Olive is officially entering the world of bladder control.
(Too much information? Hey, if you don’t want to hear about this stuff, don’t read a blog about little kids!)
She has been going to the “potty” for several months now, but really, it has always been on her terms. Mostly she would go when trying to delay her bedtime (“if I sit on the potty I know I can get them to read me eight books before they finally pull me off and put me to bed”). But after a series of summer vacations and car trips where a potty-trained toddler would have been more of a hassle than a blessing, we decided to give this training thing a whirl. So one morning I sat her down and said, “Olive, if you go potty, I will give you a lollipop and you can wear big-girl pants with Dora on them instead of your diaper.”
“Sure, I can get you a purple lolli-pop.”
“OK. I use the potty.”
And she did use the potty (If there wasn’t a purple lolli-pop ,I think she would have filibustered and simply asked “why” for the next three hours). And then she did again in a couple hours. And again in a couple more hours. She was even requesting to go potty. Man, was this going smoother than expected.
But after a little while Olive, instead of thinking of the lolli-pop as a reward for using the potty when she felt like needing to go, thought of using the potty as something she needed to do in order to get the lolli-pop…which she wanted constantly.
At least twice a day, she would randomly jump up from whatever she was doing and declare. “I need to use potty.” And then look at me, hold her finger in the air and say, “I get lolli-pop after. Purple one!”
She then sat down on the potty, gritted her teeth and groaned until her face turned four different shades of red.
“I CAN’T DO IT!” She yelled through her locked jaw.
She even started to request big glasses of water to make herself pee so she could get a lolli-pop.
Uh-oh. This wasn’t good. I was going to give my two-year-old a hernia and/or create a life-long addiction to purple lolli-pops.
But she WAS going to the potty. She WASN’T wearing diapers. This whole lolli-pop bribery thing, for all its sugar-drenched faults, was working. Sure, it might give her early-onset diabetes, but really, the way things are going, by the time she goes to school approximately 98% of her classmates will be taking insulin. Don’t want her to feel left out.
Eventually, we managed to trim down the lolli-pop consumption by creating diversions (“You want a lolli-pop? Wait what’s that over there?”) and using a variety of parental white lies:
· “If you have too many today there won’t be any tomorrow.”
· “Another one will make you sick.”
· “Daddy lost the lolli-pops.”
· “Lolli-pops don’t taste good in the morning.”
· “Your face will freeze like that.”
· “Columbus discovered the Americas.”
Most of the time it works, but other times we just give in and give her the pop to keep the incentive going. Now it has been a couple weeks and she is almost completely trained. She rarely has accidents, and when she does, it is almost purposeful. Like when Leanne left her inside while she went to get something from the car. Olive wanted to go too. Mommy said no. Olive decides, fine, you leave me here. I’ll just piss on the floor. This bladder control thing works two ways.
So we continue to march slowly towards the land of expelling bodily waste on command. A milestone moment for a child and one more moment in parenthood when you sit back and say, “I don’t know how my life can get more ridiculous. Did I seriously just give my child a high-five for taking a poop?”