A few years ago, a good friend mentioned that she knew she was finished having kids. Being the neurotic (thanks Megan and Sarah!), indecisive person I am, I am very intrigued with people who seem to just "know" anything. I am much more prone to changing my mind 500 times, while beating myself up every single time I attempt to firm up any decision. As I pondered her definitiveness, wondering how she came upon this realization, she blurted out, "there is just no way I could handle potty training another kid. I am totally done."
Say what? If I had to come up with a list of reasons not to have any more kids, it would be: child birth, sleepless nights, no sleep, recovery from child birth, interrupted sleep, and the lack of having an additional $600 a month to dispose of. Potty training though, are you kidding me? You could at least come up with something slightly more credible, something like stretch marks.
To reiterate my naivety, I must mention that this whole conversation occurred years before I had Kate. How wise we become in just a few short years. We are in the potty training phase at our house and I concur that it is a totally reasonable reason to halt procreation. In fact, after the past week, I can't think of a reason that would be any more credible. Right now I'd like to go back to that potty-training friend and give her a giant hug of understanding.
A few things I've learned:
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT reward your child with M&M's for going on the potty. Oh no, this will make trips to the bathroom way too enticing. During one nap, Kate conveniently had to "go potty" about five times. I hate M&M's. Even better was the night she sat on the potty for 15 minutes TRYING to go potty. When it was evident she wasn't able to go, we attempted to get her out of the bathroom. World War III ensued, as Kate screeched at the top of her lungs that SHE WAS STILL TRYING.
No amount of trying was going to squeeze pee out of an empty bladder, yet Kate was not leaving that room until she went, which would lead to the ultimate reward – M&M's. After 45 minutes of bribes, coercion, and tantrums, I sold my soul to the devil and gave her the M&M's anyway. You can imagine what that has done to my reputation around this place.
Buy your child's favorite character underwear, ours happens to be Dora. This is only because they don't make Clifford or Curious George underwear, weird kid. Now, repeatedly tell your kid that they better not pee on Dora. It's amazing what that will do. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Yes, we'll be adding more into the therapy fund for this one too.
While I can say we are making a slight amount of progress, we are far from there. I just hope her future husband doesn't mind changing diapers.