Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Wanted: Potty Training Strategies

I am in desperate need of potty training ideas. Every time we get excited that Hayden is officially potty trained, he reverts back to babyhood and starts with the so-called "accidents". I honestly believe that it is more of a cost/benefit decision than him not knowing his body..."If I go potty now, I will have to set down Buzz Lightyear for 20 seconds...if I go in my pants, I can continue playing." We have used every strategy in the book, and he out-smarts us every time.

Plan A: Bribery
Our original strategy back in October was bribery. "If you TT, you can have an M&M." Can anyone other than Hayden get seven M&M's in a matter of 2 minutes. Since he found the loop hole, I let him see how long he could drag it out. I finally put a stop to it after seven round trips between the bathroom and the bag of M&M’s. We still used M&M's for the next couple of months, but the rule change to one per full bladder, not one per drip. He only liked the brown M&M’s and we never could convince him that they all taste the same. Once we ran out of brown, it was never the same.

Plan B: Cool Underwear
Next we used the cool underwear technique. That was around Christmas time, and Santa brought him every cartoon character underwear under the sun...Buzz, Mr. Incredible, Spiderman, Chicken Little, Curious George, Madagascar. You name it, we had it. "You don't want to get Mr. Incredible dirty, do you?". This technique didn't work because he seemed to like changing underwear, and I think he had a goal to wear every super-hero in one day. I don't remember Plan C, D, E, F, G, or H, but I know they didn't work....for longer than a couple of weeks anyway.

Plan I: Scarlet Letter
Last weekend, I tried Plan I. I will call it the scarlet letter technique. "If you TT in your pants, you will have to wear the "bad boy pants". The "bad boy pants" are ugly red pants that he acquired from school sometime when he had more accidents than I packed him clothes. Over the course of last weekend, he had to wear them 2 or 3 times. At first, the idea was brilliant! He hated the bad boy pants. Everyone would know he had an accident. When he would refuse to go to the bathroom, the mere threat of the bad boy pants would suddenly change his mind. But by Sunday afternoon, he seemed to have no qualms about wearing them. "I had an accident Mommy. Here are the bad boy pants." He may be bluffing us, or he may have figured out that the “bad boy pants” are not really that bad after all. Regardless, I need to outsmart this 2 year old. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

I may have been a difficult, head-strong, one-track child....but c'mon, enough punishment already! Even Mimi agrees, I definitely met my match in Hayden.

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