Saturday, April 19, 2008

Light Up Sneakers.

A couple of months ago, out of nowhere, Jordan first raised the topic of light up sneakers. "Raise" is kind of a glorified way of describing the actual flow of conversation. And, I suppose, it's hard to classify anything as a discussion when one of you is laying on a changing table getting your butt wiped for the billionth time.

But, it's my story, and I'll stick with it. He was laying on the changing table, I was changing his diaper, frustrated, tired of this diaper thing, and completely out of ideas. For the sake of making conversation (because hell, you have to do something to maintain your sanity), I asked him, point-blank, what it would take to motivate him to sit on the potty.

I didn't think he was paying attention to me at all. I did not expect an answer. He blindsided me completely, when out of nowhere he said:

"Light up sneakers."

Me: You mean, if I get you light up sneakers, you'll sit on the potty?

J: yep.

I wasn't buying this shite. I figured, he is such a ridiculously smart kid, he's manipulating me. I know him well enough to know that he will not do anything he does not want to do. I can drag him to the potty all I want, but he will not perform if he doesn't want to. I know. I've been trying for a year and a half now.

I let it go. Several months have gone by. Yesterday, out of nowhere, he brought it up. He asked for light up sneakers. And I decided, what the hell. I have nothing left to lose. I've used dessert as a bribe to get him to eat dinner, and that's been working well. Let's try this.

Today, we went on a special shopping trip, just the two of us.

It was love at first sight..right the Garden State Plaza. He picked them out and held on for dear life. We got them. He insisted on wearing them out. While in the mall, I thought we'd kill two birds with one stone..might as well pick up some summer sandals.

Big mistake. He mistakenly thought I was trying to switch the sneakers for the sandals. He hopped right off the bench, grabbed his sneakers and ran across the store screaming:

"Don't want sandals! Want orange light up sneakers!"

I finally got him to calm down and leave the store - with the sneakers..and the sandals.

At home, he wore them till I put him down for nap. He sat on the potty for awhile... pants down, sneakers on. No action, but no protests either. He woke up from nap, and the first words out of his mouth were a request for his sneakers.

Miss Mina finally noticed the sneakers at some point in the afternoon. How could she not? The monkey was stomping all over the house in an effort to keep them lit up constantly. I was worried about this. I figured she'd try to take them.

Instead, she took a long, hard look. She didn't say a word. Instead, she walked over to the toy box, grabbed her fireman's helmet and put it on.

Take that! She seemed to say.

I have no expectations. I'll assume this tactic will work about as well as everything else I've been trying. But I have to try something new, and ya know...some people may call it bribery... I choose to call it "motivation."
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