24 October 2009
Operation Potty Traing: A Family Affair
I don't enjoy potty training.
It's one of my least favorite parenting tasks.
I don't enjoy changing diapers either really, but somehow, for me, potty training is worse than a gross, but speedy and predictable diaper change.
So Piper is two and has been talking about the potty for some time. Lately, she's even begun to request a new diaper post-poo. I guess those are the generally accepted signs that she's more ready than I am to start this messy, time-consuming journey.
I decided to adopt my husband's well known philosophy of not playing around. I immediately began employing a system that involves bribery and back up.
I explained the whole m&m scheme to Piper. One m&m for sitting on the potty. Three m&m's for peeing. Five m&m's for poop.
She was impressed. (What age do we stop being impressed with a tiny number of candy-coated chocolates as a reward?)
I wasted no time executing my next step.
I called in the reinforcements.
London, Mosely and Bergen gathered around me with serious expressions on their cute kid faces. I explained the system I had just told their toddler sister. And then I added the incentive. "Whichever of you helps Piper do these things, receives the same number of m&m's as well."
They cheered. (Seriously.)
And then, just to show their sense of team play, they actually gathered around Piper in a huddle sort of way, placed all of their small hands one on top of another, and whispered for a few seconds before saying in unison, "One, two three . . . go Keigleys!"
I think they had just formed their own game plan.
And I am pleased to report that one day in to Operation Potty Training Piper, the kids' team efforts have proven most effective.
With the enticement of m&m's, the kids have been taking Piper regularly to the potty and shouting with more excitement than imaginable over her success, and theirs too.
I could not resist photographing their work.
I only wish I could have recorded their conversations during the task at hand as well.
Words of encouragement from Mosely. "You can do it, Piper." "Good work." "I am so proud of you."
Bergen's claim to be master of the flushing responsibilities.
And London's announcement - "I will be in charge of looking at Piper's bum to see if anything is coming out!"
Posted by Lacey