Thursday, July 28, 2011

You Can Take a Child to Potty, But You Can't Make Her Pee

So, I like to be the boss.  I am a bit of a control freak.  Once you've read me a while, you will laugh until you cry, and maybe pee just a little, about how big of an understatement that just was.

Hedgehog potty trained just fine.  She was on schedule, and relatively obedient, so I was highly relieved that we had passed this hurdle without too much ado.

However, as a kindergartner, we started having potty issues with her.  She started being afraid of public potties.  She hated automatic flushes, didn't like anything that was not standard white, and if the potty didn't touch the floor, that was a problem too.

We went on a long driving vacation with the mother-in-law, the Belle Mère, and every time we needed to go to a public restroom, I had to drag her, kicking, flailing and screaming into the stall.  There is NO horror quite like feeling you've failed as a parent in front of the mother-in-law.  I held her in my lap and let her pee through my legs on more than one occasion, and had to let her leave the bathroom, not just the stall, before I could flush the potty.

We tried everything.  We tried being tough with her, we tried taking her on a "potty tour", to acquaint her with lots of different kinds of potties, we tried making sure that she pottied before we left the house, and we even tried earmuffs, but the problem persists.  She still hates public potties.  And now, it's not just the look or sound of the potties, when we went to a recent baseball game, she "held it" for 10 1/2 hours because the potties at the M.L.B. park smelled bad!

So many times, I will see a undesirable behavior in someone else's child and think "I wouldn't allow that", but the fact is, there are just a bunch of things in parenting that we can't really control.  There are battles that she will have to fight, that I can't win for her.  Her potty issues, have to be hers, not mine.  This is something that I cannot be the boss of.


  1. You are so right. Kids are so the boss of potty training. Visiting from Mama Kat's

  2. Yes...sometimes as much as we'd like to make something go a certain way with our kids it's just not happening. Good luck on the potty anxiety.

    hi from mamak's

  3. I too have seen other people's kids and thought "I wouldn't allow that". You're so right about not being able to control everything.

  4. This puts the perfect spin on judgment. We'll see another parent and say what we'd do but we don't really know what's up for real. And you're right; she'll figure it out on her own rather than pee by force (sorry, that made me giggle).


What do you say? I've run my big mouth - now it's your turn!