She’s the kid running around our house with a bare naked bum.
But the oppressive forces of conformity (a.k.a. Mom) continue to insist that wearing panties is NOT optional. Pants, skirts and dresses are also strongly encouraged.
Before I alienate all the nudists who may someday read this blog post, let me clarify that nakedness is not the real issue. In fact, naked is an improvement!
My soon-to-be 8-year-old is deeply committed to pull-ups and diapers. Our keenly tuned parenting instincts tell us that these are not really the “thing-to-wear” to grade 3.
Of course, we are not completely freaking out; as parents of a special needs child we know that developmental timetables are for other people. Sure, we try for socially appropriate, but we accept her where she’s at.
BUT she is fully capable of keeping her beloved pull-up dry ALL DAY (especially when chocolate is provided as rewards). She has low muscle tone and this has only been possible in the last year. We must diligently remind (cough*force*cough) her to “try” several times a day. BUT after 5 long years of potty training, IT IS POSSIBLE.
The last time we made a concerted panty effort, it was a massive failure. She would sit on the toilet for long stretches at a time: reading, singing, talking to herself… but the minute I pulled on those panties she would pee like a race horse. The triumphant smirk on her face did not endear her to me at the time. We tried to wait it out, for several days, but apparently she has a much better tolerance for puddles of urine than we do. So back to pull-ups we went, and immediately she was dry the whole day. At the time I proclaimed that she could wear pull ups to High School for all I cared (this is the time we refer to as “potty training burn out”).
I have no doubt she can easily slay this dragon if she simply decides SHE wants to. So a very special reward has been promised for the day she keeps panties dry ALL DAY LONG.
But before we can reach this triumphant day, we must conquer Step 1: put panties on.
It seems so simple. We have a range of colours and styles to choose from. We have padded training panties. We have Hello Kitty panties. We have butterfly panties. We EVEN have Disney Princess panties!
Attempting to harness the power of peer pressure, we celebrate the universality of underwear. Mommy wears panties, L wears panties, C wears panties, EVEN Daddy wears panties. Manly, manly panties to be sure, but as far as B is concerned, EVERYONE wears panties. If we’ve ever met you, chances are we have assured B that you also wear panties. Ginny wears panties, Lenny wears panties, Olivia wears panties… The neighbour who just waved to you – panties. That man who delivered our morning paper – panties.
I can understand where she’s coming from. Wearing panties seems risky and potentially messy. What if she has to go right in the middle of a fascinating playtime? What if she decides that the toilet downstairs looks/smells/vibes slightly wrong at that crucial moment? Despite the many upsides of panty wearing, she prefers the familiar and the easy. I can relate.
As understanding as I am, this IS happening. I have written it and thus it shall BE.
Let the screaming and wailing and body-slumping-over-like-a-corpse begin. And each pair of panties which are removed and shoved into a kitchen cupboard/under-the-bed/behind-the-dresser shall be retrieved and PUT BACK ON. And baby brother’s diapers shall be moved to a higher shelf so she will stop trying to put them on. And I shall not be moved when she tells me she is “so, so sad” (okay, fine, I was moved, but I sucked it up and put on my no-nonsense face).
And each time she pees in the toilet we will beam with pride and praise her effusively and feed her a chocolate (and one for mom too, because this has been a tough morning).
So here’s me, wearing MY big girl panties.
By the end of today we had 3 accidents, but twice as many successes. The underwear tyrants shall prevail! Hoo-rah.