The potty embargo ends!

As I’ve previously blogged about before, we have been trying to encourage the Munchkin in her use of the potty. Our bribe of choice is Pocky. However, in the last month, she has become downright obstinate about the whole thing, to the point of crying hysterically whenever I would put her on the potty. She just did NOT want to be there. At the advice of my mother, we called a halt to the training. It was escalating into a full-out war, which I didn’t want. And so the potty embargo began.

However, the Munchkin does have a good deal of bladder control. She will wake up dry from naps, and has been known to wake up dry in the morning. It became this kind of Japanese routine – she’d wake up dry, I would offer her the potty, she’d decline. Wash, rinse, repeat. Except that at the end, she wouldn’t gracefully give in because I was so insistent. She’s a two-year-old, after all, not an elderly Japanese lady that you’re trying to give your seat to on a bus in Tokyo.

Yesterday, though, I finally snapped through that wall of resistance. I had just changed both the kids’ diapers, and as I was rinsing out the Munchkin’s poopy diaper, I remembered that I needed to use the bathroom as well. I forget sometimes. I have lots of other things to distract me, you know! After tossing the diaper into the pail, I washed up and used the toilet. My audience was present, as usual. (Note to the Webmaster: for Mother’s Day, I would just like to use the bathroom by myself.) The Munchkin sat on the edge of the bathtub (where she makes me sit when she does use the potty), and cheered me on. “Good job, Mommy!” she said, applauding.

“Yes, Mommy is a big girl,” I replied. “Do you want to use the potty like a big girl?”


“Do you want Pocky?”


“Okay. Mommy is going to have a Pocky, because she went potty.”

I wish that I’d had a camera to record the look on her face. She was absolutely stunned. Her face said, “Wait a minute – you can’t do that – can you? But – but -”

What her mouth said was, “Mommy, I go potty.”

“Are you sure, Munchkin?”

“I go potty.”

So I got her diaper off her, put the seat on the toliet, and sat down to wait. Even though she had just had a very wet diaper, I knew that she had been drinking enough juice that she could go again, if she really focused. And she focused. Her expression was incredible. It said, “I WILL do this – even if it kills me – I want – that – Pocky -”

And she began to pee. She was so excited! I was thrilled. Once she was done, she got her diaper back on and her hands washed, and then she was rewarded with her Pocky. I got one, too. After all, I went potty!

I can’t promise that this reverse psychology will work tomorrow when I want her to try again. But for that moment, at least, I proved to myself that if she’s properly motivated, she can do it. Maybe she learned that she can choose to use it herself. Or maybe she just couldn’t stand the thought of not getting that Pocky stick.

You make the call. 🙂

3 Responses to “The potty embargo ends!”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    May 10th, 2006 08:38

    Oddball and I are voting for the Pocky.

  2. jen
    May 10th, 2006 12:44

    Hmmm…went through this with our little girl. Boys are definately easier to train.
    Ya know what we did with both Bubber and Little Pea?
    When they began to show an interest in the potty we would set a timer for an hour…and on each hour they would sit on the potty and just try. Once they started going pretty regularly on the hour mark…we then went down in time increments…until they could pretty much tell on their own when their body was telling them to go to the bathroom.
    We learned the technique from their caregiver who has run an in-home childcare for like 20-something years. It worked like a charm!
    I do have to say every kid is different though.
    Have fun…and just know the time will come when she is ready…

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