It’s Not All Mary Poppins

All pooped out

smartiesLittle Noah is totally potty trained, and the thing that tipped the scales for us was not the infamous pee-bottle, but Smarties.

Yup. Good old chocolate-y motivator in a candy-coated package. Noah was told he would get one for a pee, and two for a poo. Suddenly, using the potty was very, very interesting!!

After a week of success, Noah was told that he would only get Smarties for poops. No more Smarties for pees.

He took it well, really. Because really, this would cut his Smartie intake by about 90%. A toddler with the will to pee can drink a LOT of water, and make many, many, many pees in day. But poo? Well, there’s only so much a body can poo.

Or so you’d think.

“I haffa poo, Mary!”
“Away you go to the potty, then.”

And yes, there in the bowl is a decent little arc.

“Good man!”
“I get Smarties now?”
“Yes, you do.”
“Not when a pee?”
“No, no Smarties for a pee. Just for poo.”
“Tank you.”

“Mary, I got to poo!”
“You do? You already did one this morning, but if you have to go, away you go.”

There is substantially more wait time and effort for this one, but, after a minute or so, there in the potty lies another reeking rainbow. Smaller than the last one of only an hour before, but definitely a poo. Wonder what he had for dinner last night?

“Mary, I got to poo!”
“Again? Are you sure?”
“Uh-huh. I got to poo.”
“All right, little man. Do your best.”

He sits. And he waits. And he sits. His face is an intensity of concentration, stern and fixed. He waits some more…

“Mary! I did a poo!”
THIS I have to see.

And there, in the bowl… a smidge, a dot, an iota of shit.

He has managed to squeeze out, by sheerest force of toddler will, the requisite excrement.

Smarties are one helluva motivator, I tell you.

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Noah, potty tales | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Motivational Mary

water“Drink up, guys!”

I am a Water Hardass. By the time a child is two, I am expecting them to drink an appropriate amount of water. No juice at Mary’s. Water. Even milk takes second place, because I serve other dairy products routinely and I know they all get all the milk they need at home.

Water is important, but because it’s essentially flavourless, kids raised on the too-sweet North American diet tend to turn their little button noses up at it.

Not here, they don’t. They have to drink half their daily allotment before they get morning and afternoon snack. (At lunch, they have the option of water or milk, in whatever amount they like — including none at all.) With this as the expectation, motivation has to be provided.

“When your water’s all gone, you can have your apple slices. Good job, Timmy! You can have one, two, three apple slices!”

(Appropriate amount of water? Take the child’s body weight in pounds, divide that by two. They should consume that many ounces of water in a day. Of course, there is water in milk and in soups, etc., but I’m trying to engender the healthy habit of drinking water.)

“I’m the fastest drinker!” Timmy is Very Proud.

“You are a fast drinker, but you know what? I know someone who’s even faster!” (Motivation!)

Anna and Emily slurp diligently at their bottles, each assuming I’m talking about them. Timmy is finished. They are not. I know. But hope springs eternal in the toddler breast. Not a whole lot of rationality, but lots and lots of hope.

“You know who?”

No, they don’t. Slurp, slurp, slurp.

“ME! Watch this!”

I fill my pint glass (yes, I drink water from a beer glass; Boddington’s, today). “See how BIG it is?” (A draft pint is 20 ounces. You all know that, right? Sure puts the average water glass in the shade. This is a glass for SERIOUS (water) drinkers.)

The girls giggle and slurp.

I lift it, I take a dramatic deeeeeeep breath, and …

… finish that sucker off in about eight large gulps.

The children are suitably impressed. Slurpslurpslurp.

I open my mouth, and let forth the Mother of all Belches. Long, loud and deep.

The children are REALLY impressed. All slurping stops for an astonished moment.

“And when YOU can drink a REALLY BIG glass of water THAT fast, YOU’LL be able to do that, too!”

The girls slurp as if their little lives depend upon it. Timmy tugs my sleeve.

“Can I has some more water, Mary?”

Their parents will be so proud, I’m sure…

November 6, 2008 Posted by | food, health and safety, manners, Mischief | , , , , , , | 15 Comments