Monday, August 14, 2006


Potty training -- and yes, I definitely spoke too soon when I wrote that she was potty trained earlier -- has brought about a new range of emotions from Nutmeg. It's also been a warning flash for me on how my own emotions will mold my daughter's growing psyche, for better or for worse.

A couple of days after she started wearing big girl underwear, Nutmeg became discouraged by her accidents, which she was having about twice a day. Or maybe by my reaction to them. Even though I know you are not supposed to punish or scold a child during potty training, I found it impossible to completely mask my dismay when we had to cut short playing outside in order to go in and wash out a poopy pair of Tinkerbell underpants. Even though it was pretty funny when she approached me, cheerily, and informed me, "I destroyed my underwear."

So one morning Nutmeg asked for diapers instead of underwear, and later informed me that she didn't want to go on the toilet anymore.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I'm not good."

That crunching sound you hear is my heart breaking into shards under her size 7 heel.

No amount of hugs or reassurance that she IS good would change her mind, so I just let it drop for awhile. But that evening I told Epu about our conversation, and hearing me bring it up, Nutmeg said, smiling, "I hate myself."

Great. When I gave birth to a girl I expected to deal with self loathing and histrionics, but somehow I figured they would come around the time of her first period, not her first underpants.

A couple days later, we went to Grandma's house, and Nutmeg saw that Grandma had bought her a new potty for use there, and a new package of Dora underwear. As if nothing had happened, she ran into the bathroom and used the potty with some delight, and wore the Dora underwear throughout our visit, even though she "destroyed" them a couple of times.

Today, she had somewhat of a breakthrough. We were at the park, and I was asking her if she had to pee. I figured I'd just let her squat on the grass. She said no, but she did have to poop. Yikes. We had been planning to hit the nearby grocery store after playing, so I hurried us over there, praying that they had a restroom for the public. They did, and she did her thing there, and I was so proud I told her I wanted to buy her a special treat.

Know what she asked for?

A mango and two peaches. We're in a store surrounded by candy, chips, etc., and the child asks for fresh fruit. God, have I got her brainwashed. I almost don't blame her for telling me this morning that she hated me.


Bert said...

This is quite a story. From self-loathing to fresh fruit. You have a raised quite a little individual! (And, I'm sure she'll be fine with you in charge.) Miss you, as always.

Kori said...

Leave it to Dora to pick up the pieces and make the potty fun again. That Dora has super powers!

Spending time with you and the Nut, I can't imagine her having anything but a stellar self-concept. I think her play on words ("I hate myself.") is just a reflection of her amazing verbal skills testing the boundaries.

Moxie Mom said...

potty training sucks

And as far as the words the Nut is choosing, yea, what kori said! She clearly is advanced in her vocabulary (not having met her) but hasn't process the significance of the words.

Sure she probably feels discouraged from her accidents, but I cannot believe she would understand the concept of hating herself. Hating you, her disciplinary…much easier to understand due to cause and effect.

hang in there
now if only I could find some bloggers out there with boys…having a few issues at Casa de la MoxieMom