I took out the tricycle, made the seasonal adjustments, put Emily in her rain suit and boots and off we went to the playground and library. It was a wonderful taste of spring. And then Thursday came. Back to reality with a high of 5 degrees or so.
With Wednesday came my (our) breaking point with the complete lack of progress on the poop in the toilet front. However, there is great progress in the poop in the underwear front where Emily is up for the freaking equivalent to the Art Ross Trophy.
I've had it. Last night John and I decided that the whole positive reinforcement thing is completely a waste of time with Emily. Right this minute I have a soccer ball set, a package of bathtub crayons and some chocolates sitting in my closet waiting for Emily to poop in the toilet. She has seen them all, we talk about them daily and you know what? She doesn't give a.... hah, that's kind of funny.
Yesterday John and I decided to start taking things away. Since Emily is an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of girl, taking away toys doesn't work. I know. I've tried it. I've pretty much tried everything. (I just want to point out here how hard it is for me to not pepper, litter, completely obliterate this post with really foul language. I think I deserve kudos for keeping this PG13.) Where was I? Oh yeah, I took away t.v. That's right, my friends, the holy grail has been removed. No more Dora. No more Franklin. No more... okay, there is nothing else right now.
How did that go down? Emily came downstairs this morning, asked for t.v., John said no and reiterated why, Emily said: Okay, I play with toys.
Calgon... take me away.
So, then there was today. We were in Timothy's having a snack (Timothy's is a nice coffee chain in Canada, equivalent to Starbucks but on a smaller scale and the coffee isn't burned and, oh yeah, there are some items that are actually under 4 bucks) and Emily announces that she's pooped in her pants. You're probably wondering at this point why I just don't keep her in diapers. Because. Because it has taken me several months to get her toilet trained for peeing, she's doing really well, and I want to keep that up. Diapers would be a major step backwards. I also figured, and I think rightly so, that having "big girl underwear" on will make her want to use the toilet, and it has with peeing. Also, she never poops in her pants in public. Okay, clearly not never.
So, we skedaddled out of there and went home. I made her clean herself up. She was pantless around the house, and because of this, she made a deposit on the toilet (Emily will use the toilet if she is naked. You're probably wondering why I don't just leave her naked. I did that for training but now she always wants underwear and pants on and if I leave her naked she just goes and gets some for herself). So, she got to watch some Franklin.
Fast forward after her nap. She asked to watch another episode of Franklin (they're only 10 minutes) and just as I was putting the DVD in, she did it again. From my perspective, it couldn't have been more perfect because I had to turn off the t.v., she cried, and I think it finally hit home. Of course, this didn't stop her from doing it all again after supper. Are you starting to get a sense of how totally shitty, literally, my life has been lately?
So, I'll stick with the no t.v. thing since there is a nice added benefit that she isn't expecting to watch it much right now but tomorrow I'm instituting the no pants in the house rule. For Emily. I plan to wear pants. I can't speak for John.
I'm going to conquer the problem of her getting clothes by moving all pants and pant-related products to a shelf out of her reach. It seems extreme. But extreme poop calls for extreme measures.
So, I'm looking for advice, people. But, before you start asking me if I've tried X or Y, here is what we've already done:
- positive reinforcement - candy, gifts, treats, special outings
- negative reinforcement - time outs, taking things away, telling her she can't do special things (programs at the community centre etc) if she isn't using the toilet
- you're the big girl stuff - telling her she's the big sister, she's a big girl
- comparisons - telling her that all her friends do it
- huge excitement when she uses the toilet and ignoring her when she goes in her pants
- using a doll - Emily teaches it how to use the toilet
- walking around naked - this does work but see above and I'm pretty sure that at some point she will require clothes
- I'm sure there are other things but now I can't remember them all
Still, I love her. Just not the poop.