We’re at an impasse here at The House of Peevish this morning, my peeps. We have grocery shopping to do and errands to run, but we are not going anywhere.

For this morning, Stinkerbelle said to me “I go potty”, and went into the bathroom, and pulled down her pants. I took off her diaper. And she sat on the potty.

(And sat. And sat. And faffed. And talked. And sat. And sat some more. Nothing came of it, maybe a fart or something.)

But now, she refuses to put a diaper back on.


I’ve been kinda “meh” about the whole potty training thing. I have been asking her periodically for the last year or so if she wants to use the potty and she adamantly refuses. NO POTTY NO POTTY NO NO NO POTTY. And I am okay with that. I figure she’ll train when she’s good and ready, and I’m not going to stress over it.

She’s always been a kid who knows her own mind and cannot be pushed into doing something. She’s always been the type of kid who won’t do something until she is completely good and ready to do it. Some people have said it’s an indicator of very high intelligence; others say it’s the mark of very high stubbornness. Either way, you can’t push that kid to do anything she does not feel ready to do, no way, no how.

When she was learning to walk, we tried and tried and tried to get her to walk. We made a game of it. We practiced. We cajoled. We begged. But Stinkerbelle would have NONE OF IT. So we waited. Months went by. We despaired that she was delayed. She was all “Whatever”. We waited.

And the one day, she crawled to the middle of the living room, stood up, and walked away.


So we learned that she’ll do things when SHE wants to, and not a minute before. Crawling forward, walking, talking, whatever. She knows when she’s ready. And when she’s ready, she’s REALLY ready.

So with potty training, I took a laissez faire approach. I figured, she’d let me know. And it does no good to push, and it is no good stressing everyone out and making it a stressful, scary thing.

She’s not afraid of her potty. When Mom or Dad uses their potty, she’ll sometimes come in and sit down on her potty, too, fully clothed mind you. Maybe she’ll pull her pants up to her knees, or down around her ankles, in solidarity, but she’s never really shown any inclination to want to REALLY use her potty.

Until today. Today was different.

So, after sitting for half an hour, with nothing to show for it besides vapour, she wanted to get up off the potty. But when I said, Okay, fine, let’s put your diaper back on, she was all NO DIAPER.

So something’s going on.

So we got out the Big Girl Panties, some cotton training pants I have been keeping for JUST SUCH AN OCCASION. And we put them on her. I was not about to have her running about the place with nothing on — I know people do that, but it’s freezing cold outside and chilly in here and I’d rather she keep a shirt on and wash a bunch of wet pants than have her catch a chill.

She was not impressed with the Big Girl Panties. But I told her, these are your options: potty, diaper, or BGPs. So she grudgingly went with the Panties.

And so, I waited.

Maybe 5 minutes later, Stinkerbelle started to whine. She grabbed my hand and started pulling me, but I don’t think she knew exactly where. I led her to the bathroom to the potty but that was not what she felt she needed, but she didn’t really know WHAT she wanted me to help her with. She just knew she needed help.

But she could not tell me. I didn’t know, either.

Until a moment later, as she stood playing with her fridge magnets, and a puddle began to form at her feet.

A HA, said the Novice Potty-training Mom. I SEE.

Stinkerbelle was unimpressed with the puddle and the drippy legs and the wet BGPs. So I took her Big Girl Panties off her, and plopped her on the potty, where a little ridiculously tiny pee came out.

So far, she has only understood the whole Poo business. “Poo stink”, she says. But pee? Is kind of a new concept. I told her about pee, and telling me if she has to pee, and all that stuff. And then I took her up to her change table, and cleaned her up.

I asked her if she wanted a diaper on, or Big Girl Panties. She said NO DIAPER. She opted for the Big Girl Panties.

Progress? Maybe.

Anyway, she’s not going anywhere today without pants on. And even if I did put pants on her, she’s not going anywhere without a diaper. She WANTS pants, but I told her “no diaper, no pants”.

So we are at an impasse. We are grounded for the day, as we wait for the next puddle. I figure, for today at least, as long as she is interested in the whole potty deal, we’ll give it a try. Tomorrow she is at the sitters, so if the sitter wants to try the whole potty thing too, then great. And we’ll just take things a day at a time after that, around our regularly scheduled life. Whenever.

I won’t push her. She’ll train when she’s good and ready, and not a minute before. But I can’t help getting a little OMG SQUEE EXCITED at the prospect of maybe not changing more diapers. And, if I am completely honest, a little sad too.

Either way, I have a whole lot of time at home today with a half-naked toddler, a mop, and a carpet cleaner.

12 thoughts on “Impasse

  1. I told B. man to send her a telepathic message.


    AWESOME! YAY! YIPPEE!!!! I’m a firm believer in treat training. For every success, a small treat. B’s was a jar of jelly beans on the bathroom windowsill. For every success, he got a jelly bean.

    And I packed away diapers just yesterday. And I kind of, maybe, just a little, got sad.


  2. I would try that, only my kid doesn’t eat real food.

    Maybe stickers. But I don’t think they have the bribe power of candy. I’ll have to think on this.

  3. Yay Stinkerbelle! She sounds like she’s got the basics down pat, it’s just the pee thing she has to work on. Good for her!

  4. Way to go Stinkerbelle!

    The potty thing is fascinaing! It really is!

    So, when you say Stinkerbelle doesn’t eat real food what does she eat? Ade is having some issues with the food!

  5. @Rana — She’s got issues with tongue lateralization and chewing, so she cannot chew bigger chunks of food, or meat, or pasta, or anything really, and her tongue cannot move it well enough to the back of her mouth to swallow. So, she’s never had things like candy, or meat that’s not torn up or pureed, or salad/raw veggies of any kind, or anything that requires lots of chewing, essentially. We are currently seeing an occupational therapist to help her learn to do these things but it is slow going. She also will resist eating anything that she feels is scary/new, or could potentially choke her because of this, so she will reject food out of hand without trying it. So, bribery with things like Smarties or whatever is not possible — she’s never had anything like that, and would refuse to try it.

    Also, we’re considering whether or not she has a hunger sensor — that is, if she ever feels hungry. She doesn’t often indicate that she is hungry, but we don’t know if this is because she can’t feel hunger or because of apprehension over eating in general.

    If you want to chat you know where to find me! If there’s one issue I can talk about now, after 2 1/2 years, it’s kids and food. 😛

  6. Hmmm…so something small and soft she can suck on? Half a gummy bear? Or how about something she licks? I’m sure you’ve thought through all these things and are rolling your eyes at me right now. 🙂

    How’s the rest of the day going with the potty?

  7. @Tova —

    Well, we had a little pee puddle late morning, but then…


    (Also? After the potty, we sat together in front of the TV and shared a banana. Like, she TOOK BITES OF MY BANANA. This? Is HUGE. MONUMENTAL.)

    It has been a banner day here today. And whether it will continue is anyone’s guess. She may decide to have a big old pee right there on the chair in the living room, and the potty be merely a distant memory. But right now? Life is pretty awesome.

  8. wow, at this rate, tomorrow you’re going to get up and she’ll be sitting in front of the TV with the stereo cranked, and texting.

  9. Yipee! It is an exciting milestone and one that we celebrate over here. My dtr has had a similar timeline with these things too- she really digs the stickers as a reward.

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