Time for a toilet regression?

Is there such a thing as a toilet regression? Why do I ask? Because, well, we seem to be having one with Jacob right now.
It’s been 4 months now since we moved and his Grandad passed away, but we have had no other big changes since then so I am trying to figure out the reason, or if it is actually just a phase – in which case I shall just repeat the mantra “This too shall pass. This too shall pass.”
It wasn’t actually long after we moved that he started to do all of his business on the toilet. For a while he still had a nappy on for bed time and would hold out for that to do a poo rather than on the toilet, but one evening just decided he wanted to wear pants and he hasn’t worn a nappy since. We did have the odd accident – and still do occasionally – but for the most part he has been using the toilet for wee’s and poo’s.
Yes, that is a photo of my toilet.

That is, until the last two or three weeks. Suddenly he just started pooing himself again and we have gone through no end of pants – I’m glad I Santa bought him some more for Christmas! He knows when he needs one as he can usually tell me. For example, yesterday morning when he actually sat on the toilet for five minutes saying he was doing a poo, then he decided he didn’t need one after all. Five minutes later, he had done a poo in his pants!
I am trying my hardest not to show it, but it is incredibly frustrating after him taking so long to get used to using the toilet anyway and then we thought we had finally cracked it (after a year!). I do tell him firmly – but not angrily – that he should be doing a poo in the toilet, and every time he goes to the toilet now he gets a sticker. We did have this reward in place at first but it kind of phased out once he was using it. 
I did think it might have been a power issue, but he has done it at nursery too where he also used to do everything on the toilet. I’m hoping that re-introducing the reward system may help, as today he actually did a poo in the toilet again. Fingers crossed.
Have you ever experienced this kind of thing, and at what age? Was it after a certain event or a change? I would love to hear your experiences and advice!

Little man J at 3 years 3 months old

Yet again I’m late with this update as yet again it’s almost time for the next one, in another week. J & his brother are totally siphoning my energy at the moment so I just can’t keep up. Never mind!

I’ve posted before how he had behavioural problems at nursery but recently he has been getting a good report when I collect him; I’m thinking maybe the Pitstop we have been attending has done some magic on him, but then I think well he is pretty much still just the same at home! Maybe they are dealing better with him than I am, after all they are trained in dealing with children whereas I just make it up as I go along, ha!

One of the issues that started recently is at bedtime. It literally takes two of us to get him to bed as he just does not want to go and becomes violent toward us. On one of the worst nights it took over an hour and in that time he kicked, screamed, pulled my hair, poked our eyes, continually demanded food just to waste time, and asked to go live with other family members; other times we have also been bitten and punched. In all honesty, it really has started to take its toll on me and I sometimes wish I was somewhere else during one of these episodes. Despite all of this, he is still a brilliant little helper! He is just like Jekyll & Hyde sometimes…

I mentioned last time that we’d had a little progress with potty/toilet training and in fact there has been a little more progression since then. At the beginning of last month, he started doing most of his wee’s on the toilet both at nursery and home – still no poo though! I was very proud of him that day he decided to go to the toilet at home without any prompting from me.

His conversational skills are also progressing brilliantly and I have to share one of the conversations we had on the walk home from nursery recently:
Me: “Come on baby, let’s go home”
J: “I’m a baby”
Me: “Well no, you’re not really a baby, but you’ll always be Mummy’s baby”
J: “You’re my baby Mummy”

He has also started calling his brother “My Noah” and will hold his hand, although sometimes N just doesn’t want to!

Current favourites
Food – Yogurt coated rice cakes
Drink – Happy orange minion juice (orange squash!)
TV – Team Umizoomi, Blaze and the Monster Machines
Movies – Walking With Dinosaurs
Toys – Mega Bloks
Books – The Three Little Pigs

Potty & toilet training with J

Over J’s last few updates (well over the last year or so in fact, on & off) I have written about his potty training progress. He started potty training last year when we thought he was showing an interest but he was really sporadic with it and so we just left it. Just before Christmas he had started showing an interest again and so Nanna bought him a Thomas Tank musical potty which seemed to do the trick, and he finally had his first wee on it just before he turned three!

After that he was a bit more regular on it but nothing consistent, as much as we tried to help. Over the last month or so though he hasn’t even been on the potty; he’s done all of his business on the big toilet! This came about because he went to the loo with Grandad and just decided he wanted to sit on the toilet too, and I don’t know if it was a fluke but he did a wee!

Ever since then we have really encouraged him with using the ‘big boy’ toilet and though he isn’t completely consistent yet, he does a lot of his wee’s on there. He has a step and a toilet seat which I think helps as he can do it himself and it makes him feel more grown up. He mostly wears pants during the day; he still has the occasional accident but we don’t make a huge fuss about it when he does.

