Yesterday, I needed to run to a few different stores, and Catie had said she wanted to go “play wif’ kids” at the drop-in daycare down the street. They’re open on Saturday afternoons/evenings for parents to have date nights, which is pretty cool. I don’t mind shopping with Catie because she’s generally pretty easy, but I have to admit that the idea of shopping alone sounded awesomely self-indulgent. The thought that I might be able to take a few extra minutes to actually try on clothes, instead of my usual “grab/dash/return it later if it doesn’t fit” method? Yeah. That sounded nice.
So I dropped her off and went shopping. I’m a big fan of the Kohl’s Cares for Kids program, and this month they’re doing a Dr. Seuss theme. I bought Catie a copy of “The Lorax” a few weeks ago, and it’s quickly become her favorite book. We read it almost every night. I saw that they also had a Lorax plush doll, and I knew Catie would love it, and for only $5, well, what the heck.
While I was finishing up the rest of my errands, I had a lightbulb go off over my head, and I thought this might be worth a shot.
So I picked Catie up from daycare, and when I got her all situated in the car, and I told her that we needed to have a talk. I told her that I had a surprise for her, but she could only have it if she promised that the next time she needed to poop, she would at least try to sit on the potty.
Catie: No potty. I just poop in Pull-Ups.
Me: Huh. Ok then, I guess I don’t get to give you this surprise then. Too bad, I’ll just have to take it back to the store.
Catie: I see the surprise?
Me: Ok, I’ll show it to you, but you don’t get to hold it until you promise that you’ll at least try to poop on the potty. Deal?
So I showed her the Lorax, and oh man, she flipped. She wanted it so bad. I reminded her that she could only keep it if she tried to poop on the potty, otherwise I’d have to return it to the store. (And no, I’m not that cruel, I wasn’t actually going to take it away from her. But she didn’t know that.)
A few times last night, she asked to sit on the potty to try to poop, but nothing happened. I wasn’t really expecting it, I was just happy that she was at least willing to try.
Then right around bedtime, she said that she needed to try to poop on the potty again. I said ok, helped her up onto the potty, and sat on the floor next to her. She asked me to hug her, so I did. She said she was scared, and I told her that there was nothing to be scared of. I started babbling about how it’s ok if she doesn’t go, I’m proud of her just for trying, because all these things take practice. After all, there once was a time when she couldn’t sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and now she sings it beautifully, because she practiced a lot and she got really good at it.
While I was hugging her and just talking-talking-talking to try to distract her, I suddenly heard a very distinct “plop!” sound.
It is a little embarrassing to admit just how much I flipped out over this. I seriously jumped up and down and clapped and screamed “YAAAAYYYY CATIE!!! WOOOOOO-HOOOOO!!!!!” I think I scared her a little bit with my over-reaction, but she laughed too, and joined in with applauding herself and doing a little happy dance with me.
Then we had to call everybody (my parents, my sister, Cat, everybody) and tell them how she pooped in the potty. She got lots of big reactions on the phone too. I think everybody knows how big a deal it was for both of us.
Then, because this kid has a memory like a steel trap, she said, “I have cupcakes now?” Because I once told her ages ago that if she pooped on the potty, we’d have cupcakes to celebrate. I told her that it was bedtime and I didn’t have any cupcakes right now, but that we’d get some in the morning.
Today, Catie’s friend (and our former neighbor) Morgan and her mom came over for a playdate, and just as I promised, we made cupcakes. They were pretty delicious, if I do say so myself.
Today I’m still riding a weird sort of high. It’s a “wow, I think my kid might actually be potty-trained” high. I can’t even begin to explain how great it feels.
And it only took 39 months. Sigh.