Posts Tagged ‘training’


July 28, 2010

Since the last time I wrote about Ella, she’s come on very well. The two greatest areas of development are i) toilet training (now sorted completely); ii) behaving like a toddler (I don’t want to, no, I’m not tired, I don’t like you etc etc). I think she’s quite late to the latter, we really didn’t have a ‘terrible twos’, instead it’s the threes that are having their stroppy moments. Generally it’s short lived, but she can manage days when everything gets a ‘no’ or ‘I don’t want to’, which is most trying.

She had something of a wobble at school, at least at drop-off time. This was most distressing for me, leaving her behind when she was bawling her head off, after having a walk to school with lots of ‘I don’t like school’ and ‘I don’t want to go to school’. Her key-worker, Gemma, always said that she was great at school and played really well with the other kids, so overally we weren’t too worried. The last couple of times she’s been much better, so the conclusion was it was a lot to do with toddler behaviour of ‘I’d rather be at home watching television than going to school’. Once there, she enjoys is. We’ve planned next term’s schools days, when she starts in the Rising Fours class, in preparation for reception at primary school, and she’ll be doing two and a half days there, so quite a step up in time spent.

She is much more grown-up, and usually is very lovely with people, which is great. In the next couple of days we’re off to France, first to stay with my folks and then for the great Medina High Community Choir tour, and this’ll give us a good comparison to what Ella did while away last year in terms of what she plays at, how much she walks around herself, when she asks to go to the loo etc. Should be fun!



June 6, 2010

I feel bad because the last few posts have been about Twitter projects and I haven’t said anything about Ella for 6 weeks, so I feel a bit guilty about that. It’s been a busy six weeks in her life, and I’ll just talk about two things: potty training (yuk) and school.

I was probably a bit unsure about potty training last time I blogged, but we’ve come a long way since then. In terms of wee, we’re quite safe, and Ella will almost always request to go when she needs to wherever we are. Indeed she can even hold it for a while so it doesn’t have to be a completely mad dash for a toilet. Number 2s or poos are not so good. She’ll occasionally warn us, but it’s still far from reliable. This means she is still usually in pull-up nappies. Maybe we’ll only have to change them once or twice during the day, but it still lingers on. Ella is noticing she is getting too big for the changing table at home, so maybe she’ll finally take the hint from that. In the good weather we’ve had recently, we have taken the opportunity to just put pants on, but as a result a couple have gone straight in the bin to avoid disgusting cleaning up operations.

Since the last blog about Ella she has started at pre-school one day a week. I spent some of her first day at the school with her, and she settled right in and wasn’t all that bothered that I wasn’t around when I hid away for a bit having a cup of tea, so when I left halfway through the morning I wasn’t too worried that she’d be upset I was gone. It was weird watching her in that environment, independent of either of her parents, mostly especially when she was feeding herself her morning cereal snack. She looked just like a proper kid, all grown-up, not at all like a baby. A very poignant moment. Since then we think she’s settled in well. The school says she’s great and they are very happy with her. She can be a bit clingy/moody when I drop her off in the morning, but she isn’t actually that bothered when I leave. I am surprised that it doesn’t tire her out that much, ie she doesn’t need a nap when she comes home (naps generally having gone by the wayside now).

The other point of note is her story telling. She does make up some very strange but cracking stories these days. Birds pecking her nose, swings in the forest which go on fire and the firemen coming, all sorts. Obviously she’s got a good imagination, which is nice but sometimes you need to take what she says with a pinch of salt.

Potty Progress

April 18, 2010

At the moment, I’d say this second phase of potty training is going quite well. There’s been quite a lot of going out and about, and when that happens Ella is in pull-ups, so she isn’t out of nappies all of the time, but when she’s out of nappies, generally she has been very good. There haven’t been any real disasters to note, a couple of pees here and there that haven’t been in the potty. This morning she did pee in protest at not being given an ice-cream, and I’m not sure if she understood that the person most put out by that incident was Ella herself. We’ve got a pop-up potty for use when out-and-about, and I think that’s only been used successfully on one occasion. Not much exciting to report, really.

