It may be too early for a official diagnosis, but I’m pretty sure my five-year-old is a bathroom snob.
Last year, in pre-k (which lasts just half a day), he held it until he got home. Usually, he would pitter-patter off the bus and run straight inside. At first, I thought he was doing a happy dance because he’s the excitable type.
Then I realized it was the Potty Dance. It soon became apparent that he was refusing to pee at school… Go to the bathroom, yes. Play in the bathroom, yes. Report to his teacher that he went potty, yes. ACTUALLY pee-pee in the potty? Nope. Pee in his pants… well, sometimes. We went through extensive home therapy that sounded a lot like this:
If you don’t go potty at school, you are grounded from my iPad!
Over the summer, I took advantage of my teens’ babysitting skills. The relief that Number 7 showed when he saw me walk in from being out for a few hours was so sweet. Until he’d beg me to open my bedroom door, so he could pee. [Okay, I lock the door to my bedroom; that’s how I keep my stuff in my room, and my bathroom clean.] There are two other toilets in the house, but he refuses to use them. He has waited, sometimes for hours, to use MY toilet.
He is better at using the toilet at grandma’s house, and most of the time we can prod him to use public restrooms if I crowd into the stall with him. [The problem with public toilets is that they flush loudly, so he will handle the toilet seat, flush the toilet, and then immediately cover both ears with his germy hands.] He will pee on any tree, that’s perfectly fine, but if a toilet has so much as a square of TP in it? Oh, hell no. You don’t even want to hear about the time he had to use a port-o-potty.
Yes, he’s a bathroom snob. The bathroom must be clean. The stalls must be clean. And for the love of all that’s holy, the toilet Must Be Clean. I blame my other boys. They’ve caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to our house because they haven’t yet mastered the delicate skill of flushing. And as an added bonus, they’ve apparently scarred Number 7 so bad from what they’ve left floating, that he only feels safe on my toilet.
We’re in the first week of Kindergarten, and he’s had his first accident. Hopefully, we can find a way to get him on the road to bathroom snob recovery before we’re all flushed.
Does anyone else have this problem? What strategies should I try?