This post from my friend Cat had me laughing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I now have a 2-year-old who is mostly potty-trained (except nights), but it took some work to get there. We were doing great at home, but my daughter HATED public bathrooms! She mostly hated the noisy flush. Automatic, manual, didn't matter. She even cried about going into the bathroom with me when I needed to go. Luckily, she's a holder, so it was never a question of accidents. It was more just getting her comfortable with other toilets.
I knew we had to fix this, so I picked a nice day and we went on a Potty Parade.
Did I make up a cheer for it? You bet I did.
My goal was to hit most of the places we frequented. Armed with a bag of M&M's for reward, we hit the road.
Our church is really close and is open during the day, so we started there. The goal was just to get her to sit on the potty in each place. She resisted at first, so I ended up having to give her an M&M just to get her on the potty in the first place. Then she got another after she got off. We washed our hands, said our cheer, and went on our way.
Our next stop was the library. This was nice because they have a kids bathroom so she felt a little bit better about stuff at her level. And even after the M&M rewards, she got to pick out another reward: a book to check out! (More than one, this child loves books.)
We then hit the grocery store. She probably disliked this actual bathroom the most. It was noisy, and they only had automatic hand dryers which she also absolutely despises. I let her go with wet hands. She got to ride the pony at the front of the store after I bought a few things.
We ended our morning at our local zoo, where we have a membership and go often during the summer. I had her try right when we came in, then she got to choose which part of the zoo she wanted to go to. She had lots of fun petting the goats, and then I convinced her to go another section so that we could use a different potty before we left.
That whole morning? Nada. Sure, she SAT on all the potties, but she just held everything in like usual until we got home. But that actually didn't bother me.
A month later, I finally saw the fruit of our labor when we were in church and she declared she needed to go potty. I took her, and . . . success! She looked like a natural. She had asked for an M&M, which were long gone by that point, but I had noticed they were setting up coffee & doughnuts for after the service. I promised her a doughnut, and I delivered. :)
So I guess parenting may be a marathon, but you might just have to throw in a few sprint days to speed things along.
Cat is a Navy Reservist's wife and transplant to the Midwest. She recently re-joined the full-time work force and is due with another little bundle of joy in April. She enjoys running, baking, and belly laughs from her toddler. She blogs when she finds the time (which isn't much lately) at Cartwheels & Windmills.