Ages ago, when I read Tas's post about how she and her son just weren't ready for potty training, I was all geared up to write a similar post that pretty much echoed what Tas had written. The post never got written and I forgot about it because a short while later, the pressure started building. Friends with toddlers of a similar age to Emily began potty training successfully and I guess I felt a bit of peer pressure. Add to that the older generation's disapproving looks and comments about her still being in a nappy, and my fear that her school wouldn't accept her if she was still in nappies, and I succumbed.
I used school as an excuse and told Emily she needed to be in panties by then. I stupidly put pressure on her. I ignored the fact that pressure doesn't work with her. I know my daughter well enough to know this.
The problem lay here: In January, she was ready to be potty trained. All the signs were there. But I was 7 and a half months pregnant and planning not one, but two house moves, having just moved country. I didn't think it was the right time to be adding extra potential disasters to our lives. So she stayed in nappies, with me thinking "How much could she possibly regress?"
The answer? Completely.
And as time passed, I realised her "readiness" was disappearing by the day. Fully dry naps and nights became very, very wet ones again. And never having been one to bother about a wet nappy (which hasn't helped with potty training - wet panties just don't annoy her), she even became fine with it being a stinky nappy.
"Emily, have you done a poo?"
"No Mummy, I not done a poo poo"
Liar. Anyone close by would DIE of suffocation.
Eventually I realised that if I asked her whether she needed to tell me something about her nappy, she'd say yes, she's done a poo - but still wasn't fussed about whether it got changed or not.
Over the last couple of months, we've mentioned the concept of potty training to her and we've introduced books such as Princess Polly's Potty which she loves, and we had a few hopeful days where she'd ask to poo on the potty or toilet of her own accord. And she would too. But the concept of a wee remained alien to her.
So a couple of weeks ago, with her school start date looming, I decided it was time to try properly. It started well too. She was excited to be wearing panties "like Mummy" and her first wee went straight into the potty. Amazing. I was almost in tears of joy. We danced. We hugged. We stuck special stickers. We called Daddy in England to let him know. Everyone was made to celebrate.
And then it stopped. She claimed she didn't need to wee the entire day, but once I put on her nappy for her nap and bedtime, she completely soaked it.
The second day got even worse. She didn't even bother holding it in for that long. She just let it all go over her Duplo and later, over Adam's toys. Both times, the potty was a metre away from her.
She then asked to wear a nappy and I obliged. I didn't have the mental strength to keep going, and my instinct screamed at me that it really shouldn't be this difficult, that it just isn't the right time.
I kick myself now to have ignored her signs in January because it could have been simple then: she might have led the way. Maybe I've made her lazy and thus made it more difficult for myself. So many thoughts of doubt and failure have passed through, and settled in, my mind - I'm not entirely sure what to think of the whole thing any longer. Burying my head in the sand is hugely appealing.
But I do know that my daughter is a determined little thing. When she decided one night she would not be sleeping in a cot any longer (whether we liked it or not), nothing got in her way. I think, I hope, that this may be a similar situation. That she might wake up one day and inform me that she is no longer going to be using nappies. And so help me God if I say otherwise.
I live in constant hope.
Meanwhile, her school have reassured me that they are more than happy to accept her in nappies, and I wonder whether seeing other children in panties at school might trigger the change in her.
Feel free to throw encouraging stories at me. But please keep any "OMG she's over 2.5years old and still in nappies?!" comments to yourselves. Thankyoumuchly!