All In A Wee…ks Work

Toilet training isn’t easy for any child or their parents. Most children take it in their stride though and slowly but surely they get there. Toilet training a child with special needs and sensory issues that is more than likely on the ASD spectrum is a whole different ball game and a challenge we were not prepared for.

When Wriggler did his first wee on a potty he was 2yrs and 9mths. Before we knew it, he was dry day and night within two weeks without any accidents. We took exactly the same approach with Bruiser, he will do it when HE is good and ready and not before!

Last year in the lead up to the summer holidays though, I was starting to feel the pressure; from school and other people. ‘Oh he really should be out of nappies when he starts school’ ‘You arent being pro-active enough’ ‘just go for it, he’ll never learn unless you go for it’ ‘let him wet himself, they don’t like wetting themselves’ blah.. blah.. blah..

But after a while (regrettably) I started to take this to heart and so against my principles of ‘he will do when he’s ready’, I attempted to start him toileting.

He really wasnt ready though. Yes he did his first wee on the potty and the toilet and this was quite a novelty for him (and me, I still love the picture of his cheeky little bottom peeking out of his trousers as he stood up to the toilet). But he wasnt ready in his head to do it. I tried jumping him in at the deep end and taking him to school in pants with loads of clothes to change into etc (like people told me to do). He really didn’t like getting wet when he had an accident, this was a big issue. Being wet is a sensory issue for Bruiser generally, he wont even touch the sink in the bathroom if there are water droplets on it, he has to wear gloves when it rains. All this added pressure was making him anxious and upset and very unhappy. He was starting to show signs of regression across the board, so I stopped it all. We went back to pull ups. No more pressure. He was happy again. That was it, no more listening to everyone else, we (hubby and myself) know our child best and we went back to our principles of letting him do it in his own time when he was ready!

Since we tried the toileting last year though, Bruiser has very occasionally used the potty or the toilet. More so when he was with Wriggler as he wanted to copy him but he had a lot of accidents. Then very out of the blue two weeks ago he was playing away in the kitchen and he started to do a wee but stopped himself. He then waddled up to the toilet with his trousers and pull ups around his ankles and finished his wee on the toilet. He was so proud of himself and I gave him a big high-five and LOTS of praise. I do believe now that that was the turning point. That was where it clicked. He continued to use the toilet/potty lots during the days that followed and occasionally even wore big boy pants.

After a few days of on/off success, last Monday I asked him if he wanted to wear big boy pants for school, there was no pressure, it was his call. He said yes. Off he went that morning with three changes of clothes in his bag. He came back with the same clothes in his bag and the same little pants on his bottom! He had achieved his first half day dry. It got even better that afternoon and evening. He had completed his first full day. No accidents or near misses. Another first 🙂

Tuesday morning he went to school just the same. He showed me the sticker chart on the wall that his key worker had made with him Monday. He proudly showed me the stickers he had earned the day previously.

He started to fetch his chart home with him after each morning to show me and his Daddy and Wriggler what he had done. He was very proud of himself and kept saying ‘me like Wriggler now’.

Tuesday afternoon he asked for a nappy though. *whispers… he wanted a no2* He was refusing to let it go in the potty or toilet. This wasnt unusual, he refused to let them go anyway. Passing his no2’s has always been an issue for Bruiser. He would hold to them, tensing himself up walking around doing his ‘poo dance’ as we called it, refusing to letit go. For almost a year we thought he was constipated but as it turned out (for reasons made clear by his OT only very recently) he was refusing to let go and was intentionally holding it in. It was one hell of an afternoon which resulted in a meltdown so bad that he fell asleep on me while I restrained him. Once that was over though, he was back in his pants and back on the toileting mission. I made a huge deal that he had done his no2 in his nappy though and gave him an extra star stamp for it.

all in a wee...ks work

The week continued to go great. He was still dry and still hadn’t had any accidents. Thursday afternoon I was washing pots in the kitchen when I heard Bruiser shout from upstairs (I thought he was in the room watching Octonauts!!) ‘Mumeee I done a big pooooooooooo on my potteeeeeeee’. I ran up the stairs saying you’ve done what? and he was there proudly stood over the potty pointing at it and signing that he had done it!! After lots and lots of praise and high-fives, I put him an extra two star stamps on his chart. Another first, his second of the week! He was making more progress than I ever imagined or dare hope for.

