My daughter Tilly Mae is 3 years and 3 months af age and she has just decided she wants to be a big girl and toilet train.
Over the past year I have looked at hundreds of articles, books and blogs about the subject and the most common theme was ‘how to train your toddler in 3 days’ i found this more and more disheartening the more times we tried and failed. If I wrote a guide it would be titled the less catchy ‘how to try and train your child at anything ever’
We have tried to potty train her 3 times prior to this and honestly it has caused more damage than leaving her to her own devices. The last time (summer last year) I remember holding her on the potty trying to explain and compromise what was happening which ended with her screaming so hard she made herself vomit (I mean seriously!!) All I could think was What was I doing wrong, she was nearly 3 and had no intention of moving forward? I must be a bad mum? Why can’t she be like the other kids? The answer to all the above is quite simply she’s not all the other kids, SHES MINE no two are alike.
Just after the last attempt at training she stopped pooping, I don’t know if it was a coincidence but I blame myself pushing and decided she could tell me when she was ready. She was so scared when the urge came her little eyes filled with fear. At her worst she went without a bowel movement for 7 days she was awake all night, she was in agony, covered in a rash, temperature souring and sickness to boot, basically her own body was poisoning her. We took her to hospital (she had a poo in the waiting room TYPICAL!). We hoped it was all ok and thought it was over but one week later I was at the doctor pleading for help. She was given movicol (a laxative powder I put in her milk) it’s not a cure and she still has difficulty but she is getting to the point where she’s not rocking back and forward in the corner reciting her brothers and cousins names for distraction. I know how to spot the signs and I have tried to incorporate this into the toilet training but she is currently in a nappy for when this sensation comes, come on its just a glitch I am willing to wait and work on.
I’m so sick of hearing ‘perfect’ parents sharing stories of ‘how wonderful’ and ‘easy’ potty training was for them. Nobody ever shares the tales of nightmare training, giving faith to us tired mums pulling our hair out. But it happens, my struggle has been over a year in the making. The reality from my point of view is that shit literally happens (even if it needs help 😂). Children are just non programmed mini people that need help even if in my instance a insanely independent one who thinks she doesn’t. She dictated when she was ready and that’s been it we haven’t looked back, she finally showing willingness and I’m still a little bit in shock.
Mouse is only 3 days in but she’s doing so well and she’s so chuffed with herself. Tomorrow will be the true test, going out of the house with no nappy then off to little school with her new ‘superpower’ and 5,000 pairs of ‘nackers’ ready for accidents. She’s not perfect and it’s not a journey that’s over yet but it’s one step closer to her being a grown up so take your time, be patient one day they will be an adult and won’t need you so intensely.
Listen to your child, not a textbook, programme or social media page if they are not ready don’t panic the day will come. Being a parent is a hard enough job without adding any more unnecessary pressure on yourself or your little one, one day this will all be a distant memory when they are ready it will happen organically so don’t sweat it. You are doing a great job don’t ever forget it.
Signing off with love and lipstick,