Wednesday, 29 April 2009

She's just not ready!

Why is it that Edie wholeheartedly refuses to be potty-trained? Could it be that she actually likes the feeling of being warm and wet and ever-so slightly smelly? Does she delight in having a hard piece of poo squidged right in between her bottom cheeks? Does it make her giggle and laugh that she's the one in control and not I? Or is it that she's just a lazy little monkey and can't be bothered to apply herself? Well if she's anything like her Mother, then the answers right there (the lazy part...please!!) Or worse still, could it be that she is ready and I am not?

But this is the thing. Regardless of the reasons behind it all, I have to say that I'm beginning to get a little embarrassed. It's been there for a while, but these feelings of having to justify her love of nappies surfaced again yesterday after a comment made by another Mother (always the way). But it wasn't rude. It wasn't even malicious. All it was, was this.

"So, Edie...when is Mummy going to put you in big girl panties then?"

I couldn't help but go red, as much as I tried not to. And the more I tried to contain it, the worse it got until before I knew it I was having a full-on hot flush and looking for the nearest exit whilst spluttering something along the lines of,

"Well, we...we... have tried. She just refuses to do it. I just don't think....well, I just don't think that she's yet."

At which point I got even more embarrassed at the rather lame excuses and had to scuttle away, clutching a rather large nappy-clad Edie.

Edie's a big girl, you see, so I suppose she looks older than she is (which is almost two-and-a-half in case you were wondering). She could pass for 3, as long as she doesn't open her mouth...Oh bless you Edie. I love you and I love everything about you.

But when I compare her to her sister (something which I know I shouldn't do but I can't help myself), I just don't remember having any such problems. The Grandparents, of course, urged me to put Renée on the potty before she was 2, but I knew she wasn't ready. Apart from running away and hiding each time the potty was 'subtley' produced, we were due to move house and have a new baby, so I thought it was best to leave it. And I was right. By two-and-a-half, with a new baby sister and an even newer house, she was out of nappies, day and night. There were a few accidents, of course, but only when she was particularly tired or engrossed in something. But the bottom line was, she knew what to do.

With Edie it's not quite the same. Believe me, I have tried. We've had days of wearing pants; pants which become sodden every 20 minutes or so, such is her lack of bladder control. We've had wee wees (or 'pee pees' as we call them) on the potty and subsequent star charts, but two minutes later, after much cadjoling and reminding, there'll be a pee pee on the floor and a poo poo (or 'caca') on the stairs.

And then I think, well is it me? Maybe she is ready and I'm the one who's not. So when I woke up this morning I thought 'This is it. Today's the day. No nappies. I'm just going to deal with the pain that is wet, soggy, smelly pants. I'm going to persevere until she's well and truly out of nappies.' And do you know what? She produced a pee-pee on the potty, we danced around in delight, we put a gold sticker on her chart and then dressed her in pants and trousers. Ten minutes later, pee pee everywhere. None in the potty. Not even near it. No mention of the fact that she had even needed it, or that she was soaking wet. I just happened to notice a rather dark stain on her trousers.

Ok, deep breaths. I wasn't going to throw in the towel just yet. New pants. New trousers. Another explanation of what to do should she feel the 'urge'.

Then a dilemna. Husband wants to take her for a bike ride along the seafront. "Can we put a nappy on her?" He asks.

"No", I reply. "This is it. She's going to learn. She's just done a pee pee (albeit in her pants), so she should be ok for a while. And if she does have an accident, then take some spare clothes and change her."

So that was that. Deep breaths again. Fingers crossed and a little conversation before departure that went something like this.

"Edie - if you need a pee pee, you must tell Papa."
"Ok Mummy. I know."
"Do you need a pee pee now?"
"No Mummy."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes Mummy."
"And if you need a pee pee, what do you do?"
"I tell Papa."
"That's right darling. Good girl."

And before she's even on the bike, pee pee. Everywhere.


So this is it. I just don't think she's ready. I'm ready. But she's not. It's as simple as that. I know that she'll 'get it' eventually, I just wish she'd hurry up. There are only so many times I can justify it before I shout at someone, red-faced and temperature rising.



  1. Two and a half really isn't that old nowadays. When I worked in a nursery 3 seemed to be the age to have it done by.

  2. I think my son was about 3 when I started potty training him and he still had accidents every now and then. I guess it's just a matter of waiting it out, but still it's really frustrating.

