Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Number TWO Setback

Help! E.C Moms out there I need some advice / support please! Finley has decided she WILL NOT sit on the potty. This is quite a shift because Finley has been pooping no problem on the potty since she was 4 moths old. She even signs "toilet" at me before she has a bowel movement and I have had time enough to get her onto the potty so she can go. In the past three weeks everything has changed. I'm having a very difficult time getting Finley to acknowledge that she has to poo, she has stopped signing potty and refuses to sit on the potty. She makes her body rigid in a standing position while screaming and yelling.

I have two scenarios to share that I think is the root cause of this behaviour.

The First NUMBER TWO Set Back:
On our last day in Costa Rica, we were driving on the number one highway (no pun intended) and had been for over four hours with one short break for lunch. It is insane driving the number one highway. Hours earlier we had come across the after math of a huge accident involving three transport trucks. All we saw were the firemen leaving the scene and the black carcases of the three trucks. Traffic was backed up bumper to bumper, there are no shoulders on the road to escape the traffic or to try to pull over or squeeze by, however, the driver's still attempt to pass! We were 20 minutes away from the car rental and were right on target to drop the car early and save ourselves another day's rental. This is of course the perfect timing for Fin to sign poo at me from her car seat.

"Steve pull over we have to let Fin out of her seat to poop!" I demand. "Sorry Michelle it's not safe to pull over here. She's a baby wearing a diaper she can poo in it." he says. "UUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHH, Noooo Steve, she knows not to poo in it - I need to get her onto the potty!" I'm now very insistent. I am told it's not a big deal. Babies and old people poop in their diapers it's a fact of life. "Luckily, Steve says, "we are here to clean her so she doesn't get skin breakdown. She can poo this one time in her diaper. " He was right. Where were we going to go? There was nowhere to stop and I was not going to take Fin out of her seat in a moving vehicle on this insane freeway.

Fin is frantically signing her sign for poo at me - we have been using the sign and the potty for six months now and I have seen very very few poo's in her diaper. I tell her I am sorry we cannot take her out of her seat and tell her it's okay to poo because I don't want her to become the Freudian anally fixated kid who holds everything in! Finley begins to get mad because I am not responding to her in our usual way - which is to whisk her to the potty. Then she cries and poops in her diaper while strapped snuggly into her car seat. She then had to sit in it for another 15 minutes until we made our destination and it was safe for me to take her out of her seat to change her. Our E.C communication breakdown ... the trust was broken. I've seen only one poo in a potty since then.

The Second NUMBER TWO Setback:
The second number two set back may actually be due to the advancements Fin has made in the past few weeks. The child is now signing and communicating all kinds of words to us to indicate what she wants. She has not signed "potty" in two weeks however. She has also started walking. Not cruising from one thing to another, she actually stands up in the middle of the room without pulling up on anything and toddles all around the house. She is so fascinated with this new ability she won't take the time to stop to do much else. It's a struggle to get her to stop to eat and get dressed, she just wants to tear it up.

I am continuing to communicate with her. When she wakes up and after her meals I put her on the potty - the same drill we've been doing for months. She arches her back, yells and has even tried to bite me! A few minutes of this and I am not winning the battle. I put a chlorene free disposable diaper on her or a cloth diaper with a disposable flushable liner in it and send her on her way. She plays for a bit then makes the funny face. I say; "Are you pooping?" She looks at me smiles devilishly and then she drops to her knees busts into a speedy crawl to get away from me and will even hide until her business is done. SERIOUSLY! So she knows what she is doing and I clearly do not.

I am nothing if not stubborn and I will get her back on the potty.



Andrea said...

I have no advice for you but I feel sorry for the little monkey who was doing so well.

Good luck to both of you!

jen512 said...

I can't speak from experience, but I think you've nailed the two reasons on the head.

All I can say is don't be discouraged, and try to stay consistent. She's discovered rebellion and thy name is poo. It kinda sounds like she enjoys ticking you off over it, but it's probably just a passing phase. Once the fun of annoying mommy wears off she might go back to her usual routine. I talked to my sister in law a few months back about EC, her daughter is about to turn 2 this week. She told me she also had failures as soon as the baby started walking. She eventually gave up on EC, but I think there were other factors, such as her work schedule.

