Friends, friends, friends.
I’ve got a problem in the shape of a toddler and I need some help. Here’s the deal, the potty training has been smooth sailing. I was worried about nothing, T got it super fast. And I surprised myself by being incredibly laid back when he did have accidents. I’m not a laid back gal. I was worried I’d freak out at him, but I never did. I told him accidents happen, I told him not to worry. Now he isn’t even wearing diapers at night. Every few weeks he’ll pee the bed, but even at three in the morning I keep my cool and we just change the sheets and get him cleaned up.
Dude has a bladder of steel. He is scared of public bathrooms because they are loud and he refuses to use them. But he is able to hold it for hours on end. When we flew down to see my sister he wore big boy underwear without issue. On the way home he was constipated and hadn’t pooped in a couple of days. I told him if he didn’t poop before the flight we were going to have to do a diaper, not to punish him, but because he might have to poop when we couldn’t get up during the flight. He tried so hard to go with no success, then he told me the poop was sleeping which cracked me up. We put the diaper on him at 8:30 in the morning. He fell asleep in the car on the ride home from the airport and we let him nap there so I didn’t get the diaper off until after 3 in the afternoon. And that fucking thing was bone dry. Seriously, bladder of steel.
So what is the issue?
He pees on furniture when he is pissed off at me. Yup. You read that correctly.
Tonight he told us he needed to pee during dinner, so I took him to the bathroom. A few minutes later he landed himself in time out. We had a friend over and T was done eating before us so we set him up with a video in the living room while we finished our meal and chatted. He whipped off his underwear, sat down, and got this look of fierce concentration on his face. We were telling him he needed to put the underwear back on or he’d have another time out. It was Z’s turn to deal with him but he didn’t get to the couch in time. T managed to pee all over it. Back in time out he went. When I retrieved him I asked him if he knew why he went in time out. He told me it was because he peed on the couch. I asked him why he did it. He told be because I put him in time out. I knew with absolute certainty that he’d been peeing on stuff to get back at me, but strangely it felt good to get conformation.
He did it a few times when we were visiting my sister. He even anger pooped and got it all over their playroom minutes before my nephew’s first birthday party started. We are awesome guests. So after the boys had gone to bed that night we were all talking about it. My dad laid it out like this: T does something bad. I respond appropriately, discipline him in the form of time out. I win. T is angry at me. He gets back at me by peeing on furniture. He wins. Especially because I don’t have a next move. And until I figure out my next move he continues to win.
Dad is right. And I get angry when he pees and it isn’t an accident. Really really angry. Which is really really unhelpful.
I’ve started to take him to pee before time out. I’ve gotten gun shy about time out because I’m worried about retaliation. What the hell is my next move? I tell him it it unacceptable. I’ve tried other punishments like taking away treats for the day. Should I tell him I’ll duct tape a diaper to him for the next 24 hours? I can’t just diaper him, he’ll take them off. I did do that during nap recently after he peed inappropriately, and unsurprisingly the diaper was dry when he woke up and I cut it off. Does anyone have any ideas? This kid is killing me. Of course he has foiled being a really easy kid to potty train by using that control for evil.