Briana's Progress

Bedtime Fear

I feel as if the more ideas I have for my blog, the less time I have to sit down and actually write them out. I’m hoping that will change soon, but as of right now, it’s the sad truth.

Now that I have the time to sit, the myriad of ideas that have popped up in my head over the past few days/weeks have flown the coup. My mind is completely blank. So, for now, I’m going to sort of go with a stream-of-consciousness sort of thing and see where it leads me.

Briana’s vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds every single day. I’ve stopped trying to record every new word that she learns, because there are simply too many of them every day, and I was having trouble remembering which ones I had written down and which ones I hadn’t. It was taking up a lot of unnecessary time and energy, and I’m a little short on both of those things. So, suffice it to say, she’s learned a lot of new words. Some of those words are Frozen related. Olaf, Ana, Elsa, etc. Of course.

The potty training thing is sort of at a standstill. It’s frustrating because she was super good about it all for the first week or two, and now she’s sort of being difficult about it. She’ll happily announce “potty” after she has gone in her Pull-Up, but she won’t tell us before anymore. For a few days in there somewhere she refused to pee on the toilet OR in her Pull-Up, but would wait until we put her in a diaper for her nap and then go in that instead. What I get out of that is that she is getting the bladder control and just refusing to go on the toilet? I’m not really super worried. At this point my biggest concern is whether to keep on with the potty training or just give up for a couple of months and go back to diapers. I’m really hesitant to go back to diapers because I don’t want her to think it’s no big deal…but right now it’s kind of not a big deal. Does that make sense? I don’t know.

Briana can count to three. She spontaneously demonstrated this a few days ago. “One, two, fwee!” It’s so adorable. I’m wondering if she’ll count higher in the next week or so. One of her favorite books right now is a Frozen counting book that goes up to ten. She’s been requesting it a lot, so we’ll see.

A few nights here and there over the last few weeks, Briana has been getting absolutely hysterical around bedtime. She usually just goes down as easy as anything after her story, but several nights when I have closed the door, she has lost her ever-loving mind. She screams and cries and sobs and begs for “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” And it’s not that “wah, I don’t want to be alone” cry, but that genuine terror that rips at your heart and pulls you back into her room very quickly because you HAVE to make it okay for her. That gasping for breath, hiccuping, cry so hard she gags kind of cry.

I thought maybe it was fear of the dark, but she already has a nightlight. She always has. It’s dim, but it projects a little drawing of a princess and a castle and a horse (or is it a unicorn? I’ve never looked that close) onto her ceiling, so it provides decent light. Nevertheless, I started turning on this little light stuffed animal thing that projects stars and moons onto the walls and ceiling as well. (She says “wow!” every time I turn it on.) That didn’t do the trick either. The only thing that I can figure out is possibly a return of separation anxiety? We haven’t had a problem with that since before her first birthday, but I hear that it comes back in the toddler years sometimes.

At any rate, it’s heartbreaking. I will go in there and rock with her and sing to her and talk to her until she is all calm, almost asleep even. But as soon as I lay her in her bed, kiss her forehead, say goodnight, and walk out and shut the door, she starts screaming again. Three nights in a row it took two hours to get her to stop screaming. If I leave the door open, she gets out of bed and follows me into the living room. I’m kind of at a loss. I can’t let her scream like that, and I won’t listen to people who suggest it. This isn’t her screaming and crying to manipulate me…this is genuine fear. She just isn’t old enough to tell me what she is afraid of yet. I need her to know that I will be there for her when she is afraid. Always. I refuse to trivialize her fear just because I don’t understand it.

Tonight, I read Briana her bedtime story with her already in bed, and let her hold onto the book after I shut out the lights. She cried, but this time it wasn’t hysterical, fearful crying. It was “I’m tired but I don’t want to sleep” crying. So I let her cry and it stopped within 30 seconds. I’ll try that again tomorrow I suppose, and see if it helps in the long run.

Anyway…perhaps tomorrow one of my brilliant “I should totally blog about that!” ideas will crop up and I’ll remember to jot it down so I can actually write something entertaining!


Briana's Progress

Potty Training

This ENTIRE post is about Potty Training because I am obsessed with intensely focused on it for Bri right now. Feel free to skip it if you aren’t interested!

Briana will be two in (gulp) less than two months time. A couple of months ago, she started showing interest in using the toilet. And if you put her up on the toilet, she would go pee in the toilet, but it didn’t really seem to be an on purpose sort of thing. More of a timing sort of thing.So I didn’t think too much of it, and sure enough, interest waned and she didn’t want anything to do with the toilet after a week or so.

