Tuesday, January 8, 2008

for m&m

i'm not even trying to potty train K and already it's spinning out of control.

it all started a while back when K decided he wanted to pee on his kiddy toilet before a bath. i thought this was fine and decided not to make a big deal out of it. he was happy, i wasn't stressing, it was a good setup.

until E remembered one day that he used to get a reward for doing his duties, so to speak.

E: "hey, mommy..... didn't i used to get, like, m & m's or something when i would go to the bathroom?"

(i will point out that the only way the child is even able to recall this memory is because he refused to stop shitting his pants until he was quite old. i believe to this day that when he finally did begin to do his deal in the toilet it was only because he had assessed the pros and cons of both options and had somehow found the toilet preferable, not that he was "trained" at all. )

K didn't need to hear this twice. "I GET AN M&M! I GET AN M&M!" and in an instant the "potty for reward" concept was re-introduced into my home.

i started out firm. one m&m for pee, two for a poop. no exceptions.

this worked for a while and K would head to the bathroom with a joyful call,


but he soon discovered that he could manipulate the process a bit. i noticed this one day as he sat to pee. he plopped himself down, squeaked out a few drops and quickly declared,


i assessed his results. it didn't seem like much, but who was i to tell a young child that his urine output wasn't sufficient to gain the chocolate reward? especially when those big blue eyes were staring so sweetly back at me.

so i handed over the candy, which he gobbled down. and then he headed right back to the toilet, sat down and pushed out a few more drops.

"I GET ANOTHER M&M FOR WEE WEE!!" he shrieked with glee.

i had been duped.

since then things have only gotten worse. "i get an m&m for wee wee," has become "i do a weewee for m&m," this might not seem that different to you, but to me it signifies a distinct change of focus. whereas previously the goal was the wee wee, the object now is clearly only to get the candy. i find this slightly disturbing.

but today in target was the all time low.

K had declared to the entire toy section that,"I HAVE A POOP COMING!" and had begun to make the poop face. i didn't have a diaper (of course) and thought this might be a good teaching moment. so i scooped him into my arms and ran directly to the restrooms where i plopped him on the toilet and waited for the imminent results.


K:"no poop, mommy"

me: "oh, that's okay, honey."

(quiet, muffled sounds in toilet)

K:"oh! i do a fart, mommy!"

me: "good, good job. maybe the poop will come later."

K: "no, no.. i do a fart for M&M!!"

i could hear the woman in the next stall giggling...


claire f.s. said...

This concept is highly intriguing to me. Do you think that it is appropriate for adults to implement the "m&m for wee wee" plan into their regime? Can I make substitutions on this plan? Perhaps the "meatball for wee wee" plan would be better suited to me - or maybe the "martini for wee wee" plan (if I am having a rough day). Interesting...

el said...

i agree! i think it's important to reward oneself for these kinds of things.

i'm off to do a wee wee. i think i will reward myself with a cookie and some diet coke.

Scott Ray Randall said...

If I got an M&M for farting I would be one fat f'ing bastard.

claire f.s. said...

I can vouch for that!

Baby Island said...

Awesome post! I was directed to your blog by a comment left on my blog.. Convoluted isn't it? But you might like our potty story, along the same lines as your.. Kids are evil..