Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Well I'm Glad That's Over!

Yes, over.
I tried my best.
Bella tried her best.
It just isn't the time. Again.

I was really torn about whether to abandon this attempt so quickly, but Bella initiated it when I was already wondering if it was the right time. Last night and today she exhibited some of the most extreme behavior she ever has- my usually tractable, easy-going and happy little girl screamed and cried until 11:15 pm, driving me to the brink of insanity. At one point I even lay down with her until she fell asleep (a first) only to have her wake and scream the minute I tried to escape. Then she woke up in the middle of the night and I did it again! This afternoon, no doubt partially due to the exhaustion from last night's escapade, she threw the biggest tantrum she ever has. It was started by my firm suggestion that she just try to pee on the potty before I continued to read countless stories while she just sat there. (This was after already reading stories and her telling me she didn't need to go-) It escalated to the point where I needed to put her in time out, which is and of itself fairly rare. I had to half carry, half drag her there, bare-bottomed because she refused to put her underwear back on. Usually she just sits in her room and cries when I give her a time out, and seems to be more sad than mad. I usually feel a little bad because I internalize her sadness. Today she charged for the door several times and wouldn't let me close the door, trying to escape. I had to hold the door closed from outside to bar her repeated efforts to yank it open. This might be a normal tantrum for a lot of kids, but this was all very out of character for Bella. Firsts, in fact.
After I got her calmed down, which took considerable patience and time (all hail Prozac!), she mercifully took another 3-hour nap, and so did I. When she woke up we needed to run to the drugstore, so I told her we needed to try and go potty before we left. We sat on the toilet for a few minutes before she declared that she just wanted a diaper. I was hesitant to ask about it, because if she said she wanted to go back to diapers I felt more or less bound to do it, and I wanted to make sure it was the right decision. But she kept hounding me and wouldn't stop asking about putting on a diaper, where they were, etc. So when I asked if she wanted to be done with undies and the potty for now and wear diapers all the time she readily agreed. I was hesitant like I said, because I desperately wanted to stop this insanity, but didn't want to quit just because it was the easiest thing for me right now. If she really wasn't ready, and it wasn't working, and I was fighting a losing battle, then I could try again when she showed more readiness- but I didn't want to quit out of convenience.
So I guess she decided, and I hope that puts an end to her ridiculous behavior, because she pushed me to my breaking point. With Timm gone, pregnant, and dealing with the potty training and the sleep issues, I felt like I couldn't go on. Period. And was left wondering how on earth I ever thought I could have another child when clearly I had no idea what I was doing with this one. So here's to 2 kids in diapers. I have to really try hard not to feel like a failure because I gave up (again) or because she's going to be so old by the time she does potty train.
I know tonight is going to be rough- I have to pay for the inconsistencies and mistakes I made last night in a desperate effort to get her to go to sleep. Tonight I have to lay down the law and be firm, consistent, and let her cry if need be. I'm sure there will be lots of it, with nowhere to escape to, no one to take a turn or commiserate with. But hopefully consistency will put an end to it relatively quickly and I've removed the apparent trauma of potty training.
Raising kids is hard. And complicated.

*Next-Day Note: As if just to add credence to my theory that she is not ready, last night she was perfect. Went to bed like usual, never heard from her again, slept through the night and is amicable and cheerful today. Whew.


michelle said...

"Raising kids is hard. And complicated." AMEN!! That pretty much says it all.

I'm glad she made the decision easy on you. I could only think she wasn't ready to be displaying such extreme (for her) behaviors!

Denise said...

Wow--I can't even picture Bella having that kind of tamtrum! Sarah, yes, but Bella? I'm sorry you've had a rough few days. Here's hoping today is better and Bella is more like herself!

rmt said...

I'm glad Bella is back to normal today! I think you definitely made the right decision: it seems to me that she was screaming loud and clear that she's not ready (darn it!)
Hope your day is wonderful and restful.

charlotte said...

Sarah having a tantrum like that is completely believable, but not little Bella. I hope things start getting back to normal and that potty training will be successful the third time around (whenever that is).

charlotte said...

I'm loving the new blog look!

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