September 4, 2007

Potty Training Toddler Tips

It's all my fault. Reap what you sow, they say. For once, "they" are right.

We had a relatively sugar-free home for Pixie's first two years of life. We never served dessert after meals, snacked on cheese and pretzels and had her convinced that tofu was the most spectacular food in the world. Then I began potty training.

We mothers do rash and wild things to get our kids to eliminate on demand. I performed the funky chicken dance every time she used the potty because I knew she loved it. But my funky chicken quickly lost its funk and left her whining for more. My dance repertoire insufficient, I looked for another incentive. Candy was the obvious answer.

Every week for the past 3 months, Pixie and I made a trip to the candy shop and I let her pick out her week's worth of "potty candy." Candy corns, Dreamy Mints, Gummy Worms, pastilles, candied nuts, she's tried them all. The candy sits in a bag in the bathroom and she picks out a special piece after each successful trip to the potty. I would also do periodic "dry panties" checks during the day for which she was rewarded with candy. She was quickly potty trained. And now what do we have left? A candy monster.

Pixie has learned to scale the highest cabinet, plumb the deepest shelf and beguile any poor sucker in order to get her precious candy. For the sweets she can't unwrap herself, she'll patiently chew the wrapper for upwards of 1/2 an hour to get at the goodies inside. I find little piles of Hersey Kisses foil in neat piles underneath the kitchen table like mice droppings as evidence of her clandestine activities.

Yesterday she went too far. Somehow she got inside my bathroom cabinet and found two boxes of my contact lenses. To a two year old, what else could they have been but candy? She whisked the boxes to a secure location and set at work ripping them open. When I noticed, 20 minutes later, the eerie calm that had settled over the apartment, I went to find what mischief she was up to.

There, in a tiny ball behind the sofa, Pixie crouched. She was wearing only her white Elmo panties and by the way her ribs were sticking out of her thin body and the desperation in her eyes, she looked exactly like Gollum. Her tiny teeth were busily at work at one of my contacts packages. She punctured the foil and was frantically trying to suck out the saline contents before I could interfere. At $26 a box, I wasn't going to let this one slide with a motherly chuckle.

I grabbed the box away before she could destroy my contacts. "Candy! Candy! Candy!" she shrieked and then sent out a wail to the skies. Seeing that I wasn't going to return her prize, she ran off and grabbed a stool. Her mourning period over, she was off to try and reach another candy stash on top of her Dad's dresser. I quickly beat her too it and put the candy on a higher shelf. But not before she had dashed off again. "Candy! Candy!" Her persistence was terrible indeed. Now in the kitchen, she snatched the sugar jar. Before I could stop her she had it open and was digging out huge scoops of sugar to shove in her mouth. At this point, I couldn't resist - I laughed myself sick and let her have a few more desperate handfuls before cleaning up the sticky mess.

Pixie started detox today. She has been nervously watching t.v., wandering forlornly around in the kitchen while I do dishes, and occasionally muttering to me about how dry her panties are. I won't give in. Pixie's sugar mania was reaching such outlandish lengths that I feared for our "sweet" five month old, Cher. Two days ago I entered the front room to find that Pixie had dumped brown sugar and flour all over the baby. Could it be she was preparing to eat her? I hope never to know. We'll not be returning to the accursed candy shop.

21 comments:

emma jo said...

I kept reading expecting you to say "just joking" about the handfuls out of the sugar jar...Golum indeed. Kids can be funny and scary all in the same moment...you could always go for the Chocolate Calcium chews, even sugar free...jokes on them.

Brittany said...

I may not comment much, but as your favorite cousin (I hope you are reading this Doug) I am here to make you a buck or two. Check out my blog. There is a special suprise awaiting you!

I'm so glad you have kids, if for no other reason than to write bloggories (blog stories) about them. Hysterical about the sugar. I find myself doing the same sugar thing your sweet monster was doing.

pflower10 said...

Can I just say that this story made me laugh so hard I pee'd in MY panties (or G's, to be exact).....I guess I shouldn't get the candy either! I love your story telling abilities! I sure hope that next time you're in Utah County we can all have a blogging lunch with you!

