After reading mom2twinboys blog on diapers, the post traumatic stress of having two kids under 2 in diapers came flooding back.
But don’t worry, I went and cuddled with the Burberry knock-off purse — the one I rewarded myself with in celebration of not having to use a diaper bag as a purse anymore all those years ago — and I’m okay now.
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Here is my story as the resident Potty Training Master Supreme in my circle of influence (okay, friends and family). A title earned because my son was fully potty trained – even through the night – at twenty-two months (my daughter about the same age too).
Friends were jealous. Family was impressed. Everyone wanted to know my secret.
The question was did I go for the Mother of the Year fabrication or did I cop to my dirty little secret?
Ah, heck. Who cares how I did it! The kid was practically washing his own underwear at two!
“Tell us! Tell us!” they would beg, frustrated with their own futile efforts.
“Bribery,” I confidently admitted for all to hear.
“But I’ve tried that,” my friends would concede. And I would hear all about the M&M jar in the bathroom. The bag of suckers waiting for successful peepee in the potty. Promises of unlimited Elmo watching for number two in the loo.
“No,” I instructed in my best Zen Master voice. “You must get to the root of what drives your child. What makes them tick? What do they truly covet over all else? What will they do anything for not just once, but on a regular basis? And when you have discovered what drives their little one track minds…”
The moms crowded closer, leaning in, hanging on my every word. I had earned their respect as Master Potty Trainer Supreme.
“You have to follow through with it no matter how many times you have to drive to Toys R Us and spend over an hour getting down each bike for your son try out in the bike section.”
“Is that what you did?” Someone asked incredulously.
Squaring my shoulders, looking each of them in the eye I admitted, “Yes. Yes, I did.”
“For how long?”
And like a general who has earned their stripes I let out a long sigh. “Two weeks. Two long weeks of checking for dry and clean underwear. Clearing the calendar of all planned events to head back to the trenches of Toys R Us. Bringing enough formula, drinks and snacks to keep him and his infant baby sister content. Dragging myself off to the toy store again and again, when I just wanted to relax and read my People magazine.”
“But didn’t he throw a fit when it was time to leave?” The crowd was still amazed.
“Ah, but it wasn’t the toys that made him tick. It was the bikes. It didn’t matter that he had one at home. His favorite thing to do was trying out the pretty new bikes with training wheels at the store. The best selection just happened to be a Toys R Us.”
As looks of skepticism crept up and before I lost the faith of my followers I proclaimed, “There is no shame in bribery! Forget what your mother’s have taught you! For heaven’s sake we buy salad in a bag now!”
There was a murmuring rising through the group. I had to go for the clincher to secure my crown as Potty Training Master Supreme.
I pointed at Michelle. “You! Ashlinn loves babies right? Michelle nodded. “Promise her you’ll take her over your sister-in-law Kathy’s to hold the new baby every day if she keeps her chonnies dry. Bring Kathy chocolate so she’ll let you.”
I pointed next at Jen. “Meghan loves books. Tell her you’ll take her to the book store every time she wakes up from naptime with a dry diaper. You’ll have to miss Oprah, but you can TiVo it.”
I looked at Kim. “Hannah can never get enough Pirate’s Booty. Let her have it with breakfast, lunch and dinner if she’ll keep those Hello Kitty underwear dry. She has the rest of her life for healthy meals.”
Faces lit up with hope. Cheers of appreciation were shouted out. I thought they were going to carry me around the park on their shoulders.
Surprisingly, I felt very little guilt for bringing my friends down to my level of parenting through bribery.
As I waved good-bye and led my son away hand in hand I whispered to him, “We can go to Baskin-Robbins if you promise not to tell Mommy’s friends that Mommy wasn’t potty trained until she was four.”