Monday, April 22, 2013

Toilet Training Day 13 - The Last Day

My husband let me sleep in today.  A lot.  I stayed in bed till after 11am.  He is a treasure.  Last night I complained that I had lost my appetite completely.  Hungry, but there is nothing at all that appeals to me to eat.  It had been slowly creeping on since I started toilet training - I cannot eat when unhappy or stressed - and is a strong sign of depression for me.  That, and not wanting to get out of bed.  So he kindly let me sleep late.

While I was asleep, Erik had poo'd in his night time nappy, and poo'd on the living room floor.  Hubby had put him on the toilet straight after, but I don't know the details of whether or not he showed Erik how poo goes in the toilet, etc.  I found the change mat out on the bed too, so I know that daddy cleaned him up the old-fashioned way.  Oh well.  I guess he didn't know to clean him up at the toilet.  Sitting him on the toilet was a good move though, and I was told he didn't poo very much.

Hubby has taken all the girls to church today, and I am at home with Erik.  It is the second week we miss church because of toilet training.  I hate it, but I can't put a pull-up on him just for church, and I can't send him in with the high risk that he will wee or poo out in kids church or even with me.  So we have had to stay home.  School starts again tomorrow, and I am pretty sure I'll have to send him in with a pull-up on.  But I count that as our efforts for these holidays finished.

On the other hand, I'll send in a note for the teachers asking whether it was worth continuing the no-pants method for the three or so hours after school that he is awake.  I dearly hope they say no.  How cowardly is that.  It's only three hours!  But here is my conundrum:  Is it better to cease this method entirely and keep the toilet training efforts intensive and all out?  Or is it better to carry on, even in a small half-here-half-there capacity, until we achieve success?  I am hoping they can advise me on this, and whatever they suggest, I will go ahead with.  Even though I want to run a mile (or 100) from anything resembling toilet training once tomorrow comes.

About 3pm, I notice the characteristic dance that he does when he needs to wee.  I take him to the toilet and wait it out.  We sing, we count, we play.  I let him stand and walk around rather than sit on the toilet.  It's a wee, and he will need to learn to wee standing up eventually.  He is so strong and stubbourn, I honestly don't know how he manages to hold on for so long!  But eventually, in a moment of distraction, he starts.  He always stares down at himself in shock and disappointment when he starts a  wee without his nappy.  But I gently say "Good boy!" and quickly place the bucket under the stream.  He chuckles again.  So cute.  When he is done, I immediately pour it into the toilet while he looks on.  "Wee goes in the toilet bubba.  Good job!  Now we flush.  Ready, set, go!" *flush*.  I lead him out to the kitchen where he gets a chocolate freckle.  He is very happy to receive it.  Then I go back to clean up the bits that got on the floor.  A small success!

There is nothing more for the next few hours.  But then at about 6pm, I see that same dance.  We are almost finished dinner, but I am still eating mine.  Hubby offers to take him to the toilet, and I gratefully (but with some trepidation) accept.  It usually ends in screams when daddy does this duty.  Sure enough, several minutes later, I hear the telltale screams of a meltdown coming from the toilet.  I leave them be, but after a while it becomes too much.  Erik is upset, and we will achieve nothing this way.

I go to the toilet to check on hubby - I know what it's like trying to handle a screaming boy, so I want him to know that I am here if he needs anything.  I notice that he has Erik sitting on the toilet.  I tell hubby that I don't usually get him to sit for a wee, only if there is poo happening.  Hubby asks how can I tell.  Hard to explain with a screaming boy in the background.  Long story short, we swap places.  Erik is not happy to still be made to stay in the toilet, but I am quickly able to distract and settle him with our usual songs and games.

In a short time, he begins to wee.  He really was busting.  This time, he is standing close to the toilet, so instead of using the bucket, I gently turn him so that the stream flows into the toilet.  Mostly.  Some lands on the seat, and some dribbles in front.  But you get the idea LOL.  Another little chuckle.  I love those chuckles.  As soon as he is done, he tries to back away.  I spontaneously decide to attempt one step further, and try to show him how to 'flick' it clean.  He doesn't want to know LOL.  Maybe that's too much at this early stage.  Never mind.  I gently but joyfully praise him for weeing in the toilet.  Then lead him by the hand to get him another freckle.  Oops!  Forgot to flush!  Never mind.  That's not as important as actually weeing IN the toilet!

Oh. My. Gosh.  Did that just happen?  I mean... it's not as if he actually told me he needs to go, and then purposely wee'd in the toilet, but still!  He wee'd IN THE TOILET!


Back to dinner.  A short while later, I notice he needs to poo.  Back to the toilet, and this time, I get him to sit.  Then it occurs to me that it might actually be bed time, and he has school tomorrow.  I call out the door to ask hubby the time.  Yep.  7:39pm.  Past his bed time.  I don't bother with waiting out the poo - based on our past success rate with this particular venture, I don't think it's worth keeping him up another hour for what will likely be another fail.  So I take him into the bathroom, and shower him, pj's on and put both him and the Baby Miss to bed.