We had a trip to Marwell Zoo last week. Did Ella thoroughly enjoy seeing lots of new animals? I’m not sure. The thing she most enjoyed was the adventure playground, which was unfortunately completely rammed with children. I thought, while stood watching Ella and the hoards of children, that the zoo keepers and other members of staff must really be quite disappointed that the main point of interest for the kids were the slides and rope bridges, rather than the animals. She did like the giraffes, penguins, crocodile, and hippos, but she wasn’t all that ecstatic. The weather was very good, though. What she did miss out on was a trip either on the road train or the minature steam train – she would have liked that, but there wasn’t the time.

Back on the Horse (or Potty)

April 3, 2010

Another holiday period, another attempted to potty and train and bring emotional stress. We’ve learnt from last time, and need to keep the positivity flowing for longer. Ella is determined that she wants to stay a baby (she keeps saying so), and therefore I think we know what her motivation is to not potty train. So there will be some reminding words about why it’s better to be a big girl than a baby. I’ve also learnt that something to protect our sofas is also good, and so the bed mats we bought last time are going down under Ella’s bottom while she’s sitting in the living room. Really she completely knows what to do; this morning once when Hannah asked if she needed to go Ella replied ‘Mummy stop asking that, I know what to do’. Let’s hope she’s both right and also willing.


March 12, 2010

The last posting on this site did rather speak too soon. I think the next day Ella stopped showing much interest in continuing the ‘game’ of going on the potty and winning her little treats and stickers. Indeed on the following Saturday, she completely ran me ragged and didn’t go to the toilet on three fairly major occasions with unfortunate consequences for the furniture. She continued to show no interest over the next couple of days, although we had retreated to pull-ups to avoid further disasters. Now we’ve backed off to a safe place and decided that she wasn’t ready for moving out of nappies. Perhaps that’s excuse-mongering, but at the moment there is no need to get into fights with Ella about sitting on the potty, as there isn’t an immediate need for her to be toilet trained. We’ll probably try again during the Easter holidays, which is a highly attractive prospect.

Meanwhile, our childminder’s daughter has come down with chickenpox, which means that Ella has not been there this week, and Hannah’s Mum and I have mostly covered (fortunately I’ve got some leave to use up before the end of the month). Ella hasn’t shown any signs of chickenpox, but she must have been in contact with the virus as it was the day after Ella’s last visit to Caroline that she rang up to say that her daughter had come down with it. Fingers crossed, though I’m not sure for what outcome.

News from the Loo

March 3, 2010

Well, we’re more than two weeks into the ‘potty training’ episode of Ella’s life, thankfully something I don’t think any of us remember from our own lives (mostly due to the embarrassement it would cause). How is it going? Not having potty trained a child before, I’m not sure, but I believe the progress is good. At least, that’s what Caroline, Ella’s childminder, says. Basically, if she needs a pee, she’ll ask to go to the toilet or if there is a handy potty she’ll go on that. It’s rare that she has an accident involving pee. They have happened, and apart from the incident previously blogged about, those haven’t been mucky. Poo is a bit more troublesome. According to Hannah’s sister, Rachel, this is not unusual for girls. Unfortunately this has led to us deciding to regress a little and use the pull-up nappies for when Ella is out, or with Caroline (one can’t afford to affront a childminder with a child that messes up their house in that way). This does dilute the ‘when you need the loo, you must go to the toilet’ message. Nonetheless, she’ll still ask to go to the toilet with the pull-ups on. She does still run to the loo with enthusiasm, and still treats it as something of a game. She usually requests her treat, although the sticker chart we had going for about a week hasn’t continued to create interest.

Too Much to Bare

February 20, 2010

Regular readers must be wondering how on Earth the potty training is going. Yes, you must. Until today, I’d have said it was going very well. We’ve had a few dry days this week, ie days when Ella has only gone to the loo in the potty or toilet and not hit the floor or her clothes. We haven’t gone for leaving the nappy off overnight, as described before; and on nervous days, she’s had the nappy on during naps too. A quick word on naps: they are beginning to disappear, as Ella becomes more lively, less interested in the nap and not falling asleep early enough at night (sometimes she’s still awake at 10).

