Thursday, December 31, 2009

You can't win the war if you lose every battle

Any battle of wills ultimately comes down to who wants it more.

Unfortunately for me, Emma Jane's will is clearly stronger than mine.

She is easily the most strong-willed child I have ever met.

Probably on the planet.

And she has been this way since birth.

I think she is still paying me back for forcing her out of the womb when she so obviously was content to stay there.

Have you ever heard your pediatrician say that a baby won't starve them self and will eat when hungry? Well I am hear to tell you that that doctor never met daughter! She really should be studied in universities across the country.

When she was an infant, I had a really hard time with nursing her. Not only was she just not very good at it, but Libby was beside herself with jealousy and the two of them were just stressing me out. So I decided to wean Emma Jane. I left her with my mother for the weekend fully expecting to pick up a happy, bottle-fed baby 36 hours later.

Not so much...

Emma Jane was so pissed that we were trying to poison her with that nasty formula, that she went on a five day hunger strike. She wouldn't even eat baby food. She got so lethargic that she could barely lift her head to look at me. So I crumpled. Rather than take her to the ER for an IV (which is what the next step was) I started popping fenugreek like it was candy and resumed nursing her. And continued to do so until she was 16 months old. Emma Jane, not I, decided when to stop nursing.

She is still very particular about what goes in her mouth. Now, most preschoolers I know are picky eaters. Libby is a picky eater too. Both of my girls would eat nothing but waffles and pop tarts if given the choice. Since allowing that would knock me out of the running for Mother of the Year, I require a little more variety. Libby is rule follower, so I made dinner time rules. She has to eat at least one bite of everything on her plate. So I know that Libby is going to get at least one bite of a vegetable everyday. (And usually she discovers that Mommy actually makes pretty good food and will eat more than one bite.)

Emma Jane, who is still secretly fearing poison not a rule follower, feels no need to try any food that looks questionable. She can't be bribed either. EJ would rather watch her sister eat a cookie for dessert than get one herself by eating the freaking green bean!

We have now reached the potty training age.

And I am becoming more and more convinced that she really is trying to slowly drive me to insanity!

Last week, we travelled to my mother's house for Christmas. It is an 8 hour drive each way. Emma Jane wore the same diaper for the entire trip.

Because she kept telling me that she needed to go potty. And every time we stopped, she did.

When we got back home, I told her that since she was such a big girl in the car that we would start wearing big girl panties and using the potty everyday. She seemed really excited at first.

And then I guess she changed her mind. After her 5th accident yesterday...And I use the word "accident" lightly!...After the 5th time she peed on my carpet just two minutes after getting off the potty...After the 5th time she smiled at me while doing it...I lost it! I know you aren't supposed to punish children for potty accidents but I did. I put her in time out. And I yelled at her.

So I am thinking that not only do I have the only child in existence that will actually starve herself, but I also have the first mentally competent child that will in fact go off to college wearing Depends.

I don't know what to do with her anymore. Her desire to win clearly outstrips mine. Somebody please potty train her for me! Because I really just can't do it myself.

I will have to be committed.
She scares me, people!


heidi said...

They're sent here to break us, aren't they? I just know it. Let's put a silver lining spin on it - she'll never let anyone push her around, right?

shortmama said...

I fear my two year old as well!! She refuses to eat normal food. She will eat crackers, raisins, string cheese, yogurt, carrots, cereal, of course anything sweet. Thats pretty much it, no real food. We put it out in front of her at meal time and nothing, and she would rather starve too. So at 2 she is also still eating baby food and I have no idea how to get her to stop!!

Kelli said...

All you need to do is insert Caleb and this could be a post for me. That kid starves nightly because he refuses to eat (even pizza!). When I pray for Caleb I'll pray for Emma too...and your sanity.

Staci said...

I know the feeling... Madison would remove her panties, poop on my floor, smile, put her panties on and go about her day.... OMG I would get so mad!!!!

Finally she stopped... Good luck!

Kmama said...

I don't mean to laugh, really, because I've been through it with Buddy. He's extremely strong-willed as well. During potty training, we went from peeing only in the potty, to only pooping in the potty, then to refusing to do either, and then FINALLY at 3 and a half, he decided he was ready. Oh, he could do it all along, but just refused to.

Just throw it all away (or put it away) and wait until she begs. That's my advice...for whatever it's worth. ;-)

Krystyn said...

And, here I am thinking I am stubborn! Wow!

I say put her back in diapers. 5 accidents in one day means she isn't ready. Make her BEG to go potty!

Megan R. said...

LOLOL! I laugh only because I know this will be fattycakes and I in a year or so. SIgh. Have a drink. Or 12.

Emily said...

You know, I've been totally on the side of pushing through and forcing EJ to train, but now I kind of just want to see when she'll decide to do it herself. I mean, if she actually does go to college in diapers, that's going to be quite of self-confidence she will have built up! :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Do NOT give her Miss Ky's email or phone number. The two of them could change the world as we know it-- and I can guarantee you that if my daughter has any say about what I'm supposed to eat, or when I need to be in my own bed, she will make history with her revenge on me.

Here's what I would say if I didn't have my own Emma Jane: "Oh, but she looks so angelic!" :-)

blueviolet said...

Oh wow, you've met your match in the battle of wills. She knows she's got you on this one and there's not a darn thing you can do about it.

Oh man, I wish I had some sage advice for you here. Let's hope she's getting it all out now and will sail through the teen years without incident! :)

Happy New Year! I missed you!!!!

Rachel said...

Hey Lauren! I find your blog every now and then when I see you comment on someone elses. It has been fun to see your family!!! Anyway, I just HAD to comment on this. My middle child Ellie Kate who is almost 3 now sounds so much like Emma Jane. I laughed all the way through this post because I could have written it about 8 months ago (when I started potty training). I can happily say though that she is now fully potty trained although it was NOT easy nor quick. I just can't get over how much alike they are...even with their eating habits too. Ellie Kate is most definitely not a rule follower either! Anyway, just wanted to say hi!

Rachel Wood Norris (fellow Alpha Chi sister back in the day:))!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...


I must say, I think potty training the the HARDEST part of parenting... so far, anyway. HATED IT.

Mrs. NB