Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Somewhat Grudging Elimination Communication Update

A week or two ago (heck, maybe even a month by now...), Sarah asked how things were going in the elimination communication department, and I've hemmed and hawed and avoided answering because it isn't going very well at all, for several reasons.

For one, Pearl popped out two canines (bottom right then top left) in one week. Whenever she is teething, both her sleep patterns and willingness/ability to go in the potty up and go on vacation apparently. For a while it was going really well and she was telling me when she needed to poop, and going in the potty, and saying that she was going peepee as she peed... which was sometimes in the potty. Then she stopped saying anything at all! That was pretty frustrating. But now, a few days since those teeth first made their appearance, she has resumed telling me when she needs to poop, and she is now coming to me right after she's peed and pointing at her diaper and saying she is soggy.

Another challenge I'm facing is that she has fallen in love with saying 'no'. Now, sometimes she doesn't really mean no. I can ask her something and she'll say no but if I'll ask her again she she'll happily comply. In regards to pottying, that makes hard to tell, when I ask her if she needs to use the potty whether her answering 'no' means that she doesn't need to go potty or if she doesn't want to go potty. I do not feel that I should be ignoring what she says and just setting her on the potty anyway in this instance; however I do wish for her to understand that she should pee in the potty. So I usually respect her no, but if I think she really does need to I will go ahead and move toward getting her on the potty... backing off if she protests.

I will admit that I'm a little bummed that she isn't going on the potty more, on her own more. I fully believed that practicing elimination communication would lead to being out of diapers early; I thought we'd be saying goodbye to diapers at about this point. But we've been through several setbacks just like this before so I'm trying not to be too bummed. (In fact I have a suspicion that once she has all of her teeth in, that will be it, we'll be set. Can't wait to see if I'm right!)

There is another obstacle... pants! She will NOT tolerate pants around her ankles! It's kind of cute and amusing and frustrating all at once; she whines and tugs at them until I pull them off. I'm going to try to keep her in skirts and dresses over the summer and let her go nakeybutt a lot so that she can get on the potty on her own without messing with pants.

On the days when it isn't going so well I do feel discouraged and wonder why I bother... but on the whole I still feel it is worthwhile, and I think we will do it with our next baby, too. This most recent setback has reminded me that Elimination Communication is really a process, not a training method. It is in itself what we should be working towards, if that makes any sense at all.

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Anonymous sarahgrace said...

Hey, thanks for answering my question. If it makes you feel any better, I had forgotten I'd asked it. :) I've learned that potty training in general is a process, and there is definitely no magical method that is a "train-all" (if you will.) I think what it ends up coming down to is, how soon you want your children to be out of diapers. The appeal of EC to me, is that, you already have to change diapers anyway, you might as well hold them over a potty, and the advantage is that they learn to use the potty sooner. :) Thanks for sharing!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I think they just are ready when they 're ready, no matter what you do really. Bean was REALLY into the potty for like a not so much. He'll tell me SOMETIMES that he needs to go/has gone, but this doesn't always mean he'll comply with diaper changes or sit on the potty. All in good time is my theory. So don't be bummed. Pearl is doing an awesome job!

4:22 PM  
Anonymous gearhead mama said...

I really wish we'd had the energy to EC with M. I don't beat myself up for it, because we already had our plates more than full, and by the time things settled down, it just seemed too late. I can understand your frustrations, though, especially when it feels like 2 steps forward, 2 steps back. I still think it's got to be helpful for her to understand what the potty is, and what it's used for. I don't think we've gotten that part across to M yet!

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Jennie said...

I'm really late on this one, but just wanted to share that Rose is exactly the same with having pants around her ankles. She will not stand for it, so they have to be off on the potty - sometimes her socks too.

Around 17-18 months she did really well with the potty and sign "toilet" when she had to poo. Then she just wanted nothing more to do with it and would always say "no" when I asked if she wanted to use the toilet. Lately she's been more interested again and will sometimes want to go potty when I change her diaper. :)

3:55 PM  

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