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3yo keeps going to the toilet as soon a the food arrives at the restaurant...

(27 Posts)
June2009 Fri 21-Sep-12 15:26:45

I think this is pretty typical 3yo behaviour but it's driving me crazy.
Every single time we go to the restaurant my 3yo waits until we've just got our food and then asks to go to the toilet. Where she will sit and tell me stories. It's lovely that she tells me her secrets and everything but ... Argh!!!!!
This is after i have asked her 5 times if she needs to go, before sitting down, and explained that we cannot go once we're sitting. She does it every single time.
Just been on a 9 day holiday where we had to go out for breakfast lunch dinner and its been a nightmare as the staff clear your plates away if you're leaving the table so took ages making plates for her from buffet only to have them cleared as soon as we get up again for the toilet.
I am pulling my hair out. Sometimes she does need to go but sometimes she doesn't.
Help? (she's been potty trained since she was just over 2 so it's not a new thing).

wannabedomesticgoddess Fri 21-Sep-12 15:38:05

Sounds like an attention thing. My DD will say she needs to go to the toilet when shes on the naughty chair because she knows I will have to let her go.

She has also done it in restaurants. At these times its very rare she really needs to go but I guess they know you wont take the risk.

Could you make her go before you sit down instead of just asking? And then you would know that she doesnt need to go when the food comes.

HoleyGhost Fri 21-Sep-12 15:40:21

Sticker chart? Rewarding her for going before she gets food and not immediately afterward

June2009 Fri 21-Sep-12 18:02:55

Right...(this is turning into a live thread)

Tonight I have said she would get a sticker I she went to the toilet before food, she reluctantly agreed and had a wee before food.

So far so good, and during the meal I was thinking 'wow that was easy, so simple ...'
5 minutes later: 'I have poo coming out' so off we go and she did poo.

So now do I give her the sticker or not??
I feel I ought to because the sticker was to go before food which she did eventually.

but then we're still disappointed that she had to get up and go anyway...

a friend of mine who is a gp once told me that up until a certain age they only need to poo when their bowels are food (sodoes make sense that it happens while they are eating). I do not however remember what age that is until.


June2009 Fri 21-Sep-12 18:03:47

When their bowels are 'full', not 'food' ...

SPsFanjoShiversTheTimbers Fri 21-Sep-12 18:09:11

I have a nearly 3 year old and he has to take his shoes off before he eats. Doesn't matter where we are or who with the shoes come off.

OwedToAutumn Fri 21-Sep-12 18:10:19

Show her where the loo is, and let her go on her own.

RikersBeard Fri 21-Sep-12 18:25:29

Mine does this, often. I have lost cakes with 1 bite out of them.
DS2 gets 2 spoonfuls of his baby food before being interrupted/carted off to toilet with ds1.

Heartbeep Fri 21-Sep-12 18:26:25

I wouldn't let my 3yo go to the toilet on her own in a restaurant. At all.

Our DD does this too, but she is toilet obsessed. Every shop - I need a pee pee just so she can check them out. We only oblige once at the start and before we leave if we've been out for a while. Otherwise she's told no, and the toilets in tesco are always broken according to us so she can't go.

The restaurant thing drives us nuts. Within minutes of the food arriving - every time. Sorry I don't have any advice just sympathising! Will watch with interest for any tips though smile

tasmaniandevilchaser Fri 21-Sep-12 18:28:22

my DH does this! grin minus the stories while he's on the loo obv. He has done it in a Michelin starred restaurant, they almost exploded and immediately whisked out a silver dome to put over his meal until he got back. I have given up.

Sorry, random, useless post!

getrealandgetalife Fri 21-Sep-12 18:29:42

my brother continued this habit until his 20's

Used to drive me mad, and he was only my brother!
I know it sounds harsh, but i'd let her deal with the consequences.... she wont do it again.

June2009 Fri 21-Sep-12 21:32:53

tasmanian I can't stop laughing at that comment :D and it's not good when you're in the airport lounge and people start thinking you're a little bit unhinged ;)
I wouldn't let dd go on her own, she couldn't have opened the heavy doors on her own anyway but also she'd escape, take the lift and disappear forever, the habit is annoying but I do still wish to jeep her :D
She has forgotten about the sticker, we're going back tonight and I have told dh i'm not takig her out to eat anywhere for at least a month, i know that doesn't solve the problem but it'll be good for my nervous system!

I think the sticker chart is a good idea I'll try and think of a way to make it work better, maybe clearer rules and o ly promise a sticker after the meal if there is no loo trip.

I have considered letting her deal wih the consequences but really i don't want to have to do that, really son't want her to have any excuse to regress with toilet use.