  3. I know it's dull to keep putting nappies on them but if she doesn't mind I really wouldn't worry. Stuff the other Mums - how dare they even comment!! Every child's an individual and matures in different ways at different times - but they all get there in the end!. Bet you Edie will wake up one morning and just decide she wants to be a big girl and wear pants like Renee and that will be that. It really sounds like she's just not that bothered about it at the moment so why stress yourself? Guess you could always try Pull-up Pants if you wanted an (expensive) compromise...

    I would just go with the flow, hun (if you'll excuse the pun!). You really can't push these things. I first tried with Maya when she was 22 months and after 3 days of constant accidents, I had to throw in the towel - literally and mentally! Even though she wanted to do it and understood the concept, she just didn't have the muscle control. Two short months later, while I was in hospital having her baby brother, she mastered it.

    Her brother on the other hand is fast potty-training himself...weird!

  4. She's not ready lol, no I mean it and I wouldn't even be stressing about it right now. All of a sudden she'll be asking you and it'll click, I haven't even tried with Maya yet (she's just two) although there is a potty lurking in both bathrooms. My boys were dreadful! I was seriously worried about youngest lad going to school in pull ups, he didn't and neither will she :) luv Karen x

  5. Ah the memories. OK a bit of motherly advice - as if you haven't had enough up to your eyeballs but I just can resist...

    1. Relax - they pick up on our tension and some kids refuse to do ANYTHING if they know it's what we really want.

    2. She might not be ready. Give it a few weeks and then set aside a whole week and work around keeping her close to the potty.

    3. Buy her a new dress. We took my little girl to a wedding (at the Pavillion actually!) when she was 2.5 and she had this new dress and wanted to wear pants with it. That was it, overnight (aside from a few accidents) she'd decided she didn't want to spoil her dress.

    OK that's it from Ma Jo. Good luck

    Oh and ignore other mothers, they're full if it. It's just me you need to listen to ;-))

  6. You're right, she's just not ready. You know she'll eventually come around because how many older children do you see in diapers? I said children, so Depends don't count!!

  7. Don't listen to mums who criticise you they are not worth the stress. I potty trained both my girls when they showed signs of being ready, up until then i always left the potty in the lounge so they got used to seeing it all the time, then i let them go pant free under a dress. It just clicked with jess after a while and rewarding her with a treat each time she did something on it. 2year old picked it up at 18months by copying 3year old and was dry through the day by 2 but only because she had a good role model! You wait until shes ready and before you know it she'l be potty trained x x

  8. You're so right. She's not ready - simple as that. She'll let you know when she is and that's all that matters. You don't have to justify anything. Who cares what anyone else says? Please don't be stressed about this.

    My colleague, however, seriously needs to get stressed. She still puts her 7 & 9 year olds in nappies as they wet the bed - and the sofa when they are watching telly or doing the Playstation thing - only because they say they can't be bothered to go to the loo!?!
    She really DOES need to start getting worried but she maintains it's not a problem. Isn't that just taking relaxed parenting too far?

  9. LittleMummy - thanks! Yeah some days I don't know why I stress about it. She'll do it eventually, it's just driving me crazy at the moment!

    Marathoner81 - Ok, so same as LittleMummy says - looks like I'm heading to the big 3 before she's ready. Only 6 more months of frustration!!

    Mamma Po - Thanks honey!! Yeah I've tried pull-ups (and even feel and learn ones) but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I think she just wants to be a baby as long as possible!! Sounds like your were (are) pretty good. Ooh I'm a little jealous!! ;-))

    Mum Gone Mad - Thankyou! Yeah luckily she's a November birthday so she'll be quite old when she finally starts school. Phew!!! Might be a bit more worried otherwise. Thanks for the empathy! x

  10. Ahh babe, don't worry...I bet that happened at swimming!!! Why are Mum's so competitive about potty training. I had a nightmare with Bradley until only a few months ago and we still have the odd pooing accident...really you have plenty of time for her to get clean & dry. Claire

  11. Reasons - Bless you. Bless you. And thank you!! So sweet and good advice too! Ok, so I won't stress!!! And I'll put aside a week - actually I was going to put aside this week as 'the week', but she's just being a monkey. I honestly think she likes wearing nappies - I think she wants to be a baby as long as possible!!! Ok, deep breaths....

    MOMSWEB - Thanks!! Yes, you're right...I know. I should listen to my own advice sometimes. A friend of mine was stressing about still giving her son purées at 12 months and I said the same thing - how many grown-ups do you still see eating nothing but purées? So thanks - yes she'll do it when she's ready (which is not yet)!!

