4 years since I started thinking about toilet training. It’s been the longest, process, with so many ups and downs. 2 steps forward and 1 step back, over and over.
4 years since I bought Ella her first toilet seat.
3 years since we started actively toilet training, sitting on the toilet.
1 year since We really dug our heels in, and along with the school went ‘nappy free’ almost full time.
And today, I feel defeated. I feel like giving up. This morning as I hung out yet another load of washing, After only being in undies for less than an hour, Ella had an accident, She didn’t let me know, and dripped from the dining room, through the kitchen, down the hallway, back up the hallway, into the living room and sat on the living room rug before I noticed. I stripped her off, put her in the shower, put Reece in his highchair, put her clothes in to soak and while I put the rug in the wash (again) spot cleaned the carpet (again) and mopped the floor (again) and I cried.
Although to be fair, the fact that I hadn’t even had my morning coffee yet probably had a bit to do with it 😂
So today I’ve just thought fuck it and put Ella in a nappy. And Today, while Ella is obliviously colouring in her peppa pig book, I’m wallowing in misery, and you know what? I’m allowed, I’m not sorry and I don’t give a flying.
In those years of course we’ve made progress, HUGE leaps! We’ve been doing timed toileting, where the caregiver instigates each trip to the toilet, starting with just 15 minutes in between trips and working our way up. We’ve had dry days, and most certainly have celebrated them, but even on those ‘dry days’ there’s been poop accidents. Not once has Ella pooped on the toilet. Then when she’s in the care of others so I can get a very rare break, she comes home in a nappy – when Ella needs EVERYONE to be on board, so it’s like starting again. In those years we haven’t gotten past 1.5 hours between toilet trips. Only a handful of times has Ella actually indicated the need to go, but never with enough time to actually make it to the toilet, and we’ve never gotten past 1.5 hours in between toilet trips. 😔
I can’t help but laugh when people complain abut toilet training taking ‘weeks’…
And when you think about toilet training a 2 or 3 year old and they have an accident, its not too much wee – but when a 7 yo empties her bladder? It can be a LOT. I’m talking towels soaked, couches ruined, loads of washing – and that’s not even thinking about poop, but think about it, bigger kid = more food = bigger… well, you get the idea.
Going back to nappies full time isn’t exactly the ‘easy’ choice. Like a glint on the horizon, I was so happy to almost see the end of nappies -7.5 years I’ve been changing nappies! day in, day out, not to mention I don’t want to lose the progress we have made – but toilet training? Honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of the washing, the mopping, the poop, the smell, the stress.
But I digress.
At what point is it ‘ok’ to give up on a goal? A big part of special needs parenting is setting goals. Every new therapist Ella has seen, and every few months with the old ones we talk about goals, whether we need to ‘re-assess’ or re-think and where we’re at. It’s something that as a parent I really had a love/hate relationship with.
On the one hand, I’ve been so incredibly lucky, every goal we have set for Ella, she has achieved, or is on her way to achieving, and a big part of that has been having a great team of people to help set realistic goals for her.
On the other hand, It’s bound to happen that we set an unrealistic goal for her, and to put it bluntly, it fucking sucks.
I don’t know whether it’s the school holidays throwing her out, or something I’m doing wrong, but since new years we’ve only had 2 dry days and I’m so done, I feel so guilty that I haven’t been able to keep up with it, and questioning every single thing but I can’t figure it out at all.
So, is this the end of our toilet training journey? probably not. But right now? We’re taking a break – for everyone’s sanity.
I feel like this post is all over the place, an for that, I apologise. It’s probably because my bring in all over the place…
but hey, At least the floor is clean and mopped.