Pochemuchka Fri 21-Sep-12 21:39:01

No suggestions but wanted to share your pain. my DD (also 3) always 'needs' the toilet when I say I'm going and races me there, sits until she's done something and then when I ask her to go downstairs says 'I want to stay and watch you mummy' confused
It's a wonder I can go after waiting and then being watched! and it really annoys me

gallifrey Sat 22-Sep-12 13:14:28

My daughter also used to do this too whenever we went out for a meal. I always thought she liked checking out the facilities!!

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sun 23-Sep-12 04:32:15

'and explained that we cannot go once we're sitting'

but you do take her once you're sitting? So that explanation was completely pointless, an empty threat. You need to mean what you say.

I would take her at the start and then if she asks to go when the food arrives, just tell her 'no, you'll have to wait until the end'. If you think she really does need to go (like with the 'i've got a poo coming' incident) then take her, but absolutely no chatting/messing around.

berri Sun 23-Sep-12 04:40:03

I agree it's attention seeking - my DS sometimes says he needs the toilet once we've put him in bed, as he likes the novelty of getting back up and seeing what we are up to.

If he does it though, we try not to talk to him at all, give him no attention - ie carry him quickly to loo, plonk him in there, put back to him while he goes, ignore anything he says or just say 'its bedtime we're not talking now' and then straight back to bed. You could try the same kind of tactic and see if she gets bored with the lack of interaction?

lolalotta Sun 23-Sep-12 06:43:14

OwedToAutumn please don't suggest a 3 year old go to the loo on her own. It was in the news yesterday that a 4 year old boy went to the loo on his own and was sexually abused within 2 minutes of getting inside. sad

lola88 Sun 23-Sep-12 18:37:38

My niece used to do this at bed time she didn't need sat her on the loo nothing get in bed then she needs to go back in bed then need to go again but nothing this would happen 3/4 time before she would settle down to bed, one night i put my foot down told her she'd already went and would stay in bed or she would be in trouble... then she peed the bed blush

fridakahlo Sun 23-Sep-12 18:43:50

My sister did this every single time we ate out until she was about eight or nine. And it was always a poo she needed. No helpful tips, but even I as a sibling know your pain!

greenhill Sun 23-Sep-12 18:52:58

My 5 yo DD does this sometimes too. I think part of the problem is that you are prompting her to go repeatedly, she refuses, then she has a think about it and then decides she needs to go, but at the most inconvenient time. My DD really fights against having a pre-emptive wee!

Haberdashery Sun 23-Sep-12 21:03:01

My DD is 6 and often does this. Since she does always produce something, I think it's fair enough. Small children can't be expected to hold on for long. I think about ten minutes or so is probably the limit for my DD if she really needs it so it's probably the same or less for yours! I also think it is actually considered to be a good idea in terms of healthy bowels and bladder to encourage your child to go at a time that they really want to. So it is v irritating for you but I'm afraid you might have to just suck it up. One thing I have instituted recently is NO TALKING ON THE LOO. DD is def guilty of treating the loo as prime chatting time and I am not in agreement on that one. I also would absolutely not let a three year old go to the loo on their own in a restaurant. At six, I think my particularly malcoordinated and cack-handed (sometimes literally) DD may be ready for that in the next year or so.

Also, pooing at mealtimes - I genuinely think for my DD that when she eats anything it just, er, pushes anything lower down further along the queue so she really does need to go right then. Unless you think your DD is being awkward on purpose, I'd just let her get on with it. At least she's actually doing everything in the appropriate place (I have known otherwise well-behaved children who really didn't). It might be a question of counting your blessings and waiting a few years until the whole 'I need the loo' thing isn't such a pressing need.

AllPastYears Sun 23-Sep-12 21:22:27

Was your DH there too? If so how come the staff cleared your plates away, couldn't he have stopped them?

OwedToAutumn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:27:33

lolalotta, one child was sexually abused, and you wouldn't let yours go to a restaurant loo on their own?

I bet you never go in a car with your DC, considering how many children die in car accidents, every day!

OwedToAutumn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:50:14

Obviously I'm not suggesting you put your daughter in danger. The restaurants we tend to go to are smallish local restaurants, where my DC would barely be out of sight, except in the actual loo, itself. If you were in a large restaurant where she might get lost, that wouldn't be an option.

But, she wants to go to the loo with you for a cosy chat, just when you want to sit and eat, so take that opportunity away from her. Take her to the loo as soon as you get there, and then after the main course, perhaps. Hurry her along a bit when you are there, but have some lovely cosy chats with her at the table, so she enjoys the "table bit" more, and the "loo bit" less.

lolalotta Sun 23-Sep-12 22:12:20

No I wouldn't let my DD go to the loo on her own at 3. She's still so little!

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