Saturday, January 3, 2015

Potty Training?

The hours I spent sitting on the edge of the tub waiting for Jessica to ‘tinkle’ so that I could positively reinforce the action. To get to this point, I had to find the right toilet seat that would give her the feeling of security and not that “I’m going to fall into the toilet” feeling. I found one that had steps and railings on either side. It was truly the throne of all thrones for the young person in training! Except this child wasn’t 2 or 3 years old. This child was 6. I had started this process in the spring and come summer it was clear I needed a break! My niece was looking for some part time work and she was taking psychology at a nearby university, so I asked if she might be interested in putting some hours every other day to help me. Jessica loved her and I felt we might make some head way.

There were days we did have success in 1) catching Jess before she went pee; 2) catching Jess just as she needed to go pee; and 3) actually having her pee! I wish I could say that Jess learned that summer to identify when she had to go and we said good-bye to diapers once and for all but in reality, here we are, 28 years later and elated that you can now purchase adult diapers.

My niece, Kathy and I did do our best. Sometimes it would just be one or the other with Jess in the bathroom, sometimes both of us together. Singing songs, reading books, doing finger plays, all to while away the time until we heard the sound of success. We turned on the water, we poured warm water between her legs, all to stimulate and bring on the desired end result. Sometimes we would be so tired, we would start to laugh at this situation, all of us in the bathroom, Jess would even join in the laughter although I don’t think she realized what was so funny.

I should take a moment and try to describe our bathroom. It was by no means large. To sit on the edge of the tub brought you in close proximity to the toilet and the sink at the same time. Did it get a bit warm in there with 3 people crammed into it? You bet.

That summer became one for the history books. I don’t know if anyone out there has had a similar experience to this one, but it did teach us patience beyond belief and how to endure discomfort to the nth degree. Jessica indulged us and allowed us to perform to the best of our ability but deep inside I really believe that she thought us to be quite foolish. She had no desire to pee in a toilet. The diapers worked very well as far as she was concerned and they were always changed shortly after they were ‘used’ so she never suffered with any rash or the like. Silly, foolish people we were.

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