I know, it is a parenting cliche to be so excited and delighted about this milestone, but when you have two kids pooping in diapers, getting one of them out is a real cause for celebration.
I was starting to worry that geekygirl would be pooping in her diaper until she went to college. According to her preschool, she is perfectly potty trained, dry in underpants every day. But our little secret was that this smart little girl, who at three years old has an incredible vocabulory, can write her name, her brother's name and those of several Disney Princesses and can perform simple addition as long as the numbers can be found on her fingers, had never, not once ever, pooped on a potty.
I had prepared the sticker charts that were so successful with pee pee training, put out jars of lollipops as an incentive to "go", and tried to be low key and low pressure about it at the same time, but to no avail. She would keep coming up with different desired prizes when she goes poop on the potty, "An Angelina Ballerina tutu" "A Belle costume with white goves" (well she calls her "Bear" for some reason, but I know what she means). But still, every single day she would request her diaper for her poop.
"I'll poop on the potty when I'm ten, Mummy" she would say. "Will you get me doll house furniture for my sticker chart when I'm ten?".
I was starting to believe this would be the case, when I fell upon an article in parenting magazine. Now I don't actually subscribe to the magazine. It gets delivered to me every month for some reason, maybe they are hoping I will sign up, or maybe I'm getting a delivery intended for a paying customer, I"m not sure. I have religiously put it straight into the recycling for months, not because I have anything against the publication, just that I have very little time to read, and if I'm too tired for my Scientific American or my earnest sociological tomes probing a women's role in the world, I go straight to the bottom of the literary barrel and read Us magazine.
But on Sunday, before recycling it, I decided to save any pages with pictures that might make fun cutting out for the kids. And I came across an article describing solutions to our exact (and no doubt very common) problem. A pee pee potty trained child who requests a diaper for poop.
They suggested something that had not occurred to me: Getting a jar of candy, and rewarding yourself publicly and with great celebration for every poop in the potty. So on Monday morning Geekydaddy and I gave ourselves a gummy bear. Geekygirl was profoundly interested. On Tuesday morning, again we got our gummy bears and Geekygirl helped us pick them out. On Tuesday evening I knew she needed to poop, since she didnt go on Monday. One of my concerns had been that she would wait and wait, and get constipated, forgetting to ask for her diaper, probably worried about the pressure to switch to the potty. Geekydaddy earned himself another gummy bear that evening. "I'm going to have a pink gummy bear when I go poop on the potty" Geekygirl announced. However it was time for Geekygirl to go to bed. I was about to get her in her nighttime diaper, assumings he would then poop. But "I need to go poop" she told me. "Come here and get your diaper on then" I replied. "No, Mummy, I'm going to poop in the potty", she announced. And of the tromped, closing the bathroom door behind her.
One flush later she appeared, so happy and proud. Gummy bear well and truly earned. We started a sticker chart right there and then, and this kid who would hold it for days has already earned three stickers. The haste in which she is accumulated them sent me scrambling to toys R us at lunch, to buy the requested doll house furniture, and while there I couldn't resist buying an extra gift, a plastic doll house sized "Belle" in her own carry case with a selection of different outfits and ridiculously tiny shoes, because I am just so thrilled that this day I though would never come without the intervention of child therapists has finally happened. Only two more stickers to go, and I'm crossing my fingers that this is it! One down, one to go!