I gently try to tell him that there will be school in the morning.  He regards me with those precious chocolaty eyes.  I don't know how much he understands most times, but this time, I think he understands me.  I guess tomorrow will tell.  But either way, I am pretty sure he will be over the moon to be going to school.   And considering he has been basically housebound for the last two weeks, bored witless and subjected to a massive overhaul in his life's patterns, I can't say I blame him.

As for me....

I am almost sick with relief that these two weeks are over.  And yet, at the same time, I feel as though they have gone so fast.  With the small wee win we had tonight, could there be an imminent success if we continued?

I don't know.  But I do know, I can't send him on the bus with no safety-guard (ie. pull-up).  He has not had a pull-up on for two whole weeks.  Only his night time nappy.  I do hope the act of putting one on doesn't undo everything that has happened over the holidays.  On the other hand, it's not like we've made massive leaps in progress that there would be anything major to undo.  Ugh.  The whole issue does my head in.

I hope the depression that has sunk in over this time doesn't hang around.  I hope it never comes back.  But somehow, I don't think I have seen the last of it.  It's just something that seems to come with this territory. I will have to learn to be stronger.

Tomorrow:  disinfect the couches, floors, whole house LOL.  The rug may have to wait until later in the week when we get a warm dry day.  I want to take that one outside and give it a good wash down and leave it to dry in the sun.  But although the house itself might be able to return to normal fairly quickly, I think I might need a bit of time before the stress of the last two weeks washes away from my soul. I will have to plan something pleasant for myself.  Which is a lot harder than it sounds.

Deep breath, and move on.

....Well done beautiful boy.  You wee'd in the toilet!  Oh, I am holding on to that tiny victory.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Toilet Training Day 12

I have been up since very early this morning, before 5am.  I just couldn't sleep.  Too much on my mind I think.  So I was already up when Erik got out of bed, which was at 6:30am.  After breakfasting him and the Baby Miss, I took off his night time nappy, as usual.  Knowing it was risky, I lay down on the couch to doze.  I had the bucket close at hand in case it was needed.  But I prayed I wouldn't miss anything due to being sleepy.  He looked like he needed to both wee and poo.  But by this time, I was sooooo tired.  I fell asleep about 8am, all kids up and about.

Amazingly, I didn't miss anything.  He did nothing, though I kept waking up to check.  It wasn't till I was up and about again that he wee'd.  Fortunately I was very close by and immediately grabbed the bucket and caught all but the beginnings of it.  Yes!

He whined a little bit.  He didn't like it this time.  With a gentle and positive tone, I encouraged and reassured him.  Then, he chuckled a bit.  Sweet boy.  It was quite a long stream... he had been holding for some time again.  He seemed to get distracted with what was going on though, and he tried to keep walking away to attend to something else while he was still weeing.  I thought that was a little bizarre, but I managed to keep him there till he was done.

When he had finished, as usual, I went to take it and him to the toilet to dispose of it.  But this time, he would not come with me.  He resisted and screamed and dropped and then stood up and ran off.  I deposited the bucket in the toilet room and went to get him.  But first, a small reward.  I fetched one of his favourite chocolates of all time - a freckle.  One measly little freckle.  It's a big deal for him though. So gave it to him with lots of positive praise about weeing in the bucket.  As he was eating it, I gently walked him over to the toilet to dispose of the wee.  He didn't fight me this time.

School goes back the day after tomorrow.  I don't think we will have gotten anywhere by then.  But I'm sticking it out for two more days.  Just two more days.

About 4pm in the afternoon, I notice a smell.  I have been keeping a close eye on him all day, so I knew a poo was close.  Checking his bottom confirms everything and I take him to the toilet and settle in for a while.  We play.  We sing.  We play some more.  He keeps trying to get off, or stand on the toilet seat.  At one point, Baby Miss comes running by stark naked.  She stops behind me and says "Mum, where's my clothes?"  I look at her, and though I am delighted by her super-cuteness, I ask her sternly "I don't know, where are they?" She says "I don't know" and runs off again.  I call out after her to get herself dressed, even just pyjamas.  She dutifully brings me her favourite pj's and I help her on with them.  At least she is wearing something.  Cheeky little monkey :)

Next thing I know, she is standing at the back door calling out to her sisters, who completely ignore her cries.  Her shouts of this nature always elicit a response from Erik.  And not the best response either.  The situation quickly escalates and I sense a meltdown coming on.  I cannot leave my post, or he will escape, and may possibly poo somewhere else.  No one answers the Baby Miss, and no one heeds my call either.  They probably can't hear it.  I feel like I'm going to snap.

Mercifully, she gives up calling to her sisters, and Erik settles down again.  But I've been pressed a bit more than I could bear.  I can only wait with him another 10 minutes, then I let him go.  The total time has been 1 hour 10 minutes.  I let him outside to play, concerned that he will let it all go out there.  But I am so beaten, I leave him be anyway.

After organising a no-drama dinner for the little ones, of vegemite toast and sliced apples, I set up the Baby Miss in her bubble bath.  While I'm not looking Erik does a wee.  I only notice after seeing droplets down his legs and on his feet.  I haven't found the puddle yet.  It has probably seeped into the rug by now :(.  Missed it again.

