My mother used to have night mares about big and little things. A big puffy soft ginger bread man next to his little whithered and burned brother. A pair of pantyhose stretched out and still holding the shape of the legs that wore them with a unstretched wrinkled pair straight from the package. An over sized bear, holding the little teddy from the doll house. The contrast gives her the heebe-geebes.
My aunt, who enjoys watching her sister squirm, took to bringing gifts along when she visits. Usually she tries to find the big and the small. Like the mugs; one standard mug sized, the other half an inch tall. Sometimes though, she finds something tiny and, for the sake of convenience, just brings it along without it’s larger counterpart. For example there’s a terracotta pot planted with a few pink silk flowers whose total height does not exceed one inch. In that case, she relied upon the potted plants already in my mother’s possession to provide the contrast.
We, children caught on to our auntie’s scheme after a time and stared pointing out the bigs and smalls in daily life. Eventually, Mother confessed that she’s gotten over her aversion and only shudders now for the pleasure of her company. Good news though, knowing the reaction is put on does in no way lessen the amusement it brings.
I have a sister just two years older than myself. When she was potty training, I took interest and followed suit. After a while though, I guess the novelty wore off and interrupting play to run to the potty seemed like quite a lot to ask. (I’m guessing, I don’t actually remember)
My mother came up with a solution to the problem, a way to make pottying fun again. The solution was the potty treat.
I know, I know, potty treats are not actually anything new or exciting. That’s true, the treat’s themselves were not the fun part. The fun part was how every time I used the potty I got to pass out treats to the whole family and any friends who might be visiting, all of whom would tell me how great I was and thank me enthusiastically for peeing in the toilet so they could have a cookie. This was exceptionally effective for me because as the sixth child in the family there were always plenty of people to pass treats to and accordingly plenty of praise and adoration to reap.
The treats themselves were little penny sized cookies. They weren’t gingerbread, but were about that color, and they had little crescent shaped cracks across the top. I’m pretty sure they came from “the little store” to which we walked occasionally for odds and ends between trips to Macey’s the big grocery store. I really loved those cookies.
I tried potty treats with Zizza during that last phase of potty training. It didn’t work that well for her, which I attribute to two things.
First, it was just her and me. I was already telling her how great she was for going potty so adding a cookie into the bargain didn’t change much.
Second, the cookies we were working with were nothing to get excited about. There just aren’t any miniature cookies on the market today that will induce the kind of enthusiasm necessary for a potty treat. I guess I could use candy instead, but for me, potty treats will always mean cookies.
Enzo’s days in diapers, they are numbered. With an older sibling around to offer encouragement and support beyond my own, I’m giving potty treats another go. The poor selection of minuscule cookies available was still a problem, so I took matters into my own hands.
Mamma, this photos for you!
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