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Sunday, July 01, 2007 

Phoning It In

Kirdy is currently frantically preparing for LMD's 4th birthday tomorrow. As a result, she is reprising her very first post on this blog, dedicated to LMD. She promises she won't take as long a hiatus as she did last year. Enjoy.

At risk of being judged, branded and labelled....

allow me a moment to discuss potty training.

My middle child had a NASTY poo a few weeks ago. This poo came with it's own set of bragging rights, as far as I am concerned. Women sitting around a table regaling one another with birth stories will fall to awed hushes when my daughter walks in and says, "That's nothing. I passed a poo at the age of two that was as big around as a tennis ball, and I did it WITHOUT MEDICATION." Literally. Lest you think I am exaggerating, I pulled on one end while she pushed on the other. Yes, that is now #38 on the list of "Things I Never Knew I Would Do As A Parent."

So, anyway. This poo came with it's own set of issues. At the tender age of two my child was now afraid of the potty. Not a problem, right? So she regresses a bit, she goes in her pants a while, life goes on.

So I thought. She would scream, rend clothing, channel demons and generally be pissy for the full hour leading up to an event. Then, a quiet would settle on the house as she took to the task of taking off her clothes and dumping poo. I would go into the bathroom, totally exasperated with her, only to see her bravely trying to clean up with tears in her eyes. She knew it was wrong, but she just couldn't bring herself to tackle that porcelain hurdle.

I let this go on for three weeks. I was convinced if I didn't make an issue of it, then she would eventually make in the potty. Until last week. That day it became truly ugly. She cried, carried on, and reached a whole new level. I think I can safely define the phrase "shit fit" because what I saw that day definitely qualified. She raised pissiness and divadom to a whole new level. And this went on for a full. 24. hours. straight.

I finally took my child firmly by the hand and did something I swore I would NEVER do as a parent. I held her. Forcibly. On the potty. I used every encouraging word, face and tone known to mankind. I was sure I was scarring her for life. I was evil. Cruel. A heartless wench destining her daughter to a life of therapy. Her hair flew in a crazed nimbus around her reddened, tear stained face and finally........it was done. And to her amazement, it didn't hurt.

The next day, she fought me even harder, but after 5 minutes, she sighed, stroked my hair and whispered, "I love you much" as she went. The rest of the day progressed peacefully. Which left me wondering........

Was all of this a desperate act on her part to retain the place of the baby in the family? I have no doubt initially she hurt and was frightened, but after 3 weeks I think this morphed into a classic baby/big girl power struggle. My heart broke and widened for her all at once when I heard her whisper "I love you much." Yet another thing I never knew as a parent....you can be sad and proud all at once. I am proud of her for facing her demons and "working them through", yet sorry she had to give up her babydom.

Sweetie........I love you much. Enigma that you are.

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