Riley was not officially potty trained until the age of five and a half. Her fine motor delays made wiping tricky and even now, at 6 and a half, she calls me into the bathroom to double check her. She holds it in all day, every day at school. Several times I have been called in because she is writhing in pain, having to "go" but refusing to do her business without me there.
Today, as we waited for the bus, we had a little talk about it.
"Why won’t you go potty at school?" I asked for the millionth time.
Usually I get a shrug or an "I don’t know?"
Today she said, "Because I can’t see my own bottom. So I don’t know if I’m clean."
(This is just one issue. The toilet flushes loud and the sink doesn’t turn on easily, but it feels like we’re onto something here).
"Well Riley, you have your flushable wipes (the school’s plumbing be damned). Why don’t you wipe one time, then use a second wipe, and then after a third, check to see if the wipe is clean. If the third one is clean, your bottom is probably okay."
She looked at me like I had just revealed one of the secrets of the Universe.
She tipped her head to the side, pondering my brilliance..
"Yeah! So if the third wipe is clean, then my bottom will be clean." She repeated.
"And if it isn’t, then just keep going until one comes clean. Do you think you could try that?"
"Yeah." she said, smiling. Then hunching her shoulders, she added, "Maybe?"
My child is super smart. She performs way above her grade level at school, but many things most children learn intuitively escape her. Once properly explained, she usually "get's it" quickly. It's just a matter of figuring out what needs spelling out and how exactly to spell it.