Eric and I made more than our share of "we'll never..." statements before Maya arrived. Some we've held true to ("we'll never spank."), others we haven't been so good about ("we'll never bribe."). I learned all the ins and outs of basic behaviour management, B.F. Skinner style, in university. I know how Pavlov got his dog to drool. But hey, this is a child, not an animal. There's no need to give treats and stickers to get a child to do what you want. If you raise them right, they'll do what you want because you said so.
I guess we're not raising our daughter right, because dammit if I can get that child to pee in the potty without some sort of reward. And worse yet, she gets food rewards (current currency is green popsicles). Nothing like planting the seeds of future eating disorders in the toddler years. She's pretty much potty trained at daycare. Mrs. Connie says that she'll even tell her when she needs to use the potty, and she's even pooping in the potty fairly regularly. But at home, no dice.
Today, Maya decided she wanted her green popsicle. Being the smart child that she is, Maya dragged her potty into the computer room where I was checking my email (and NOT checking www.perezhilton.com) and wanted a story. I looked around the room at my reading options: a slew of education textbooks, the yellow pages, May's Martha Stewart Living, and a bunch of novels. What kind of two year old wants to hear a story from any of those? Ah, but then I spotted it: my complete collection of Captain Underpants books. What better way to introduce my daughter to the love of great fiction in chapter form than Dav Pilkey's underwear superhero?
True, last week when Eric told me that he wanted to start reading Harry Potter to Maya, I told him that she was too young for it. But who's too young for a little potty humour? Potty humour MUST be part of potty learning, right?
Now she's hooked. She insisted that we read the whole book. I agreed, and we got a little pee in the potty, and a whole lot of snuggling on the couch. We're now half way through the second book, Attack of the Talking Toilets.
Mark down August 2, 2006 as a milestone: Maya's first chapter book. Thank you, Mr. Pilkey.