About a week ago I told my husband how surprised I was that potty training Antalya was turning out to be so much easier than I had anticipated. Ha! I should know better than to say such a bold statement just a few weeks into the process, right? Well, last Saturday, whatever success I felt like we were having seemed to head down hill quickly. I'm not quite sure what prompted the change, but suddenly we went from having one-two accidents a day, to having more than I could count. I was hoping as this week went on we could get back on track, but things haven't changed much.
I've felt really frustrated about it for a couple days, and several times let Antalya know how frustrated I was. That obviously hasn't helped the situation much. But, like an answer to prayers, a friend posted this link on facebook for a seminar from the Boston Children's Hospital on Down syndrome and toilet training. I feel like a new woman after listening a bit of reality. The main points I got from the seminar were that it is alright to take a step back when needed, lots of accidents will happen and it's best to just not make a point of it, toilet training can be done wearing pull-ups, and toilet training is a big deal - especially for our Ds kiddo's.
So, I've adjusted. We're taking a step (or two, or three) back. My plan is to put Antalya back in diapers or pull-ups, but continue to have regular potty breaks every 45 minutes. Once she's staying dry most of the day, I'll up it to 1 hour, and so on, until we get to two hour stretches. Then we'll switch back over to panties and see how she does.
This whole potty training thing has made me realize some of my own faults. One of my big ones is that sometimes I forget Antalya has Down syndrome. I get so caught up in wanting her to be just like her peers that I forget to leave room for that extra chromosome of hers. I forget how much harder she has to work at things that just come naturally to other children, I forget that she learns differently, I forget that she needs to do things in her own way and in her own time. And in forgetting about the Down syndrome, I get frustrated and sometimes even angry when I think she should be able to do certain things and she's not. It's good that I feel the need to push her, but today I realized that more than someone always pushing her to do more and go faster, what Antalya really needs is someone to walk by her side. Someone who will be patient when she stumbles, help her up each time she falls, and cheer her on through each success. And so folks, that's exactly what I'm going to be! Because this cute little one is relying on me.