March 08, 2006

Mickey = teh Shiznit, Literally

A little sidetrack for fellow parental units out there. (Stop reading if potty-related stuff offends you) Matthew is now four, and we've been trying to get him potty trained since about 2 1/2. We bought books, we read message boards, we tried everything. The boy was just too stubborn. A few months back he even got a stern lecture from the Pediatrician about it. We had given up and put him back in diapers until a month ago.

We were planning our annual vacation to DisneyWorld, and we REALLY wanted him to be using the toilet by that time. Not only would it mean NOT toting around a bulky diaper bag, but also... if they're potty trained, they can go to The Neverland Club, a special kids-only evening activity. It's some kids' favorite memory of the parks, and also gives Mel and I a night to ourselves to have a quiet dinner.

You know the saying, "Go with what you know." So My wife decides to use Disney as the driving factor to get him out of diapers.

Step 1: "Matthew, when you use the toilet like a big boy, then we can go to DisneyWorld!" This thought gained traction in his head like no other dangled carrot before. He started repeating it and sporadically using the toilet.

Step 2: One 12-pack of "The Incredibles" underwear. She decides to put him straight in the "Big Boy Underwear" and see if it inspires a little confidence. It does. He starts using the toilet more often, even going without being asked.

Step 3: Matthew likes my PS2, and thanks to Miho, he discovers Kingdom Hearts, a kids game where you fight alongside Donald and Goofy through some memorable Disney movies. In exchange for a day with no accidents, he gets to play the game in the evening for a little while. It works!

Of course there are accidents, but four weeks later, he only has about two a week. I thought #2 would be a problem, but he's only had two accidents that way. It's freaking AMAZING. All kids are different, you just have to find out what they want, what their motivation is. Much to my wife's delight, and my dismay, what Matthew wants more than anything is Disney.

So how's the little guy celebrating his new independence? Melissa caught him looking at himself in the bathroom mirror and saying "You're going to DisneyWorld! Oh Yeah!"

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