Thursday, March 3, 2011

outsmarted (once again) by a toddler

It's the month of St. Patty's so how about a limerick?

There once was a girl named Brynn,
Her potty training was a sin,
She was good for her dad,
But drove her mom mad,
And would pee in her pants with a grin.

Potty training with Brynn: day # 'I've-lost-count-and-my-mind'

Last week, a package arrived for our soon-to-be-birthday-girl.  Grandma had sent a message a few days prior telling me that Brynn could open her gifts early.  Good thing, too...because Brynn saw the colorful wrappings and was instantly intrigued.  Aside from the *delightful* noise makers that she sent for Gavin and Randy (thanks again, mom!), the package included a headband with long, pink hair to give our little 'princess' her dream of having a head full of beautifully long, flowing hair.  Brynn was in love.  She immediately put the hair on and began opening her second gift. 

she adores her 'hair'

As Brynn carefully opened the gift (oh...who am I kidding, she tore into the wrappings!) took me a moment to realize what amazingly fantastic treat awaited our *darling* little girl.  She handed the package to me, with a confused look.  "What is it, mommy?" she asked, her eyes lit up with joy and excitement.  "Brynn!  Do you know what this is?  It's a Potty Watch!!!", I informed my curious little girl--with apparently an overwhelmingly large amount of excitement, as Brynn's face changed from a look of sheer thrill to a look of sheer terror.  She was caught.  Trapped.  Bamboozled.  The 'jig' was up.

The Potty Watch.  This amazing little contraption had all the potential in the world of making my life easier, all the while slowly breaking down the foundation of Brynn's 'castle of manipulation'.  Or so I thought.  Upon opening the package, Brynn promptly took her new gift into her sticky little hands and dashed off into the next room while I read the directions, unaware that the little white paper I was holding essentially was Brynn's 'ticket to freedom'. 

After reading the basics, I followed the sound of giggles into the living room where I found Brynn seated on the couch, Potty Watch no where in sight.  The interaction went something like this:

"Brynn, where is your Potty Watch?"
"I don't know, mommy (heeee heeee)"
"B...really, where did you put your new gift from your Grandma?"
"It's gone, mommy"
"Gone where?"
"Gone out of here"
"Don't you want to wear your new watch so you can go potty when it sings you a song?"
"Umm...I went pee already"
"Brynn...let's play a game to find the watch.  First person to find it wins some M&M's"
"(thoughtful silence as she ponders the promise of candy coated chocolate treats) about we watch Dora, mommy?" 

It's about this time that I realized just when I thought my miniature master of manipulation couldn't get any craftier, she goes ahead and hides the tool that I was hoping to rely heavily upon to create a perfectly potty trained princess in the little time I have left before the baby arrives. 

Current score: Brynn--3,465  Mommy--3 (I earned a *few* points early on in her life)

Fast forward to the next day: Daddy asks his little girl where her potty watch is, and low and behold, she retrieves it from the hiding spot she used to drive her mother crazy and essentially help add yet another gray hair to the top of my head.  Before I could even process how I was so easily outsmarted by my toddler, she was wearing her watch, anxiously awaiting the song that would cue her to head for the bathroom. 

The time passes...the excitement (and hope!) build...then...the tune of 'London Bridge' plays, the lights illuminate around the face of the watch...and Brynn...hops down from the couch and shuffles her little legs into the bathroom!  Without a fight.  Without a debate.  Without a bribe.  Wooo hoo!  It worked!  It really worked!  She came out of the bathroom, beaming over her successful attempt at using the restroom.  We celebrated.  We high-fived.  We rejoiced.  I sang the praises of my ingenious mother-in-law.

All evening long, the tunes of the Potty Watch chimed every thirty minutes, and every thirty minutes we'd observe our darling little girl head for the bathroom, and emerge a few minutes later with a triumphant look upon her face.  I couldn't believe the magical wonder of this moment.  I went to sleep that night so happy that my prayers of having just one child in diapers (or diaper-like items) at a time were on their way to being answered.

a *fabulous* gift long as they're not mater manipulators!


Brynn had a very successful weekend, followed by three days in a row of using the potty on a regular basis, 'obeying' the beckoning calls of the Potty Watch, and having a fabulously low number of accidents.  The trend seemed less 'trendy' and more 'timeless'...until today.  When she fell back into the routine of wet pull-ups, less frequent trips to the bathroom, and a general lack of effort on her part. 

The common denominator?  Daddy.  Or, rather...the lack thereof.  See, today daddy went back on-call, which meant Brynn was at daycare, rather than being home with her daddy.  And after daycare?  Well, tonight daddy was at work, which meant it was just me.  While B loves her daycare provider and calls me her 'best friend', there is no one, not one single person, in this whole entire world who lights up her life and whose opinion means more to her than her daddy.  Don't get me wrong, when she willingly goes potty without arguement, I am so proud of her...I applaud and high five and dance around in jubilation.  But that's all for naught apparently, as I do not have the magic look of supreme adoration for anything and everything 'Brynn'.  In daddy's eyes, Brynn is the most adorable child to have ever graced this planet.  She knows this.  And she's using it as ammunition.  One rabbit-toothed smile and she has him hooked.  So of course, she wants to do anything to have him think she is the most amazingly perfect little girl. 

But that all goes out the window when mommy is in the picture.  The word 'no' enters her vocabulary, in addition to the ever popular temper tantrum, followed by the very audible and extremely obnoxious 'hmmmpf' sound that is accompanied by either angrily crossed arms, noisily stomped feet, or the oh-so-unpopular 'rag doll' routine. 

So, it seems that so long as daddy is the only person in the picture with this potty training fiasco, the Potty Watch wins...Brynn, the master manipulator, has been brought down by a tiny little device that lights up and sings.  I guess...if my husband really wants to make his pregnant wife happy...he'd consider taking his vacation now to complete this potty training hell we've been living in, rather than when the baby comes.  It's sad how I'm more frightened of my three year old's intelligence than I am of having to face the challenge of a new baby with two kids under the age of 5. 

God help me as she gets older.

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