During the previous episode I noted that, regrettably, the Big Girl Potty had become an enemy for Norah. Through my experiences I have now learned that you can lead a horse to water but if you do it too often he’ll think drinking is a real bore and cry at the sight of the river.
Now what? (I guess I didn’t do enough reading on this topic!)
Of late we have noted a tendency in our eldest offspring to do the opposite of what we have asked her. It’s as though there is an irresistible urge in her mind to instantly contradict any instruction received. (Be wary o mothers of eighteen-month-olds, possibly thinking “Not my sweet little Patsy Lou,” just wait until Patsy Lou turns Two and decides she is now in a position to determine things for herself.) This new trait of contrariness can create discipline situations not always easily navigated. Yet I wondered, was it possible to turn this to our advantage? Was it time for a little wee-verse psychology?
A certain amount of finesse is required. One’s method must not be too crude. It wouldn’t be advisable, for example, to command Norah to wee on the floor and on no circumstances in the BGP. For one, she might very well choose to be obedient. (Do I then reward her obedience? Am I not then potty un-training?) For two, the confusion that may ensue could have long-lasting psychological effects for which it may be difficult to predict the outcome.
In the end I simply ignored the BGP. My manner in respect to the BGP became very careless and off-hand. “Oh, there’s the BGP, Norah. I really like that little pink potty…I don’t suppose you want to try and use it, do you? Probably not…You do? Oh, okay, just for a little while, okay?”
It worked. Soon the BGP, that symbol of boredom, that fun-stealer and interrupter of tea parties with Goat, was forgiven. Norah asked if she could use it (at first I was tempted to deliberate on this question a bit before giving in) and then we started asking if she wanted to again. Now she uses it successfully quite often. Not always. She’s still in a diaper. But she goes in it mornings, before and after naps, before bed. We are using less diapers. And we are ready for wee training, step four: weewards and wee-inforcement. Stay tuned.