They say girls are easier. Easier to potty train. Calmer. Just easier. I don't know the true identity of the mysterious "they" but I sure hope they know what they're talking about. I don't know that I can handle going through this again with Little One.
Today was quite a day. Not in a good way. We had the Great Bathroom Standoff of 2008 at our house today. Why is pooping in the potty so damn difficult when you're 3? Is it really better to do it in a diaper and have it squish all over your rear? I don't get it. I know it's common. I know a lot of mamas deal with it. It doesn't comfort me during the battle.
The Standoff began at 9 this morning. The usual "I have to poop" squeals began. Big One ran to the bathroom screaming his head off, insisting that I help him in the bathroom. It's the same every day. I went to the bathroom. He continued to scream. Sat on the toilet. Screamed. Held in the poop. This is not unusual for him. However, he usually succumbs to the impending bowel movement by noonish. Not today. Today Big One was a special kind of stubborn.
The running to the bathroom screaming thing continued all morning. I did everything I could think of to get him to poop. I begged. I pleaded. I bribed. I threatened. I yelled. I played the good cop and the bad cop. Tough love. Sugary sweet. Nothing.
Nap time rolled around and still no poop. Big One normally wears a diaper at nap time. I told him no diaper until he pooped. I sent him to his room for nap time, expecting him to run screaming out of the room after a few minutes. Surely he would then give in and poop. He fell asleep.
Daddy came home and tried all of the same tricks. We tried his little potty. We tried the big potty. He just wasn't going to poop. Neither side was willing to relent. I didn't want to let him poop in a diaper. He didn't want to poop in the toilet. It was a rough day. I cried a lot. I turned ugly a few times. It was an "I'm a bad mommy" day. I know I'm not. But I told myself it was true. And I believed myself for a while.
I laid in my bed and cried. I heard Big One enter the room. He came with a peace offering. Rainbow Goldfish crackers. A true treasure to a 3 year old. He had a few in his hand and a few in the carton for me. He softly told me they were mine. We ate our Goldfish. I offered him my last one. He looked at it, hesitated, and insisted that I eat it. That is a big sacrifice for a 3 year old. Again, I rested my head on the bed. He put one hand on each cheek and lifted my head. He didn't say a word. He pressed his soft little cheek against mine a few times. He is a sweet, empathic child. I hate myself for losing my temper at him when he's less than charming. I wish I had an endless source of patience.
We finally gave in and put a diaper on Big One. He pooped. He refused to pee in his diaper. Once again, the panicked screaming started. After pooping, he immediately wanted the diaper off so he could pee in the potty. What? I'll never understand. I need to stop trying to understand and just deal with it.
I know it's common. I know others go through it. I'm just tired. I've got a headache. I know being home with the kids is best. But sometimes I wonder if all of us would be happier if I went back to work. Yet I can't even think about sending them to daycare, especially Little One.
Be strong, Mama. Be strong.