A short time later, I hear my hubby exclaim "Ohh... are you doing a poo Erik?".  I hurry over and sure enough, poo.  A little on the floor, and a little on the couch.  I send him to the toilet with my husband while I clean it up.  I find a little more on the kitchen floor.  I check in on hubby with the boy, but he said he is fine to stay with him, so I finish bathing the Baby Miss instead.  While I am washing her hair, she screams.  This elicits a meltdown from the boy who is in the toilet right next door.  I can't help it, her hair must be washed.  I make it as quick and painless as possible.  And check in again on hubby.  But as I check in, I find he has already given up and is bringing Erik out to wash him down.

But distressed or not, I am not satisfied with the short time the boy has spent on the toilet when he literally has poop hanging off his bottom.  So I take over from hubby and take him back in for a little longer.  I only take him off when I realise it is 15 minutes till his bedtime.  I shower him, pj him and put him to bed with his little sister.  Needless to say, he did nothing on the toilet.

I am so brain drained, it's not funny.  One more day.  And I insist on persevering  despite the obvious fact that we have gotten nowhere since we started all this.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Toilet Training Day 11

Woke to find a small firm poo in his nappy today.  Good he got some out.  We seem to have avoided the constipation issues so far, thank God.  I have let him outside to play, since the weather is lovely.  I couldn't keep him cooped up in here, it's not fair.  Bad enough he has hardly been out for the whole school holidays, except for three trips to the playground.  Cold weather is just around the corner so I want to take advantage of the sunshine.  The downside is that I know he will poo and wee while outdoors and nobody is noticing him.

True enough, he comes in a short while later with poo stains on his bottom.  Never mind.  And this time I don't even bother looking for the evidence!  LOL!  I am sure he has wee'd outside too, as there hasn't been anything today that resembles him needing to go.  So I guess, all in all, there has been nothing for me to catch/train with.  Honestly though, I think I needed the break.  Even though there seems to have been no real training happening, at least he has no nappy on, and so I have avoided that backwards step so far.

What an unremarkable day.  I have managed to catch half a wee that he did while standing on the edge of the couch, but that's it.  There have been no more wee's and no more poo's (or threatened poo's either).

However, we did have an hour long meltdown at dinner due to him being way overtired and nearly falling asleep while waiting for his food.  That was very taxing, putting it mildly.

He is now in bed.  All I want to do is zone out with a book or some mmorpg.  But my daughters need my attention.  I try to put my brain into gear.  Maybe a movie together might be a good compromise.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Toilet Training Day 10

I got out of bed late today.  I spent half the night waking up suddenly and thinking I was having a heart attack (yes literally!) -  I am sure it's all stress related - and so I was very tired in the morning.  But also, I just didn't want to face the day.

His nappy was not very wet when I took it off.  I have been very vigilant with him all day, because there is no more 'pattern'.  I took him to the toilet to wait for a wee at one point when he was walking around agitated.  Stayed in there for ages.  Nothing.  So I brought him back out again.

I sat down right beside him with the bucket and towel within reach.  I stayed there doing nothing, just being at the ready, for ages.  Still nothing.

I went to get a coffee for myself and sit down to read some news - a five minute break if you like.  I would get up to check on him literally every minute.  Nothing.

Then, when I wasn't checking on him, I hear a splishing sound.  He's weeing!  Sitting down on the entertainment unit again!  Lightening fast, I grabbed the bucket and ran to catch it.  But by the time I got there, he either stopped the stream, or was finished.  Fail.  I want to cry.

Nothing else for most of the day, and I watch him like a hawk.  I get nothing done all day because of it.

At dinner time, I warm up leftovers for the kids to eat, and then put a pair of jocks on Erik so he can sit down to have his dinner. (Yes!  I managed to get him to wear them again!  Win!).  He sits and starts to eat, but keeps getting off his seat.  I get a phone call from my mum that requires me to check something in another room.  When I get back, I find he has wee'd.  Sigh.  I clean him up and put fresh jocks on him and put him back to his dinner.

He is halfway through eating when he decides he can't sit anymore.  I know what is happening.  He needs to poo.  It's the same time as hit him last night.  I let him off and watch him closely while I try to quickly put some potatoes into the oven for our dinner.  Suddenly, I catch a light whiff....

I run over to him and check his jocks... yep.  Little bit in there already.  Calmly walk him to the toilet, take his jocks off and sit him down.  I call out to my husband on the way if he could put those potatoes in the oven for me.  I brace myself for the long haul.

I don't know how much time went by as I waited in there.  Erik on (and off) the toilet, me sitting on a step stool directly in front of him to keep him on the toilet when he tries to come off.  I don't know how long we were in there, with the odor of poo assaulting my nose, but there was nothing.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  He holds on.

All at once, my strength and resolve crumbles.  I begin to cry.  I weep and I sob like I haven't done in a very long time.  The tears keep coming and I can't stop.  I hope and pray no-one else in the house can hear me weeping.  I am glad that my son can't seem to understand the emotional break-down occurring in front of him.  I can't stop.  I just can't stop.  Every time I take a breath, I release it with massive sobs and heaves.  It's just too much.