On Friday, Bruiser was awarded Star of the Week for his efforts and his increased independence at school.

all in a wee...ks work

He was over the moon with himself and more so, because he got to fetch Freddie home for the weekend. (Freddie is an empathy doll which accompanies every ‘star of the week’ home for the weekend)

By Sunday evening he had completed his first full week. He had one small accident when he couldn’t get his trousers down quick enough and although he was upset with himself he did get over it really well.

This was it, there was no going back now. He’d made it. He had accomplished more than what we set out for him to do. He was dry and clean through the day, he was dry and clean through the night and he had willingly without any hesitation done his no2’s in the potty too!

He had a wonderful weekend celebrating his efforts with Freddie and even Freddie is now toilet trained 😉

all in a wee...ks work

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This week is currently going fantastic too. He has carried on exactly where last week finished.

We as a family are so proud of Bruiser and what he has accomplished. It hasn’t been easy for him and it really has been baby steps all the way but when he was ready, boy was he ready and he did it in probably record time!

I Wee’d On A Stick & My Life Changed Forever

It started with a wee

It started with a wee

Today marks the eight year anniversary of when I found out that I was expecting my little Wriggler and yet it still feels like it was only yesterday!

Finding out was a MASSIVE shock! So much so that I lived in denial that it was even happening at all for 3 weeks after missing my period. It was my rapidly blooming bussom that made me do a test and make an appointment with the midwife! Taking that test was nerve-wracking, I was shaking uncontrollably. I knew what it was going to say and I’d never been so scared in my life. Both myself and Hubby were both in silent shock for days after. All of a sudden our planned future was no longer written and we were making it up as we went along!

It was easy to remember my dates, the pregnancy dated from my 26th birthday. I worked out that our baby would be due on the 4th June!

Once the initial shock had gone, I was over the moon and bursting at the seams to tell everyone. My Mum was the first to know and then we told our immediate family but that was it, no one else until we’d had the 12week scan and knew all was well.

The day of the first scan came around very quickly. By this point though all pregnancy symptoms had gone and I was beginning to think that the sonographer was going to tell me there wasnt a baby in there! But my baby was there alright, all 5.8cm of him and he didnt stop wriggling through the whole scan, the sonographer struggled to measure him! My dates changed slightly and my new EDD was the 2nd June.

I wee'd on a stick

Wriggler at 12+2… all 5.8cm of him!

I was sporting a very slight bump at the first scan, but after this point it just took off. I carried my baby all on the front. In the run up to the 20 week scan I was convinced that I was carrying a boy. I think in part it was the fact that I wanted a boy so very much, I’d convinced myself that my baby couldn’t be anything else.

The 20 week scan went fine though and all was well. However, I went into the room not wanting to know what we were having wanting the surprise on the day when our baby arrived. Hubby did want to know but had agreed that we wouldn’t find out. During the scan though, looking at our baby on the little screen, I suddenly had this overwhelming urge to find out and given that it was Hubby’s birthday that day, I knew it would be a lovely surprise for him too. It was confirmed, Wriggler was a boy!

I wee'd on a stick

Wriggler, my baby Boy at 20 weeks

My bump was getting bigger and bigger every day now. Every morning Hubby would say ‘oh my god, youre even bigger than last night!!’ Regrettably I didn’t capture the bump shots like i did with Bruiser. It didn’t occur to me to do it, that and we didn’t have a camera and camera phones were only just emerging back then! I did capture a bump shot at 30 weeks though (with my new camera phone). Any other bump pictures were courtesy of Hubby.

