Just Wondering…

I had one of those terrifying mommy moments last week when I felt sure I was alone in my plight.  I knew almost for sure that I was far behind in a particular area of child-raising and that no one could possibly understand my frustration and bewilderment.  All of this mental torment started when I decided to look up “delayed potty-training”.  When I discovered that little A is right on the cusp of being “delayed”, my mind began to whirl.  I knew it was taking a looooooooooooooonnnngggg time to reach this milestone, but really, “delayed”?  Personal pride swelled up and I knew I had to up my game.

I read through the possible causes of this kind of developmental delay.  I dismissed the physical ones, because I know she has not complained of any pain in “going”, and she regularly tells me when she is going–it’s just into a diaper or pull-up.  She doesn’t express any fear about the toilet itself, and she has in fact “gone” a few times–but far too few, I’m afraid.  Then, I almost burst into tears of relief as I read another cause:  extreme stubbornness of the child.  I couldn’t tell if I was laughing maniacally or sobbing with exhaustion as I read this.  V and I thought our son was hard-headed.  Ha.  This pretty, cute, decked-out-in-pink dynamo takes stubborn to a whole new level.  There are times that I think she believes she has something like Jedi mind-control:  “I’m going to have vanilla milk,” she says.  She forgets to ask, so she just states it, even after a “No, that’s too sweet for right before dinner” reply.  Then, she states it again.

We are steadily showing her the importance of obedience and respect, but she isn’t bending easily.  The potty training is no different.  “A,” I say, “Let’s go try to use the potty!”  “No. I just want to wear a diaper,” is her comeback.  Sometimes I’ll back off and let her have her way, and sometimes I’ll persist and lead her to the bathroom.  Sometimes she actually cries and physically resists going.  I don’t want to cause huge distress over this, but I’m confused about why sometimes she’s perfectly willing, and other times it seems like punishment.  I’m certainly open to ideas to motivate her, but please believe I have tried just about  everything.

After reading about her near-delayedness, I challenged her and invited her to try something new:  no diaper, no pull-up.  Just the undies.  She had to admit, cotton was a nice feel.  She also had to admit, it was not bulky.  So when we have stretches of time at home, I let her hang out in this fashion (on the tile of course, since we are trying to sell the house and pee stains all over might not be inviting to potential buyers), and take her to the potty as often as she’ll go.  On the positive side, she has kept those undies dry, for more than an hour at a time!  I celebrated this with her!  However, she has not released a single drop of anything liquid into that potty all those times of trying.  I can’t even remember the last time she did.  Months ago, maybe?

I really thought today was going to be our breakthrough day.  I got brave and let her go without her pull-up or diaper through lunch.  I even forgot for a few minutes that she was not wearing one!  Little A loves to have her toenails painted, and she has fun picking out really neat colors at the store sometimes.  Today, with her previous nail polish having been removed a few days ago, she asked me to “paint them purple”.  I decided to use this to my advantage, and I said, “sure, as soon as you pee in the potty.”  With all this walking around in just her undies and a romper, surely something would happen.  No.  Not a drop.

I applaud whatever victories come our way in this and every milestone, and I do my best not to criticize the slowness of progress.  She is a unique person, and I just want to help her make this happen.  Still, though, she will be three and a half this month.  There are many things that she wants to do that have to wait till she is fully potty trained–like starting ballet lessons and wearing a leotard to gymnastics. I also know that all things considered, I have nothing but thanks to give for the health and well-being of both my children. I have absolutely no real complaints, and in fact, I’m humbled by the sheer amount of blessing L and A are to us.

So, I’m just wondering–does anyone else have these gaps in a child’s development?  I just find it strange that my little girl has been able to spell and write our 11-letter last name for at least six months…she will jump off a four-foot high vault into a foam pit with no fear…she can do a beautiful toe point and several ballet positions…she is learning how to read some words…she is a good drawer of faces and writer of names…she can say grace and pray for family members…she can sing 90% of the score of “The Sound of Music” quite well…she can dribble a small basketball 30 times in a row…but don’t make her give up those diapers.  I just don’t get it.  I love her, I know I’ll look back on all this and laugh, but I am kind of going batty lately over her stubbornness!  Prayers, comments, wisdom, empathy–I welcome them all.  Bless all the parents and caregivers out there trying to do their best for these beautiful, precious children!