I try to clean him up while I'm weeping, so I can let him out.  We have been in there for ages.  He won't let me clean his bottom.  I break down into fresh sobs again, and put him back on the toilet.  Crying my eyes out, I just don't know what else to do.

A short time later, he comes off the toilet and I leave him be.  It's pointless anyway.  He's not going to poo there.  Maybe he will poo standing up?  He leans over me onto my lap instead, his poo-stained bottom not far from my nose.  Tears are still rolling down my face as I take the opportunity to calmly clean his bottom with a wet wipe.  Finally, I can let him out.

I meet my husband as we open the door.  He takes one look at me and asks if I'm ok.  I don't even remember what I answered with.  I ask what time it is though, and mercifully, it is now bedtime for Erik.  I go into the bathroom to wash the poo off my hands, scrubbing hard to get rid of the smell that always seems to linger.  Noticing my reflection in the mirror.... I look a right awful mess.

I wipe my face and eyes and re-tie up my hair - Erik had pulled at it so it was all frizzy.  A little better.  I put his pyjamas on, daddy prays and we kiss the little ones goodnight.  I still have to face my mother, who comes to collect some things for my daughters who are sleeping over there, and I still have to cook dinner for the rest of us.  All I want to do is bury myself in bed and hide from the world.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Toilet Training Day 9

I am so incredibly discouraged today that I feel like giving up.  But being a stubbourn girl (I wonder where the boy gets it from *wink*), I set out to try for two solid weeks, so that's what I'm going to do.

Just to prove to me that he is not going to stick to the pattern I thought was forming at the start, he wee's on the couch at 11:15am.  And yep, I missed it.  Upset doesn't even begin to describe.  What is wrong with me?  Why am I not more vigilant?

Later in the day, we have one of those rare times where Erik is actually engaged in an activity, playing with a car set without anyone assisting or structuring the play.  I notice him stop playing, and start doing the hunch and grunt walk.  Uh oh, he needs to poo.  I rush over and catch a teeny whiff which confirms my assessment.  Quickly I walk him over to the toilet, gently explaining that poo goes on the toilet.  He comes with me and sits down, although resistively.  He really needs to go, and I'm praying that he hasn't held it enough to stop the process by the time we got there.  I start quietly counting.  He keeps trying to get down.  I notice his breath smells like eggs, and I'm worried.  Is he getting sick from holding it in too much?  Or is it just that I have been struggling to brush his teeth lately? - he's so big and strong now, it's really hard for me to manage him.  I do hope we don't have a case of gastro starting up that is going to sweep through the house.  I wish he could tell me if he was feeling sick.

I count to 200.  Nothing.  He has held it in again.  I let him go.  Maybe I can catch it later.  And pigs might fly too.

The weather is pleasant again today, and I can't not let him go outside to play.  I just know though, that he is going to let it go outside somewhere.  I let him out anyway.  My prediction is true.  I bring him in and clean him up and keep him inside instead.

I can see that he needs to wee, so I grab the bucket and hang around him.  "Wee, Erik?"  He hunches and presses at his bladder and grabs himself.  He is uncomfortable.  I take him to the toilet and we wait in there for wee.  It doesn't happen, so after 10 minutes, I let him out again.

I stop to make myself a coffee.  As I walk over to the TV to change the program for the kids, I step in something wet.  Great.  Missed it again.  I think maybe I need to go back and adopt my first days' policy of 'drop everything and just follow him all day'.  There is nothing remotely like a pattern happening now!

Not long after, I notice a smell and a closer look reveals a little bit of poo hanging off his bottom.  What!?  There were no signs this time!  He was just playing with his alphabet book literally right in front of me!  I grab him and sit him on the toilet, but not before that little piece falls off and he steps right in it.  And then on the book.   At the toilet, he holds it in again.  I clean his feet and bum and let him go.  I am so discouraged right now I just want to give up.  It would be so much easier to just stick a pull-up on him :(.

Easier for now.  I don't want to be cleaning up a 40 year old man, and if we don't do this now, I will be.  I will plod on.

While I am cooking dinner, he quietly wees on the couch again.  I only notice when I hear a dripping sound that is wee dripping down on the tiles.  Too late for me to catch it or do anything.  Sigh.

He does the poo-smears-on-the-bum trick no less than 6 times today.  I have watched him closely the rest of the day, and every time he starts hunching and holding his tummy, walking around with that look of concerned concentration on his face and grunting quietly, I quickly and quietly take him over to the toilet and sit him down.  He has become more compliant with coming to the toilet now, but will still get up and walk away if I leave him.

Every time I catch him starting to poo and take him to the toilet, he stops.
He.  Just.  Stops.
I don't know how he manages to hold it in, but he does.  And I will stay at the toilet with him for a goodly amount of time - 20 minutes minimum - but not long after I let him go, he is hunching and grunting again.   The last 4 or so hours have been utterly overwhelming for me with this pattern.

