The Toilet Trump Card

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I’m not into “toilet training” per se, more “toilet availability”. I don’t want to pressure her to learn to use a toilet, or make her feel bad when she doesn’t get there in time, because I think it’s one of those milestones you naturally reach and trying to force it can cause more issues in the long term.

For Miss Rose, this is so far working. She had not interest one day, then the next day she did. She doesn’t want to use a potty because she sees mummy and daddy on the real toilet, so we bought her a padded seat and a stool, and she can use the toilet like a “big girl”. We celebrate when she uses it, let her proudly boast to anyone who will listen about the size of her “GIANT POO” (a favourite claim being  it is was “big as daddy’s poo”), and when she goes in her nappy not making a fuss. Just saying “Oh well, try again next time”. Toilet uses are becoming more frequent and gradually she’s getting there, and most importantly I’m not stressed and she’s not stressed.

The only problem we are facing is that, being a bit of a smart arse, she has sussed something.

If I’m busy, cleaning, cooking or working, she can stop me in my tracks by saying “I need a wee on toilet”. Everything is put down and off we toddle, and onto the toilet she hops. Then sits there. Nothing happens.

“Never mind, maybe next time” I reassure her, hop her down, pull up her bottoms and send her on her way then get back to getting dinner on or whatever. Then, five minutes later, repeat.

“Mummy, play with cars”

“No baby, I’m just cooking dinner right now”

“Mummy, we build tower now”

“I’m just pegging out the washing honey”

“Mummy, I need wee on toilet”

“Okay, let’s go”

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge giving her attention, and I am fully committed to giving it to her. However, I am also certain that learning to function without constant attention is important, and learning to manipulate people into doing what you want with no consequences is a surefire way to grow a pretty bratty and spoiled human.

So here in lies the issue. I don’t want to not believe she needs the toilet, and I don’t want to leave her to wet herself if she is asking to go. But I also don’t want her using it as an excuse to stop me doing whatever it is I am doing just because she knows it will work. For one thing it is stopping me from trusting her, and for another it’s bloody irritating especially considering I would joyfully build a tower or play with cars once the task I’m in the middle of is completed as long as she can show a little patience.

The little madam even has a smug sing-song “I need wee on toilet!” now when she knows it will work and drag me away from whatever job I’m doing. Off she trots, head held high, smug smile on her face singing, “I need wee on toilet!” because I’ve just refused her something she wants.

Irritating. It’s the trump card she can pull out to stop me doing anything without question.

If I say no and she wees in her nappy I feel like the worst mother in the world. If I say yes and she sits on the toilet singing and chattering with absolutely no need to do anything other than get her own way, I feel stupid.

We are still figuring it out. One day she’ll be big enough to take herself off to the toilet without help, until then this is just one more aspect of the minefield of parenting where “not raising a brat” is the order of business.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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