R will be 2 ½ next week. We’ve been potty-training her in a casual sort of way for a few months now. I’ve had a pretty laissez-faire attitude about the whole thing – all my friends say it will happen when she’s ready, it will be sudden and then it will be done.
We have a little bit of history here – she showed some interest early last fall, and we got a potty and started sitting her on it with some regularity. Within six weeks, she developed a bladder infection, kidney reflux and sustained some damage to her kidneys. She’s now on medication that supposedly makes her urine sterile. After that episode last October, we backed off on the potty training.
We’ve recently started again with some vigor – sticker charts and prizes for using the potty. Last Saturday (on the fateful trip to Target), I bought a second potty to keep on our ground floor and some Little Mermaid and Dora panties that she picked out. She went diaperless from late afternoon until bed time Saturday, with no accidents. Sunday morning, I took off her diaper and she continued to use her potty… until she pooped her pants. (When I showed her what happened when she pooped in her pants without a diaper on, she instructed me: “Mommy, you clean it.”)
Because it was Father’s Day and her grandparents were in town, I cleaned her up, dressed her in a pretty sundress – and a diaper.
Now, when I went to pick her up yesterday, she ran to me with joy and jumped into my arms. But she was followed by some of the kids in the four-year-old class who were chanting “Baby Poopypants” repetitiously and wagging their fingers at her. I was horrified.
I looked down at these children and told them, particularly their leader (a little blonde boy in an orange basketball jersey) that calling names wasn’t nice and they could hurt people’s feelings. He immediately justified himself by saying he wore underwear and she wore diapers and pooped in her pants. I told him he was a lot older than her and that he used to wear diapers too. He didn’t care, and the trio went back to chanting. I walked away, wondering a little bit where the teachers were.
R seemed okay, and we played and had a nice evening. Then, when her father was putting her to bed, she said, “Daddy, C called me a big baby and said I pooped my pants.” She remembered. It made an impression. Dave told her that if he did it again to tell him that wasn’t very nice and she wasn’t going to play with him anymore. I thought that was good advice.
I wanted to kick that kid. I wanted to call his parents and tell them what a bully he was being. I wanted to demand that the teachers step in and do something. But I didn’t do any of that. Dave’s advice – letting her handle it – was perfect. And I hope it works.