The last time I put him on the toilet and then let him off again (20 minute stint), I left him to come over and update this journal just quickly.  I left him for less than five minutes, eating his dinner standing up at his place rather than sitting on his stool.  It was no more than five minutes, no jokes, and when I went back into the kitchen, he had pooped.  We had just come out of the toilet less than five minutes ago!  Trying ever so hard to conceal my despair, I gently showed him the poo at his feet.  He looked at it, and stood awkwardly, keeping his legs firmly together.  He really didn't want me wiping his bottom again.

I brought the bucket over, and using tissues, scooped up what I could, showing him each time.  "Poo!" I said gently.  He watched.  Then I walked him to the toilet and showed him again as I tipped it in.  "Poo!  Poo goes in the toilet".  I flushed.  He didn't even flinch.  That's progress I guess.

I took him straight into the bathroom and washed him down.  He still didn't want me to clean his bottom.  After the craziness we'd both had of almost poo's and so much wiping that afternoon, I couldn't blame him.  As gently as I could, I cleaned him up, dried and cuddled him.  I put his night time nappy and pj's on, and, since he had mostly finished his dinner anyway, I put him to bed.  He went straight to sleep.

I am utterly deflated tonight.  This is so exhausting and demoralising.  I just can't get this right.  I am sure I am expecting too much too soon, but still.  I can't help feeling like an utter failure.

I want to look at the bright side:  He is getting used to pooping and weeing without the security of a nappy on.  This is good!  I am also saving a lot of money on pull-ups.  This too is good!

But the smell of the house and the unsuccessful day are a constant reminder that really, I still haven't gotten anywhere with this.

I was looking forward, all day today, to doing some cake when I had some time.  It cheers me up, and it is something I love to do.  Chocolate fudge cake with espresso ganache and hazelnut praline buttercream.  I was going to cover it with fondant and have a play with some decorating techniques before enjoying the cake with the rest of my household.  Now, even though the kids are in bed and I'm free to play, I'm too depressed to find the motivation.  I just want to go to bed and cry.  I really hope tomorrow is better.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Toilet Training Day 8

No poo this morning.  None all day in fact.  I guess yesterdays purge cleaned out his system.  But I didn't manage to catch anything today in terms of wee either.  He wee'd once in his pj pants, early in the day when I wasn't expecting a wee from him.  That was the only wee I have seen of him today.  He is tipping all the patterns upside down, so I can't predict anything.  Stressed out doesn't even begin to describe my state at this point.

At the end of the day, in the middle of dinner, I could see that he really needed to use the toilet.  He got up off his chair and refused to come back.  I left him because of my suspicions.  Watching him as closely as I could while managing the Baby Miss, I realised I could smell poo.  I found although he hadn't actually done any, there were smudges on his bum.  It was as though his body was desperately trying to make one, but he was hunched over walking around and doing his utmost to hold it in.  And doing a stellar job of that.  His belly was rock hard.  He wasn't distressed, but he was whining and obviously uncomfortable.  I took him to the toilet to wait it out, hoping that Baby Miss wouldn't get into any mischief while I was otherwise occupied.

He danced around and I waited.  I held the bucket out for wee and waited.  He didn't like that, so I put the bucket down, and waited.  Then I sat him on the toilet, and waited.  Then he didn't want to sit anymore, so I let him off, and waited.   We sang songs, and I waited.  I spoke to him quietly about making poo on the toilet, about him being a big boy now, about how he would be ok.  He croaked in response (and I nearly hooped and hollered for joy!)  "No - mm".  Twice he responded that way as I quietly spoke to him.  But - and here is the thing that always gets me - it could have been something else...

You see, the last few days he has been singing to himself "Noma, noma, A B teeeth!  Neh tah wer eh si weh meee".  Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful to my ears and delightful to my heart.  A little something to cheer me in the middle of this toileting nightmare.  So yes, it could have been that too.  Still though, I took it as a response to my quiet talking to him.  No mum, I don't want to use the toilet.

So I waited and waited, all the while with one ear listening to the Baby Miss chatting at us from behind the door (oh, she never stops, bless her).  Then I sat him down on the toilet again and began counting as I waited.  Quietly counting in his ear, he seemed to be able to settle.  I counted all the way to 200, he loved the pattern of it.  But still nothing.  I let him go.  We had been in there 40 minutes.

I showered him, put his nappy and pj's on, and put him to bed.  Failed again.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Toilet Training Day 7

No poo this morning again.  Haven't seen anything like a wee for most of the day either, so I decided to take advantage of the pleasant weather and let him outside to play.  As soon as I did, he let go.  Poo that is, and likely a wee too, let us just assume.  He came inside soon after and I could smell it.  I quickly went outside to see if I could find the package  but it was nowhere to be found!  Another phantom poo.  The remnants on his bottom were the only evidence.  I took him to the bath to clean him up and went outside to try to find this poo again.  Didn't find the poo, but found a butt naked little Baby Miss frolicking around the shallow kiddie pool we use for our dog's water, in full view of the construction workers over the back fence!

