“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

I want it to be said that when reciting the litany of things-that-I-will-and-will-not-do that every misguided new mother maintains, I never once said that I would not resort to cheap bribery to gain compliance.

I may have been overly optimistic, but I was not deluded, even in the clutches of brain-clouding mommy-hormones.

I also stated very early in the game that there were some problems in this world that really can be solved by throwing money at them and baby poop tops that list.

I am proud to say that I have stuck to my principles.

My son is potty training. He started this in earnest when we went to California on vacation and left him with my more experienced, competent and doting mother-in-law. I think if we could have stayed another week, we would have come back to a son that was not only in big-boy pants, but was cleaning the toilet after each flush. If only we had more vacation time.

Without trying to be delicate with my euphemism, my son would not poop in the potty. No amount of begging or cajoling seemed to make a dent in his resolve to use his pullup as a repository for all solid waste. Liquid, no problem – he is very quick to tell us when he has to use the potty to pee, if for no other reason than the novelty of playing the “aim game”. Apparently pooping doesn’t have the same cachet.

It was time to up the ante.

“Harry, do you need to poopy this morning?”


(I know this is false. My son is like clockwork in that department – 30 minutes to the second after he wakes, he has his morning constitutional. It’s as steady as the rising sun.)

“You know, if you poop in the potty, I will give you some chocolate.”

“I think I want to peepee in the potty.”

“Sorry, kid. That’s not going to hack it. It’s poop only. This is a limited offer.”

I turned to finish picking out his school clothes, and Harry disappeared. Two minutes later, I went into the bathroom to find him on his little potty, sitting with a look of utter concentration on his face.

“Harry, did you go peepee?”

“No, Mommy. I am pooping for chocolate.”

Ah, cheap bribery. It works.

May 28th, 2008 at 10:40 am
11 Responses to “The things we do for chocolate”
  1. 1
    OS Says:

    pooping for chocolate . . . gah! that’s the best laugh I’ve had yet today! Whee!!! Way to go Harry!

  2. 2

    Very cute.

    We used bribery as well. My daughter liked Skittles, and she would pee on the potty but refused to poop. We told her that she could get one Skittle for trying, and three Skittles for producing. Later, we added a choice of stickers or tatoos, provided she used the big potty.

    Worked like a freaking charm. Now, she usually uses the big potty all on her own, and she doesn’t even ask for a reward anymore (though she still asks us to inspect).

    What I’d like to know now is how long does the butt wiping phase last?

  3. 3
    jodifur Says:

    Can you come over and potty train Michael? Because nothing is working.

  4. 4
    Sheila Says:

    Too funny. I can see the t-shirt now.

  5. 5
    Deirdre Says:

    I am trying VERY VERY HARD to not SCREAM with LAUGHTER as I am currently sitting in my office and my co-workers would notice.
    *gasp* oh dear merciful heavens that is funny.

    pooping for chocolate……

    oh wow.

  6. 6
    Kat Says:

    Yeah, things to consider when you’re staring down the barrel of the delivery gun…

    I can only hope our progeny turns out to train early.

  7. 7
    magpie Says:

    Definitely a t-shirt.

  8. 8
    Maudeleyn Says:

    We have our very own ‘Pooping for Chocolate’ campaign in our house. It’s almost over now though-only rarely does he remember the offer.

  9. 9
    Artie Says:

    So, is this reward system on a sliding scale?

  10. 10
    Gerbil Says:

    That? Has to be one of the best toddler quotes of all time.

  11. 11
    helenel Says:

    Careful! We had the kids pooping many miniscule poops just to get more candy. That’s when we switched to “a sticker everytime you poop, after 5 stickers you get to pick stuff from the bucket of cheap crap you got at birthday parties and forgot about.”

    Good luck!