Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Great Race to Nowhere

That's kinda how I'm thinking of potty training/toilet learning. Whatever it is you want to call it, the bottom line is all the same: The lack of need for expensive incontinence products.

Wait. Unfortunately, that's not it. That would be too easy. What I've learned is that not only do you get the pride/bragging rights that your kid can pee or poop in a pot, but a completely whole new world is opened to them.

Did you know that? I didn't.

I think it's crappy that my kid is not able to join a class at school or get involved in a rec center program or a myriad of other things because she happens to wear a pull-up or, on a great day, panties covered with a bulky plastic overlay.

See, my issue is that if she can count and knows her alphabet in two languages and gets along well with others, WHAT THE FLIPPING FLIP DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT SHE TELLS US SHE HAS TO GO?! WHY DOES SHE NEED TO BE IN A CLASS WITH TWO-YEAR-OLDS?!


Obviously, this is an hot button for me today.

And, trust me, I do get that staffing and money drive all of this. You need more people in a class that has children for whom toileting is an emerging skill. The ratio changes. Smaller ratios cost more money. Blah, blah, blah.

But it feels like another acceptable form of discrimination and lord knows we've got enough of those already. ("Will you accept my child with Down syndrome into your preschool program? No? Oh, alright then." - gag)

If my child is developmentally ready to learn age-appropriate things but she can't control her bladder, she doesn't move on. Basically. And I'm supposed to be ok with that.

This all ties into my last post where maybe it wasn't clear but...I am not fine with how that whole thing went down. But finding other placement for Playette? It's hard, yo. Because of all that stuff I just rambled about. No academics for girls that still tinkle in their dipes.

And that makes me think about this long, long road we've been on.

If you'll let him, BD will tell you all about how he was PT'd in the womb or something close to that. No, seriously, he was using the toilet really early.

So, when Playette was approaching two and he wanted to get her started, I was all, "Why not? We're supposed to treat her just as we would if she didn't have Ds, so if he's all motivated, let's go."

She was successful. And those days success looked like timely release. She knew that sitting on the potty meant it was time to go.

That was almost two years ago and we've gone through a lot of up and down since then. There were several occasions when I thought that she was going to be 100% PT'd any day now, and then I was happy with her being "schedule trained" and then there were others times (like when BD was deployed) when I thought that we were all the way back to square one.

We've tried having multiple Ikea potties stashed all over, a soft, cushy potty, inserts on regular-sized toilets, coloring books with stickers, and even an iPhone app that got her to go in a freaky Pavlovian kinda way.

In retrospect, we're just not as far along in the process as I had hoped we would be two years ago. I really, really wanted to believe back then that my kid was gonna be all Superstar Pee Pee Girl, but what I think I did instead was just stress myself the hell out for way too long about something that could have waited.

Every morning for the past few weeks, I've packed up a grocery bag full of pants, shirts, socks, underwear, and plastic covers. The school said that she was ready to take the next step and I was grateful for the assistance and support.

Every night, I did the laundry that came home. For a while, she was coming back to me in the same outfit she left in and I was getting notes that said things like, "She was dry all day!" That felt like good. Like progress. Like I could really start signing her up for classes at the rec and securing placement in an age-appropriate setting that had zero tolerance for teachers with no people skills.

And then, yesterday, on Friday, I got a letter.

"She is not physically ready," they said. "She is inconsistent in staying dry."

The school is giving up.

I know that I can't do the same. I don't know how to just stop when I know that she's trying, that she's proud of herself when she gets all the stars to align.

But I'd be lying if I said that didn't take the wind out of my sails.

Peeing in the toilet does not dictate how wonderful and capable my daughter is.
Peeing in the toilet does not dictate how wonderful and capable my daughter is.
Peeing in the toilet does not dictate how wonderful and capable my daughter is.
Peeing in the toilet does not dictate how wonderful and capable my daughter is.
Peeing in the toilet does not dictate how wonderful and capable my daughter is.

I'll let that marinate a bit.


The Sanchez Family said...

Oh I hear you on this. Now...I may be naive in saying this but if it's a public service- school, public funded rec programs, etc...I didn't think they could discriminate based on toilet training etc...? Am I wrong in understanding this? I must be :( I wonder who could answer these questions...maybe Kathie Snow????

Karly said...

Is the issue licensing? I know some of reason they distinguish here is because in the rooms with diapered kids, they don't have teachers licensed for changing diapers. But that makes little sense for your little because she sounds like she's just having a few accidents. Those happen to older kids and doesn't mean they aren't capable of using the facilities. Sorry you have this struggle. PTing is just beyond frustrating. We're there with you. (Except I just don't try when things are crazy and pick up again when they calm down). Blech.

Not a Perfect Mom said...

ugh...I'd be upset too...
how do they go from sending great notes home to she's not physically ready? obviously she's somewhat ready if she's had quite a bit of success...
with a "typical" child (ugh-I hate even saying that) after a few days of success you kind of leave them to their own devices, but maybe with Playette and other kids PT with DS one must be one top of them every 30 minutes or so questioning if they have to go to the potty? Know what I'm saying?

Minx said...

My little man is only 2 1/2 but I'm working hard with him to get potty trained so he can start preschool in the fall when he's 3.

I'm sorry you're having a hard time finding a new place for her :(

rastagalnj said...

This is so disheartening to read, my baby will be by age ready for preschool but she is no where near ready to be potty trained nor is she verbal. She is extremely intelligent and learns quickly but all this scares me incredibly. Playette is a wonderful child, why should she be denied the education she deserves.

Michelle Z said...

I'm so right there with you.

AND, so, no fun summer programming for my girls :( The rec dept is very clear on "Must be trained!" rules.

So tired of the bathroom. I want a magic fix....