30 week Bump

30 week Bump

I wee'd on a stick

Bump at approximately 8 months

Bump at 38+4, the day before he was born (you can see the tens machine in my hand)

Bump at 38+4, taken while in labour, the day before he was born (that’s the tens machine in my left hand ha, id been in labour 28hours at this point)

After the 2nd scan though, I wanted to much to see my baby again. I knew that I just couldnt wait another 20weeks to meet him. Id read about 3/4D scans and seen pictures but never thought I’d be able to afford one. After a little research though I found a place very local to us that did them and they were affordable. I secretly booked an appointment for one and saved some money up, my Mum made up the rest.

It was the best decision I made because the whole experience was AMAZING! That moment when our little boys face appeared on the huge screen on the wall was so emotional. He had a little button nose and was sucking on the umbilical cord with his face nustled upto the placenta. He was fast asleep. The sonographer decided to wake him up so we could get a better look at him, he didn’t like this much at all. But he did become more animated and opened his eyes. He soon settled again though and went back to sleep exactly as we found him!

Wriggler yawning

Meet Wriggler at 29 weeks

Wriggler opened his eyes during the scan

Wriggler asleep

Wriggler didn’t change one bit from this scan at 29weeks and birth!

1 Day Old

1 Day Old

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So there you have it, neither of my boys were planned. But you know what, I just think it makes them all the more special because they were meant to be!

Linking up with Magic Moments

Bruiser’s Started Pre-School

Where exactly did the summer holidays go? More to the point, where exactly did the last three and half years go?

I had the most wonderful six weeks with my boys. I love having them both at home with me. I miss Wriggler terribly when he’s at school and each school holiday is a constant reminder of just how much. I was also quite conscious that this was the last time id have Bruiser at home until half term in October. I really did not want it to end.

During the holidays, we spent a lot of quality time preparing Bruiser for the transition to pre-school. We looked through his transition booklet (this was a collection of photos taken by his previous key worker in nursery of the pre-school rooms, equipment and staff), we bought him his school bag, we got him trying on his uniform, we taught him the relevant Makaton signs he would need. Bruiser was really excited and looking forward to it. He kept saying ‘me go goooo’ (me go school). We did have moments though where he kept saying he didn’t want to go to school and even the night before he told me he wanted to stay home with me and believe me that was a very tempting offer!

That first morning though, he couldn’t contain the excitement when he came downstairs and his school clothes were all laid out waiting for him, he bearly ate his breakfast because he wanted to get dressed. Me on the other hand, I was struggling to hold it together. Id spent a lot of the holidays in denial that this was going to happen at all!

Hubby drove us to school and left us at the gates and the boys walked in together holding hands with smiles beaming across their little faces.

I was so proud of him as I left him in pre-school. He got a little anxious because there was so many people all at once, I think he was feeling overwhelmed. He didn’t want to part from me and he did get a little upset but he happily let me hand him over to his teacher for a cuddle and he waved me and Wriggler good-bye as we left the room.

I have to admit that leaving him there on that first morning was far more emotional than I had anticipated or prepared myself for. Four years ago, when Wriggler started preschool, that was emotional, I was 10 weeks pregnant with Bruiser too so hormones were fueling all the emotions. But I had my Mum there holding my hand whilst I said a tearful good-bye to him. This time It was Wriggler holding my hand and giving it a little squeeze as I said goodbye to Bruiser.

I like to think that my Mum was there, watching over us too.

Gummy to Gappy

The Last Gummy Smile

The Last Gummy Smile

Ahhhh, that gummy smile… I remember it all too well. That picture was indeed the last one we got, within days of the picture being taken his first tooth emerged! Before we knew it he had a mouth full of teeth and he was a grown lad telling me ‘Mummy, ive got a wobbly tooth!’  *Nooooooo*

The Last Toothy Smile

The Last Toothy Smile

Eight and a half weeks after that first wobble, he lost his first tooth. My baby really was growing up.

gummy smile to gappy smile

Id only just got my head round the fact that Wriggler had lost his first tooth and then another fell out only 2 weeks later! This was happening too quick!

gummy smile to gappy smile

It wasnt all bad though, his new sparkling teeth grew in their place and all was good again. It was like they’d never fallen out.

