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My younger daughter’s clothes come home from daycare tucked into ziploc baggies. She is back in pull-ups, sometimes in a diaper.

I am discouraged.

The doctor says she is fine, no motor problems. We know that she can poop on the potty; we don’t know why she’s not.

Control. Attention. Motivation (lack thereof).

The doctor says pull back, all the way back. Don’t talk about the potty. Let her poop and pee where she likes (keep her in the pull-ups or diapers). Give her a week, a month. She’s 3; she’s done it before; she’s decide to do it again.

I am fine with this advice. I am tired of the constant monitoring, the constant asking, being told no, the accidents, cleaning pee off the rug and poop out of underpants.

Dan does not like this advice. He wants us to press on, to find the thing that motivates her.

I am afraid if we keep pushing, she will keep pushing back.

Daycare is of like mind with Dan. Kate is on the path to potty training — for six weeks or so, she was proudly, successfully, willingly, cheerfully using the potty.

And then she stopped.

Not coincidentally, it happened about the same time that we told the kids I was having another baby.

Kate can’t control that I am having another baby. She can’t control that I am more tired, and less absent a mommy than usual. She can’t control that in the “big kids” room, she is one of the youngest of the big kids, and sometimes her big sister doesn’t want to play with her.

She can control whether or not she is going to cooperate. She can control (to a certain extent) where she poops.

Dan and I are at a loss, and are trying to find a strategy that we can agree on.

I am tired.