Previously, I was adamant that I wasn’t going to use pull up pants with him as I believed that it would just confuse him, but wearing a nappy wasn’t really helping with him going to the toilet so we started on them and now he wears them at night and if we’re going on a journey where there won’t be a toilet for while. We could take his potty but he still has occasions when he forgets that he has pants on until it’s too late, and I don’t fancy washing his car seat cover that often!

We had really been encouraging him to do a poo on the toilet as well but we weren’t really getting anywhere. Now I’m not sure if this was a fluke also, but on the last day of our recent holiday he did it! I got really excited, everyone really praised him, and he was so proud of himself, but he hasn’t done one on there since. I do ask him regularly if he needs the loo but sometimes he will say no or just refuses. I think I need to see if there is any time pattern as to when he poo’s so we can try and get him to sit on the toilet.

I must admit, I thought he would be toilet, or at least potty trained by now as most of his peers are; but I’m not putting too much pressure on it and you never know, we might be fully there by his fourth birthday! (I hope it’s easier with N!)

Little man J at 3 years 2 months old

It seems like forever since I shared J’s last update; maybe because that one was pretty much on time and this one is a bit late! I feel like I shouldn’t be calling him a toddler any more as he feels so grown up now. Though he does begin school next year so I guess I should maybe call him a pre-schooler instead?

He has been going to nursery now for over a year though we have been paying for that so it’s only been one half day a week, but now he’s three he has started receiving his 3 year funding and he now goes 1.5 days a week. He really loves having a full day and even though his last key worker has now left, he’s already really attached to his new one and he has so much fun. It’s a bit strange being without him for a full day though! He’s still being a great little helper at home and as well as washing up he also wants to help put the dishes away, he cleans the table, puts rubbish in the bin, helps put the shopping away – he will make somebody a wonderful husband one day! A few weeks ago the day finally arrived when he wanted his nails painting just like Mummy, and of course I obliged; I see no problem with it and love the fact he wants to embrace it!

I posted a few weeks ago about the Parenting Pitstop sessions we have started attending to try and deal with his behaviour which I regularly mention. We’re only a few sessions in but already we are starting to see changes, and his behaviour towards his brother is improving too – though that might have something to do with the fact that N is starting to ‘get his own back’ so to speak, so now I have to play referee for both of them!

We haven’t had much progress with toilet/potty training but we are getting there. He still wees on the potty and at nursery he has been doing them on the toilet, but still no sign of doing a poo. I’m hoping we can crack it over the summer though I’m starting to have doubts now, but I’m not pushing him.

We are finally starting to see some progress with his food issues though and he is beginning to try new foods and spit them out rather than just plainly refusing them. At one mealtime alone he ate new potatoes (he would only eat chips and mashed potato before) and carrots! Though they were chopped slightly different to usual so maybe he thought they were something else; he’s still eating the potatoes though!

Current favourites
Food – Grapes
Drink – ‘Minion juice’ (orange or blackcurrant squash/happy minion or scary minion!)
TV – Team Umizoomi, The Wonder Pets
Movies – Walking With Dinosaurs
Toys – A duvet ‘boat’!
Books – Peppa Pig magazine!

Parenting Pitstop – trying to deal with J’s challenging behaviour

You may have read my previous posts about J’s challenging behaviour and I have been at my wits end for months, fast running out of ideas on how to deal with it. I’ve spoken with nursery, I’ve spoken with the health visitor, I’ve spoken with one of my friends who worked in a nursery for a long time; I’ve consulted the internet, blogs, my peers, but nothing seems to change. So either this is just instilled into him or I am just a rubbish mother!

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had quite a breakdown with his behaviour. I was already feeling pretty rubbish in general and he just pushed me over the edge. We had been at our usual Tuesday play group (run by the friend mentioned above) and he had been defiant all morning, then he pushed another child who was just minding his own. I just completely lost myself then and we left with me in tears and having to call my brother-in-law for help with the boys as I was breaking down. My friend came round later that afternoon and mentioned a ‘Parenting Pistop’ run by the local Education Preparation Unit. I thought it sounded worth a try so she made a referral for us.

Last week we went to see the ladies who run it and to sign up for it if we were interested. We were told that it will only be a small group – six parents and children – so we can get the most out of it. The way it works is that the session is an hour and half long and us parents spend 20 minutes playing with our children and getting them settled in, in the play room – it’s a Sure Start centre so lots of activities – then we go off (while the children are supervised by one of the ladies) and have a discussion about our difficulties and methods of dealing with behaviour and the such. Both hubby & I can attend but it really depends on whether he can get the time off work, but we signed up anyway as I can make the sessions.

Mine & J’s first session is this afternoon, for a taster session. It will be good to have some time just the two of us too, as I know he needs more of it but it’s difficult when hubby works long hours and I’m home with both of them every day and N rarely naps. I will update you on how we get on – hopefully we will get somewhere this time.