Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I can't believe I am writing about potty issues

In parenting my four children I have learned more about bathrooms and potty issues than I ever thought I would be forced to learn need to know. Feel free to skip this post. It's all about peeing just because I am annoyed with this and wanted to vent so I could get it out of my system.

We are still having potty issues with the older kids. Not as bad as they used to be but I am tired of it all. Corazon FINALLY stopped the mad peeing (and I do mean peeing just because she was mad) at the drop of a hat. All of a sudden all those peeing issues went away this past summer and it has been almost a year since we had this issue with her. That kid spent every summer including part of last summer when she was almost 8 in pullups and diapers whenever we left the house because of her "pee at will" behaviors. If we sent her to bed early she wet the bed INSTEAD of going to the bathroom. If we sent her to her room and she didn't want to go, she would pee all over the floor. If we took away a privilege, she peed on herself, her clean laundry, or whatever was nearby. In the middle of talking to her about something she didn't want to hear, she would just open her legs and pee right there on the spot regardless of whether we were at home or in public. Then as soon as we moved to Texasit stopped. It was like she was ready to give it up and never looked back. HOWEVER, we are still having the issue that she won't flush after using the bathroom and she doesn't wipe regularly. What is that about? She must wash "questionable" clothing and she gets to clean the toilet whenever she "forgets" to wash. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Tortuga has other issues but bedwetting wasn't one of them. He just turned 10 but in the 9 months that we have lived in Texas he started wetting the bed at night. Sometimes he sleeps right through it which is a good sign because he didn't start sleeping soundly and through the night until we moved. Other times though he claims that he knows he has to pee but he doesn't feel like getting up to go to the bathroom so he says he "chooses" to "pee just a little"and sometimes "more comes out" onto his sheets. He balks at changing his sheets because "he only peed a little" and he will leave his dirty clothes in the middle of his clean clothes. His room reeks of urine no matter how often I change the sheets or clean the room. Thank goodness he hasn't been too much of a creative pee-er since he first came but at that time we were dealing with the bigger issue of poop withholding and major constipation which we gratefully eliminated (no pun intended) in about 4 months. Now he just uses the toilet to "hang out" on and he will spend 45 minutes sitting there just because he can. I won't even try to discuss the handwashing without soap or without water depending on the day and the refusal to use toilet paper. Yikes.

Pollito is almost five and is my current mad pee-er. He has been resistant to giving up diapers since our first attempts at potty training about a year and a half ago when he turned 3. He never seemed/seems to notice if he is wet or not, whether he was wearing a diaper, pullup, underpants or nothing at all. I didn't work too hard at the potty training before he was 3 1/2 because it seemed to cause him too much stress. When we did start being more "aggressive" about it I used gentle approaches (never punishing or chastising, always praising effort, etc.) We set up potty chairs all over the house, got potty books, special toys for when he was sitting there, sticker charts, etc. You name it, we did it with limited success. He would jump off the potty and announce he had peed or pooped and even when we looked and had him look at an empty potty he would emphatically declare that he had indeed done something in the potty. We had a pediatrician check him out to make sure there were no problems and he came up clear. So we waited and kept encouraging him and continued to clean up after him. After a looong time we could finally trust that he wouldn't pee during the day but nights still required pullups. He was almost four so we were thrilled to be able to send him to pre-K (with a couple of changes of clothing, just in case.) All was good for a couple of months so we tried (again) to teach him more of the potty basics for a boy. He was APPALLED that we expected him to pee standing up! "I am NEVER going to do that!" he declared and he hasn't. At least, not in the toilet. However, he did discover that peeing standing up had its benefits when he was upset with us so suddenly we had pee in all the unusual places--plants, hallways, rugs, bathroom doorways, dresser drawers (not just the bottom one!), toys with receptacles, laundry baskets--you get the picture. And, if he was mad because he didn't get his way, we were bound to find pee in some of those places. Yet, to this day, he still denies that he can pee standing up even when he is caught literally with his pants down and in the act. Then we have the issue of his refusing to let us know he needs to use the bathroom and just going "on the spot." Even when we take him at regular intervals, he won't always go and wait until afterwards. He will also resist going to the bathroom and deny needing to use it even when he is grabbing himself and doing the pee dance. I started thinking that maybe this was also a sensory issue for him. (He has some others.) Maybe he really couldn't tell when the urge to go was upon him. Maybe he really couldn't feel the wet (pullups didn't help.) I won't even talk about how much pee there is in his bed at night (how does it get into his hair?) no matter how often I take him in the middle of the night or how much we restrict food/drink after dinner. So, for the last couple of weeks, we have been absolutely THRILLED that he actually seems to have stopped peeing in all the unusual places and is now peeing in the potty during the day but still soaking his bed (and himself) at night. Baby steps.

My youngest (20 month old)loves the potty and is a cheerleader to anyone's efforts in the potty--"ready?....set....GO!" she announces as any of us head for the bathroom. She will happily announce anyone's potty business --"Mama peeeeeed!!!" or take credit for someone else's potty business --"I pooped!"--even when she was nowhere near the potty. She has even shown some early signs of self awareness in bringing us a diaper to change her, pointing to her diaper to tell us it needs a change, pointing to her bum and declaring "STINKY!", and occasionally removing her diaper and putting herself on the potty to pee (AND asking for toilet paper afterwards!) After each of these times she will ask for a wipe or want to go to the sink to wash her hands. She has recently taken to "hiding" when she is going to poop and I find it charming and amusing. Of course, she keeps everything in her diaper so I haven't yet had to worry about WHERE her potty business is. So far, it seems like she might just be the first one of my kids to be fully potty trained and have good bathroom hygiene before age 5 or 6.

C. just reminded me that we used to live in a house with 1 bathroom and "hinted" that I should be grateful that we don't have to share a bathroom with them. She is right. Grateful I truly am...


Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I. Feel. Your. Pain.

We have been living in potty boot camp here the past week or so and starting finally to see a result.
Just so, so SO grateful it isn't poop.

Torina said...

My youngest is the only one of my kids totally potty trained, too. He is 6 and my oldest is 14. Sigh. Fortunately, our mad peeing seems to have ceased but I think our one kid has sensory issues. I don't know how to get him to 'feel' how to pee, though. Good luck! I look forward to hearing what others say :)

Corrine said...

Aaaaa, potty training.
Always a blast. I seem to have someone always starting the process. I am not only a mom of 6, but a childcare provider. Let me know if you need tips....

marythemom said...

I feel your pain too. Luckily when my daughter moved to Texas she too stopped the mad peeing and pooping (coincidence?!). She still wets the bed often despite meds, waking her up in the middle of the night, limited liquids...

We have found some of her problems to be most likely linked to constipation issues (can cause frequent UTIs). I posted about this recently on my blog so no more details here.

If it makes you feel any better, NONE of my kids wipe well (if at all), and many don't flush - including the biokids. My bioson did not potty train until he was almost 4 (he saw no need).

Wish I could give you a solution. All I can say is pray that it ends before the girls start their cycles. At least pee doesn't stain. *sigh*

Mary in TX

Mom to biokids Ponito(10) and his sister Bob(12)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(14) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
Finalized on her brother Bear(15) on 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.

" Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

Dia por Dia said...

So nice to not be alone in this and yes glad it isn't poop (anymore) and I don't know what I will do if this kid has these issues once she starts her period!

I really think some of this with Pollito is sensory but with Corazon I don't think it was totally the case....

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Good crap, I never even thought about monthly periods. Ohhhh, good crap. Oh so not good.

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