Month 22: Fie on Regression

Doing what is natural.

In general, why are we so quick to use negatives to describe children and their actions?

For example, I’ve had to actively work hard to stop saying “nosy” to describe “curiosity,” “inquisitiveness”, and even “perceptiveness” because that’s what I remember hearing as a child.    All the time.   The wrong words convey the wrong tone and the wrong messages.    This is why I despise the word “regression” when it comes to a seemingly inexplicable (I say seemingly because in retrospect there will always be a reason that isn’t immediately known) rise in accidents in EC’d children — babies and toddlers really.

My husband used the term today.   In the past week or so we’ve had about four (yes, only four) isolated incidences of pee misses.    One was on the stairs while she was playing a favorite game with Daddy Man (no potty signal, she was surprised), one at the beach (panicked signal), and two tonight (one at Grandmama’s house while playing leggos — surprised, and one at home in the tub — surprised with frantic signal).       “I think she’s regressing,” he says to me.   I disagree, “…No.  It’s like walking.  She still falls — she fell today!  But we don’t say she’s ‘regressed walking’.”     She had a doozey of a fall too!   She slipped on some play beaded necklaces, was airborne for a millisecond and landed on her back.    She was surprised and stunned, didn’t cry but came to me for some comfort, a short shout in my ear, and a nurse.    She walks just fine, right?  Of course!     In all but one of the incidences she tried to remedy the problem by asking for help.

Has she suddenly forgotten how to use the toilet?   No.    Is she doing it on purpose?  No.  Though she did do that once (see — Cause and Effect), that was not the case this time as she always had a look of surprise or frantic panic.   Every now and then when she squats she gets surprised and I see her running to the potty as fast as her little legs can carry her!   It makes sense that if your bladder is over full and you squat — sometimes you leak or a poop does a prairie dog.       My theory?   She’s over estimating her bladder capacity and is precariously reaching the edge of the automatic release threshold — that point-of-no-return that not even an adult can hold back once it begins!        We adults have ALL been near to that point because we don’t want to get up in the middle of the cold winter night, or we don’t want to use the available questionable public toilet, or we don’t want to lose that place in line even though we had a little too much liquid for lunch.     We have all done the “gotta go gotta go right now” potty dance while we curse buttons, zippers, underwear and trousers.     Have we regressed when we don’t quite make it and get a wee bit soggy (pun intended)?

So she peed herself a few times this week.    Big deal.  She’s 22 months old and has been out of diapers for over a year!  Hello!   We only remind her to potty if we are going out and she takes herself to the potty in the bathroom all day long.     Regression?  No way!

We don’t even need to call these incidences anything at all.    A fall is a fall.  A wee is a wee.   It is a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.     Acknowledge, clean up, and move on.


Regressive behavior does exist but it happens for very specific reasons and not because they just “don’t want to” or “forgot how”.   For example, when children are seeking attention often due to a stressor such as the uncertainty with a new sibling.   Once  they get the attention they need, they stop the behavior.


About Laissez Faire

I am 41...42...43...44, married with two children, two cats, and a dog. Writing is my hobby, and learning and teaching my passions. Books! It used to be that I could devour several books a week when I had the time. I am usually too tired to stray awake these days with two kids. Currently my brain and energy levels have steered me to casual games, writing contests, and some inconsistent blogging.

Posted on August 17, 2011, in Parenting, Potty Training, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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