Oh the joys.  I took her inside to dress her and sort her out, secretly taking much joy in the fact that she can actually undress herself if she wants to.  When I returned, I could smell another poo.  What?  Again?!  Errgh!!  Back we go to the bath to clean up.  And then I went outside to see if I could find these phantom poos.

While I was out searching, I located the fresh one almost immediately.  Our beautiful dog, who was happily following me around also located it.  And then she showed me exactly why the phantom poo's were phantom.



Yes, it's exactly what you think!  She took one sniff, then picked it up in her snout, quickly catching it when it slipped, and guzzled it down without a second thought.  I almost threw up on the spot as I watched her trotting away, her tail wagging merrily.

Later that afternoon, he started to wee behind a couch in the lounge room.  It was Miss Jane who alerted me to it, the clever girl.  But bucket was nowhere to be found, so I missed it.  I was really annoyed.  How could I just misplace such an important thing?

In the evening just before dinner, I managed to get a pair of jocks on the boy.  Win!  This is definitely a good step.  However, just as I was serving up dinner, there was that telltale whiff in the air.

Oh no.....

Poo in the jocks.

For the third time that day, I cleaned him up.  At least he is clearing his system.  I would rather that than have constipation issues on top of everything else.

Trying to look on the bright side:  The one benefit from all this toilet training is that it is saving a lot of pull-ups!

I put on his night time nappy, and put him to bed.  What a day :(


Monday, April 15, 2013

Toilet Training Day 6

No poo this morning.  I'm a bit disappointed.  He has been very irritable today, and I'm pretty sure it's all about not being able to 'go', or rather, choosing not to 'go'.  I have put him on the toilet a little more today.  Trying to pick up my game in that area.  So hard.  He still fights it, but not as much.  I still dread it though.

We put pants on and go to the park.  He stays dry for the whole time we are there, which is about 1.5 hours.  Good boy!  A couple more times sitting on the toilet through the day.  To no avail.  I suppose I have to revisit at the aim of that:  And that is to encourage him to be comfortable and settled on the toilet.  Not so much to have him poo or wee there already.  I guess.  Wee maybe.  Ugh.  Who knows.  I'm so confused and discouraged right now, I can't even think straight.

Don't need anymore details of the day other than the fact that he went upstairs to wee again.  Anywhere where nobody will notice him is what he aims for.  So it was upstairs, on a desk on the landing.  He likes to climb stuff, so he was on the desk when he wee'd.  I had only just got home from an errand, so didn't have the chance to actually follow him when he first went up there.  I had looked around and asked "Where's Erik?".  Nobody realised he wasn't actually in the room, or the next room.  And so I missed another wee, and I feel like we're not getting anywhere.

Depression over the toilet training and even my life's role as a carer to this amazing little guy are sinking in.  My life - our lives - are so limited because of him.  I wouldn't swap him for anyone, and I wouldn't undo him if I could, but oh sometimes it is hard.  To watch life passing you by with things you want to do and achieve and you know you can't, because you have to be on call for this precious life.  And I feel guilty for feeling depressed.  And it all goes 'round and 'round.

Later that evening, I notice he needed to wee again.  So I take him to the toilet.  I let him stand around rather than sit on the seat.  I sit down on a little step stool in there and talk and play with him.  He finally got so desperate, he just couldn't hold on anymore.  As soon as the wee stream started, I grab the bucket to catch the wee.  "Good boy Erik!  Wee!  Good boy!"  I gently try to encourage him.  He did try to push the bucket away this time.  Not very strongly, but still.  I am so disappointed when he does.  It feels like two steps forward, ten steps back.  Still, I caught most of it in the bucket and then emptied it straight into the toilet while he watched.  "Wee goes in the toilet Erik.  See?  Look.  Wee in toilet".   I gave him a chocolate freckle, and then, being that it was bedtime, put his pj's on and put him straight to bed.  I'm emotionally exhausted.   Very glad I caught at least one wee today, but so disappointed in all the missed ones.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Toilet Training Day 5

Again I woke to find poo.  At least he is moving things a little bit so he doesn't get too constipated.  I won't be too fussed about chasing him around today, as I expect a wee around 4:30pm - 5:30pm.  That seems to be his pattern.  I do need to try and put him on the toilet more though.  Really need to pick up my game in that area :(.

The weather is blessedly pleasant, so I let him play outside.  About 2pm, Baby Miss comes running in to tell me "Erik made wee!"  Oh no, I missed it!  Asking her where he made wee doesn't help, she just keeps telling me he made it on the toilet, which I know is impossible.  A brief inspection outside shows me a small foamy puddle on the concrete.  I hose it away.  Nothing more I can do really.  He has resumed his walking around and it's a bit too late to show him and talk to him about it now.  I'm angry with myself.  And so frustrated.  He just won't wee when anyone is watching!

He is very whiny and irritable today.  I think it's because he is really starting to feel uncomfortable.  He hasn't been able to wee or poo at ease for five days now.  I imagine he is feeling rather blocked up.  I feel so sorry for him.  The whole thing is breaking my heart.  If only you could just sit on the toilet kiddo, and let it all go there.  If only you could understand that that scenario would be the ultimate in control for you!  Depression starts to overwhelm me.  This is life with my special needs kid.  Not just the practical limitations, but the heartbreak and emotional turmoil of knowing your child is suffering, even when they don't necessarily know.  How hard it is to know that things could be so much better if he could just relax.

