the amazing size of a three year old’s bladder

In these waning days of 2010, I have been taken to task by certain readers for not having posted at all during the Christmas season. This is not because of any shortage of reflection-worthy moments, but rather a dearth of moments in which to reflect. Nonetheless, my apologies.

Oh sure, Santa came and all that, but what’s really been keeping me busy during these twelve days of Christmas is my daughter’s bladder. Even though Maggie is barely three, she goes to preschool five days a week (world-savvy third child that she is), and so it has taken this extended stretch of no school no babysitter hard-core togetherness for me to realize that my daughter never goes to the bathroom.

Maggie can go sixteen hours without “making peeps” (as we call it around here) no problem. The only time there’s trouble is when her mother gently broaches the topic that she should perhaps go and sit on the potty and “just see what happens.” Then there is wailing and breath-holding and tantruming like it’s 1999. Or like Rumpelstiltskin, who met his end in the version of the fairy tale that I read growing up by stomping his feet so hard the ground opened up beneath him and swallowed him up. Then he tore his own arms off.

Her extreme anxiety is of course probably caused by her bladder being so full she can’t think straight. And her outlook on life usually improves immensely once she has voided herself. The challenge is getting her there. These are a few methods that have worked, if briefly:

-a phone call from Santa (me calling our house phone from my cell phone) saying she will not get her princess bike unless she sits on the potty for Mommy

-a princess bike from Santa with a note attached to it saying this means she now has to sit on the potty for Mommy

-a sudden, mock realization by me or her older brother Connor that her eyes are turning yellow because the peeps have backed up to her eyeballs (this sends her running to the bathroom)

But now the Santa thing is used up until next December, and I have a feeling she’s catching on to the yellow eyes thing. Or she will as soon as it occurs to her to look in a mirror. Then I’ll be back to the starting line.

Seamus was like this too, and I always take some comfort when I remember that I’ve gone through something before. Even if I can’t recall how it ended, the point is that it DID end. I know the right answer is to make sitting on the potty part of a routine for my daughter, something that seems non-negotiable because we do it at the exact same times every day. Good luck doing that in this crazy house.

Anyone else have a kid with an amazing bladder?