    Amy - I have two potties and they're out all the time!! I think that's part of the problem - she's seen it so often that it's now become part of the furniture and she's forgotten what it meant to be for!! Sounds like you've done well with yours (bit jealous too now)!!! ;-))

    Selina - Thankyou!! Yes, I know I shouldn't be stressed about this...and thanks for making me feel better (you did). And as for your colleague's children - now I can pass judgement!! That's pretty bad. Gosh I hope Edie's potty trained before then!!!

  12. Anonymous Claire - Hello honey!! How did you guess?? Yes it was at swimming. Funny that. The other Mums are very lovely and they weren't really judging as such!! It's just annoying that Edie is the only one not to be potty-trained. Oh the indignity of it all!! Thanks for the empathy xx

  13. Awww bless her, she be trained when she's ready. After all you never see an 18 year old in nappies.
    Jono was well over 3 before he was out of them.
    Lucy wanted to be like the Spice Girls so that meant showing her knickers...hence no nappies!!

  14. They're all different. It's you who knows your child best, not other mothers or even grandparents. If you're embarrassed now, embarrass her with the story when she's in her teens and brings home a boyfriend...

  15. Magnumlady - Thanks! I know she'll do it when she's ready, she's just sooooo slow. And I thought girls were supposed to be quicker than boys?? Not here they're not!!

    Maddie - Yep, think I might just do that. Thanks! Although if she grows up as she is now I don't think anything will embarrass her. Can't wait to find out!!

  16. Shame on that other mum!! NO embarrassment, just say confidently, "She'll do it in her own time" and change the subject. You know when your child is ready and it's not based at all on what the others are doing. Just take a deep breath and enjoy Evie. I can stand on my soap box, because mine's not ready yet either (she is ready to stuff toys down the toilet, is that a sign that she's nearly ready?)

  17. They all do it when the time is right, don't they? Perhaps in the summer, when the weather's nice and you can let her run around with nothing but a pair of little pants on?

    Having kids taught me that they all develop in their own time. You can't force any of it. It'll come. Hang on in there. (((hugs)))


  18. Ibhh - Ha ha!! Thanks...Yes, Edie is ready to stick her hands and her head down the loo - but that's where it stops...In time!!!

    Kitty - yes, good idea. I'll wait for the Summer. Although in this country that may only last two weeks!! But then maybe two weeks is all it will take. We'll see x

  19. She's only 2 and a half, I think you're doing just fine - my niece (who's now 4) got truly potty trained a little after her 3rd birthday. Trust me, Mom knows best. You'll know when she's ready. :)

  20. My son has never been dry at night because he has nocturnal enuresis and he is 11! If I had all the money I've spent on nappies and dry nights I'd be sailing around the seven seas on a cruiseliner.

    Dont listen to that silly woman. At 2 1/2 you've got nothing to worry about, she'll tell you when she's ready and just keep putting her on the pot. She'll get the message sooner or later. RMx

  21. I agree with everyone else, she's probably just not ready. Simple as that. Leave it for a month or two, then see if she wants to try. She'll do it when she wants to, no point putting her under pressure as that might make her reluctant.

    I can never understand this 'competition' mums have with each other about how soon they had their kids potty trained (Ooh, Cuthbert was using the trained at 4 months...really, we just explained it so well to's very easy when you know how.)

    Listen to your own instinct. A mothers instinct for their child is usually right.

  22. I don't think she's ready either. I think it's a physical thing. Miss M trained in the day quite easily, but at 4 she still wears a nappy at night. They say you shouldn't worry unless they're not dry by about age 7 or 8 so I say chill. They all get there in the end. And as for all those other mum's, tell 'em to butt out. TSk. ;D

  23. I agree with Elizabeth. You know best. My just-turned-3-year-old refuses to sit on the potty. He'd rather quietly stand and hang on to a chair while doing the deed. Some days I think his 1 1/2-year-old brother will be potty-trained before he is. Today, I saw progress... he actually asked to have his diaper changed. I think he's beginning to hate the feeling of poop on his bottom which, I think, is a start. I can relate to your frustration but trust in yourself. You're right. She'll get there when she's ready.

  24. Personally, I think people should keep their opinions to themselves.
    YOU will know when is the right time to do this. There's no need for it to cause family friction.
    If its any consolation, my son and my youngest granddaughter were three before they got the hang of it. They are both now potty trained! LOL!