Fast forward 9 months… ‘Mummy ive got a wobbly tooth’ *Here we go again* ‘Mummy ive got two wobbly teeth’ *Gulp, what? at the same time? this could get expensive!*

Loosing the top teeth was probably worse than the bottom ones. They were on show, a constant reminder of the lack of control I had over him growing up. When those top teeth were loose we nick named him ‘tow mater’ because he’d got that look about him. His teeth were pointing all different directions.

… and then they were both gone 😦

gummy to gappy

My baby loosing his teeth hasn’t been all bad, I mean I got to play ‘Toothfairy’ 🙂 Creeping into his room in the middle of the night and sneaking that tooth out from under his pillow and leaving a gold coin in return covered in fairy dust. I remember the magic from when I was a little girl, doing it for Wriggler it’s all the more magical!

To the Tooth Fairy

To the Tooth Fairy

A little bit of Magic

A little bit of Magic

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Wriggler loosing his first few teeth has been the end of one era and the start of a new one. He’s well and truly leaving his baby years behind him now and growing up. Whilst for me, I found these moments tearful and ever so slightly heart wrenching, they were truly #magicmoments to have shared with him.

Happy 3rd Birthday Bruiser

The birthday of your own child should fill you with happiness and make you remember fondly the memories of the occasion. However for me, the anniversary of Bruiser’s birthday brings back memories I can’t shut out or ever forget however much I try.

But what a difference 3 years can make. With each passing year its getting easier to smile and hold back the tears. With each birthday, there are more and more happy memories of the day been created.

Bruiser has come a long way from his birthday to reach today. Its been and still is a very rocky road. But he has accomplished so much already. This last year has been phenomenal.  A year ago, Bruiser lived in an non-communicating, frustrating, quiet world. He now uses Makaton to communicate in every aspect of his life. Its no longer as frustrating. He’s even started using a few words and sounds again.

These are some of my favorite memories from the last 3 years.

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1st Steps

1st Steps

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I wonder what adventures lie in store for Bruiser in his 4th year?

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Happy Birthday to our little Bruiser. Hope you have a magical day sweetheart. Lots of ‘ov’ ‘issis’ & ‘guggoos’ from Mummy Daddy and Wriggler xxxxxx

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Related posts:

Bruiser’s Incredible Journey… World Prematurity Day ~ Our Story & What It Means To Us

Nil By Mouth

Back to School

This week im linking up this post, my FIRST blog post ever with the #MagicMoments linky.

When I started blogging despite already having lots of posts drafted and ready to publish I was undecided over what to go with first. It seemed appropriate that I started my blog about our family life and the memories and milestones that we shared together, with a memory and milestone… Back to School.

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This week heralds the start of the new school year for Wriggler. Year 2 and his last year of the infants. My baby is growing up way too quick!

As much as I absolutely love having him at home and I miss him terribly when he is at school I’m actually looking forward to the routine that the school run brings. Although Bruiser is going to be absolutely lost without his best friend and soul mate.

Getting all his uniform ready and labelled takes me back to his very first day at pre-school. It’s then that I realise how much he has grown in the last few years. All his baby traits are well and truly gone and I have a boy on my hands!

All ready for his first session at Pre-School aged three and a half

All ready for his first session at Pre-School (age 3)

What a difference a year makes... first day at full time school... Foundation Stage, aged four and a half!

What a difference a year makes… first day at full time school… Foundation Stage, (age 4)

First day in Year 1, aged 5yrs.

First day in Year 1 (age 5)

 

I wonder what Wednesday’s picture will look like….

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Updated 2nd September 2013

For those wondering what Wednesdays picture looked like, here it is….

First day in Year 2

First day in Year 2 (age 6)