Although it's frustrating just remember the mommy-mantra, "This too shall pass" and know that Fin will come back around to using the potty again (because, let's face it, she has to!). Perhaps you can introduce a new reward system for potty time to give her that extra motivation.

Anonymous said...

Take a deep breath and then another. Fin is just a little person becoming very aware of her body. This is just a phase. In Hannah's case the phase lasted a year,but still a phase. Don't push it. She will feel your frustration and that will make it worse. This is just the start of many such setbacks. Wait until she is two, then three, then four....
Love Kathy

Twwly said...

I am going to disagree that your "breaking her trust" makes her not want to sit on the potty. I am going to politely suggest you're reading a bit too much into one single incident. Even being in a new location, on vacation, I wouldn't say would "cause" a break in the EC pattern, because EVERYTHING can cause fluxuation in their patterns. They're tots! If the moon is in Jupiter, they'll have a new phase.

I would suggest that things like her learning to walk put a larger damper on her not wanting to sit on the toilet. They go in phases. You just go with them.

Most importantly, and say it out loud with me:


As long as you continue to communicate with her when she is going, to sign and tell her "hey! RIGHT NOW you are pooing!", you are SUCCEEDING at EC. You are NEVER to push them. Only continue to offer, and to communicate.

When she is ready, she will return to the toilet and sign back to you.

Right before Maggie stopped peeing her pants entirely, it seemed like we were missing EVERY SINGLE PEE. She'd pee on the floor, Bob would cue her to pee in the living room, she'd tell me 1.2 seconds AFTER peeing, she'd do everything BUT put it in the toilet. Then she decided she needed to do ALL toileting solo -- taking off her pants, diaper, pushing the stool up, getting onto the toilet (if I came near her, she'd SCREAM bloody murder). And believe me I realllllly wanted to help, cuz she's so small she can hardly get off and on herself.... anyway. She's out of that phase thankfully. I can "help" now. Ha.


Practically: try holding her in arms instead of asking her to sit. I almost always sat on the toilet with Mags tiny bottom aimed between my thighs into the bowl. Try over the sink. Try a new potty chair or toilet topper. Make up a new song to sing everytime she goes, be it in the toilet or in her pants. Change up what was the routine.

To give up on EC now, would be so silly -- people who do so I feel never quite got their head around what EC *IS*, which is simply COMMUNICATING, giving them the tools to communicate with you when they need to go. MOST children naturally potty graduate earlier because they have been given these tools and I am sure Fin will too.

Twwly Again said...

I am also just going to say that by the time she cycles back to being interested in using the toilet, it may be a new routine all together. Another reason you just have to roll with them.

And I don't want you to think I'm totally dismissing the having to go in the car thing (I mean, sometimes you just have to say to them "I'm sorry we can't stop, you will have to go in your pants or wait" -- and eventually she will wait) but you can't change these things, you can't control these things, and even events you may THINK are "the reason" may NOT be actually for your infant, and even if it actually IS the reason, it doesn't matter anymore, because you just have to roll forward and there is no map.

Anonymous said...

We have been ECing with our daughter since she was 2 weeks old. We have had ups and downs with it and it seemed that when she got signing down she would really start to let us know, however that was not the case. She decided that she would sign 'potty' all the time but then not want anything to do with the potty. We would put her on SO many times a day (we catch pee's and poo's) and it just became frustrating. Sometimes she would even pee just after flipping out at being on the potty.

We reminded ourselves that the reason why we are doing this is to learn how to communicate with her and not to catch every pee and poo. The constant signing for 'potty' has really died down and now she is pretty good at letting us know only when she really needs to go, at least for poo. She too is enamored with walking and I understand that its much more fun to walk than to sit on the potty. Also, i have noticed that teething throws a wrench in our routine and all 4 of her first year molars are emerging at once!

It will get better, I am sure of it. I just hope that integrating our son, who is due in a couple of weeks into the EC routine works smoothly!

Keep your head up!