Time to Train? Why I’m Not Ready!

Kel Autism, It's a Tink Thing Leave a Comment

This morning, whilst waiting in the queue at the school gate, Tink said, “oh dear!”

“What’s wrong?” I asked her.

She lifted the bottom of her coat and seemed to pat her groin area.

“Need a toilet,” she said.

“….. Oh! Really?!”

Wow. Just wow. This is big. Huge. I looked around for someone to tell, but there was no-one I knew. I didn’t think the random strange mummy in front of me would be as amazed as I was if I told her my nappy-wearing, almost 5 year old had told me, for the first time ever, that she needed the toilet.


I (very) briefly attempted toilet training with Tink two summers ago. It was a disaster. She just wasn’t ready and has shown absolutely no interest since. None. Not a single inkling of awareness at all. Oh, she quite happily sits on the toilet at bathtime, for about two seconds before unwinding half a loo roll to shove down the loo. But I don’t think she connects sitting on the toilet with actually having a wee, even though she sees me doing it (I know, TMI, but who has kids who don’t follow them to the loo at some point?!)

I realise it’s very early days. Maybe this is just a one-off? And, if not, it could take her a little while to show enough awareness for us to start trying to get her out of nappies. I’m so excited! And I’m so scared! She’s been in nappies for so long that it’s just so easy. (Except when it isn’t!) We’re so used to grabbing the bag full of equipment when we go out. We’re used to checking her throughout the day. We have a routine. We’re used to not having to worry about whether she needs a wee and if there’s a loo nearby if she does. I’m not looking forward to having to think about things!

There’s also the fact that Tink receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) because she requires more care than a typical child of her age. A lot of this is due to the fact she’s in nappies. I’m concerned that if she’s no longer in nappies, her DLA will stop, which means the extra money we have to spend on things for Tink will have gone. How will I afford to buy eleventy-billion dummies then?! It also means I’ll no longer receive Carer’s Allowance and I’ll have to find another job.  Of course, that isn’t a reason to want her to stay in nappies – who would want that?! But it is something to worry about, as I’m finally feeling settled and happy with being at home and it has helped us as a family hugely.

And finally, there’s the part of me that just doesn’t want my last baby to grow up! I know, she’s not a baby – she’s almost five, but she’s still so dependent on me. And a bit of me doesn’t want that to change. Of course, there’s a very good chance she’ll always be dependent on us, but wearing nappies is one of the last ‘baby’ things to go and it really means she’s a little girl who is developing rapidly. I’m just not ready for that to happen!

So, mixed emotions about this little huge development. Of course, I’m over the moon if this is the start of this milestone! But I can’t help feeling a little sad that my little girl is growing up.

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