Playground Uprising

Game Over
June 26, 2009, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Children, potty training, teaching, Uncategorized | Tags:


He’s two and a half. The economy’s downward spiral is not helped by our weekly purchase of diapers. AMVETS is now the proud owner of a pack and play. Our crib has gone down the road to a young woman who just had triplets (God bless her). We are moving into Big Boy territory and that terrain calls for underwear. It’s true. Ask anyone.

So – two weeks ago on an obligatory Target run I found myself spouting, “Charlie – how about we look at underwear. How cool would that be?” “NO” And so the story should have ended there. But in my mind I am thinking “GAME ON.”

Think….. think … “Charlie – I bet if you went potty I could spot you a M&M.” Never mind that just last night I shared with my graduate students the perils of extrinsic rewards.

The red head is not impressed. “NO.” Hmmmm, Hmmmmm – “Well the economy is slowly coming around – I bet I could score you a whole bag.” “NO.”

He looks at me with a “this woman is obviously not riding my wave so let me break it down for her” kinda look.

“Mom, I wear diapers. I am not wearing underwear. No. No. No. No” (Now close your eyes and imagine the red head stomping with hands on his hips and a noncompliance eye). All children have gifts. Mine is extremely verbal and he never loses an occasion to use it against me.

“Greg – he is not ready. We cannot rush these things.” I say over dinner using my calm educator’s voice, but inside I know that I am a “my schedule kinda girl” and whooooo hooooo we are jumping on the underwear train.

Later that night Charlie and I pick out several books and climb into bed. We have the terrible trio – Wheels on the Bus, Machines at Work, and Big & Little. He has meticulously picked each book out with an anticipatory grin that says “yes I know I pick these same books out every night, and yes I will continue to have you read them to me though the year 2011 – which by my calculations is the precise year I will entertain wearing underwear and at a minimum it is going to cost you a crate of M&Ms.”

Well Little Mama had some trick of her own – and as we closed the cover to the last book – I pulled one last treasure from under the bed. POTTY TIME. “No, no, no, mama I DO NOT LIKE POTTYS THEY GO IN THE GARBAGE TRUCK.” “Oh silly boy, this book is not for you – I am just itching for a read and you can listen to if you want.” Score one for mom. Sure enough the little man snuggles up with me and as I victoriously read the last page in which Michael pees on the potty, Charlie gleefully says – “Look mommy it is our family, there is you, daddy, and look there – Mac (aka big brother) is on the potty peeing. Good for Mac.

Game over!