  25. Elizabeth - Hello! And thanks...yeah you're right. It just amazes me how different children can be sometimes...even my own! I think it will be closer to 3 when she's ready.

    RM - Crikey - you really would be a rich woman!! Yeah sometimes I think 2 and a half isn't that old and I feel silly for worrying, but then sometimes it seems way too old. I just have to be patient!

    notSupermum - I know - it's always the other Mothers...and even your own Mothers too!! My Mother (and Father) ask me everyday if Edie is out of nappies yet...and they constantly tell me that my brother and I were both out of nappies by 2 (if not before)...but then she did wash them all by hand, so maybe that was a slight incentive!

  26. Jo - Yeah I think with Edie it's both physical and mental. She definitely doesn't have periods of being dry - her nappy is always wet throughout the day so I don't reckon she can hold it for any length of time. And as for the mental part - I asked her this morning if she wanted to be a big girl and wear big girl panties and she said no - she wanted to be a little baby and wear nappies!!!

    SAHM-I-AM - Ha ha. Yes that's exactly how Edie likes to do it as well - hanging on to a chair!! Sounds like good progress though - if your 3 year old is asking to be changed - haven't got that from Edie yet. I seriously think she likes being dirty!! Yuck!

    Maggie May - Hello! Yes I think you're right - and judging by what everyone else says as well I really think she's going to be nearer 3 before she's ready. Never mind. As long as she knows how to do it before she goes to school!

  27. They're ready when they're ready, and not before. Some learn sooner than others I suppose. Amy (albeit she is a different kettle of fish) was 5 before she was out of pull ups during the day and 7 at night time. Still, aged 9, she wets the bed.

    But lots of patience will do the trick. I was told to put knickers on first then a nappy over them, that way the bottom will get wet but the clothes won't.

    CJ xx

  28. All of this to look forward to... I have no clue what you are going throuhg since we haven't reached that stage yet. I am hoping to start potty training this summer... we'll see how it goes. Good luck and I am sure that when she is totally ready it will work like a dream!
    PS E is still at the stage when he thinks the potty makes a brilliant hat. Let's hope that the minute he uses properly he will stop trying to put it on his head...

  29. We say sod other parents who criticize. She's only 2 1/2. Who cares when she potty trains? She'll let you know when she's ready. Luke is 2 1/2 and nowhere close to potty training. I couldn't care less.

    BTW - back in my more natural English abode, I've been visiting a number of old friends, many of whom have kids between the ages of 2 and 3. None (let me say that again, NONE) of them are potty trained. I've said it before... potty training meaning you are good at guessing when they are going to go and sticking them on the potty is not the same thing as them asking for the potty and I think most of those who potty train before 2 1/2 are using the first defintion and I think that the second definition is actually what potty training is.

  30. CJ - that is a great idea - pants under nappies. Am going to try that asap. Genius!

    PHM - Hee hee. Yes Edie uses it as a hat too :-)) She has to totally stop that or else we'll all be in trouble! Good luck with your potty training - I'm sure you'll be fine (it's only me who's having problems)!!

    BiB - Yeah I read your post about Luke and potty training and I thought it was great... you're right - parents being able to guess when their children need to go and the children being able to do it independently are a completely different thing. And I know I shouldn't care what other people think...I don't's just a bit frustrating at times. But Edie is cool. She'll get there!

  31. My eldest girl potty trained quite easily, she just didn't like the wet feeling and caught on to it. She was around 3. My youngest girl we have been trying on and off since she turned two, but she just doesn't care if she is wet. Even playgroup have said she just isn't ready, and she is now just gone 3. I will wait until she tells me she is wet and needs changing or better still pooed and needs changing, because that will be the time when she truly understands.

  32. Just to add to the reassurances, Anya (now 6) was 3 and just about dry during the day, it took until she was 4 1/2 to be dry at night. Esmé (2 1/2) is happily being potty trained at the moment, but we have 3 dry days and an accident filled today. Edie WILL get there, she just has more important things to think about right now.

  33. Party Sprite - Hello! Your second one sounds like mine - not only does she not care if she's wet, she just doesn't seem to notice either! Lots of things to try with her but I think I'm just going to have to be patient...!

    Ko - Hello - I was wondering where you'd been! Hope all ok with you. Thanks for the reassurances. And yes - she has far more important things to think about at the moment - like food, cuddly toys, being naughty, etc!