Pavlov… nice theory

So… it’s not a salivating dog, but it’s quite similar nonetheless.

A few months ago we worked on potty training Kate with a box of stickers and a piece of posterboard representing the days of the week. Eventually this tool set turned into a box of stickers a timer set for 45 minutes and a fruit snack gummy. Over the course of a couple weeks we found that a 45 minute timer and a successful trip to the bathroom was rewarded with not only a sticker of her choice (sometimes one of those free address labels that came in the mail with Shads or my name on it) but an individual fruit snack gummy as well. About two weeks later we were able to just remind Kate that it was time to go and once in a while she would negotiate a sticker or gummy. She would act quite proud of herself and who were we to question this pride. Afterall, if we could get her potty trained, at least during the day – that would leave just one child in diapers during the day. Thankfully now we are at just one child in diapers – cloth diapers this time around – during the day.

This past weekend we were reminded of our potty training process when Shad put a drink in the freezer and set the timer as a reminder. We were having lunch at the kitchen table when the timer went off. I noticed right away when it began to beep that we had Kate’s undivided attention – I responded with “Kate, it’s time to go to the bathroom” just as we had months prior. She popped up out of her seat and ran to the bathroom. She returned to the table a few minutes later. I was amazed and laughed about how automatic the whole experience had become. About five minutes later the timer went off again and I turned to Shad silently wondering why it went off again – but verbally saying to Kate “time to go to the bathroom”. Again, Kate sprung from her chair and headed to the bathroom – I was in hysterics – Shad, defended the need for just five more minutes in the fridge and Kate let us know she didn’t have to go again.

I wonder if I can use that timer a couple times a year just for a refresher and bust it out on her first date or something. Hmmmmm…. this could be fun. 🙂


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