I’m not exaggerating – I’m pretty sure we have spent as much time this past month TALKING about poop (or, “poopy” as we like to say) than anyone reading this blog has spent actually pooping on the potty. Because that’s how all grown-ups describe it, right? You need to “poopy on the potty?”
Paige has been potty-trained for a year now. Peeing on the potty is old hat, and we rarely have accidents anymore. Unless she’s too busy doing something to go to the bathroom (could you imagine if adults did this? Oops – I peed my pants, but I was just too into this conference call to realize I had to go!).
Pooping on the potty? Another story entirely. She HAS poopied on the potty before, but each time a new day rolls around, Alzheimer’s sets in and she thinks she’s scared again. Of what? Well, we get a litany of excuses. Sometimes snakes live in our potty. Sometimes she’s scared it will hurt her tummy. Sometimes she looks me right in the eye and tells me “I just like pooping in my diaper. Okay, Mommy?”
Challenge accepted, my friend.
We have tried bribery. M&Ms have graduated to mini-peanut butter cups to a FREAKING sand table she can only play with after she poops in the potty. I even convinced her that while she sleeps Mommy and Daddy go out and play with her sandbox because, hey, we both decided to poopy in the potty that day. (As opposed to our pants? I don’t know – she hasn’t logically thought through my argument. Yet.) Her response to me? “Well, maybe I don’t need a sandbox, Mommy.” So she longingly stares at it when we play outside, but she has become fine with the fact that old sandbox will keep collecting dust.
After a few weeks of this, I may or may not have snapped. I may or may not have put a screaming Paige down for a nap in her panties. And I may or may not have told her that if she won’t poopy in the potty, she can poopy in her bed. And I may or may not have told her she would have to clean it up (because, let’s face it. I’m SO sick of touching her poopy!!!). Yep. She went to bed hysterical. I sat on the couch feeling guilty. Then I went in and put a diaper on her and read her an extra book.
Paige -2, Mommy – 0
Then I had an idea. One morning we were
watching TV reading lots of educational books, and we saw a commercial picture of a little girl using the potty with a cape on. I asked Paige if she liked that cape. She replied that she did indeed like that cape. In moderately disturbing haste, I concocted a lie story about a Pooping Princess. She brings capes to all the little girls who are scared to poopy on the potty. She leaves them under their pillow at night, and then the little girls can wear them to feel brave. Mommy had one when she was little (no, I didn’t), and so did all the other Mommies (no, you didn’t). She seemed interested.
I quickly texted Nani and told her I needed a cape, ASAP. Nani immediately texted back “What kind of cape?” (Which, incidentally, is why we love Nani so much. She did not question WHY I needed a cape, or why I was texting her about it at 6:30 in the morning. Only what kind of cape I was in the market for.) “A pooping cape.” I replied. And so it begins.
So far, so good. The pooping cape appeared, and while each day I have two 40 minute fights about getting Paige to poopy on the potty, we have gotten … um, results.
Let’s hope this trend continues, because, let’s be honest. Changing a 3 1/2 year-old’s poopy diapers is disgusting.