Sunday, September 25, 2005

Toilet training is very stressful

This toilet training thing is not going well. It seemed like we were starting to make some progress. The stickers were working pretty nicely as an incentive to get Nico interested and motivated. But then, overnight, it seemed, he just stopped caring.

Now, Nico will be building a Lego tower or something, go off to a corner to do his thing, and them come over to tell me, "I pooped." Then he goes back to his tower. It doesn't seem to matter that he's got this big, steaming, stinking load in his pants. Is this a boy thing or what?

Anyhow, so then Vic and I started trying to do the whole "big boys wear underwear and babies wear diapers" thing to see if that would get Nico motivated. Not really. I bought Nico some underwear to see if he'd be interested. I bought him some Nemo underwear. I bought him some Thomas the Tank Engine underwear. I bought him underwear with airplanes on them.

I laid out all this new underwear in a row and told Nico that if he would use the toilet instead of diapers, he could wear the cool "big boy" underwear. He seemed amused. Mildly. It appears that he likes underwear in theory, but not in practice. I guess I can't blame him - I'm kinda that way about coffee.

Tonight, Nico had a major meltdown on the toilet. He was so intent on pooping in the toilet. He sat there straining and screaming until his face and body turned red. "COME OUT, POOP! COME OUTTTTTTTTT!" He nearly threw up from straining so hard. He was gagging and in between his scream-sobs, he'd say, "Imma sticker! Imma underwear! I a big boy!"

I tried to calm him down and I offered to give him stickers just for trying, but this only seemed to worsen the situation. He was really set on his goal. He sat on the toilet screaming and crying for a very long time. Vic was upstairs trying to grade papers and wondering what was going on. Eventually, Nico calmed down and I awarded him two shiny ambulance stickers, one for each hand.

The whole episode kinda makes me wonder, though, what lies ahead for me and Vic as parents. I have a feeling Nico has inherited Vic's intensity and need to be a perfectionist. I can be all-or-nothing about things too sometimes, but I don't think I was ever that way about poop.

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