I am not especially proud of the nickname I have in my neighborhood as The Potty Training Nazi, nor am I particularly embarrassed of it either. I potty trained my three older children all by age two and the method I used was basically: Potty Train or Move Out. I did not use any fancy methods of sticker charts, candy, or bribery. I potty trained my kids as I imagine my own mother potty trained me (or did not potty train me - which is a whole other blog post). I used good old fashioned "Pee and Poop Are Nasty And Go in the Potty." Along with some good 'ole public humiliation and shaming in there for good measure.
I abhor poopy diapers. Of all the jobs I have done as a mother of four changing poopy diapers is the one I hate the most. (And - mind you - I hate me some vomit.) There is just enough time to get pregnant and have a baby in between my older three, so getting them all potty trained was in the interest of my sanity as well (and the budget since a case of diapers costs close to 10 pounds of ground beef - and seriously, which would you rather have???). So, basically this equation all equaled three kids that potty trained fairly early and relatively easily (except for my oldest daughter - but, again this is another blog post for a later date).
So, you can imagine my amazement of where I ended up yesterday - in my bathroom encouraging my two-year old to pee in her princess throne so that it would sing to her. Now, I am no dummy. It only took me about one year to realize that this fourth child would be infinitely different from the other three. She would eat hot dogs at six months, peanut butter at two (months), watch TV as a babysitter, never be on a schedule (schedule - what's that???), eat chips from the bag (and not the individual size bag), have a cavity at an early age due to the wild consumption of candy, and basically not ever, ever want to use the potty. It makes sense to me now that by the time the fourth child comes along the mom and the dad are flat-out worn down and could care less about some of the values they had previously held high. Even knowing all this, I never imagined I would be at Target considering buying a SINGING PRINCESS (did I say - I hate princesses, too?) potty.
But, there I was. And, it went something like this:
Me to baby's daddy (or "baby daddy" as she likes to call him) - What do you think? (In front of the array of potty training tools.)
Baby Daddy - Just buy the cheapest potty with the least paraphernalia.
Me - Okay.
Baby - I want that one.
Me - Which one?
Baby - The princess one.
Me - (I hadn't quite seen the princess one, but once she pointed it out I made the mistake of pushing the button that says, "Push This Button." It then sang a Royal Princess Song which is the same song it will sing when "your baby pees or poops in the potty!") Oh, that's cute. (Thinking - blech. I hate princesses.)
Baby - I WANT THE PRINCESS POTTY.
Baby Daddy - Do you want the Frog Potty, baby? It's only $9.00 and the Princess Potty is $20.99. And I just wrecked the family van, so we have NO MONEY.
Baby - No, daddy. I WANT THE PRINCESS POTTY. I don't like frogs.
Me - How about this potty. It's...........a..............potty and it's only $14.99?
Baby - No, I want the PRINCESS POTTY. (Then her eyes move over to a Cars Potty that is $29.99.) Um, daddy, I want the Cars Potty.
Baby Daddy - No. Cars are for boys. HOW 'BOUT THE PRINCESS POTTY???
Baby - Yes! I want the Princess Potty!!!
Baby Daddy and me in unison as we sling it into the cart - Princess Potty it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, that is how I ended up yesterday for a good part of the day (oh, except when baby pooped in the neighbor's front yard) encouraging baby to pee and poop in her princess potty so we could all hear it sing. AND, I am even more shocked and appalled to admit that I like the Princess Singing potty. It is entertaining at worst and bribery at its best. Baby loves it. I can't say that she is any closer to potty trained today, but she does love the potty.
And, that is also how we ended up where we are right now as I type. Me blogging, my four kids all sitting in front of the tube and baby sitting on her throne (after peeing a LOT in her diaper) right in front of the TV eating candy right out of the bag. The descent of fourth child parenting is on-going and rapid my friends and I admit I can do little to stop it. ;o)