Sunday, January 15, 2012

Potty Persuasion

What she would prefer to do in the bathroom - get into my makeup.
How hard is it to potty train a toddler? It's a piece of cake, simple really. When I potty trained my first baby (who is now 3 months shy of his fourth birthday) I put the potty in front of him, told him to pee and poop in it, and reminded him that diapers are for baby's not big boys. He got it. He hasn't used a diaper since. Accidents are rare for him, and he enjoyed the freedom and all the praise he received for doing his jobbies in a potty. Potty training should be called potty direction. Give the kid some directions and watch how easy it all is. Let them take the reins. Let them lead the way.

So I put the potty in front of Edie. Told her to pee and poop in it, and reminded her that diapers are for baby's not big girls. She didn't get it. I had to remind her every hour on the hour to use the potty. I had to bribe, cajole, threaten, beg, and perform goofy songs and acts to get her to even sit on the potty.

Potty training is HARD. Who the hell thinks this is easy - a piece of cake? Potty training should be called potty torture. I can't let her take the reins, or lead the way, because then I get panties full of poop, puddles of pee her brothers slip in, laughter as she runs from the accident she just left on my couch! She loves the praise I give her when she goes on the potty, but on the other hand she laughs maniacally when she pees all over herself and I have to chase her to clean her up. She's evil.

After a month of potty training - I ran to the Internet.( I needed reassurance that I wouldn't be cleaning poop off her prom dress!) I found so many tips that I wasn't sure what to do first. So I decided to cater my training towards my daughter directly. Edie loves Dora, and candy. So Scott picked her up a toilet insert (so she can pee and poop on a TOILET like her hero - me - while sitting on her favourite cartoon character - Dora!) and then I began bribing her with candy. At first I wasn't sure if this would be such a great idea, candy bribing I mean. What kind of mother would that make me? I'll tell you the kind of mother -  apparently I am the mother who will resort to obesity causing tricks to get my children to do what I want them to.

But here's the kicker! She hasn't had an accident in almost a week! I haven't had to clean up pee or poop of my hardwood floors, or off her brothers who were unfortunate enough to come upon her accident. I don't have to count to ten quietly while I change her pants, again. And I don't have to dread the morning when I pull off her nighttime diaper while preparing for the inevitable destruction of her clothes and all the fabrics in my house.

She has finally decided that going to the toilet (although more time consuming then finding a nice corner to crap in) is worth it...because she gets candy. Now I just have to find a way to slowly wean her off the reward system...

Potty training and all it implies is a lie. Toddlers will use the toilet when they feel like it. It's the one thing they have power over. You can't "train" a kid. You can only try to persuade them with whatever tools you have at your disposal! In fact that's what Potty training should be renamed.

Potty Persuasion!

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