy gets the prime one...

Other than avoiding the candy fight, it was a relatively peaceable hour-plus as far as Joy's response was concerned.  Mama, though, gets antsy with all that cooped-up time.  After all, I don't get to play with an iPad while I perch on the bathtub edge.  And perch, and perch.

I've decided that I can only try these marathon wait-outs at times when I don't have any deadline at all on the other side.  Otherwise it comes across as "caving" when I call a halt, and I can't have Joy holding out with the expectation that I "cave."   (Pigeons pecking forever at the lever that once provided food, etc.)  So I can't do this on my work-mornings.

We're trying all the tricks.  Running water.  Dipping hands in water -- though she finds it puzzling that I'd let her dip in a basin but not the toilet.  Playing with the Pocket Pond app on the iPad to make splashy-water noises. Squirting water at her privates while on the pot -- apparently some kids respond to warm water, others to cool water.  Joy doesn't respond to either in the desired fashion.

It's quite clear that we've got contest-of-wills on pee-holding here. I'm also pretty sure that she's deliberately using the diapers instead holding in between toilet visits.  Before we started this training push, we used to find dry diapers during the day at least occasionally.  Now, not so much.

At the clinic they've got a higher tolerance for dribble, so they're working with her in underpants and just dealing with the soaked shorts.  At home, we really aren't ready to deal with pee-stink all over everything.  Hence the long bathroom sessions.

I was really hoping that after a couple of successes, Joy would "get it."  She'd understand what we were asking, realize how it felt, start working for the candy.

Alas, this has not yet come to pass.

Think good thoughts for us in our bathroom vigils!  The summer is waning, and I would purely love to be able to send Joy off to second grade with toilet training well underway.

Evening update -- All day we had the baseline 3-minute sits, the minimum that I'm requiring on our schedule. Then at a 7pm sitting, she'd filled her diaper both wet & mess, I was just having her go through the sitting motions after getting cleaned up, and lo & behold she PEED after just 1 minute!!! Maybe there's hope after all...


Quiet One said...

Hugs to you! This is one of the most challenging tasks of parenting. I went through many similar situations in the classroom but it's NOT the same as being the parent! Love, love, love your stories :-)

JoyMama said...

Thanks Quiet One -- it's been so very long since Rose's training, and she was such a different story! Glad you enjoy our occasional tales of adventure.

Barbara @therextras said...

Well worth the time-investment in my book. Wish I had exact numerical correlations but will throw-out a sample for thought...for every "one hour and eight minutes in the bathroom" you potentially reduce one year in age that she continues to use diapers daily.

I am entirely sympathetic and am wondering if Mom-on-a-chair at an open door is close-enough supervision (?).

JoyMama said...

Hi Barbara - I appreciate the approach - it sometimes helps to quantify the advantage, even with a creative number! Meanwhile, it doesn't appear that she's going to tolerate any more sessions quite that overwhelmingly-long. But part of the reason is that we're having MANY more successes that happen within a minute or two. Here's the trend:
Week 1: 4 pee successes
Week 2: 10 (including the one in the post)
Week 3: 15 so far, only 3 days in!

JoyDad said...

You go, Joy!!!