I mentioned recently that the Pint-Sized Farmer, a.k.a. Anthony, was finally wearing underwear. Granted, we all do things in our own time but, in my first toddler-rearing go round, I had trained my own children by their second birthdays. And I got headaches about that. Gramma Dorsee scoffed at my methods, insisting she had trained my father at seven months, “I sat him down there and he knew to do his business.” My grandmother was a large-boned 100% German Tower of Power (who I loved very much); I imagine if I had been her child, I would have peed on command as well.
Gramma is not around for Anthony, unfortunately, and the child simply did not want anything to do with the throne. Sure, he would follow David and me into the toilet room and hang around while we each did our chores (no, I don’t need privacy, why do you ask?) but sit down on it himself? No way, no how.
When I lamented to Pint’s pediatrician that I was still clogging landfills with non-biodegradable diapers, he suggested an award system, stickers, M&Ms, something like that. I immediately purchased poster board, stickers, and lollipops (Pint’s pick). Once home and set up, I used my Rachel Ray voice to tell him what would happen when he did as expected. I even gave him a preemptive sticker and sucker to get him excited and onboard. Nope, nothing going, the reward chart remained empty and the candy bag full
After a while, it became obvious that Anthony knew when he had to go and when he was going but enjoyed the convenience of a velcroed-on moisture absorbent wrap around his behind. Meanwhile, my frustration grew until one morning we had a showdown worthy of “High Noon” (I channeled Marshall Will Kane; Pint and his waste products together formed The Miller Gang). My weapon? A pair of underwear. His? Copious tears rolling down his cheeks. I was a grandmother on a mission, however, and nothing could sway me from the task at hand. Finally, he sadly acquiesced and we have been more eco-friendly ever since.
You see, The Pint-Sized Farmer finally figured out that peeing for candy was a worthwhile pursuit. Now, two weeks into it, the child runs to the toilet constantly throughout the day and does his best to squeeze out a drop or two just so he can run up to me and say, “I peed potty, Gramma. Candy.” Thankfully, we’re almost out of sweets.
By the way, Anthony likes to wear his bun-huggers backwards in order to see Superman in flight when he looks down. Cheeky, huh?