I’ve been off work since Wednesday, so I’ve been fairly involved and up-to-date on latest potty techniques with Ella, so I didn’t go into today as ‘first day of weekend, not spent much time with the kid during the week, fumbling-Dad’. I did decide to try and break the boundaries a bit and go for an outing to the library, followed by the park; a common excursion for Ella and I on a Saturday while Hannah is teaching singing. We left just after Ella had used the potty, to minimise likelihood of immediate need, and I went out armed with a change of clothes for Ella’s bottom half, wipes, potty, and kitchen roll. Almost immediately after arriving at the library, almost all of that was needed, and sadly it was the potty which was redundant, as Ella had peed. As discretely as I could (thankfully she was in a deserted part of the library, and on a rug in an area with kids toys, so fair game for children’s accidents, in my view), I cleaned her up and changed her and mopped up what I could with the kitchen roll. I then hurriedly chose some books (I’ve not checked to see whether they are any good yet), and decided that I’d take Ella home, and not risk the park. When we got home, I spotted a large lump in her tights, and oops, she’d pooed in them. I’ll give no further detail, but it could have been worse.

Unfortunately this form of mental torture didn’t end there, and some future potty uses were not 100% secure and further clothes changes were needed as a result of imperfect pooing. All-in-all, not a pleasant afternoon, and I was quite happy to let Hannah look after Ella while I took on the relatively restful, safe and secure task of cooking up some chicken and turning it into curry (nothing complicated there). I don’t think any of today was particularly down to schoolboy or naive errors, just that Ella isn’t quite ready for going out and warning of toilet need. I’m sure she’ll work it out soon, as she’s very quickly got the hang of it at home, and it’s not like we’re having to remind her frequently of the existence and purpose of the potty. She knows and uses it when she needs to. Of course, as scary as it is as a parent to go out with your nerves on a knife-edge, in fear of a toilet accident, one still needs to do so, otherwise one’s child won’t learn, so there is likely to be more trips like today’s.

Why did I choose that title? It represents my state of mind after we got back from the library, and of course Ella pushed those boundaries further when I thought I couldn’t face more cleaning up after her. Not that she acted in any malicious way, mind you, just the natural learning and development process.


In at the Deep End

February 14, 2010

That’s probably about the best cliche I can think of to term the feeling of kicking off potty training for real. Anything we’ve encountered so far in Ella’s development can be allowed to happen gradually: the walking, talking, eating etc etc. None of that requires a step to be taken all of a sudden. Potty training appears to be rather different, at least based on the advice we have. It’s a real case of ‘nappies off, use the potty’. Of course, the nappy is a safety net for the parents as much as the toddler, so both Hannah and I admitted to some relief at the end of today when we put a night nappy on Ella, and I certainly felt an increased level of security.

So how did it go? It didn’t start great, with her overnight nappy, and last of continuous ones, being full of poo, and like a true amateur, I stuck my finger in it while wrapping it up for the bin, Yuck. It didn’t get much better when after breakfast she soaked her pyjama trousers, only a couple of minutes after having been put on the potty. This was all before Hannah got up, and after than happened, we were on something of a roll. Maybe Hannah brought rather less tension to the situation, and Ella was more relaxed. Whatever it was, apart from one incident where Ella started to wee away from the potty, and then dashed onto it, the ‘Happy Panda’ biscuit reward seems to have worked very successfully. From mid-morning onwards Ella earnt her biscuits execllently well. Progress rather faultered around dinner time when she peed first before the meal because she was busy playing with my phone, and then in her chair during the meal, which wasn’t pleasant to witness. She did use the potty afterwards in the run-up to bed, so I think those were more due to lapses in concentration, rather than a breakdown in the regime.

With a final score of hits to misses of about 12-4, I think progress can be summed up as very solid, and maybe an A- grade. It was great to see her dash into the living room from the hall to plonk herself on the potty, that seemed like very grown-up progress. 🙂

So saying, we haven’t been confident enough, as suggested by the health visitor, to go the complete hog and keep the nappies off at night. Maybe someone can comment with a success story of just dumping all nappies in one go, but I doubt that can succeed without horror stories.