**Special request: Please don't give me any potty training advice in the comments section. I think you are awesome for wanting to help me (seriously, thank you!), but I've probably tried some version of whatever worked for you, and it didn't work for me. (Trust me. I've tried nearly everything.)**
With those disclaimers...
I hate potty training.
Chickie has been peeing on the potty for many months now. But poop is another issue. Pooping on the potty terrifies her. We've been allowing her to poop in disposable training pants (Pull-Ups.) Five or six months ago I was trying every "miracle method" under the sun, and nothing worked. I finally followed advice I heard from many camps (including from several of you)--just wait until she's ready. So we started letting her poop in Pull-Ups.
Do you have any idea how disgusting it is to change a three-year-old's poopy Pull-Up? It's nasty, people. Nasty. But it was worth it--I enjoyed the not forcing the issue.
And then, last Tuesday, joyful tears came to my eyes when something amazing happened. Chickie pooped. In the potty. On her own. And was not at all traumatized.
It was a day of celebration in our household. I thought, "Woo hoo, I waited until she was ready, and now she's ready!" We got ice cream and gave her a toy. I told her, "No more Pull-Ups!"
And...it's been downhill from there. Without going into too much detail, I'll tell you that she has spent far more time on the potty in the last week than she should be spending there over the course of a month; pooping on the potty is still freakishly terrifying to her; and while suppositories work, they are really, really not fun to anyone involved. (Oh, and babies like to play with and possibly eat the glycerin from extra liquid suppositories. Thankfully Poison Control assured us this is not really dangerous.)
So yesterday after talking to a good friend who called to check on me (thank you, Kendra!), I grabbed the last Pull-Up from the package, brought it upstairs, and offered it to Chickie. She took it, and made good use of it. Good, non-traumatic, totally disgusting use of it.
I tried. I tried so hard to make this work. I thought if I tried hard enough and was stubborn enough, she'd get it. And she just didn't. It was getting worse instead of better.
I was defeated. And I don't like losing.
But you know what I realized? I'm going to lose some battles as a parent. This is an experimental science, and some of my formulas are just going to blow up.
But that doesn't mean I shouldn't have tried. I have to try different tactics as I train my kids, and I have to deal with the fact that failure is just part of the game.
It doesn't mean that the stress and tears from the last several days were useless. It just means instead of coming out of it with success, I came out with a learning experience. That's not the reward I was hoping for, but it's still useful in my quest to understand my daughter.
Defeat in one parenting battle does not mean I've been defeated as a parent. I'll just keep on marching...armed with a bandolier of clothespins for my nose, and a big box of baby wipes.