But a couple weeks ago (or maybe just ten days or a week, I’m not sure) she saw an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in which they’re putting a huge focus on using the potty. Complete with a little jingle that I cannot for the life of me get out of my head. (“If you have to go potty, stop, and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.” It’s stuck in my head, rattling around, and I. Cannot. Stop. It.) Anyway, that sparked something different. In the middle of that episode, she yelled “potty” and took off for the bathroom. As soon as we got her on the toilet, she peed. She did the same thing after dinner.

Alrighty then. Time to get serious about this?

We got a “potty seat” for her that fits over the regular toilet seat so that she can sit by herself with no fear (on either one of our parts, lol) of her falling into the toilet. We got her a little stepping stool so that she could more easily get onto the toilet. My mother-in-law picked up some Pull-Ups for us. We were armed and ready for…well, not take-off, but you know…the other thing.

I was unsure about actually starting this at first, because everyone a lot of people said that it was too soon and I’d be better off waiting. And then I wasn’t sure about using the Pull-Ups because a lot of people said those were a waste as well, and we should go straight to underwear and “never look back.”

I thought it through from a few different angles and decided that I would continue potty training Briana unless she lost interest again, and then I’d not fight it. She’s still really young, and while it would be wonderful to get her out of diapers completely (including the Pull-Ups), I don’t want to push for the sake of pushing. I also decided to start with the Pull-Ups, because they made me feel a little bit less unsure, a little more confident in trying to embark on the big Potty Training road with Briana. Also, because I’m her mom and she’s my kid, and my hubby is her dad, and the decision is ours and not a lot of other people’s. (Trying really hard to remember that every time someone second guesses me!)

So, a few days ago, we started putting her on the toilet every 20 minutes, and sooner if she said “potty.” Sometimes she went and sometimes she didn’t, but we celebrated every time she did, and praised her for staying dry in between, which was nearly every time. I was at work Monday and Tuesday for a good chunk of the day, but she stayed dry all but once in the afternoon with me Monday and once on Tuesday. I’ve noticed that later in the day it gets more difficult for her. She’s less focused and so she forgets to tell me she needs to go.

Wednesday was the first day I was at home with her all day, and also the first day I took her somewhere in a pull-up. (I’m pretty sure hubby told me Monday and Tuesday he had forgotten and put her in diapers when it was time to take her to my uncle’s house so he could head to work.) At any rate, I needed to go to the library, which is about half an hour away. I put her on the toilet before we left, but she didn’t go, so I was thinking we were probably going to have a wet pull-up once we got to the library, but I figured that’s what the pull-ups are for, so off we went.

When we got to the library, I hustled her straight into the bathroom and was surprised to find a dry pull-up. Yay! Success. And she went to the bathroom before we left and was dry when we got home. I was all sorts of excited. She still ended up having just that one wet pull-up at the end of the day though, right before bed, even with us taking her to the bathroom every 20 minutes.

I want to call today our most successful day. She did have a wet pull-up in the car, but we took a long drive to my mother-in-laws work, and I can’t blame her for not holding it for an hour when she’s just learning. She told me while were there that she needed to go to the bathroom, and she stayed dry on the way back, even though she fell asleep in the car.

Wow….LOTS OF DETAIL ABOUT PEE AND PULL-UPS AND BATHROOM USAGE. I’m weird. I feel the need to share things. It helps me catalogue and process and keep track and understand things. So, I’m sorry, but you’re just going to have to suffer through or stop reading.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that for now, we’re sticking with the 20-30 minute thing. If she starts to stay dry for longer, then we’ll extend it out by five or ten minutes at a time. Maybe once she can hold it for an hour we’ll ditch the pull-ups during the day. I’m not sure how to go about night-training, so I haven’t tried it. I think it’s too soon anyway. I’m focusing on day-training her for now. Maybe once she starts waking up dry most mornings we’ll start night-training her, but I’m pretty sure that she will be closer to 2 and a half before that happens. But, then again, I never expected her to be even this far into potty training before she was 2. We’ll see how things go.

Potty training isn’t hard exactly, at least not at the level we are attempting it right now, but it’s time-consuming and requires a lot of patience. Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll feel brave enough to ditch the pull-ups except when we are going out and about. I’d be braver about it now, except I don’t have hardwood floors – it’s all carpet. And I don’t fancy crawling around on my hands and knees with carpet cleaner every day, cleaning pee out of the carpet. So, you know. Baby steps.

If you have any helpful tips (other than to ditch the pull-ups, because, remember, we’ve covered this already), please share them with me!