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.