Raising My Twins

It's what's on my mind.

It’s Been Awhile

swimming-preschoolersThe girls have turned 3 and are as sweet as ever…and more challenging than before. It’s become important for me to spend lots of attentive time with them, which leaves me with less time for blogs and projects and cleaning (no tears shed for that).

We had a big Disneyland trip in May, just before the girls turned 3 (because they get in free until 3). It was a blast. Upon our return, Ray Ray had a week of total potty rebellion. She’d pee in her sister’s bed, in our bed, in a box outside…completely deliberately. And then come to me to point it out. Eventually I figured out I had to have no reaction to it, and it was resolved in a week. HOWEVER…

Next started a couple of weeks of pooping in her pants. She’d just refuse to go into the bathroom even though she was walking funny and stinking…and then she’d cry out “poo poo!” only as the lump was forming in her pants. Depressing? Infuriating? Oh yes.

This mama was pretty beside herself. I was calm (inner defeat) for a couple of days and then I really spazzed out one time when she was pantsless and made a pile on the floor. And another. Well, my hitting the roof made the next days even worse…she was completely out of control. I remembered to react “not at all” and further, I sensed that she needed more positive attention from me, so I stopped trying to get things done and spent more time on the floor with both of the girls.

It worked, to a point. She started going to the potty on our good days. But she requires that I pay close, almost obsessive attention to her, or she punishes me with poop accidents. Not reacting to those is ever so important now. She’s an extremely sensitive and (modern euphemism comin’ up) “strong-willed” child, and if things aren’t going according to her plan (and everything MUST go according to her plan) then she will do something rebellious, usually involving poop. This means that if I tell her she can’t go outside to play in the pool until she pees, and hold her to it even though she doesn’t want to pee (and even though this is SOP in our house as is peeing before going in the car or going to sleep) she’ll later crap in her swim pants…oops! (Yesterday’s scene.)

This is challenging to navigate, because while I think paying extra attention to her in her extra-needy times is kinda sweet, I have to be careful not to alienate her twin sister in any way. So it takes an enormous amount of energy—mostly emotional. I have to be “on” all the time.

I’ve been terrified during this time that sister would become affected by Ray’s potty issues. The Otter had recently come all the way to 100% trained—remaining dry overnight and graduating to undies at night—and felt like my “ace in the hole”. As long as she was doing so well, I could handle a lot more from Ray Ray. I mean, I’m half way done, right?

But then it happened. Audrey stopped wiping herself, demanding that I do it. Then she had a couple of pee accidents while napping, and then she stopped using her little potty in the middle of the night even if she was already awake. Even if I asked her to go. So she had an overnight “accident” in bed. I flipped out at first (I try not to, but it happens) then I pulled it together and told her she was stuck with undies and she could do it.

At night we split up the girls and coach them to near-sleep separately. I’m in charge of Audrey usually, and I’ve decided to use this time to really bond with her as it’s my only solo time with her all day. Just like her sister, when she feels very secure about her relationship with me, she tries really hard to do things that please me. So she was dry this morning. Sigh. Brow swipe.

Interestingly, even though she pooped her pants yesterday, Rachel was also dry this morning (she wears a pull-up at night). So it’s either minor progress or extreme dehydration. But it made for a nice start to the day, so I’ll enjoy the optimistic feeling for now. I never learn.

It’s been 8 months since our potty training start, by the way. I’ll just let that sink in.

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