Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Patience

Monday, June 08, 2009


Don't worry, Mommy. Be patient.

-- Erik Quinn (June 5, 2009)

Erik is now allowing me to lead him to the bathroom and lift him up onto the toilet after he gets up some mornings. This occasionally requires me to sing, dance, and basically perform the world's dorkiest one-woman show, but the results are more than promising. If there's one thing I have learned about WS, it's that distraction is sometimes key while performing difficult tasks like this, as it wards off cranky fits. He has resisted the whole toilet training process with gusto up to this point.

He remains relatively passive in many activities of daily living, and this is no exception. His balance is not dependable, and his motor skills are lacking, making toileting extremely difficult for him. However, he will aim to avoid making a mess, flush the toilet once I lift him off of it, and place his hands in the sink to allow me to wash them. Strangely, he doesn't seem to understand how to perform the motion of rubbing both hands together to get them clean, although he moves his fingers around in the air a bit and attempts to go through the motions he knows he is supposed to do. No amount of coaxing, teaching, or encouragement seems to bring things like this into his realm of understanding, although I go through the motions I am expected to as a parent as well, hoping it will sink in. Only time seems to bring resolution to some of his most basic challenges.

In the meantime, I watch other children his age or younger use the bathroom completely independently, including easily manipulating their clothing. As the children around us grow, I realize how far we have yet to go.

I try not to let it get to me. I really do.

I am an expert at changing diapers now, as I have been doing this for almost five years. I would be lying, though, if I said that doing this isn't horribly depressing. It is for this reason that the little steps we take forward are very rewarding indeed. We will get there with time.

It all comes down to being patient.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gua said..
It's such a relief (no pun intended) to be able to talk him into at least the process once in a while. He's definitely getting better about it! Probably my strangest moments in life are the ones I spend convincing him it's a good idea. Your dorkiness is probably no match for mine. It's moments like those that I wonder what his memories will be of his Gua when she's long gone... dancing in the bathroom?! The reward is great, though... when he looked down at himself and said "C'mon! You can do it!" And he did! We'll get there!

Love, Mom

8:28 AM  
Blogger Noel said...

diapers 6 years and understand where you are coming from!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous tara said...

I crack up laughing when I picture how much dancing and singing I did when Payton was potty training. It was the only thing that worked for us - and sure did provide a lot of laughs :) Good luck!!! (and I loved your mom's post about how he looked down at himself and said "come on you can do it!" Priceless!

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Children are encouraged by us [parents] with instruction, silly songs, and dancing. However, I found that my daughter picked up a few tips from her classmates on potty etiquette this last school year.

Whatever it is, make the most of the journey, but don't beat yourself up if you find at times you're wishing for it to end. I was there early last year!

I hope everyday you both find the courage and strength to move forward, though at your own comfortable pace.

Hugs to you and Erik [the big boy!].

11:39 PM  

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