It is completely useless to begin if the child is not ready. Only the child knows when she is ready. Otherwise, you are in for a long, stressful struggle that ends with temper tantrums, premature toilet flushing, and puddles on the floor.
A child cannot receive candy everytime she goes on the potty. Otherwise, when she suddenly decides she is ready...you are in for a long, stressful sugar-induced struggle that ends in you trying to get your child to go to bed at 11pm when she is determined to body slam the cat.
Poop does wash off hands, but is slightly more difficult to remove from walls. And shower curtains.
I think I have finally found a system that is, so far, working. We have made a chart that we have on the fridge...and everytime she goes on the potty, she gets to put a sticker on her chart. After she earns three stickers, she gets a sucker. I have also ordered an official Dora chart and stickers...along with temporary tatoos. The tatoos will be the prize for earning four stickers. Unfortunately, this wonderful kit hasn't arrived yet, so last night I had to be a bit creative so that I didn't discourage her. Irelynn earned four stickers...so....she got to pick out an Obama trading card.
"Daddy!!! Look!! Barack Obama!!!! I go potty and get Obama!!" (waving card in the air.)
Bruce gives me this look that implies that the cards were a wise investment, after all.
Which prompted the discussion about the plan for these cards, now strewn across our counter.
Bruce starts by trying to convince me of the awesomeness of this purchase.
"Look! It came with a poster!"
"What are you going to do with it? Give it to Irelynn?"
"Well...I was thinking maybe I could frame it...and hang it outside her door...in the hallway."
I'm beginning to think my husband has a man-crush on Obama.
"What about the cards?"
"Well, I'll give one pack to each kid. And...I don't know...I kind of want to collect them all..."
"I say you keep a pack for yourself, as well as the kids...and the rest get sold on E-bay."
(Pouting) "Ok...well...if I sell them for $4 each, plus shipping...I could sell....(counts them out on the counter) seven packs and be able to make half the money back that I spent! I don't know how many I'll be able to sell, though."
Thinking back to a recent episode of "iCarly," the older kids' favorite show, where Spencer was selling fudge balls in front of a store to help a little girl win a bike, I come up with a retort:
"If you can't sell them on E-bay, you can sit your ass in front of Wal-Mart with a table and try and sell them that way."
End of discussion. I like that I can conjure up financial options by watching Nickelodeon.
I am happy that Irelynn is enjoying her prize, though. In fact, our second day into the new potty training schedule she has already earned two stickers. She has excitedly told me that I, too, earn stickers when I use the potty.
I'm thinking my prize tonight will be a Molson.