I’ve learned the dirty secret to potty training and parenting in general.

Bribe them.

My daughter has an entire closet packed with My Little Ponies from her toilet training days. It wouldn’t surprise me if the mere mention of Rainbow Dash made her want to tinkle.

We just started trying to potty train my son and thankfully his vice is infinitely cheaper. Chocolate!

We just happen to have a lovely stash of leftover Easter candy (in a Halloween bucket) to inspire him to ditch the diapers.

easter candy

My daughter is cheering him on because she knows she gets the consolation piece of chocolate whenever he pees on the pot.

alma chocolate face

Is it worth potentially spending several weeks with insane children hopped up on sugar in order to be done with diapers? Absolutely!

huck alma chocolate face

If I never have to change another blowout diaper, I will be a happy lady. My son’s dirty diapers smell like spicy thai food. It’s no joke.

I have to say, Huck has been taking the transition like a champ. He will squeeze out a couple of drops on cue if it means he gets a chocolate egg.

I do wonder if this means he will someday be 30 and using a restroom, bewildered by a sudden urge to eat something sweet.

It doesn’t hurt that he gets to rock Buzz Lightyear undies during the process. He looks ridiculously cute in them, with one exception.

huck undies

The other night at dinner, my daughter growled in disgust and pointed at my son’s crotch and said, “His hoo ha is out!” (Hoo Ha being the best name I could come up with for her private parts)

Why in God’s name would they make underwear for toddlers with a hole in the front for their junk to peek out?

It was like, “Hey guys, what’s for dinner?”

We’ve been calling my son’s private part his “piton.” (pee-tone) I won’t say what it means, but porn stars have them… apparently Robin Thicke as well. It’s something most English speaking people won’t recognize as a “dirty word” and it doubles as a compliment.

There was an equally disturbing sight on Sunday while the kids were playing with the water table in the backyard and I noticed Huck’s piton popping out of the top of his swim trunks. I guess maybe he really does have a piton.

Back to bribery. It has become my go-to technique.

The other day Alma was having a major meltdown at Target. For the first time, she was scanning the aisles for anything she could potentially want and demanding I buy it. We ended up with a My Little Pony watch she can’t read, some new undies that sag off her skinny behind and a pink rubber lizard.

pink lizard

I had no idea that lizard would become a supreme being to her. It was from that weird little dollar section at the front of the store. You know, where they stock crap for kids that will break within a day.

Within an hour of getting back home, Alma is sobbing hysterically because she lost her pink lizard. Tears streaming down her face for that useless, lead-tainted, neon pink Chinese piece of rubber junk.

I spent forever hunting for it. So did my husband. So did Alma. (while hiccuping through tears)

The end result? Mommy heads back to Target to buy a one-dollar lizard. (and a bottle of Prosecco)

I get back home and instead of embracing me with gratitude she says with the attitude of a teenager, “Cut the tag off.”

I leave her watching My Little Pony with the evil lizard to start laundry and lo and behold, the original pink lizard was in the washing machine.

It’s now a slightly gooier, perpetually sticky version of it’s newly acquired sibling.

I guess it’s better than what I imagined to be the impending end result…. my dog shitting out a half-digested glob of neon pink.

What have I learned from all of this?

Don’t take the kids to Disney.

Don’t promise a day at a water park.

Hit the dollar section at Target and stock up on extra holiday candy. The cheap solution to parenting.

Advertisements