Sarah said...

Compulsive Writer and I have been talking about that very thing, pflower! I'll for sure let everyone know when I'm in Utah next so I can finally meet all you crazies :)

...uh, and you're paying, right?

Doug Taylor said...

Brittany, I think you misunderstood me when I claimed to be Sarah's favorite cousin - let me clarify: of all of Sarah's cousins, I'm my favorite.

Sarah said...

Cousins, cousins, how can I convince you that ALL 120+ of my cousins are my favorite? I still can't believe I have that many cousins... we Mormons must be stopped!

But just for the record, Brittany can be my favorite cousin until another cuz writes a more complimentary post about me ;) Take a stab at it, Doug!

Nancy Sabina said...

Hey, whatever it takes to get the potty in the potty I say! Naomi watched The Little Mermaid non-stop for 3 weeks straight. But now she is happily in panties and it was worthy every "look at this stuff, isn't it neat, wouldn't ya think my collection's complete?".

Anonymous said...

Best. Post. Ever.

I'm still grinning. Thanks for the laughs, Sarah! I hope that you are saving these posts for posterity. Your kids are in for a treat when they get old enough to enjoy stories of their early adventures.

Melissa said...

I read this at MMW too... so funny! I am the sugar monster in our house. Don't ask me how many Hostess cupcakes I ate yesterday to celebrate the first day of school... it makes me sick even thinking about it!

Summer said...

I linked to this post in a mini post on my page. Hope you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

nancy sabina-
i had to laugh but were you referring to the movie or her potty treasures when you said, "look at this stuff, isn't it neat?" hahaha

Colleen said...

Ha ha! That's awesome.

I was just talking to my mom about potty training the other day and she recommended candy as well. Sigh. Now I know what I'm in for!

Aaron Proctor said...

I was just reading your "about" section.

Nice story about how you met your husband. I laughed because I usually don't tell my parents about the existence of insert-woman's-name-here until like a month or two after dating.

You've got great stuff here.

- AP

Lindsay said...

But expensive contacts are so tasty!

Ha ha! Such a funny post!

Chris said...

Okay, about this cousin thing. I read your blog religiously and I'm a cousin you don't even know about! I'm married to your cousin Chris Chambers. I think I should be your favorite just because I've been secretly worshiping your blog for months now, I think you rock! ---Allison

Sarah said...

Man, I've got cousins coming out of the woodwork on this post! Doug, Brittany, Nancy, Allison, it's like the good old days in Utah over the summers :) You're a sweetie, Allison, I'm glad to know that I've got some quality folks out there reading my blog - it will keep me from getting too far off track with my wild posts!

Anonymous, I'm really hoping my kids appreciate these posts when they are older. Sometimes kids get funny about this kind of stuff so I'm hoping they don't find reason to hold it against me that I published all their weirdness online for the world to see. Fingers crossed!

tishacalhoun said...

this is hillarious! as a candy fiend myself I totally empathize with penny...I've been using suckers to bribe adley when we run errands, now he's begging for a sucker from the time he wakes up in the morning....I hope Penny's doing okay in detox, tell her that when she's getting desperate she can come over to my house, I've always got treats stashed somewhere :)

Chelsea Worth said...

sarah your blog is great and i love this story. i've got a sugar monkey myself. there's nothing wrong with my 2 year old eating tootsie rolls for lunch right?

Kate said...

This made me laugh out loud... as I was sitting at my desk at work. :)

wynne said...

You know, I tried that same potty-training method with my kid...the bribery, the dry-pants check...and it DID NOT WORK FOR ME. Are you sure there wasn't something else you tried, as well? Electroshock, perhaps? Or does Penny just like having dry panties? (Sigh. Why does mine just not care? "Wet is good," he says.)

Kristen said...

So conidering the fact that I don't know you, I guess you could say I am a "fan"! You truly are on your way to becoming famous. Your story made me fall off my chair! You are the most entertaining writer! Keep the stories coming!!