Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Gajillion steps backward!

Well.... Yesterday was my official breakdown day. You know the one where you put yourself in time out and just have a good ole cry. Thankfully Tom was working from home so he took over with Megan so that I could breathe deeply and try to regroup.

There's nothing like parenting to bring you to your knees... in prayer, revelation that you just can't do it, submission, isolation, crying, cleaning pee up off the floor... whatever - it seems to be my most common position these days. And being 3 months away from my due date, it's hard to pick myself back up - in every way imaginable. Yesterday was a low for me though - I had to take some time for myself and just regroup and refocus and do a LOT of praying. I give myself some grace and blame the hormones for a lot of it - but still....

So what happened.... Megan was doing so great with potty training. Our only area of concern is pooping on the potty - she's terrified of it, and she's not regular so that poses a problem. She "withholds" and then it's just bad. Last go around it took 10 days, a bottle of prune juice, lots of miralax, and finally a suppository. Oh dear. You know you are in trouble when your child's tummy is SO distended the her shirts are tight. The last night before she finally gave it up she was soooo uncomfortable (and scared to go) that she was up every hour all through the night, crying. It was soooo pitiful.

Now we are on a new 2 days and counting calendar. This has really causing some major major major issues. Because yesterday Megan decided that she just wasn't going to go on the potty anymore - she said she needed to go and then proceeded to pitch a fit in the bathroom - a fit that included kicking and screaming and throwing herself on the floor. Let's just say - it wasn't a positive experience for either of us. This is totally new "bathroom behavior" and it's thrown me for a loop. Then she proceeds to go to the bathroom in her booster seat at lunch (5 minutes later). At this point I'm just feeling like a failure because even mentioning the bathroom sends her into an absolute panic and sobbing, screaming child... what's up with that????? After hours of this behavior - I just lost it (in the bathroom) and sent her out to daddy because Mommy needed a time out. So I cried... I felt like a failure... a failure because I couldn't "control" this situation, I couldn't find a way to make it all better, I couldn't stop her tantrums, I couldn't comfort her.... It was so disheartening.

Now to add to that story.... last night Tom took Megan to choir so that I could have some much needed "escape by myself" time --- and Megan DID go to the potty 3 times at church, with no hysterical issues...... OK, I won't revisist why I was feeling so discouraged, but lets just say that although on one hand I was happy, I was also further disheartened.

Today, I'm better. I realize that I think we need to take a break and get the #2 issue under control. Her fear of that seems to be affecting her normal going to the bathroom.

She woke up today in a GREAT mood (Thank you Lord!) Before Breakfast I told Megan I had to go potty, did she want to go... she said no and ran away. OK..... Then a minute or so later she informed me that she wasn't a big girl anymore and she wanted her diapers back.


So.... what's a mom to do?
I have some ideas on how to deal with this - most of them being just stepping back and not turning this into a power struggle. She's not even 2 1/2 yet so it's not there is a "deadline" or something. I think we have to get poop issues under serious control and then we can refocus and try again. It's just been such a process - it's hard for me to let go. I think I feel like I've failed at something. God's dealing with me on that one and on how my pride somehow got involved in a 3rd party's potty issue. I'm also seeing just how strong willed my child is. This is not news to me. I don't have a laid back, take it as it comes kid.... I've always known this - but this week I've really gotton some interesting insights into what Megan's battle lines look like. And I got a bit terrified about what the next couple of years could look like in the discipline arena. Especially when the baby arrives. So - here's to our prayer lives as parents... may they grow stronger and stronger and stronger... we'll need it!

Anybody been there? Words of encouragement, ideas for how to deal with it? I'm up for anything!!!


hmferrero said...

Not sure if I have any great advice other than to say I don't think it's very unusual. It's just harder on you because you're pregnant. We ended up taking Jacob to the pediatrician because he was so freaked out about the #2 and that's what the little reference book from Publix (age 1-5) said to do. The Miralax worked like a charm on him. He now denies he was ever afraid to go. :) So you will get through it. I think you have to stick to your guns on trying though. If she had JUST started trying and was having a hard time, I might think differently. But she can do it.

That's my 2 (or 10) cents. Praying for you (and her).

Marianna said...

Val, I don't have any advice since I too struggle with this same issue. Samuel has brought me to my knees with the strong willed thing and the potty training. Would you believe that I end up bribing him to go #2? I am realizing that it drives me crazy not to be able to control things like behavior and potty training. The Lord is humbling me. As I pray for our family, I will pray for yours. May the Lord guide and direct your steps! You are a wonderful mom, and Megan and baby #2 are blessed to have you!

sandy said...

Doesn't sound like fun! I say give her back her diapers and let her be in control. You have a full year before she will need to be potty trained for school. I bet when the baby comes, she will want to go potty as soon as you sit down to feed her!
Macie drives me crazy because she almost always wets her pants just a little before she will go potty. But, she only does it at home with me! She ends up smelling 1/2 the time.

Amy said...

I feel for ya! I know with boys they say they're ready later than girls. So my theory is wait until I am certain he is ready and then there's no turning back. I know I won't start until he's at least 2.5 to 3 years old. But, I also know (especially now that I've had my second) that they're little such a short time that it really doesn't matter when they turnover, crawl, walk, talk, say their ABC's, colors, shapes, are potty trained and on and on and on. A lot of those milestones are nothing more than "mother's pride". So, I don't think there's any harm in waiting. I'd just make sure there was no turning back the next time as you'd hate to get into a rut where she knew diapers were always an option. Bottom're a great mom. Our kids' disobedience, tantrums, etc. shouldn't always be a reflection of our parenting. Sometimes it's just the age/stage we're in.

Mitzi said...

I'm so sorry. I think we have all been there, over one issue or another. Potty training was hard for me with both boys. I expected it with Cole, but was surprised with Connor. I think that's when I realized Connor wasn't quite as laid back as I had thought he was!!

You're a great mom, Valerie. God gave Megan to you because He knew you were perfectly suited to handle her. It may not look like it right now, but it's true.

If you put her back in diapers and take away the pressure, she may go back to panties at the start of MMO, if she sees her friends going potty. I'll be praying for you whichever way you decide to go.

Rod and Lisa said...

Just want you to know that I'm praying for you and thinking about you! We also have issues with Cole going for a week without a BM. So far, plenty of prune juice and the miracle of Miralax seem to work well. However, I dread potty training because I know his issues will make it more difficult. I also saw something in the Toddler 411 book written by the Baby Bargains people that suggested an over the counter product that you sprinkle on their food. If I can find it, I'll email that to you.

Take care!