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August 17, 2011 / MrsH

The more I push…

The harder Buddy will push back.  The more something matters to me, the less likely he is to do it when under stress.  Sometimes I forget this all-important aspect of living with this boy.  Like this morning, when he’d used the bathroom and needed some help with the wiping.  MrH and I have slowly been working toward getting him to do this himself, making it as low-key as possible, never forcing him.  MrH has had some success at this, and I thought I’d try suggesting he do it himself.  He refused, and suddenly the reality of his starting kindergarten in a few weeks flashed through my eyes, “omg, who will wipe him there?!”  Immediately followed by “he MUST wipe himself NOW, RIGHT NOW!!”

That didn’t work out so well.  Especially because apparently my way of helping him wipe is different than daddy’s way, and of course it had to be daddy’s way.  I clearly am inept at this particular task.

Bathroom issues are so triggering for Buddy and I keep forgetting.  I forget about our suspicions of abuse, specifically where it pertained to toileting.  I forget about his heightened fight/flight response, that can result in him sitting on the toilet, rigid, motionless, fists balled, ready for anything that might come at him. When he’s confident and happy, I forget about the traumatized layers just underneath the happy exterior.

With lots of breaks, tries, re-tries, patience, and gentleness, we finally accomplished the task 30 minutes later.  I’ve been exhausted ever since, and feel badly for putting him through all that just because I was freaking out about how he will wipe himself in kindergarten.  A better plan would have been to discuss it for a week with him, outside the actual bathroom, at calm times, how he would need to start wiping himself.  Then start doing it once he’d gotten comfortable with the idea.  Next time…



Leave a Comment
  1. Naomi Paisley-Flango / Aug 19 2011 2:56 pm

    I can relate. I often forget that even though my 4yo can dress himself and open the baby gates he is still emotionally about 2yo.


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