Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Path To The Promised Land

Everybody poops. The part they conveniently leave out of that title is that cleaning it up sucks so very much. As some sort of karmic levelling, those wonderful little bundles of joy subject me to cleaning the sorts of messes that would make a coroner gag. And that's just any average number two. It doesn't even take into consideration diaper failures, bath time mishaps, bouts of diarrhea, or mid-diaper change explosive chest splatterings. That last one is funny as hell when it happens to someone else though. There is hope though.

The light at the end of the tunnel. The dream of dreams. The day you pray for from the first moment you get a whiff of a craptastrophe. The day you have a potty trained youngster. I can't overstate this. The day I there was one less stinky bottom I was going to need to clean was one of the greatest days ever. Imagine all the major holidays all rolled up into one, double it and subtract all the crap you have to clean up. It's that good.

Getting there is a pain in the ass though. Looking at it from a child's point of view I can understand the reluctance to use the potty. Here's some big weird device that looks like it has a mouth (thanks Disney for making kids believe all inanimate objects can come to life, it really helps). Now I'm supposed to expose my bottom to this mysterious monster? I don't think so. Besides, I'm not taking time out of my day to stop and do that. I've got walls to colour and electronic equipment to break. Honestly, if you took away the social stigma and the responsibility for cleaning up, who among us wouldn't be tempted to use a diaper?

Despite battling logic, reason, and those bastards at Disney I'm proud to claim success with my oldest in the world of potties. After finally convincing her the toilet was not going to eat her, I got her to try it. That lead to a period of trial and error. She tried to do business and I made the error of believing her when she said she had none. You have any idea how frustrating it is to have her drop a load in her diaper mere minutes after being on the potty? Good, I'd hate to be alone on that one. Next came minor successes and multiple setbacks. Thank goodness kids are pre-programmed to liking candy otherwise I'm not sure what I'd have used to bribe/positively reinforce her with. That's not true as evidenced by the closets, yep plural, full of princess shoes in my house.

Apparently, another good technique is to read the tell tale signs of when your kid has to go. My daughter's subtle hint was when she'd stand red-faced with her arm outstretched and said, "don't say I poop on the potty. Don't say that word to me." Damn it. Thankfully, this has now evolved into "I need to use the potty". I think the power of those words is an untapped resource. Forget steroid or HGH for Olympic sprinters. Just put their kid at the finish line saying those words. Mark my words, world records would fall. I don't have the data to back it up but I'm pretty sure I've run a sub 10 second 100 m to get to the nearest potty.

So now that I've got one potty trained child, it's time to work on the little one. Having her around during potty time is a big help and gives her a behaviour to model. A little reinforcement on my part and it should be a breeze. "You know your mom and I love you both equally. It doesn't matter to us if your sister uses the potty and you don't. However, I don't think Santa shares our viewpoint. You know he's got those naughty and nice lists so he's obviously pretty judgemental. I can only imagine using the potty is definitely worth a lot of points towards that nice list." Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

bribery does work. you and your sisters are proof of thatbia