Child Number Three has a brand new potty.
I confess, as a third-time mother, I am considerably more "lax" than most first, or even second-time mothers about potty training (and I gather that the new turn of phrase is "potty LEARNING"... God forbid we should liken our children to little animals. WHATEVER...) I confess, she is probably the only kid in her preschool class still totin' diapers.
But, it's spring. We're on the cusp of summer, actually, and what with the warmer temperatures and the fact that we're spending a good deal of time outside, I figured that it might be an opportune time to introduce the idea of "no more diapers". Let's face it, it's MUCH easier to put the potty out on the patio while I'm gardening and she's playing on the lawns, than it would be if I were to start this indoors, in the dead of winter... Accidents happen, people, and it's MUCH easier if they happen in the Great Outdoors, rather than on my livingroom sofa (yes, the same sofa I scraped a tube of bubblegum toothpaste off of just the other day).
Here's the problem, though. Unlike my other two girls, Child Number Three LIKES being "The Baby" of the family. She even claims that she LIKES her diapers. That's why I haven't pushed the potty thing up till now. I don't believe in pushing my kids in matters like this. The saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink". You CAN make him DROWN if you push him too hard, though, and what would be the point of that??!!
So. The potty thing is going very, very slowly at the moment.
Luckily, Child Number Three likes running around in the garden bare-bottomed MORE than she hates the idea of using her potty. So, we're getting SOMEWHERE, albeit at a snail's pace.
This is the point at which I figured the Maternal Bribery Technique would be useful.
Come on, admit it, we all bribe our kids to do stuff. Call it what you will: "Positive Reinforcement", "Rewards"... when it comes right down to it, it's just fancy-speak for bribing our kids to do what we want them to do. I certainly have no problem with it: The Technique Works.
We use Hershy's Chocolate Kisses.
Well, we WOULD use Hershey's Chocolate Kisses, if that little shrimp would just PRODUCE something I could reward her for... As it turns out, this child is the camel of our family. She must be storing all those fluids I pump into her for the great drought season ahead, because she has yet to perform much of ANYTHING on that potty, no matter how long she sits and reads books.
She really wants that chocolate, though... This morning, I caught her gazing wistfully up at the high cupboard where all the Bribes are kept. A little while later, I was sitting at my computer, and Child Number Three appeared at my elbow clutching her favourite baby doll.
Child Number Three: (proudly) Mummy!! Guess WHAT!!! Baby did a TINKLE!! In the BIG POTTY!! All by hersewf!!!
Mother: (slightly distracted by plummeting stock market reports she is trying to make sense of... and not succeeding) Really? Hmmmm... That's great, sweetheart.
Child Number Three: (earnestly) Mummy, Baby NEEDS a chock-lit KISS, cuz she tinkled like a big girl!!
Mother: (catching on) Ooooohhhh... You think so? But Baby is too little for chocolate, don't you think? And baby's mouth doesn't open, so how would she eat it?
Child Number Three: (magnanimously) I EAT IT FOR HER!!
Mother: Oh, but it doesn't work that way, kiddo. The kid that does the tinkle gets the chocolate! So YOU use your potty, and then YOU can have the chocolate kiss, okay?
Child Number Three: (running top-speed in the opposite direction) NOPE!! I not hungwy anymore!!!
I have great faith that I will NOT be sending this kid to University wearing diapers... but if that terrible day ever draws near, I MIGHT just have to up the bribe to a mustang convertible...