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Suddenly having 'accidents.'

(7 Posts)
Backinthebox Thu 28-Jul-11 21:29:55

DD is 4 next week, and has been very good at taking herself to the toilet for the past year. This week she has suddenly started having what she is calling little accidents, but what to me seem like a much more calculated neglect in going to the toilet. We have a very busy household atm, builders in (generally about 6-10 men working on an extension and stable yard, and I have a girl helping with the horses as I broke my leg last month. We also had a nanny start last week, a woman who is well known to my daughter in a different setting and who she has been very excited to have coming to look after her.

What is happening is that she is weeing and pooing in her pants, but while she does it she says 'Oh, I am having a little accident!' and when asked why she didn't go to the toilet she says she couldn't get there in time. When she is asked to go to the loo 'just in case' she says she doesn't need to go, but can still have an accident as little as 10 minutes later.

Tonight we were reading a book about a monkey together. She likes monkeys and often says she is a monkey. She asked where monkeys poo, and I said they have a special monkey toilet behind a tree, but that it is only for monkeys and that little girls should always go to the toilet. She looked straight into my eyes and said, 'Oh, another little accident,' and pooed on the chair. She was already wearing no knickers because only 5 minutes beforehand she had weed on the floor and with a broken leg I am knackered hopping round after her and her brother, and OH was due in in 5 minutes. He walked in just in time to catch her pooing on the chair.

I am completely puzzled as to why she is doing this. The nanny is someone who has cared for her in another place for the last year and a half, the builders have been here since March, and I broke my leg over a month ago. So there have been no real bombshells in the last couple of days that would upset her, although I realise that the things I have mentioned could have been used as an excuse.

How do I deal with these accidents, in a way that means we can just get back to where we were with her going to the toilet normally? I feel very cross with her, like she should know better, and also it is a real challenge dealing with a nearly 4yo sitting in pooey pants when you have a broken leg and are also trying to manage a 11 mo baby!

SuePurblybilt Thu 28-Jul-11 21:38:30

I do not know. But my DD (5 in the autumn) has been doing the same all week. She had an issue when smaller, holding in poo until she messed her pants, but it's not been a problem for ages, over a year. She's been toilet trained for two years.
This week I've been wee'd on (lap), every day we've had skiddy knickers and a couple of wee accidents.
I would have said that yours is related to the upheaval (sp? looks wrong) in your lives but that cannot explain my DD's behaviour this week so I'm wavering on that grin. And you've said that none of the things going on are new exactly. Same with me.

I am also aware that I am not handling it well - after a week or more of 5+ accidents a day, I snapped today and threatened to put her back into nappies.

Bunnyjo Thu 28-Jul-11 21:58:34

I have a thread on here as my DD (3.11, turns 4 at the end of August) is having night-time trouble. She has gone from being night dry for well over a year to wetting the bed and not waking the past 3 nights.

Has your DD recently finished nursery? Or could she be worried about starting school? These are a couple of things I have factored in that could be causing my DD's regression, though we have loads going on at the moment - so it could be any number of things. At the moment, because DD's accidents are confined to the night, we are changing her with the minimum of fuss and trying to ignore the incidents completely. That may be more difficult in your case, but one thing that was suggested to me, by a friend, may work in your case - some sort of reward chart system... Her accidents may be an attention seeking thing and if you can turn the attention and praise/ reward to when she is using the toilet properly, it may just work.

Hopefully someone with more experience will be over to help. I hope you're feeling better soon, I am struggling with a nasty knee ligament injury that requires surgery, so I can imagine how you're feeling.

SuePurblybilt Thu 28-Jul-11 22:17:19

It does seem, OP, that your DD is looking to see what you'll do? Mine would hide hers, given half a chance, but your DD seems to be almost challenging you with her 'accidents'?

Backinthebox Thu 28-Jul-11 22:17:56

She's not going to school till after Christmas, Bunnyjo. The only thing that has happened this week is it is the first week of the school hols. (She normally goes to pre-school.) She's fine in the night, she just does it during the day.

Backinthebox Thu 28-Jul-11 22:19:16

SuePurblybilt, you're right about the challenging thing. I just don't know what to do about it. It's because she is being so brazen about it that I am so cross, but I know being cross probably won't help.

SuePurblybilt Thu 28-Jul-11 22:27:41

It's a tough one. I'm getting cross too and clearly it's not a good thing.

I do agree with the positive reward system but I can't get to grips with it in this situation - maybe you're the same. I used stickers/rewards for potty training when she was 2 and it worked beautifully, same for things like sleeping in her own bed. But this is something she is doing on purpose so it feels like it should be punished in a way. That sounds horrible - I don't smack or actually use any real form of punishment ever - but it's the only word I can think of. I mean that it doesn't feel that ignoring the messes and rewarding clean days will work in this instance, though it has before, if that makes sense?

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