Over the Blizzard Weekend, we made the decision to start potty-training. We had purchased the potty, and since we had nothing else to do, it was all hey, why not?
We aren’t using any special method, or formula, or book. We are using the old “keep sitting them on the potty at regular intervals and act like its a big deal if they pee,” method. Also, my daughter is a little young, so I also don’t want to stress her out. I have all these Freudian nightmares in the back of my mind. But I digress.
It has been going pretty well. We camp out on the potty. We often pee. We use the iPad to relax and entertain ourselves. I think I have seen every cat video on YouTube. This one is particularly effective, as it shows a cat USING the potty! When there is success, we clap, cheer, high five. As my daughter says now, when she looks into the potty, “Proud!”
However, I am always one to push the envelope. She wasn’t asking to use the potty, and that is where success really lies in this whole endeavor. So I think to myself, maybe I can sweeten the deal. Who doesn’t like an incentive? Toddlers love incentives! All the books say so. And I had a bag of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips. A chocolate chip is the perfect size for a toddler!
(Just a side note-I don’t really do incentives. I will probably go into why in detail another time. The short story is, you should do what is right just because. But peeing isn’t a moral or behavior issue. So I wavered.)
So she pees in the potty. And I tell her, “You pee peed in the potty! Mommy so proud! When you go pee pee in the potty, you get CHOCOLATE!” I hand her the chocolate chip.
Keep in mind my child eats a 90% Mom Food Nazi health food diet. When she asks for “cake” she means a salt free organic rice cake.
She puts that little chip in her mouth. I swear, she heard a choir of angels so loud, I found them deafening. I think a little taste revolution took place on that tongue. “Mmmmmm!” she shrieks, “CHOCOLATE!”
She finishes eating it. “Mamma. More chocolate?” she takes my hand and leads me to the cabinet.
“No more chocolate. Only when you go pee pee. Go pee pee, get chocolate.”
MAMMA, MORE CHOCOLATE!
Guys, I was in serious trouble. This was totally not what I had in mind. As you can imagine, “No,” did not go well.
Ten minutes of crying later, all I could think of was, “Epic Mom Fail. Worst decision yet.”
And secretly, in the back of my head, “Demanding more high quality semisweet chocolate? THAT’S Mamma’s girl!”
Maybe we aren’t asking to use the potty yet, but Mamma’s still proud.