My children are not 'advanced'. Little Smith was not early to crawl, walk, talk, draw shapes or know his letters. He is small for his age and was toothless well past his first year. There is a funny competition that happens with parents, even the well meaning ones. So many seem overly pleased when their kids are the first to complete a milestone or the biggest or most verbose in the bunch. Very possibly it is because mine wasn't the fastest bean in the stalk... but I honestly never placed any value on speed. He has so many amazing talents and abilities that can't be quantified or mapped on a chart, I really don't care (or in some cases want) him to follow the prescribed schedule.
Now our baby girl is a full nine months old, and officially even slower than her brother was to get moving. She rolls and spins and generally finds a way to get what she's after, but she isn't yet crawling in any real way. I keep hearing that she will skip crawling and go straight to walking. Maybe. But maybe she is just taking her time and will crawl on all fours when she is ready and then walk even later, when she is ready for that. Either way, I will be patiently waiting for her to work it all out on her own time table. Of course there are times when intervention does make sense, but I just trust my instincts as a mother to know that in this case there aren't any larger issues, and so I will give her the space to follow her own schedule.
As a mother that truly believes in allowing everything to run its course and not to push, I am finding myself in quite a predicament. I'm quietly tearing my hair out over how to tackle a classic parental challenge... the dreaded potty. I have resisted mentioning it here, because out of all of the mommy topics, this one has always held the least interest for me. I can't stand potty talk. I'm bored by it, I'm grossed out by it, and now it seems I'm being punished for my apathy.
I actually introduced a potty when Little Smith was less than two. Two years ago to be precise. TWO. I casually presented it as an option and he was never into it, so I just kept waiting for him to express an interest. Every so often I would ask if he wanted to sit on the potty, and one day he freaked out and decided he would never sit on it again. I tried getting a smaller seat for the regular toilet, even more terror. I have tried every possible potty option and configuration, and no dice.
It isn't that he doesn't know when he has to go to the bathroom or he can't hold it... he just literally won't sit on any toilet; not with his clothes on, not under any circumstances. If I put him in underwear, he will hold it and beg for a diaper and eventually wet his pants if the request is denied. I had a theory that if I could just get him to sit down all would be cured, a theory that lead to some of the moments I am least proud of as a mother; bribes (everything from luring him with the IPad to promising any toy he wants if he will just put his ass on the seat), and when that failed, a few attempts to physically force him onto the thing. It is literally the exact opposite of every value that I hold in parenting, and none of it has worked either.
After feeling so stressed and crazy tantrums that had us all in tears, I decided a few months ago to just give up. I present the option, which is always met with an extreme 'no way', and I just keep changing his pull-ups like they're diapers. I want to wait until he is ready, I want to value what feels right to him for his body on his own schedule... but I see absolutely no hope in sight. I have visions of transitioning right out of toddler sizes and into adult diapers. Slow is giving way to stubborn, and I think I may have met my match. Help!