It's days like today that I dearly wish I had not committed myself to refraining from the use of stronger profanity on this site (and in real life, though in real life I almost never quite manage to refrain from it).
I've been trying to potty train Graham for almost a full year now. I beat myself up over my failure to do so way last January. Then I decided to just let it happen on its own. Then I tried to put my foot down again in May. That was a disaster that upset me more than I thought it possible to be upset over something like potty training. Then I resolved to just let it happen in its own time. And now?
We're back at square one.
Well, not square one. Let's just say square one as far as number two is concerned: as in, he won't, absolutely won't, poop in the potty.
It's been three days since he's gone at all. I know this can't go on. I know he WILL go eventually. But here's what you don't know...
The last time we got to this stage, he did go eventually. In his sleep. In his bed. And guess what? The humiliation, the discomfort, the sheer GROSSNESS of that experience was NOT enough to convince him that perhaps the potty was a better alternative.
What happened was he seemed quite comfortable to get settled into a routine of just holding it all day, soiling his bed in the night and going happily about his normal routine in the morning.
So now he's not gone for three days and he's refusing to go on the potty. I know eventually he will go. And if I continue to refuse a pull up, I suspect he will go in his bedsheets tonight just like last time.
In fact, I suspect he will continue to soil his bed on a nightly basis as long as I refuse him a pull-up.
Graham has told me outright, over and over, that he will NOT poop on the potty.
Graham will be FOUR in November.
Graham is not frightened of the potty and no longer has any hang-ups about the potty: he is stubborn, plain and simple.
I have pleaded. I have cajoled. I have firmly instructed. I have shouted. I have talked softly. I have sobbed. I have tried rewards. I have tried letting him take the lead. I have tried making him stay bare. I have tried withholding privileges. I have tried EVERY single piece of advice I have been given.
I feel like a complete and abject failure
I never, ever thought that I would find myself in a power struggled of such epic proportion but now that I have, I feel that it's a power struggle from which I must, as the PARENT, emerge victorious. After all, what kind of message does it send to him if I don't follow through? If I repeatedly threaten consequences - no tv, no school, no birthday party tomorrow that's he' s been looking forward to all week - only to turn around and give in?
And yet, deep down, I don't believe, even for a second, that my following through on these consequences - and a million more I tearfully threw at him in the throes of frustration last night, consequences that will make us ALL miserable - will change his mind.
I almost forgot to say thanks for all the tips on locating the Curious George Balloon - thanks to Cheryl and Wendy I believe one was found in the shop at Sick Kids Hospital. Also, many thanks for suggesting we visit our old house to look for our missing kitty. We did just that AND put our former neighbors on lookout duty: I'll let you know if our dear Eddie turns up.