What a toddler wants: Elmo panties

Yesterday was a big day – the Munchkin finally pooped in the potty again (after an almost two-week refusal to do so)! I think I just caught her at the right time.

We’re attempting to introduce some new techniques into our potty training. The Munchkin has become quite complacent about getting a sticker for her tally sheet and a stick of Pocky as a reward. While she demands these things if we forget to give them to her after a successful potty run, they are not really a sufficient enough bribe to convince her to use the potty. And it simply wasn’t worth the fight to make her use it when she didn’t want to. As a result, when she says she needs to use the potty, she means it (unless she’s trying to get out of bed at bedtime), but there are many, many times that she is too busy or distracted and forgets to stop and ask for the potty.

So, I’m now trying at regular intervals, or after a lot of liquids have gone into her little body, to ask her if she needs to go. Usually she says no, but then I insist that she try. This usually happens right before naptime, bedtime, before we leave the house, or before she starts an activity that would distract her – like watching a movie or playing outside. I tell her that “the potty is waiting for you,” and if that doesn’t work, then she can’t watch the movie/go outside/get a bedtime story until she does try. Because when she does try, she always goes. Without fail. I think there has been only once (and this was a while ago) where I could tell she was really trying and nothing was happening. I did praise her for trying when that happened, and didn’t make her keep trying. But usually, we get her on the toilet and almost instantly, she’s going.

Yesterday, she asked for the potty just as we were getting into the minivan after lunch at Obachan’s. I rolled my eyes, but we marched back in (I had just buckled Baby Boy in, so Obachan stayed with him while I took the Munchkin) and as she was peeing, she exclaimed, “Mommy, I need to go poopy!” And she did, much to my amazement. I cleaned her up and told her how proud I was, and once we got home and she was up from her nap, I decided that she needed some extra encouragement to keep her going with the potty training.

Enter the Elmo panties.

To say that she was thrilled would be an understatement. She was over the moon, looking at them and getting to pick one out (of the pack of 3) to wear. She was just so excited about getting to wear these big-girl panties that had one of her favorite characters on them.

And then we warned her: “Elmo does not like to get wet or poopy. So you have to remember to tell Mommy or Daddy when you need to go potty, so Elmo doesn’t get wet, okay?”

She blithely agreed, and went off to play.

Two hours later, she came out from her room, where she had been playing with her dollhouse. “Mommy, Elmo poopy,” she said solemnly. The Webmaster checked her. Yup, Elmo was filled with poop.

So, we cleaned her up and she had to go back to wearing her training pants. I’ve decided that she gets a panty ration of one per day, and then she has to wear training pants if she has an accident. Because we can’t go back. Pull-ups are only for when we are out of the house or at nap/bedtime – she is more aware of herself when there isn’t that safety net there for her. Home is her training ground, and while I know that I will pay for it in laundry, this is what we need to do to make her recognize the signals her body is giving her.

In the meantime, if anyone knows of a good way to get kids to poop in the toilet, I am open to suggestions. Elmo panties can only hold so much, you know.

One Response to “What a toddler wants: Elmo panties”

  1. Dozeymagz
    July 29th, 2006 11:02

    It took several attempts over a good few months to eventually get Mophead totally potty trained. She was over three until she was fully trained – they sort of grow into it and every little one is different. Our friend’s little boy was only about 18 months or so (I can’t recall exactly how old he was) when he became potty trained. I guess you just try to get them used to the idea, then when they are ready they’ll do just fine. Mind you, after all this training, you start to wonder why – nappies are SO much more convenient! Munchkin is a little star so far! Tell her that Mophead & Dustbunny are very proud of her!