Nothing else for the rest of the afternoon.  Then, as we are all sitting down to watch a movie and eat dinner for family night, he wees.  He is sitting sort of sideways on the entertainment unit, playing with the iPad.  There is a shelf and a drawer underneath where he is sitting.  He just lets go while he is sitting there, and it gets into the drawer underneath.  Which had wrapping paper in it.  Guess that has to go in the bin now.  I jumped up to catch what I could, but he refuses to move from his spot, so it was really hard to position the bucket underneath him to catch the wee.  Nothing more to do but clean it and him up.

He is very irritable.  Keeps getting in front of the TV so the girls couldn't see properly, whining, laughing, screaming and climbing on us, and just generally disrupting everything.  I take him to shower and get him ready for bed so the others can watch the rest of the movie in peace.

Another failed day.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Toilet Training Day 4

I woke up to find another firmish poo today.  I think a pattern might be emerging.  Poo early in the morning before I can change his nappy, but won't wee till the late afternoon, around 5pm.

I haven't been as vigilant in putting him on the toilet.  Whenever I think about it, I find this sense of dread wells up so heavy, that I put it off.  And so most of the day has passed without me putting him on the toilet.  I hate myself and my weakness.  This is so hard.

Sure enough, at about 4:30pm, another wee.  I caught it this time - yay!  This time (and this is only the second time I have managed to catch one since we started), he didn't cry or try to move the bucket away.  He stood there watching the stream flow in, and even chuckled at it at one point.  Yes!  This was the place we were at last time I tried toilet training, only it took me ages to work up to that point.

Nothing else for the rest of the day.  I showered him, night time nappy on, and put him to bed.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Toilet Training Day 3

I woke up to find a small but firm poo in his nappy.  I'm happy that he got to release something, at least it will avoid him being completely 'blocked up'.  I cleaned him up at the toilet - quite difficult to do when he is squirming and trying to run off.  I always try to show him what I'm doing; how the poo goes in the toilet and we flush it all away.  He never wants to look.  Wants nothing to do with it!

A little time later, I notice he is not in the vicinity and start making my way upstairs to check where he is.  On the way I am met by a fast walking husband holding the boy a little out from him and quickly heading towards the toilet.  The smell that wafts past me leaves no questions.  Poo.  There is a little bit hanging off his bottom.  Dad sits him on the toilet and keeps him there, despite his protests, while I go back upstairs to search the area for any 'remnants'.  Thankfully, and amazingly, there is nothing.  Dad seems to have picked up on it right at the beginning.

A little piece that was stuck to the boy's bottom drops into the toilet, and we make a big happy deal about it.  But he is still upset and protesting, and refuses to do anymore.  I clean him up, and let him go.

After the poo incident, I am super vigilant today.  The boy obviously needs to go.  I eat my lunch while following him around, wee bucket always close to hand.  Still no wee, and no poo.

Seeing as there is really nothing happening, I decide to take a break for a little bit and stop following him around.  Then I hear a call from upstairs.... "Viv.....".  My husband sounds annoyed.  I rush upstairs.  Erik has wee'd in a very awkward place.  Over toys and shelves and carpet.  Sigh.  Lovely.  Husband takes him downstairs while I clean up the mess.  I guess I can't let my guard down for a moment.

I am very much over this today.  At this point, I have identified two major problems:  Erik is an absolute control freak.  One; he must be in control all the time, even physically.  And two; relating to this, he will not let go in front of anyone, even me.  In light of these facts, how on earth am I supposed to help him use the toilet?  If I am needed to literally hold him there, there is no way he is going to voluntarily let go while I'm in there with him.  The only time he wee's is when he thinks no one is watching, or when he simply cannot hold on anymore - and his holding power is incredibly strong!

There is no more wee and no more poo for the rest of the day, though I'm still pretty certain he needs to poo.  In the evening, I put his nappy and  pj's on and put him to bed.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Toilet Training Day 2

Same routine as yesterday, only he is not drinking much today.  I haven't been as diligent in putting him on the toilet.  Maybe 3 times all day.  Not good, but the dread I feel every time I think about putting him on there makes me procrastinate.  Ugh.  Suck it up princess!

We decide to go to the park, with daddy's help.  So I try to put pants on him.  He outright refuses to wear jocks!  He learned on our last toilet training stint that they don't hold anything in if he lets go, and has refused to wear them ever since.  It's absolutely hilarious, the way he vehemently and with great annoyance voices his protest whenever I merely show him a pair!  I resort to hiding them in his pants and putting them both on at the same time.   It works.  But just as we are about to leave the house, he wees.

Poor kid.  The look of confusion and disappointment on his face broke my heart.  Pants on, he thought he was safe!  Wee down his legs, in his pants and socks and shoes.  I change him again quickly, and we go to the park.

