The Pocky Bribe

The Munchkin is doing very well in her potty training. The last two days, she has used the potty twice each day! It is a big improvement for her!

I just think I’ve found a better bribe.

I used to simply offer her animal crackers (under the guise of calling them a “cookie”). It clearly wasn’t enough. Then I tapped into my Japanese side and called upon the ancient wisdom of the ages… and offered my two-year-old Pocky.

Pocky is one of those things that you never outgrow. It was a wonderful part of my childhood, introduced to my siblings and myself by our Japanese-American grandparents. It came in (at the time) chocolate and strawberry flavors. It was a sweet little treat – just sweet enough to make us want more, yet not so loaded with sugar that our parents felt guilty about letting us eat it. Nowadays, it comes in tons of flavors (I tried cantaloupe Pocky while I was in Japan that a friend brought back from her trip to Hokkaido – yuck yuck yuck! I hate cantaloupe to start with, but I couldn’t say no), but chocolate is still the most popular. They even sell it at local grocery stores here – when I can’t get to Uwajimaya, I can get it at Albertsons’.

It has become the perfect treat/bribe for the Munchkin. First of all, it’s an easy name for her to say. Secondly, it’s just sweet enough for her to want more. And lastly, it’s a small treat – one stick is all she gets – that it’s gone quickly before she can make a mess.

The Munchkin has mastered enough control that she can pee when she wants to. It’s just a question of her “wanting” to enough. The promise of a stick of Pocky has become a powerful lure to her. Our conversations go something like this:
Me: Munchkin, let’s go potty, okay?
The Munchkin: No, I dry, Mommy!
Me: If you go potty, you can get a Pocky.
The Munchkin: Okay, sure! I wan’ Pocky!
Me: You have to pee in the potty, though.
The Munchkin: Okay, Mommy.
(I place her on the potty. A look of intense concentration goes across her face. I hear a small tinkle.)
The Munchkin: Mommy, I did it, I did it! (claps for herself)
(more tinkles)
The Munchkin: I did it! (claps again)
(more tinkles)
The Munchkin: Mommy, I did it! I all done, Mommy. I press button?
(I wipe her up, she “presses the button” [flushes the toilet], and we wash her hands)
Me: I’m so proud of you, Munchkin!
The Munchkin: Mommy, I wan’ Pocky.

As you can see, her eyes are on the prize. Yesterday after using the potty, she got so distracted by the TV (and the fact that the Brain and Head were over playing with her), that she temporarily forgot about her reward. However, she has a mind like a steel trap, that one. When I next reminded the Brain to use the potty (so to avoid an accident), she cornered me. “Mommy, I wan’ Pocky.”

I tried to feign ignorance. “Do you need to use the potty? You have to go potty to get a Pocky.”

She was not fooled. She took me by the hand and pulled me into the kitchen, and pointed to the cupboard where the Pocky is kept. “Mommy, I wan’ Pocky.” Her meaning was clear: I earned it, lady – cough it up. I gave her a Pocky stick and balance was restored to the universe.

She is quite aware of the stakes and how to play this game now. I asked her during Sesame Street yesterday if she needed to go potty. She brushed me off with her “no, I dry” automatic response. As soon as Sesame Street was over, she turned to me. “Mommy, I go potty and get Pocky?”

How quickly they learn.

And I found this quiz! I love milk candy, so I guess this is no surprise.

You Are Milk Pocky

Your attitude: caring and charming
Smooth and silky… invigorating and natural.
You are like comfort food for the soul.

5 Responses to “The Pocky Bribe”

  1. Laurie
    March 23rd, 2006 10:20

    You Are Strawberry Pocky

    Your attitude: fresh and sweet
    Comforting, yet quirky … quietly hyper
    You always see both sides to everything

    What Flavor Pocky Are You?

  2. Laurie
    March 23rd, 2006 10:21

    pretty funny how much of the above is true about me, especially the waffling part.

  3. Ben
    March 23rd, 2006 21:56

    You Are Chocolat Orange Pocky
    Your attitude: funky and flavorful
    Rich and deep – yet zingy and zesty
    You are the perfect partner in crime

  4. Juliet
    March 24th, 2006 16:55

    You Are Green Tea Pocky
    Your attitude: natural and zen
    Peaceful yet full of life. Deep and thoughtful.
    You’re halfway to tantric bliss!

  5. Deanna’s Corner » Blog Archive » Logic from a three-year-old
    January 25th, 2007 10:12

    […] But I’ve begun to give her a treat every now and then to reward her for a dry bed. We used to do this when she was initially potty training, and it was pretty effective. And clearly, she remembers the drill. […]