  1. Good morning. I definitely would not label ot as a delay. With God, nothing is delayed. My daughter wore her undies alone yesterday as well and knew she needed to go yet “became scared”. I didn’t like that all. I commended her on knowing she needed to go as well as not wetting or pooping in her undies. But when the thought of not knowing what to do when wearing her undies and not diapers came into play, I didn’t like that it shocked her and made her cry.
    These are children. They are still learning. There is no timescale that will tell us as parents when our children can do this or that. I understand that it gives you an idea, but to me it encourages us to sign our child up for competition. God told us that it is not wise to compete against man. I believe we must encourage that lesson to our children.
    I believe you did a great job. As well as little A did a womderful job. And yes, my daughter and I did magnificent as well. Continue to move zlow and steady in moderation and with consideration and watch when you move your worry from there…SHE WILL GO ON HER OWN. I believe that because when I took my daughter previously before yesterday, she smiled, loved, and enjoyed her experience. She knows to get tissue to wipe. She knows how to flush and when. She even knows how to put her potty lid on the toilet. She rather use the toilet, not her potty. She has been that way since we started. So all those things showed me that she will be ready…WHEN SHE IS READY…WHEN GOD APPOINTED HER TO GO.
    I smiled when I read your post. I will blog about it as well. So when I read it, I said thank you Lord for confirmation and a friend…sister in spirit and truth. I will keep Little A and yourself in my prayers and I KNOW that sooner…VERY SOON, our daughters will know how to do it all by themselves. Until then let’s just continue to support, encourage, and teach them the way until they can say I can do it mom. I am starting a new blog for familes at http://www.buildingstrongerfamiliesnetwork.wordpress.com. I also will have a mommy blog soon. I will let you know. Just know I have prayed and stand believing with you…no need to worry.

    Be encouraged. Be inspired. Be who He created you to be.

    Bella Grace

    1. I read your wonderful comment this morning–thank you! You reminded me of so many important things and were very, very encouraging. God knows what we need to hear. I’ve gotten a lot of love and wisdom today.

      I’ve fought against the competition trap in so many areas of life for so long, sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I certainly don’t want my kids to get caught up in competing about every little thing, but between my husband and I it will take a lot of careful words and vigilance!

      Thank you again for taking the time to write out such a great reply to my post. I look forward to reading more of your writing! Blessings–Alison

      1. You are very welcome Alison! I had to give up the subliminal competition too! 🙂 Our families will conquer this together. So no worries. Looking forward to more of your posts! Stay encouraged.

  2. Yes, you’re going to be just fine! She will get it eventually! She has been focusing on all these other things so she has had no time to worry about this boring job of learning how to use the potty! All of my kids learned just by wearing undies too…they quickly learned they didn’t like the feeling of being wet!

    1. Thank you! It is encouraging just to hear these sorts of words from other moms. L was challenging in his own ways…I just feel that A is taking the hard-headedness to a new extreme sometimes. It’s mentally exhausting! She hasn’t yet wetted the undies…I guess it’s a victory to keep them dry for more than an hour, but I kind of want her to feel “wet”, too. Diapers these days are so effective at keeping moisture away from their little bottoms that I think she might keep the same one on all day if I didn’t make her stop playing to change!

  3. You’re definitely not alone I too had this experience, and I’m sure there are others. Pray, Pray, Pray, and don’t stop it is going to pass. Be Blessed, http://projectsbyMtetar.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you for the reminder to keep praying! I tell my kids and husband to pray about all things all the time, and I need to hear that reminder, too! I know it will pass–it is easy to get caught up in these little battles! Thank you as always for your visit and comments that point me to Jesus. Blessings to you–Alison

      1. You’re welcome, Alison! I too need the reminder because prayer is not seasonal. Be Blessed, and thanks for stopping by my blog on yesterday. Mtetar

  4. I found toilet training our son quite difficult and frustrating and quite effortless with our daughter…our second child. Our daughter’s daycarer advised just going cold turkey. Ditching the nappies and they advised against pull ups. It means staying home for a couple of weeks but it works. I’ve also heard of star charts. My in-laws use m & ms…one for a wee and two for a poo and the parents get them as well. You can also use cheerios.
    My daughter is very strong willed when it comes to eating and is a real sparrow. We still haven’t worked out how to get her eating and her weight does border on being unhealthy. A strong willed child is hard to deal with.
    This week I have seen both kids master riding their bikes and they are now riding around the streets. It is a bit scary but I don’t want to bubble wrap them either.

    1. I have threatened to bubble wrap my kids but so far they’ve just gotten a few scrapes and bumps here and there! Seeing L learn how to ride a bike was definitely nerve-wracking.

      My stubborn girl is a “sparrow”, too! She’s three and a half, but only 25 pounds! I figure, she eats pretty well, plays hard, thinks fine, and sleeps deeply! It’s hard to complain–and our pediatrician has no issues with her size, which is reassuring, too. The stubbornness is a different story–I’m just praying it will serve her well as she grows so she will stick to her convictions. 🙂

  5. I offer you a hug as I remember this with one of my children. It seems a faint and distant memory now. My kids were all different and no one thing seemed to work for all three; each time was a whole new adventure! Having said that, I can offer no advice except to say that this, too, shall pass. It sounds like you are doing all that you can do. I’ll add this to the prayer list as I pray for your home to sell etc.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Thank you–I will gladly take the encouragement of a virtual hug! And of course, the prayers are precious to me. Some good news: we have our first house “showing” later this week!

  6. Haha oh yes! I know that stubbornness all too well myself!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: