Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As parents, we all do things that are a little embarrassing: singing "Found a Peanut" in public, hauling a rage-filled toddler out of the grocery store, or unknowingly walking around the mall with spit-up all over one's sweater.

The epitome of debasement has to be what I did this morning: I decorated one of our bathrooms, the one all of our guests use, to look like a pirate paradise.  Why?  Because I love to fritter away my free time with crafty projects?  Because I love Johnny Depp?  Nay, my friends.  I did it to try to entice Dallas to go on the potty.  When I picked the kids up from school today, I told them that pirates had visited our house and decorated the bathroom because they wanted Dallas to start using the potty.  There was skepticism from both of my offspring.  Maybe telling them pirates had been in our house was not the best way to start.  When they saw the bathroom, I held my breath in anticipation of their reactions.  I should have gone ahead and breathed as I was met with complete silence.  

Dallas takes a while to warm up to new things, so I held on to the hope that he would eventually come around and enjoy the new pirate lair.  Instead, he spent the rest of the afternoon using any stick-like object he could find to knock down all of the decorations that the pirates had put up.  Sigh.

After dinner, Dallas was getting wiggly, so I asked him if he needed to potty.  Surprisingly, he agreed.  We both went into the bathroom, and I showed him the "treasure chest" the pirates had also left for him.  Any time he used the potty, he could pick from the treasure chest.  It was filled with lots of junk awesome stuff like gold doubloons, stickers, temporary tattoos, little pirate figures, eye patches, and pirate masks.  (There is also a treasure chest filled with bigger and better prizes for when Dallas decides to attempt "the big one" in the potty.  He doesn't know about that yet; I'm not completely loony.)  Dallas saw the booty, sat down, and did his business on the potty.  He picked out a pirate figure, and all was right with the world.  That lasted about six seconds.  You see, my kid is smart.  In those six seconds, he figured out that he could squeeze out some more and get another toy.  Which is exactly what he did.  Four times in a row.  

In the meantime, Lottie, who is also a smart cookie, decided that something was amiss chez Wells.  She already knew how to use the potty, and she wasn't getting bupkis.  She cried to me, she cried to Trevor, and she came back crying to me claiming that she felt cheated: her exact words.  Double sigh.  I gave both kids two Skittles, another subset of the potty bribery, because sometimes I find it necessary to live by the motto: "Whatever it takes."  

All in all, it wasn't a bad start to the "Please-potty-train-or-it's-going-to-be-a-looooooooong-summer" day.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  


  1. hmmmmmm,I remember a little princess that would sit with her feet resting on a little bench, on the BIG potty. A TV tray in front of her & her big brother fetching books, toys & coloring books. Anything she wanted or needed.
    Time went slowly....we only had 1 bathroom.
    Good Luck----

  2. You are such an awesome mom. The pirate bathroom is a really creative idea. How's it working? Have you seen any progress?

    (ps: I'd love to see a picture of the pirate bathroom!)