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October 01, 2002

Piquant Sauce

Somehow this was my fault. When we first started toilet training the Ngnat, I developed what to my eyes was a perfectly straightforward system. If any member of the family pees on the floor, they get a time out. On the other hand, if any member of the family makes pee or poopies in the little plastic potty on the floor in front of the television, well, that person gets a couple of M&M's as a reward. I thought it would work perfectly well, but was informed that the first part of my master plan was unnecessarily cruel, and would likely result in psychoanalysis bills totaling hundreds of dollars later in Ngnat's life.

So we dropped the time outs, and kept the candy. M&M's were only handed out for a very successful potty trip, one that resulted in poopies. The first one was especially exciting--not that anyone was expecting it. Toilet training is like combat, hours and hours of boredom sprinkled with a few seconds of excitement. Ngnat sat on her potty, and we sat on the couch, and Ngnat sat on her potty, and we set on the couch, and Ngnat sat on her potty until finally she jumped up.

She pointed at the potty. "Daddy! What's that?"

I leaned over. "Oh my God! That's a gigantic turd!"

The wife was not especially pleased with me. It didn't help that Ngnat began to dance around the potty, chanting.

"dantic tud! dantic tud!"

Still, she got her first potty training M&M's that night, and really hasn't missed a chance at them since. The problem with the M&M's is that they are essentially toddler crack. Less than a minute after she understood that she only got the little candy pellets of bliss for successful poopies, she immediately started working on the slippery slope.

"Look, daddee! pee pee! mememems?"

"I wass hans daddee. mememems?"

And bit by bit she broke us, until she got mememems at least once a day, poopies or no poopies. She'd get them, run back to the potty, and immediate start work on producing more.

Which brings us to today, when we, and by we I mean the parental unit as a whole, and not one of us in particular, absent-mindedly gave her M&Ms just as we got home from daycare, before any potty actions had been attempted. We, and by we I mean both parents, not that it matters in the end which parent gave her the candy, went upstairs to change.

A cry of "pee pee, daddee" floated up the stairs, but we didn't really pay too much attention. We get eight or nine of those a night. I changed, and went downstairs, and strolled over to the potty to dispose of its contents.

For a toddler it was truly prodigious pee, at least the equivalent of a juice box. It looked weird, though. It had dark little swirls in it, like...like...like chocolate.

I stared in horror at my daughter. Wet smears of chocolate were all over her face and hands. Please God, no.

"Honey, did you drop the M&Ms in the pee pee?"

"uh-huh"

"Did you eat the M&Ms?"

"uh-huh"

Ick.Ick.Ick.Ick.Ick.Ick.Ick. Oh, it was just the grossest thing. Melts in your mouth, not in your hand, and tastes great with urine! She started licking her fingers.

"Ahhhhh! Let's go wash our hands! Don't touch the couch!" I marched her into the bathroom, stood her up on the stool, lathered her up. "You stay there."

I went upstairs, found her mother.

"You know those M&M's you just gave her?"

Posted by Bigwig at October 1, 2002 11:51 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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