It started with a simple reward. I tell my bears if you try to go to the potty you get an m&m and if you go you get 2 m&ms. What could be better?! At the beginning my little identical bears are killing it. I am one proud momma of these developmentally delayed little bears. They are downing those m&ms like nobody’s business and I am thinking dang they are going to get cavities but on the flip side and far more important their rewards chart with happy faces for an accident-free day and stars for a dry bed are filling up faster than I can keep up with them. And suddenly they hit the mark. 10 accident-free days (not in a row I mean I can’t expect them to be potty champions yet) and we go to build a bear and I think YES they have done! We have turned a corner. Do any other mother’s still say we? They are almost four and I cannot stop talking that way. Like “we” are going to eat our snack and then “we” are going to go to quiet time when it actuality it is just them and while they are stomping around like baby elephants with their hair on fir I am in a somewhat commatose state trying to figure out my next move. Do the laundry? No that is just asking too much. How about load the dishes in the dishwasher? Still too difficult and exhausting. Clean their playroom? Am I out of my mind. If washing dishes which let’s just be clear here involves washing said dishes before putting them into the dishwasher because that is what one does I mean don’t they? Even though someone told me that if you wash the dish before hand it actually doesn’t help to clean it because the soap needs something to cling to and without it can’t really get them any cleaner but if I don’t I end up with hard food chunks so what else can I do?? But where was I?? Ah yes clean the playroom. If doing laundry is too taxing then cleaning their playroom is a monumental task that I am just no up for. So I usually end up doing very little of everything. I suppose that is wrong and horrible time management, but if you know my blog then you already know I am not a great parent and sometimes even a disgraceful one. Should I be admitting this? But back to pottying. I think they are on their way and what do you think happens? Well as smart as my bears are they decide that they have gotten their prize and thus their is no need to continue on with this potty business when pooping or peeing their pants sounds like a much nicer option and far less daunting. Fast forward a bit they are killing it with dry beds and so they get their reward- a trip to a children’s museum and you say well that doesn’t sound like a big deal. Au contraire my friend it is if it’s on a school day because you know your bears are going to behave like they are on amphetamines and quite literally bouncing off the walls. My smaller one does this alot just smacks herself right into the wall and laughs. Back to it though, unlike the happy faces, the stars continue to grow and grow and grow and before you know it they earn 20 more resulting in a third prize – getting their toenails painted and the very next day one bear pees in her bed. Sigh. The smaller bear has apparently decided that once again she has met the goal!! She is victorious! She might as well have won the Superbowl (no Bradying involved) and now she can go right back to peeing her pants. Lovely. To backtrack I neglected to mention that my bears have now decided to exercise some control over their worlds and hold it in (and yes without being graphic you know what I mean). So these poor bears are going strong at holding it for 3 sometimes 5 days at a time. What does one do??? Other than Pedialax forcing them to go? Well this momma bear upped the anti. That’s right. I thought you will not defeat me. I will give you what no mere mortal can resist- a cookie (gasp) if you are willing to have a BM first. I know an entire cookie!! This is absolutely awful. Your immediate thought is this child is going to associate being rewarded with sweets and make a connection that every accomplishment should come with a sugary reward of some kind thus causing deep-seated emotional issues resulting in therapy for the rest of their lives as well as obesity or diabetes or both. And to you I say…you might be right if it weren’t for that fact that you consider this. It is a few months or perhaps several or maybe even a year, the way my bears roll, out of their lives to get them to do something that we all do naturally. Isn’t it my job to make sure that does not happen? That they do not establish an emotional connection with food? H E double hockey sticks it is. And trust me I am on it. As for other ideas I am open to suggestions. But you should also know that I have tried everything and when I say everything I mean ev-er-y-thing. Thank God their Jackson Pollackian days are over. And I am sure when all this is said and done I will laugh and laugh and laugh some more. But until then I continue to pull the few remaining hairs out of my head by the hour.