Aisha turns 3 in a few months time. She refuses to wean from her beloved boobies. She still will not fall or stay asleep unless I'm lying next to her. She cannot play by herself - she needs me to keep her entertained constantly.
But she has been the easiest child to potty train.
A year ago already, she was willingly peeing on the toilet, and accidentally even poo'ed therein a few times - to much applause and enthusiasm from the rest of us.
But then the end-of-year holidays arrived and we started going out all the time. Since I used to put a nappy on for her every time we went out, she ended up wearing the nappy for most of the time and 'potty training' effectively came to a halt. (Actually, I cant even call it 'potty training' because, I wasn't training her - she was enjoying the novelty of peeing in the toilet and everyone's gushing as a result of her doing so).
But a few weeks ago we ran out of nappies and I was forced to put her on the toilet. As was the case before, she adapted effortlessly. She went without nappies for days (I'd only put one on her at bedtime).
And then I realised that she had not poo'ed for days. This was very unusual - I could normally set a clock according to her bowel movements - she was that regular.
On the fourth day she came to me looking rather distressed. Gripping the seat of her pants. Realising that the moment of truth had arrived, I calmly asked her if she wanted to poo. Which, as it turns out, was the wrong thing to say, because she started to scream hysterically. Then she proceeded to run - round and round - in a concentric formation. Starting at the larger outer circles and then working her way inward toward the centre point, where, upon arrival, she proceeded to bounce up and down like a tightly wound toy, whose spring has just been released.
This went on for a while. And then, when she could no longer bear it, she asked for a nappy. Even after diapering her up, she looked alarmed, crying and bouncing around incessantly. For some reason she had now developed a fear of pooing - whether on the toilet or in her nappy.
My poor baby was, very literally, scared shitless.
For days now we've suffered with this problem. We have increased her fibre intake and also her intake of yoghurt, which had previously been a crap-trigger. But to no avail. She is capable of keeping it in for days and then, when she eventually can hold it no longer, she passes it with such pain, alarm and hysteria. Watching her terrified face as she struggles to keep it in/ push it out is heartbreaking for me. I cannot believe that I had ever taken my kids' ability to perform this basic bodily function for granted, as watching her struggle to do so leaves me feeling helpless and distressed.
My nephew suffered the same potty training dilemma a few years back. I don't quite remember how long it took for him to be able to poo in the toilet, but at least it gives me hope that Aisha will not, by the age of 5 / 6, still be asking hysterically for a nappy in which to poo.
In the meantime though, I shall continue to give her huge amounts of fibre and water, in the hopes that her urge to do the deed will become so overwhelming that she will eventually just say ''what the heck'' and then hop onto the toilet and do her thing. That's the plan, anyway.