When we got home, as I was serving up dinner (shepherds pie that had been in the oven while we were out), he went to a corner of the kitchen while everyone else was otherwise busy, and wee'd again.  But he must have stopped mid stream when he realised there was still no nappy.  Poor baby :(.  I remove his clothes and dry him up, and left him bottomless again.

He is whining and crying.  He is uncomfortable.  I'm pretty sure he really needs to poo.  He won't do it though.  I am really concerned now.  He has held it in for two days at this point.  I really don't want him to get constipated.  However, it is bedtime anyway.  So I shower him, nappy him and put him to bed.  If he is going to do it, this is his opportunity, as un-ideal as the case may be.  I'd rather not have him constipated, so I quietly hope he might poop it out while his nappy is 'appropriately' on for bedtime.

Caught no wee at all today.  He did them both when his pants were on.  Oh well.  Tomorrow it all continues.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Toilet Training Again

It is school holidays here - yes, the boy has started school!  Just another post I need to catch up on....  School holidays after first term, and I have decided to try toilet training again.  I feel driven to it more as a duty to my son, to the school, to society, and as a mother.  He is getting older and bigger, and this is becoming more urgent.  And more difficult.  But Baby Miss is now toilet trained herself, and settled into it enough that I don't need to chase her around anymore over accidents.  So really, there should be nothing more holding me back from trying, other than the usual family commitments.  Which are still going to make things difficult I imagine.  I've decided to keep a bit of a journal this time, for how it goes.  This is the fourth time I attempt to toilet train, and I am already approaching it with discouragement and dread.  The first time and second time, I tried with all the recommended techniques, to no avail.  Even our wonderful EI worker couldn't make sense of this boy.  The last time I tried something different, but the OT didn't recommend it, so I stopped and gave up, again.  It's a shame, because we had made some progress and I thought we might actually get somewhere here.  But I trusted her expertise and advice, so I let it go.  Wish I hadn't now.  I am trying this method again this time, so we shall see.

The school is helping - it is one of our major SSG (Student Support Group) goals.  But I still feel compelled to try full swing again at home during holidays.  So, with a deep breath and internally steeling myself against the fear and dread, here goes.....

Day 1.
This morning, after changing his pj's and cleaning him up, I have left him bottomless so I can catch him when he wee's.  I have filled his drink bottle and keep shoving it in his face.  Drink boy!   He is drinking ok, but there has been nothing else happening.  All morning I hovered around him like a fly with an empty ice-cream bucket.  The potty has long been put away, and it is too small for him now anyway.  A deep ice-cream bucket is better for catching his wee.

I have put him on the toilet every hour, to sit for as long as he can handle.  I still have to physically hold him there - not very strongly, thank God - but still.  As soon as I back away, he comes off.  So I stand in front of him with my arms around him, rubbing his back, and his head nestled against my neck as he quietly whines his protest.  He holds himself off the seat a little bit.  He really doesn't like it.  The first time, I keep him there for only 10 seconds.  Each time thereafter I keep him there for 10 seconds longer, until finally, I can keep him there for a minute.

The boy has superhuman control!  Not a wee, poo, or fart all day!  I follow him around with the ice-cream bucket, for no reason at all.

We have watched Tom's Toilet Triumph 3 times already.  He likes to watch it, but wants nothing more to do with the content LOL.

Finally, at about 5pm, he starts to whine and scream periodically.  I know he is busting to go now.  He is so stubbourn though, he just won't let go without his nappy.  It's getting very close and he won't be able to hold on too much longer, so I follow him closely with the bucket, talking to him all the time.

"Wee, Erik?  Wee?"

Whine, whine, scream.  Pushes the bucket away.

Standing on a chair in his sisters' bedroom, he is fiddling with the DS, and whining.  I look away for a second at something else in the room.  Then suddenly - finally at 5:30pm! - he lets go.  Darnit, I missed the start!  I quickly shove the bucket under the stream, much to his disgust.

"Weeeeeeee!  Good boy!  Weeeeeeee!"

He is crying his protest and trying to push the bucket away.  But he can't go anywhere because he is standing on the chair - win!  I manage to catch most of it in the bucket.  The stream goes on and on and on and on.  I think he has pee'd close to a litre!  It's a 2L bucket, and more than 1/3 full, even after I missed the first little bit.  This kid is amazing!  How he managed to hold on this much I will never know!

As the stream continues and I joyfully say "Wee!", he begins to settle his protests.  He allows me to keep holding the bucket there till he is done.  The poor kid must feel so much better now.  As soon as the stream stops, fast as lightening, he's off that chair and running to the living room.  He wants nothing to do with it!

I follow him out, with the swishing bucket in hand, and gently bring him over.  As gently as I can while he struggles against me, that is.  I force him to look on as I slowly tip the wee into the toilet.

"Wee!  Good boy Erik, look, wee!"

He's not impressed.  I warn him about the toilet flush, but let him leave as I flush it away.  He has had enough distress, and I don't want to add to it.

Nothing else for the rest of the day.  In the evening, I showered him, put his night time nappy on, and put him to bed.  He was quite relieved to be wearing it.  And I am relieved that it's over for today.  Hopefully, by catching that first wee, the hardest part is over! Phew!