I’ve had one outburst too many regarding accidents on the floor these days. So, recently we’ve been offering Lucy the choice: undies or back to diapers?
Photo: “Mom! Will you please stop hassling me about the potty?!”
Lucy and I have been locking horns quite often on the potty front. The standard response to “Lucy, do you need to use the potty?” has become, “No potty sit!” In the past week or so, we’ve had lots more accidents, and it has turned into a vicious circle — the more I ask her to go, the more she resists, the greater the possibility of having an accident, the more I resolve to ask her frequently. This makes me nuts. So, now I give Lucy a choice: “You may sit on the potty now, or you may wear a diaper. You decide.”
I must say, I’ve had to do a little soul-searching to be okay with the revert-to-diaper option. Since we’ve been working hard at potty training for almost three months, it totally feels like a step back. But I need to remember that this time has not been wasted. Lucy has definitely shown us that she knows how to use the potty, but it seems that she needs to make the decision to be a potty-girl on her own. The jelly beans, parental prompts, and “potty time” timers are just not cutting it anymore.
I also need to remember that potty training is really a big responsibility. This scene from The Incredibles (one of Lucy’s favorite flicks) illustrates it:
Violet: We act normal, Mom! I want to be normal! The only normal one is Jack-Jack, and he’s not even toilet trained!
Dash: Lucky…uh, I meant about being normal.
It has taken me awhile to realize that pull-ups and diapers provide a level of comfort and freedom from responsibility for Lucy. There are new freedoms, of course, with potty-training — but I can imagine that, from Lucy’s perspective, sometimes she just wants to not think about it and have the whole elimination process handled by Mama and Papa. Plus, Rosie seems pretty happy with her situation — what’s not to like?
In some ways, it would be freeing for me to have Lucy in diapers again — no need to drop everything at the grocery store for a trip to the bathroom, no worries about Lucy peeing on the floor at a friend’s house (or our house), no need to bring a portable potty seat when we go to the park, and (perhaps best of all) a greatly reduced chance of having potty-related conflicts. But I don’t think she really wants to give up her big-girl skill.
Offering Lucy the choice between diapers and undies seems to be helping her to understand the joy of independence that comes from being diaper-free. There have been a couple of times that she has chosen to wear a diaper, but she doesn’t seem to enjoy it like she thought she would. And, while we are still prone to accidents in undies (whereas she’s got the naked-bottom thing almost down pat), Lucy is learning that wearing underpants will eventually result in her complete autonomy in the area of elimination. How we will all rejoice on that day!