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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Loo literature

I have discovered that during this phase of toddler OCD and the great war of wills, you really have to pick your battles. More often than not I resort to any kind of cajoling and game playing to avoid the tantrums (not always hers) but my toilet tactics are coming back to bite me on the bum.

Isla virtually potty trained herself and my only contribution really was buying the pants. These days, I would kill for her bladder control and she regularly only volunteers to go once or twice a day. I tried force- feeding her water to get her to go more, but she was adamant she didn't need to, so I resorted to the 'let's see who can do the longest pee' game. I know, its bad.  But being my daughter, there's nothing she likes more than a bit of competition and without hesitation she's pants down, on the potty, letting it all out.

In the privacy of our own home, this seems fairly harmless but when you're in a public toilet and she's loudly exclaiming, 'well done mummy, that was a good one', you have to question your tactics.  This was made worse by the follow-up comment, 'mummy can i wipe your bottom now, please mummy, pleeease!' I just want to make it clear she has never ever done this, nor has she ever made such a request before but logically I guess she thinks if I can wipe hers, then what's wrong with her returning the favour. It's just unfortunate that we had to work through this particular conversation in a John Lewis cubicle.

In the last week, I have now been doing battle with trying to get her off the loo. She will sit on the potty and say to me, 'Mummy, I need my Prince & Princess book and my stool, thank you mummy'. I duly bring her the Royal Wedding issue of OK! magazine and her step stool, upon which she places her magazine and flicks through the pages whilst comfortably seated on her potty and providing me with a running commentary about which princess is her favourite (Kate closely followed by Camilla's granddaugher). Fine chatter on a lazy Sunday, not so good at 7.15am on a 'school' day with a train to catch.

It took me a while to realise that I could hardly get annoyed with Isla when this behaviour was a direct consequence of my own. Quite often while she's in the bath, I will sit on the loo (lid down, trousers up, honest), flicking through a copy of Hello!, while she painstakingly fills and empties plastic containers.  And so now, seeing as it was me who introduced her to loo literature, I am working on my next act of bribery to wean her off. The promise of 10 bounces on her bed seems to be working well so far ...

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