Monday, August 17, 2009

Adventures in Pottysitting - Episode Four - The Mystery of the Disappearing Poo

Nothing works for potty training than a little bribery. The promise of a treat improved Mars' potty success rate unbelievably. Potty action = special treat, that was something Mars understood very well. We ended up using caramels because they are small, individually wrapped, 'special' because he'd never normally be allowed one, and Daddy can sneak a few 'cause he likes them. After he warmed up to the idea, Mars would do his bit, then start demanding his special treat.

Still resistance to pooping in the potty, but close to 100% with pees and he would volunteer to pee in the potty rather than be reminded or asked. He'd even do it unsupervised. Mostly success, but Mars being Mars he quickly figured out how to work the system. If one pee = one treat, then two pees = two treats. Rather than emptying his bladder in one go, he'd ration it out in little spurts. A wee little pee, caramel, and after eating it another little pee and another caramel. I think he even figured out that he didn't actually have to make the second (or third!) pee if he finished his first caramel fast enough. There are no beaker-like gradations on the potty, so if he claimed to make another pee before the first one was emptied...

We ran into a little trouble after I realized this (I can hear that there was no new pee, little dude!). One day he ran up to me in the office demanding a special treat for making a poo in the potty. If it had been a pee, he would have just got the treat, but a poo, that was special. Special enough that the treats had been upgraded to a kinder egg for making a poop in the potty. Special enough for heaps of praise and Daddy coming out to inspect the evidence and praise some more. But there was no poo in the potty.

Obviously my first thought was that the whole episode was faked for a kinder egg. But he was getting pretty upset that he wasn't getting his special treat after going to the effort of making a poop in the potty all by himself. I took a closer look - there were poo marks inside the potty. Ah, what a good little boy you are Mars - made a poo all by yourself, took the potty to the toilet to dump it and flush it down! Nope, he said he hadn't done that. A quick check with Mummy in the living room, she hadn't flushed it either. His being upset combined with the poo marks in the bowl convinced me that he had made a poop. The poop had mysteriously disappeared!!!

Mars got his treat. Jake, our coprophagous hound, apparently got his too.


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