Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Potty Training Woes

When I decided to sit down and write a post entitled "Potty Training Woes", I had envisioned it would mean several different things. Constantly laundering Size 6 briefs. Fingers wrinkled beyond recognition from scrubbing articles of clothing. Wet spots all over the floor. Frustration of trying to get this kid to finally put the pieces together. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be writing about the content of this post.

First of all, 15 months after considering a child fully potty trained, I never imagined that we'd be struggling with this and Rachel. Yeah, we've been seeing more frequent accidents from her (and urine accidents which were always EXTREMELY rare). But we're seeing something new. Something maddening. Disgusting. Appalling. And, because she's potty trained, I'm really not sure what I can do about it.

We're talking about the "S" word. What could that possibly be? Well, I'll tell you. SMEARING. For the last few days, she's been releasing a small amount of BM and making sure she can get her hands in it. If there's enough there, she will start writing on the walls. She's done this in her room at night. She's done this in the basement where we keep most (if not all) of her toys. She's even done this at the kitchen table when my back is turned for 30 seconds. No place is safe.

The only solution I know of that has seen success is something called a "Wonder Jumper", designed and available through this website (I-Kids Fashion David Cavaliere). However, because she's potty trained, we need to be able to get her undressed to use the toilet as needed, which makes this an inappropriate solution to our current problem. But since she has been finding so much pleasure in her new activity, she is intentionally releasing just enough. When she does this, she also urinates a bit. Today alone, she has been through 5 pairs of underwear due to these "accidents". But she definitely has the control and the will. There is clear and present INTENT at work here. She gets the reaction she seeks in my frustration and anger. So, I try not to show it. But how can I not? So, all I've managed to do is make the problem worse.

Talk about a HUGE regression. And, of course this happens this week....when school is starting and my patience is completely exhausted. While Kevin is out of town for a few days for a business trip. When all I want to do is ball up somewhere and hibernate to recover from this insane and rather unpleasant summer. I hate the fact that I am preparing to start the year with a lengthy note to her new teacher explaining this new behavior, just as we are trying to prove that she can function in a school for typical children as well as those with special needs, rather than sending her to a school where there are no possibilities of integration. I'm just hoping this is a TRUE regression and, once we get back into the routine of school and things have a chance to settle down, we will see all of these behaviors completely disappear.

But the truth is, I'm scared that this may have something to do with the ADHD treatment. May that have caused her to regress like this? She doesn't do anything like this while the drug is in her system, but once it works its way out, these behaviors seem to surface. We are trying to get her impulses under control with as little intervention as possible. Do we need to stop all together? Or do we need to medicate her further? Or is this purely a behavior that we must address?

I really just want run and hide from the world right about now.

(but on the plus side, the boys are both having a great first week of school [based on 2 days])


  1. I just found the link to your post that you shared with the MOMS club a while back. My heart goes out to you! I have some experience working with children on the autism spectrum, and they are truly a blessing! What a great blog you are keeping! Keep up the great work!

  2. I have been there and done this and it is so frustrating and disheartening. I can't imagine what this is like after having Rachel completely potty trained. Just know that you are a great mom and you will find the patience to get through this. It sure isn't easy but you can do it!