Tough times

SO, potty training is by far one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to struggle through with Elliot. The biting phase lasted but a short time, as well as the 18 month old hitting phase. But this is so… trying. He cries, he whines, he doesn’t give a damn about bribes with candy or stickers or anything. But we had some success on Saturday. He went in the potty 5 out of the maybe 15 times I had him sit there. And one would think that if he did it once, then the next time he’d go willingly and know he could do it again. Nope. Same old crying and floor flopping as the previous time. The reason I’m so frustrated by this is because people keep saying I have to back off if he’s not ready. This would appear that he’s  not ready.

And yet.

He tells me everything about the situation. “I have to pee in the potty so I have go to the big boy class. And wear my Toy Story underwear. This is what big kids do.” And then he’ll say he has to go but when we get to the bathroom, it’s like a flip switches and he’s back to the howling in abject fear.

So yesterday we didn’t bother with underwear, just Pull-ups but we kept trying to get him to go. We prompted him and he always said no, I don’t have to go. Around 6:30 we were watching football and rough housing on the couch when Elliot started crying hysterically. Ash thought he broke a bone or something so in typical parent fashion we’re barraging him with “Are you ok?? What hurts?? Talk to us!!!” And then he calms for a second to say, “I have to go potty.” Finally, some kind of recognition. Like all things worth doing, this is difficult but we’ll get there. We really take using the bathroom for granted, don’t we?

Aside from the ongoing struggle of using the bathroom, he’s dealing with his first bout of real fear. Apparently he can’t sleep without the light on. Well,  I shouldn’t sell him short; last night he was fine. But for the last week he’s been waking – I guess – in the night and turning on his lamp. In a lot of ways I feel sorry for him because if he’s scared, he’s not calling out to us  so he’s dealing with it on his own. And to that end, good for him, you know? He tells us sometimes though that he won’t go into a certain room because of the monster but he’ll go with us and agree there’s nothing there. Then the next time, he’ll be just fine. I remember dealing with all those things as a kid and my heart goes out to him. How hard it is to grow up!