Dash's potty training has all but disappeared since our move to California. On the one hand, I could have been a more strict about it; on the other hand, he's been sick quite a lot, and I've had my hands full with that... As in, when he had toxic synovitis and couldn't walk, it didn't seem quite right to yell, "WAIT! GO TO THE POTTY!" I thought that preschool would help further potty training, but nope -- quite the opposite. Few of the boys are in underpants. So I don't have the "but your friends Bob, Larry and Archie are in underpants!" argument.
I've been thinking it's time to restart the process, and then Dash furthered that thinking by spending the last two days taunting me with his pull-ups and diapers -- purposefully pulling them aside and wetting his pants, then removing it all and screaming at me to get him clean, dry clothes -- RIGHT NOW! So, Dash is going to start using the potty or else Mama's head's going to explode.
Today, I watched as he snuck out of the room. Dash has to conduct his business in private and, if intercepted, just won't go. This time, I intercepted him and took him to my bathroom, in which one of his potties conveniently waited for him. I pulled down his pull-up and said, "Dash, this is where you go to the potty. Not in your pull-up; in the bathroom, on the potty. OK?"
He grudgingly muttered, "Okay, Mama," and then demanded that I leave.
When he went, I made it out to be The Greatest Thing that Ever Happened in the History of the World. And he ate it up. (This is not necessarily good, since the kid expects escalation for each subsequent feat.) I said, "Dash, guess what? I'm going to give you an Almond Joy for using the potty! A piece of candy! Right now!"
"I don't want an Almond Joy, Mama," he said. My jaw hit the floor. He and Petunia have decided that the Almond Joy is the greatest candy ever invented, and they have culled almost all of them out of our 150-piece Halloween candy bag. I thought he'd be amazed that I found one at all -- but no, he had bigger plans.
"Mama, I want something else," he stated plainly, "I want a cannon to blast the monsters out of my room. The cannon requires adult supervision, and I am an adult, so I can have it."
"You're not an adult, Dash, you're only 3," I said, "So no cannon today. But an Almond Joy...!"
"I'M NOT 3! I'M 7!" he replied, angered. He wants to be exactly like his sister, who just turned 8 (so he's still thinking she's 7).
"Even if you're 7, which you are not, you are not an adult," I replied. "Mama and Daddy are adults. Kids are not adults."
"But I went potty," Dash countered. "Adults go potty."
And there, he had me. No adult, no cannon, no potty. So I did what the best mothers do in these situations: I acknowledged that I was outmatched, and I caved like a sissie. "Okay, Dash, fine. Where is this monster-blasting cannon?"
"You have to get it from the Army!" he announced.
"Dash, I can't buy a cannon from the Army," I answered. "You have to be an Army guy to buy Army cannons. I'm not an Army guy, and neither is Daddy."
"Call PK," he said, "He's an Army guy. He can get me a cannon. I need a cannon, Mama, to blast the monsters."
"Okay, Dash, I'll get right on that, I answered," noting his distraction as I snuck Bill Nye the Science Guy into the DVD player. If chocolate won't work, movies usually will... "And meanwhile, son, here's an Almond Joy." He ate every delicious bite. Now, let's just see if he'll go potty again when he realizes that not even PK can score us a real cannon...