So, today I had a specific post in mind, but it's been hijacked by something that has been a constant struggle over the last six months. So I truly hope this doesn't bore you and I would love for you to read this and leave some comments and/or advice. My blog was never intended for this, but then its new and its evolving and I feel that if I can't voice matters here, where can I.
For the last couple of months both hubby and me have been pulling our hair out with little Es, who as you might know is three going on four. Although we are dealing with a myriad of problems, mostly expected at this age, it's the severity of it and the continuation that makes life so hard. Mostly I can cope with the constant power struggle and the need to control every little situation, and I have certainly learned which battles to choose. As a family we have tried to instill the understanding of how actions can impact on others 'feelings' (a word frequently used in this house). Furthermore we also try and set an example by being polite to others and the kids. Similarly we try and show respect for the kids in the hope that they will show this to others throughout their lives. Even so her incessant rudeness and disregard for others is a constant thorn in my side.
To be honest there is so much I can cope with, but the ONE thing that gets me is the constant wetting and soiling of clothes. Es requested to come out nappies shortly after she was two years old and she was amazing, she was pretty much dry and clean all the time without encouragement from us. Then six months later she regressed, like many do, so we put her back in nappies for a while till she showed readiness to come out again. Around about two months later she was ready and we thought that was that until about 8 months ago when everything started to go wrong. We rode it out for a while in the hope that it was just a developmental phase, where she was developing in other areas and her toilet stuff just went out of the window to compensate (not an uncommon occurence). We then tried encouragement and then later when that wasn't working, we did a 'Esme's Toilet Tales' reward chart, something neither of us really believe works, but we felt that all options should be considered and tested. Well this did work for a bit, but then even whilst we were still using it, it all went back to not using the toilet or potty at all. So here we are six months later and the situation seems to be worse than ever and my patience less than ever.
We are now in a situation where she only wants to do it in her pants and tells me that she enjoys it. We know that she has made the connection between needing the loo and going as she's done it and showed us how. She now refuses to be changed or cleaned, which normally leads into a battle of wills as I try and clean her (something she doesn't see as important despite the numerous explanations about hygiene, etc). Now believe me when I tell you that I have tried every approach possible to me. Initially I used to get cross (basically because I think it's gross), then I decided that that wouldn't help matters so I tried not to get upset and stay calm. Well, I have tried this for several months and lately I am incapable of keeping my cool and I honestly feel out of my debt with this. Now, everytime she soils and wets I can feel the anger boiling in me and I just want to get so mad. I try so hard to stay calm, but boy its hard. I started reading the book 'How to Talk So Kids Will Listen'' on Saturday in the hope that it will give me some different ideas of how to approach and deal with the situation. So yesterday I tried for the umpteenth time to sit down so we can discuss ways in which it can get better. This time following the advice of the book and writing down a list of all the suggestions that we could come up between us and then deciding which of them we felt we could work with, and which not. Boy, was it frustrating to say the least. I was faced with comments like: maybe if I read more books it won't happen, or if I hug my teddies more I won't need the toilet. What do I do????? I really want both my children to feel unconditional loved at all times, with no punishment and rewards that can make them feel like we only love them when they do this or behave like that, but boy this is so hard when you need your child to start using the toilet properly. Esme will start school in September and the last thing I want for her is to be teased because she smells, kids can be so cruel. Today I called the doctor to see if I could talk to someone, but I need an appointment, which I will make tomorrow (as appointment slots are released 48 hours in advance). I feel ambivalent about this as I don't know whether they can help, but then again I have nothing to loose.
So for today, my post is a little cry for help, advice, input, ideas or just sharing similar scenarios. I would so love for you to share your stories and experiences with me. Thanks for stopping by at Cosmos and Cotton, I love it that you have made the effort to read this far and I hope you visit again soon.