"This is my medium-sized poop book," Josie told me as she plucked The Last Don from a bookshelf just outside the bathroom door.
There's been a lot of poopy talk around the house ever since Thanksgiving when the Big Push to get her little self out of diapers began.
Anyone who's ever been involved in potty training will understand. The rest of you may prefer to tiptoe quietly away.
Over a year ago, when Josie was about one and a half, her staff provided appropriate potties in the three houses where she spends time. No particular goals or methodology were set, just a general consensus that when she was ready, she'd decide it was time to lose the diapers and use those cute little potties.
In the beginning, I tried to get her just to sit down on the potty. At first she was having none of it but after a time (months), she humored me and sat. Fully clothed with diaper. There had been some talk of stickers as a reward for actually using the potty but it wasn't working here.
The fact that Josie shuttled between three houses and three different sets of caregivers who had no unified plan may have been part of the problem. And she simply may not have been ready. I think it's part of her personality that she hates to try something and not succeed. She was a little slow in talking but when she did begin, by golly, she had all the words ready.
When Claui instituted the use of yogurt melties as a reward (one for a pee in the potty, two for a poop) things began to move, so to speak. Josie was still in pull ups but more often than not she'd use the potty. To pee. Only. Pooping took longer and she got frustrated.
Then about the time I'd begun saying that surely she'd be out of diapers by middle school, Thanksgiving came and Josie discovered frozen pumpkin mousse. She isn't given many sweets and this was an instant hit with her. So, I upped the ante on poops. "If you poop in the potty," I told her,"you can have a spoonful of the special treat."
Now began a few weeks of poop-focused days at Meema's. We watched videos with Daniel Tiger using the potty. "If you have to go potty, STOP and go right away. Flush, wash, and be on your way" played incessantly in my head. We watched Elmo using the potty.
We spent diaperless days watching videos and taking her dolls and stuffed animals to the potty. She sat on the potty and I sang Poop songs to her so she would stay seated. Josie's pooping on the potty, All the live long day or Where is the first little poop, poop, poop? or Old McJosie did a poop, Poopy, poopy, poop.
It was all we talked about.
And I discovered Potty Monkey -- probably the worst kids' video I've ever seen--pathetic animation and voicing (see for yourself HERE) --but IT WORKED. We watched Potty Monkey OVER and OVER and she began to quote it as she sat on the potty. "The pee will not come out!" or "I think it is beginning to happen!"
By Christmas our girl had been diaper free for a month. We stopped watching Potty Monkey. And all the frozen pumpkin mousse was gone.
But why Puzo's book should be designated a medium-sized poop book is beyond me.