Lil Man is officially a pre-schooler, but before he could throw on his backpack and participate in show and tell, we had to overcome one obstacle standing in the way - Poopy in the Potty. Lil Man had been potty-trained for a long time (even sleeping through the night in his underwear), but poopy in the potty was absolutely frightening to him. So for way too long he'd say, "Mommy, I need a pull-up". We'd slide one on, he'd go to the living room rug and the "poopy face" showing just how much he was working would takeover. When he was done, he'd lay down and get his bottom cleaned, put on some underwear and be off on his merry way. He was happy. Me? Not so much.
We tried everything...bribery, sugar, talking about it FOREVER, rewards, and at one point did not give him the pull-up when he needed it hoping he would go poopy in the potty. But instead he decided to hold it for days until we decided to give in afraid he would hurt himself. Needless to say, I'm sure we did several things completely wrong so this next time we were going to get it right.
Lil Man was very interested in Pirates and we painted the pirate ship birdhouse one day as a project. About a week later he was having a daddy-son day. While they were out is when the magic took place. The pirates had come to our house :).
Here was the story the hubby and I were sticking with.....the Pirates came to the house and stole all his pull-ups for Poopy time. In place of Lil Man's pull-ups in the closet, the Pirates left a note and a treasure map. The note would say that after he went poopy in the potty he could go look for the treasure chest.
Lil Man came home and told us he needed to go poopy. I told him to go get his pull-up out of his room. He went to get it and instead of finding his pull-ups there he found the ship with the note and treasure map. I stayed in the other room until I heard , "Mommy! Mommy! Come here.....look!". We pulled out the pirate note:
I started with a cream piece of construction paper, ripped off the edges and used brown and tan ink pads to give it a worn, distressed and old look. I added a few Pirate stickers just to make sure my 3 year old knew exactly who it was from :).
The note said:
Are you ready for a swashbuckling pirate adventure? The Cap'n tells us its time for me hearty, Lil Man, to go Poopy in the Potty. The shipmates have stolen your pull-ups and taken them out to sea. Yarrr! But, Matey....a Pirate's treasure awaits you after you go Poopy in the Potty. Cap'n says ye can open the treasure map after you go poopy in the potty. Follow the map to "X" marks the spot for ye treasure!!
The Pirates and Cap'n Scallywag
Needless to say he was super curious about where that treasure map would take him and what would await him in that treasure chest.
The inside of the treasure map....
I rolled up the treasure map and used a Jolly Roger glued to a paper ring to keep the map rolled up. Then Lil Man just slid it off to open the treasure after the big "Poopy in the Potty" event.
It took a hot second for Lil Man to start his treasure hunt after the big deed. We followed the map until he came upon his mini treasure chest. I found a paper mache treasure chest at Michaels, painted it tan and added some gold glitter and pirate themed stickers.
He opened it up to find a Pirate necklace, gum, killer whale stickers, and gold coins that the Pirate's had left him. However, my killer whale obsessed son said "Look Mom! Tickets to the Killer Whale Show (a.k.a. Sea World)". As my son is jumping up in joy I had to break it to him that I was pretty sure they were just Killer Whale stickers...not tickets to the "Killer Whale Show". Luckily, 3 year olds get excited over stickers as well and he seemed just as excited. Phew!
And as expected we celebrated in style. In our family we celebrate the little victories along with the large ones with a little song, a little dance, and a little silliness. Lil Man is seen here singing his "Poopy in the Potty" song and groovin' away on our living room rug....proudly wearing his pirate necklace:).
Transferring the blame of the disappearing pull-ups to the Pirates instead of the sweet and innocent parents was key for us:). We were on his side and helping him through something we couldn't control. We went with the story and improvised. Lil Man asked at one point why the Pirates needed his Pull-ups. We told him that they tied them all together and threw it overboard to use it as an anchor and that all the killer whales in the ocean were swimming by and looking at them. He thought that was cool. Yay!
If you are getting ready to do the potty training thing or overcome an obstacle in the potty training process...good luck and make it fun!
Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!