We recently reached breaking point with the eldest’s reluctance to exchange nappies for pants. And by reluctance, a more accurate description would be that if he was put within a 5 metre radius of a toilet or potty, he would either scream until he was sick, or pick up the nearest thing he could use as a weapon, channel his inner Jackie Chan and go loco on whichever unsuspecting defecation receptacle was clearly going to eat him alive.
Eventually, and with the expected lack of threenager reasoning, he suddenly decided that pants were fab, and weeing in the toilet was the best thing since having Nick Junior reinstated (when we got made to pay for it, my husband angrily cancelled it. Due to the persistent begging for TV shows that were only on Nick Junior, it suddenly came back…) Having a poo in the toilet, however, would induce hysteria that would probably leave Supernanny herself calling in an exorcist, and shouting ‘screw this, this one is NOT fixable.’
He is due to start school in 11 months, we kept telling ourselves. We panicked that there was only 11 months left to crack this, and every time we mentioned it, threenager heels would be firmly dug in deeper-I started to get the feeling he was gleeful in having one up on us. My specialist Mastermind subject became: ‘Getting my child to poo on the toilet, John.’ The eldest’s would be: ‘Evading pooing on the toilet, with a subcategory of Kinder Egg toys from 2014-2016, John.’
We eventually settled on buying loads of Kinder Eggs, and leaving them ‘on display’ on top of the fridge. Like all children, Kinder Eggs are like meth to mine, and in refusing treats at all times, and standing firm that his next treat would only come in Kinder Egg form, when he had done a poo on the toilet, we were sure we were on to a winner.
But being as stubborn as a red wine stain on a cream carpet, he nonchalantly ignored the eggs, and the fact he was getting no treats. The youngest however, was not so nonchalant. He witnessed an exchange between the eldest and my husband, where the eldest was demanding his nappy so he could have a poo, and my husband telling him he could eat ALL the Kinder Eggs, if he just did it on the toilet. When the answer from the eldest was a firm ‘no,’ you could see the cogs turning in the youngest’s brain… ‘So, errrrrrr, he’s being offered ALL of those Kinder Eggs, and he’s turning them down?? Wtf?? Well, if he isn’t having them, there’s a mouth right here, that will snaffle those in seconds. All you have to do to get one is what? Out of the way, pussy, I’m on this!’ Which translated as him pointing to them, and informing my husband ‘me want one.’ To which my husband replied ‘well, you have to poo on the toilet to get one.’ The response to that, was for the youngest to rip off his nappy, and promptly dump on demand-on the toilet.
Now, I’d always thought that the poop-to-order, and revenge pooing that I’d heard about, was the stuff of myth and legend. I thought it was made up for dramatic/comic affect. There’s absolutely no way I could squeeze one out, unless I really needed it. But no, in front of my surprised and slightly mystified eyes, I had witnessed one. Afterwards, as the youngest ricocheted around the house, his gleeful delirium at this coveted prize, audible to the entire street- ‘KINDEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRR EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGGGG!!!!!!!!!!,’ the eldest had a batshit revenge tantrum. There was total disbelief that his little brother had beaten him to it. He was madder than Donald Trump’s PR team.
And of course, then next day, the eldest did a poo on the toilet! Cue, whoops, cheers, squeeeees, high fives, and Kinder Eggs. Now both children can poo on the toilet-one totally unexpectedly, as he wasn’t even being toilet trained! Or can they…? Of course they can’t. The eldest, now does it all the time-phew, in 11 months, he won’t be going to school in a nappy. The youngest will now ONLY poo for Kinder Eggs. He will poo in the morning, get a Kinder Egg, then if he needs another one later, will respond to my ‘quick, on the toilet!’ with ‘no, my had Kinder Egg, my do this one in my nappy, don’t need more Kinder Egg.’ Ahhhhh….
1 Never use bribery to get your children to do what you want, it will always backfire.
2 There’s always a trade off when children are involved-you sort one thing out, and the law of having children requires another problem to arise, being problem free is banned.
3 Kinder Eggs are the work of the devil anyway-the children covet the toy inside like it’s the best treasure they’ve ever seen-until they see something temporarily more interesting, and drop it. When they remember the coveted prize, you end up scouring Bristol Downs for a 2cm Kinder Egg toy, while your child acts like you’ve just told them Nick Junior has been taken away again.
4 They will also wake in the night, asking you to find the Kinder Egg toy, they insisted on taking to bed with them, which is now nowhere to be found. You end up turning their room upside down at 3am, to no avail.
5 Death to Kinder Eggs.
6 How the hell are we going to get the youngest to persistently poo on the toilet now?
7 He was a bit young for toilet training anyway, wasn’t he? Let’s just file this one under ‘Let’s Worry About This In A Year’ shall we?
Kinder Egg photo credit: Jens Rost It’s a surprise via photopin (license)