Friday, May 15, 2009

confessions of a potty pimp

"Just two squirts and plop and you can have Annie & Clarabel."

It's hard to believe it has come to this. I have truly reached a mommy low as I find myself pimping Thomas the tank engine & his friends in an attempt to get Little Dude to poop on the potty. Every night after bath, his potty chair gets filled with pee but it has yet to feel the warmth of his poo. During the day, his diaper would have to be hanging below his knees from the weight of his pee before he admits to needing his diaper changed. As for doing number 2, he prefers to squat under the breakfast table with his head down and both hands gripping his highchair.

The potty chart with its cute magnetic tokens that came with a book I bought months ago didn't so much as get an interested glance from Little Dude. Phhht. I get stickers when I grace Starbucks with my mere presence. Why go potty for silly magnets? his eyes seemed to challenge the chart.

So I modified the potty chart. Got Little Dude to pick out his favourite trains from a free catalogue. Cut the pictures out and glued them onto yellow paper. Drew circles for poops and squares for pee. Defined the terms for getting each train. Threw in a pee-only prize for encouragement. Got Little Dude to repeat the terms. And with an exuberant "Let's go potty!" from Little Dude, he was off to the washroom to make a rare daytime potty chair visit.

His pee hit the plastic with gusto, making a noise similar to that of a very localized torrential downpour. He even grunted a few times in an attempt to add poop to the slightly yellow pool already collected in the bowl. But no luck. He had already released his morning gift earlier.

We celebrated his daytime potty squirt. Little Dude took a moment to decide where he wanted to put the magnet which eventually found a home on one of the Annie & Clarabel squares. Then off he went to play with his train set, day-dreaming of the coming of new train friends.

That was about a week ago. Little Dude now (and not unlike pre-revised-potty-chart days) greets the suggestion of potty time with a firm "no". When I remind him about the potty chart, he may or may not be convinced to go. When he does sit on the P chair, it is only to pee. He also moved the first pee magnet out of the Annie & Clarabel section in order to reach the piddle quota for Henry (the pee-only prize). Little Dude is clearly disgruntled with each day's absence of his beloved Annie & Clarabel and, perhaps, the realization that he now has to poop at least once on the potty to be rewarded with more trains.

Last night after the Good Man put Little Dude to bed, I heard repeated screams of "I have to poop on the potty!" He sat. He grunted. He peed. And, I tucked him back into bed praising him for telling me that he had to go. I'm still undecided whether that was a bedtime stall tactic or a genuine attempt in letting lose that elusive plop on the potty.

I know I should be happy ... count my blessings, that sort of thing. Little Dude has made some progress. Total success doesn't happen overnight. Yada yada yada. But I can't seem to shake the thought of having turned my son into a potty whore. And if he is that, then I am his pimp driving him to exchange his bodily excretions for little wooden trains with hideous faces.

I still believe that he will get there when he is ready. I'm just cursing myself for starting something that I don't want to finish. Presenting Little Dude with Annie & Clarabel in the absence of a poop-filled potty seems like a step backwards. So I plod forward.

What compelled me to engage in potty bribery in the first place? I did it because changing messy poopy diapers is tedious, boring, stinky, disgusting, nauseating and, after 3 years, I've simply had enough of it. And, because it seemed like a good idea at the time.


  1. Heelariously written. Thorougly enjoyed -- from a safe distance, far from the ten-ton diapers of a three-year-old, of course.

  2. I am with you - nothing will convince the spud to poop on the pot, nothing at all. Not even chocolate!