Developmental goals are always a tough one. People say that all children develop at their own rate but obviously most children have targets and many peers to compare each other against. In our world it is slightly different with not many peers and such a wide spectrum of milestones. When should they walk? When should they be able to feed themselves? Believe me the twins couldn’t be further apart when it comes to motivation and desire to achieve these goals. Isobel thriving off praise and recognition, Abigail completely laid back and stubborn.
As a family are always very proactive in pushing the girls; providing opportunity, using strategies and setting goals, however sometimes we feel anxious that we don’t expect the unachievable and break their spirit. The phrase “They will do it in their own time!!” is one of the most annoying and over-used phrases I have come across in terms of their development. Had we not had the benefits of fantastic portage intervention and strategies then there is no way the girls would have progressed to where they are at.
This brings me on to the main point, dreaded POTTY TRAINING (or at least we thought). Our aim had always been to have them dry by the time they started school but this was a bridge too far at this time however this probably worked in our favour big time and it was all down to the girls Head teacher and Chocolate, an explosive combination!!!!!
Approaching the end of the first half term, Mr.Purcell approached us and told us he didn’t want the girls in nappies anymore. This was not said in terms of “enough is enough” or “Get them off or Get them out!!” type way. He had had reports from the girls teachers that they honestly believed they could do it.
NNNNNOOOOO!!! They are not ready, we know them better than you, what if this happens? What if that happens? PANIC!!
Anyway, we started and we started big time!! It was the time when all the big superstores had started selling the tubs of Chocolates in the shops and so we stocked up on three tubs of celebrations (the girls favourites except éclairs obviously) and they had no knickers on for two days. We didn’t leave the house, there was two potties in the living room, a child seat on two of the toilets, Let’s Do This!!! Every 30 minutes the girls were put on the potty, every 30 minutes they got off without doing anything. 2 minutes later they would wee on the floor. At this point I must thank our neighbours Donna and Ste who lent us the carpet cleaner on a longer than normal loan J.
For the first couple of days it was hopeless, it was never going to happen. Then all of a sudden, Isobel wee’d on one of her visits. Thankfully, bot Jodi and I were in the room, as was Fin and as was Abigail. To say it was a party was an understatement. We “High 5’d”, we cheered, we jumped about, Isobel was given a Crème Egg from within the Celebrations and her smile beamed across the living room. 20 minutes later she wee’d on the carpet again. We all did the “sad face” and her bottom lip dropped.
All of a sudden Abigail stood up and walked to the potty, we thought it was because we had tactically placed it in front of Mr.Tumble but No………psssssssssss. Queue party number 2, “high 5’ing” cheering, the works. She got a fudge (her favourite). She wasn’t as bothered as Isobel was but still happy. We were hit and miss for a good couple of days, the girls still expected a chocolate even if they had an accident. We were strong and they didn’t get one despite the tantrums.
All of a sudden about 5 days in we struck gold, 100% success throughout the day!!! The tub was getting emptier but the learning curve had been enormous. Day 6 was good, the odd accident but in all we had broken down a massive hurdle. Each and every time that either of them were successful we had to be as enthusiastic with the recognition as the 1st. We were over the moon, however, the girls are still walking around without a stitch of clothing on, all of our emphasis was on the toilet. What will happen when they go back to school and are focussing on other things? Multitasking?.
The dreaded day came, the first day at school after the break and no nappies allowed. We made a huge song and dance about big girl knickers and off they went. We had a strategy formed with their teachers that as soon as they got to school they would be placed on the toilet and then routinely every hour after that. It Worked!!! Well for Isobel it did immediately, I think in 3 months she has only had two accidents. Abigail a few more and it took her a little longer to grasp the concept of “needing” a wee rather than the action of “weeing” without notice but the immense pride that it has given us and the freedom the girls now have is incredible. You never realise how inconvenient nappies were until you need them no longer.
The moral of the story though is that sometimes even we underestimate the girls and sometimes even other people have more faith in the girls than we do. Sometimes those brave decisions when taken out of our hands really work out for the best. Mr.Purcell is an absolute hero in our house!!!!