Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pee Pee Candy Negotiations

My mom is excellent at potty training kids.  She (and if I remember correctly, her sister) had a simple but effective reward system: 1 Skittle per pee pee deposit.  Yes, you read that correctly: ONE Skittle.  That's it. 

Mom used the system with us, with the kids she babysat for a living, and with her other eight grandchildren.  Today, you can find a jar of Pee Pee Candy on a top shelf of one of her cupboards.  Her youngest child is twenty-nine.  Our brother is reprimanded for swiping a handful.  "Just one!" she'll scold.  He's argued that the candies are for all the deposits since his last visit, but Mom isn't going for that. 

I think G is finally ready to potty train.  He's peed on the potty in the past, but now I'm ready to commit to the training.  He complains each morning that he peed in his big boy bed, and on his socks, and anything else he's wearing, even though his diaper hasn't leaked.  I take this discomfort as readiness to go on the potty.  I also am sick of buying diapers. 

So, yesterday I showed G the Skittles

"Look, Buddy!"

"Candy?"  G loves candy. 

"Yes!  If you pee pee on the potty, you can have one!"

He ran right to his potty chair, which he calls his bucket.  He flung open the top, gasped, and announced, "I get a candy!  I pee pee!"

We were going to need some clarification.

"No, Pal.  If you pee pee in the bucket, you can have one."

"There pee pee in my bucket." 

I looked.  There was a water spot from when I rinsed it the last time he'd peed--three months ago. 

"No, G.  That's old.  You have to pee pee now to get a candy now."

Later, he did pee in the bucket.  "Yay!  I get candies!"

"No, Bud.  You get one candy."

"No, I want much."

"No, G.  You get one.  Which color would you like?"  See the wisdom there?  By getting him to commit to one color, the kid gets one piece of candy, argument-free. 

"Orange."  Ha, I won.  "Put them in a bowl please," he requested sweetly.  I think he was hip to my "wisdom".  You see, when he's gotten Halloween and Easter candy, I put them in a bowl so the doesn't have to wrestle a wrapper.  Them.  Plural. 

"OK."  The trick to avoiding a fruitless argument with an unreasonable party is to remain calm. 
He accepted the bowl, ate the candy, and immediately returned to his bucket.  I honestly worried that he might give himself a hernia eeking out another three drops. 

"I did it!  I get a one-a-one [another one]."

I dropped another Skittle in his bowl.  Hey, the kid was building muscle control. 

When he peed this afternoon, he requested his bowl.  He received it, as pictured above.  No arguments, no fits.  Then, this evening, just before we brushed his teeth, he made another deposit.  I grabbed a green Skittle and he opened his mouth for it, like a little baby bird. 

Now, I am not going to foolishly declare victory.  No, that is what G wants.  He wants me to let my guard down, til he can con me into much Skittles at a time with his sweet "passive" ways.  I'm still on defense, calmly considering my responses before I make them. 

I truly annoys the piss out of me.

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