Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weapon of Choice

I've heard about this phase from other parents. The phase after potty training when your child learns to use their bodily functions as a weapon. The three year old who pees in her pants when she isn't happy with the clothes she is wearing. The child who refuses to poop in anything but their pull-up. Eventually, I knew that M would achieve mastery of her own body enough to use it against me.

I fear it has only just begun. Each night we put M to bed at 7 in the vain home that she falls asleep quickly and the gets something close to the recommended 11 or so hours. Each night she plays in her bed, having in depth discussions about who's side of the bed is who's with her stuffed animals. We had been letting her read in bed until we found the corners chewed off of one of her favorite books one morning. Apparently it was just that good. Eventually she would fall asleep without issue. However, she has found a new way to get out of falling asleep.

Virtually every night, starting from 20 minutes after bedtime until nearly 9 o'clock she announces when she's peed in her pull-up. She isn't crying wolf either, she really pees. In fact she can do it every 20 minutes for two hours if she really wants to. Sometimes, for good measure, she poops. Each time, she demands a new pull-up. Her record, $2.55 worth of pull-ups in a single night. (that would be five of them) Oh yes, I've figured out the cost. I'd take it out of her college fund if she had one.

Initially when she started this she wasn't completely reliable on the potty and I was willing to give a little. I wanted to encourage her to want to be dry. Now I'm debating just letting her stay wet. Maybe letting her stew in it so to speak would encourage her to let us know she needs to use the potty. Of course, if she pooped, I'd change it. While I realize that will just keep us her loyal servants, at least she wouldn't be costing me. Better yet, maybe she would nighttime potty train.

If I put a potty in her room (the door is open with a gate to keep the dog out) will she just spend her night peeing in it and still not sleeping? If she can't see us (she can see me in the office from her room) or hear us (we can read books) will it keep her from being tempted to stay awake? Do they make toddler treadmills so I can just wear her out after dinner? Make daycare shorten her nap (which may happen some when she moves to pre-school this fall). Should we move her bedtime later and just accept she doesn't need as much sleep? Does anyone have a spare crystal ball


the prisoner's wife said...

wow.i'm so glad the munchkin hasn't been using his functions against me. my question is how can she pee so much? maybe cut her juice/water intake so she can't me so much? i dunno.

lol @ an toddler treadmill. i WISH. just let her run around (if you can) outside, at a park, or around the house for a bit before she has to go to sleep. maybe that will get her nice & tired?

good luck!

laurie said...

I just found your site recently, but I wanted to let you know I had to deal with a similar issue with my son and my sitter. I believe she started training him a bit too early, although she would disagree. Well, he was not "getting it" so to speak so she left him in wet underwear so he would "learn to not want to be wet" - those were her words, all it did was backfire on us and taught him that he can "live with being wet." Anyway, long story short, (too late) 2 years later and he still has trouble telling wet/dry (I know it sounds crazy) and we still have to talk to him about it. (She is also no longer the sitter - gah).

Anyway, for night-time when we felt he was ready we never went to pull ups just put the plastic on the mattress and put him in underwear and just taught him he HAD to get up to go to the potty. In the first few weeks he wet the bed a lot and I thought I was going to die and I was washing a ton of sheets. But it caught on and soon he was sleeping through the night no accidents or getting up to pee. So it worked! Pull ups are confusing to me - he knew they were a diaper so we just never used them!

Oh and I forgot, we also started limiting what he could drink an hour before bed.

It's hard and I think mostly it's on the child to be ready to get out of bed.

rew said...

Violet used the treadmill today. She's fascinated by it. She was doing 1 mile an hour and barely fell off. If I walked behind her she could even stay on on her own, she'd just keep bumping me while she tried to catch up. It was hi-larious

tere said...

AH the joys of parenting, how much force to apply or room to allow. testing the limits
I'd say going for a walk or run around the block would be a great idea. That worked for us.

limiting fluids before bed is probably a great idea.

wishing you the best, I trust that something will make sense.

tere said...

Oh yeah what you doing for your b-day? Have a happy!!

Jen said...

I would move bedtime a little later- even 30 min. can make a difference in how ready she is to sleep. And I'd drop the pull-ups and go back to diapers at night. Not as expensive, not as exciting. And then I'd just change her with little to no reaction- just be matter of fact and all business. I bet she gets tired of the new trick in short order. We had some night time potty stalling here too but it was short lived in the big scheme of things. Hang in there!

darcie said...

We had daycare wipe out our daughter's nap around age 2 and it worked wonders...but now, I'm back to her just not being tired again!
Our son still takes a shortened nap...

I don't know HOW to force them to fall asleep - oh how I wish I did!
We start a new daycare tomorrow - ACK! So I will let you know if I learn anything new -
I'm hoping they will be fine with the no napping thing and that my kids will be so tired that they'll fall blissfully asleep at 8-9 pm each night!