When I was working for the university's wire service in grad school, I had an editor who was potty-training her toddler. Adrianne used to get phone calls about her son, and afterward, she would announce loudly to the newsroom full of students, "Xavier went poopy on the potty, everyone!"
And we all would dutifully cheer or applaud, with sort of a bemused sense of "whatever makes you happy, Adrianne." Except for my friend Eric who had a young son of his own. His cheers were pretty heartfelt. My biggest responsibility in those days, other than myself, was watering my roommate's ficus tree when she was out of town for the weekend. I had no clue why it was so important to tell people that your kid just went poopy on the potty. I mean, who wants their toilet habits broadcast for every Tom, Jen, or Harry to know about?
Now I'm turning into Adrianne. I'm the one broadcasting the big news now! William went poopy on the potty, everyone! (Aren't you going to cheer? That's your hint, y'all. Cheer, darn it!)
Last night, William asked to sit on the potty before bathtime, and we got a tiny bit of urine and poop in the potty after his dramatic show of straining. Needless to say, my voice rose a couple of octaves and I congratulated my son on this major achievement. (And if you don't think it's a major achievement to get a strong-willed two-year-old to poop on a potty, you've clearly never spent any time leading any potty-training initiatives. Doing your taxes is easier. Trust me on this. I've done both.) He helped me empty the potty bowl into the big toilet and flush, which he loves to do, regardless of whether he's responsible for the need to flush or not.
And then he got to choose FIVE Thomas the Tank Engine stickers to decorate his pajamas. David even called DeeDee to crow about the big news. And I called Mom today and told her.
And if I might brag some more, William, on his own free will, asked to use the potty three times today. That's three. THREE. He managed to produce a little peepee twice and a smidge of poop the last time. So all day, his outfits have been covered with little train stickers, plastered haphazardly but very proudly all over. He looooves those stickers. My mom used those chalky candy hearts as rewards when she potty-trained me, and then she upgraded to M&Ms for my little brother. Hmmmm. I feel a little cheated there. But nowadays, the experts all warn against using food as a reward, and of course, we always do exactly what the experts advise here. Ahem. But we're using stickers nonetheless, and they seem to be a pretty effective incentive so far.
So there you go. I feel like we've achieved some kind of scatalogical breakthrough here. I don't think it will last---in fact, I know it won't last. But it can be done. This is a good feeling. See, I think I needed the reinforcement more than my son did. I needed to know that it can happen. And now that I know, I have to tell everyone so they can celebrate with me.
In the meantime, I need to go back to Toys R Us. I've got to stock up on those Thomas stickers.