Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cause for Celebration

My oldest kid has been having lots and lots of accidents.
She had been toilet trained for more than 1.5 years when the problems started. A family member died, and while she wasn't so close to him, she is very close to those left behind. She saw these people upset and crying which resulted in a weekend filled with wet clothing. From then on it slowly kept getting worse. After a few weeks of nightly bed changing we decided to put her back in diapers at night. But then slowly it started getting worse during the day as well. It kind of creeps up on you and suddenly you find yourself constantly changing clothes and doing laundry, yet never eliminating the overwhelming pee smell.
So I came to terms with it all and tried to retrain her the way we did the first time with sticker charts and treats. It got a bit better, and went from multiple accidents a day to only a few a week. And while we were on vacation, it was even better. But then we came back and we reached an all time low.
After talking to our pediatrician again, who of course didn't have the miracle answer, I decided to try some different tactics.
I've been pretty sure it all started due to the death in the family and all the emotions it entailed, but I'm not sure that's why it continued. She probably just got stuck in it a bit and the ball kept on rolling. However, the fact that it got better during vacation when we were all spending lots of time together also shows something. Maybe it's her way of saying she needs more attention. Maybe she things that acting more like her younger sibling will give it to her.
I've been talking to the younger one about toilets and potties, to get her in the mood. And secretly, I hoped that if the younger one gets out of her diapers, the older one won't want to lag behind. So this week I took the younger ones diaper off, making sure to focus on both their toilet needs. The older one was given the responsible role of showing the younger one how it works. We made the journey to the toilet and where the older one succeeded, the younger one wouldn't stay on the potty for more than 10 seconds, resulting in her peeing right next to the potty twice, obviously, right after having just stood up from it.
Anyway, I put her diaper right back on and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon watching as the older one kept inviting the younger one to join her on her trips to the bathroom so she can show her how it's done.
Yes, the younger one probably isn't ready, but this little experiment wasn't meant for her. It was meant for number one, and it seems to be working.
Of course, it's only been 3 days, but after weeks filled with multiple daily accidents, I think this is enough cause for a little celebration.

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