Our latest blog edition is all "toilet talk" and leads one of my coaches to share honestly a very personal challenge for her and her young daughter that many parents never talk about! We both really hope this post is helpful to you particularly if this is your journey too........
My youngest has been subject of previous posts – A feisty little blonde thing. Partial to a bit of hip hop ballet in her trainers. Almost taller than me. Yep! That’s she!
I knew she’d change my life the moment we met. She was born in her amniotic sack (incredibly lucky apparently!) and she was completely impatient – the pain was intense as hell but it was all over and done with pretty quickly.
Before we knew it, we were braving temperatures of minus two and were homeward bound. Hayley Westenra serenaded us on route home with ‘Danny Boy’, it was snowy and freezing and she was my all. I had the most incredibly serene and peaceful first night with my little girl....unforgettable.
Everyone told me she’d be little miss independent because girls are that way inclined – but she’s not. She looks for me, we hold hands at bedtime, she always wants me to help choose her outfit each day (she’ll ridicule my choices most of the time, but my input must be had!), still hesitates outside the door at nursery, and showed zero (and I mean none!) interest in potty training.
In the end, my hand was a little forced on that last one. A couple of months back (could be more – I lose track it’s all felt so endless), she developed a very sore bottom. It was awful – open, bleeding at times, agonising. I was back and forth to our GP on a regular basis. I tried anti-fungal, steroid, nappy creams, oral antibiotics – the full works. Nothing seemed to be helping. In the end, we saw a locum who took swabs, did urinary tests and packed me off to hospital for blood tests too. She really got on the case and she did (very sensitively) talk to me about the prospect of potty training her – just to get little girl ‘dry’ at least so that she stood a decent chance of healing down there quickly.
I spoke to mini madam about it of course and she LOVED the idea! I hadn’t pushed her up until that point, I knew when the time was right we would crack it and at first we did. She was peeing happily on the potty or toilet and for her number twos she would put a pull up on, do the business, and that would be that.
In the weeks that followed, we had another flair up. More botty issues and suddenly the tide turned. It was obvious that the number twos were painful, but she was all of a sudden refusing.
Several weeks later and I am actually no closer to getting a medical diagnosis for this sudden aversion to pooing and so I named it ‘Bi-poo-lar’.
We go from a happy, amiable, loving, fun, caring, spirited girl to a screaming, cheek clenching, tip toe hopping, rigid, stressed out wailer in a matter of seconds some days and it goes that way until eventually, she can keep it at bay no longer and we have to change her – sometimes the entire outfit. Sometimes several times a day.
In the last few weeks, I have thrown away countless pairs of knickers and my little girl has had such a tough time that we have both been reduced to tears on several occasions. I can’t convince her to use the toilet for that purpose, or put a pull up on – nobody can. She is on (unbeknown to her) a laxative powder to make life a touch easier for her when the moment is finally upon her, but honestly, she is two different people and so I don’t even jest when I say her problem is a psychological one and the advice is basically ‘ride it out’. She is not sore or in pain, she is frightened.
It’s only been this week that I feel we have both accepted this as our reality for the time being. I know people stop and stare at us when she acts out her toilet dramas in public, and I know that lots of people think I am being unfeeling or dismissive when I don’t console, or try to placate her – but I also know that it only serves to make things worse
She often apologises once it’s all over and honestly that breaks my heart. This may well be an irrational fear, but who am I to judge her?
She needs my support and my love and reassurance – I am told and I have to believe that eventually she will come out the other side....here’s hoping she isn’t clutching her bottom cheeks and turning an alarming shade of purple in the fruit and veg section at 18 years old anyway.
At the moment though, despite her apologies and explanations, she makes no attempts to change it.
I will keep on celebrating her other milestones. She is articulate (her favourite word at the moment is ‘literally’ – haha! She’s three and a half!)
She is sassy, she is defiant, she is loving and warm and capable and she is incredibly complex. I am her biggest advocate. It doesn’t always make life easy – It is a huge performance and always very noisy. It is emotional and nonsensical and hysterical. But it is what it is and I have as I said earlier, affectionately named it bi-poo-lar so that I can separate my little girl from the behaviour, simply because I know that it is fear that’s in the driving seat. She isn’t in control and I won’t let it define her.
With all her complexities and quirks and even with all the stress and upheaval that come with at times, I can’t imagine a life without her. In a strange way I admire her. She doesn’t try to hide how she feels, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, she has complete freedom of expression – I wish some days that adult life was this simple!!!!!!!!
I am proud of her. So for me, bi-poo-lar is a beautiful disaster. We all need someone to help clean us up, dust us off and set us back on our feet at some point. Its real life – and real life gets messy sometimes.