Monday, September 12, 2005

Potty Training Nightmare

Seriously, how long is it supposed to take to potty-train a child? My daughter Gina is nearly four years old, and not until the last month or so has she made significant progress in the art of using a toilet.

Even that progress, I notice, is limited to our own house. Send her to my mom's, or my mother-in-law's, or sis-in-law's, or pretty much anywhere, and she won't do it. She has to have her "triangle," which is what she calls her special Sponge Bob toilet seat topper that allows her the comfort of a soft seat and the security of knowing the hole is too small for her to fall in. She will scream bloody murder and pee on the bathmat rather than sit on the toilet without this object. Gina won't even approach the toilet if the bathroom light (a.k.a. the potty light) is not on. And, for whatever reason, she won't let anyone but me help her in the bathroom, though I suspect she might be willing to let her oldest cousin (a ten-year-old girl) help her.

Whenever I leave her with family, I always say "Remind her she's wearing panties. Ask her if she needs to use the potty. Show her where it is. Here, put her triangle on your potty. Make sure the light is on." But still, Bizarro Dad or I get a phone call saying that she's wet herself (and promptly got a towel or wipes and began cleaning the mess herself), and did we pack any extra clothes?

Then there's the overnight situation. I've kept her in a diaper at night because she generally comes to bed with Mom and Dad (with all four of us in one bedroom, this is to be expected). She usually wakes up with a dry diaper, but wets it shortly after she wakes. Well, now I'm making her go to bed on her own mattress (located on the floor next to my bed). So last night I put her to bed in panties. I instructed the family to leave the bathroom light on overnight, and I reminded Gina that if she woke up and needed to pee she should get up and run to the potty. I told her to remember to go potty as soon as she wakes up in the morning. And, because I'm crazy but not stupid, I laid down two of those absorbent changing pads on her mattress and a towel on top of those. I kissed her good night.

About six this morning the baby woke up screaming. Gina's mattress is right in front of Sia's crib, so I have to step on it to get to the baby. Guess what I felt on the mattress?

Gina seemed not to have been bothered by it, because she just rolled over to the right. She didn't even take off her panties. In fact, I'm not even sure she was awake when she peed.

When I finally got the baby calm and back in her crib, Gina promptly got up and crawled her stinky self into my bed. No way was I letting that fly. To the tub she went.

This is driving me nuts. Anyone have some advice? Anyone know where to get a twin-sized absorbent, leak-proof mattress pad?

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