Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On the Pot

The time has come for Zoe's potty training. I wait to potty train my kids until 1) their diapers can't hold it all anymore, and 2) they are susceptible to bribes. Zoe cleared both requirements 1 and 2 recently, and I've been amazed at how quickly she went from "NO. POTTY." shouting to willing and obedient potty-pants.

Not to say there wasn't a war in her spirit. The first few days, I would sweetly offer "Do you want to come go potty with Mommy? I have chocolate chips for you!" and then set a clear class jar with chocolate chips right at eye level in front of her on the counter.
Pause. "No potty."
Long, long pause. Much looking with large, desirous eyes at the chocolate.
She points at the chocolate chips. "I wan'."
I chirpily reply, "Then sit on your potty and I'll give you one!" (Everything about potty time is chirpy and cheerful.)
Frowns. "No."
A minute later, she points again.
"I wan'! I wan'!"
"Then just sit down right here and we'll read a book and eat chocolate chips together!"
"No wan' sit."
"That's fine, sweetheart, you don't have to unless you want to."
"I WAN' I WAN' I WAN!" she shouts, stomping her darling little pink girl feet and waving her hand emphatically at the jar.
"All right! Then sit on your potty!"
She frowns at me and sulkily gives in. "All right. I sit."
Turns out that eating chocolate chips and reading books with Mom is pretty fun, though, and after only a day or two of my friendly offer she figured it out. Then we were on to the next stage of training.

Now that she's figured out that the chocolate flows readily once she's on the pot, now she doesn't want to get off. I distinctly remember this same phase with Jed. I will say, this gets boring really fast. REALLY fast. My bathroom is very small and not very pleasant to spend time in (Though, I might add, very clean.) (In case you were wondering.) So here's where the brilliance shared by my dear friend Jean comes into play. See, she brought me to the light when she explained that mom doesn't even have to do any potty training once you're past your first child. The key is to have the big sibling do it. The house rule is, when Zoe sits on the potty, anyone else helping her get or stay on the potty ALSO gets a treat. Now, those who know Jed know that he takes after his daddy and he will do virtually anything to obtain chocolate. So, guess who's doing the potty training now?
Yep! As long as Jed sits there and reads Zoe books and sings her songs to keep her happy, I provide occasional chocolate chip rewards. It's pretty cute to stand outside the door and hear Jed "reading" books to her. (Imagine a raspy, sing-songy boy falsetto singing again and again "In the bathtub, out of the bathtub, in the bathtub, out of the bathtub! Look, Zoe, there's a bear!") I can get some housework done, only occasionally punctuated by Zoe's shouts for "Mo-uh! Mo-uh!"

And before you know it, she's got it! As long as her cute little bum is naked, I'd say she's having about 85% success right now. Yesterday, she woke up dry, and she managed mostly success with only one small accident (she made it to the bathroom but I'd put some shorts on her and she didn't get them off in time) all the way until nap time at 1 PM.
Go Zoe Ann! Jed is excited because if she keeps it up for a week I promised that we could to get her some big girl panties, which I think is totally uninteresting to her but Jed is so excited about it he dances in place just thinking about it. "Zoe Ann's a BIG girl!" he crowed. And I suppose it's true.

1 comment:

Ra-call-dee... said...

Thats awesome! I need to use some of your techniques! My little one is afraid of the toilet! I don't want to push and traumatize her! But maybe I will use chocolate chips! She loves them!! We love being in Costa Mesa. Its crazy to be back after all these years!