M&Ms are so yesterday.

I think it’s official.  After four-and-a-half days of the worst form of torture a parent must endure until her 16-year-old comes home with a learner’s permit, I am potty trained. 

Yes, I said I. 

As long as I watch my daughter like a hawk and anticipate every bodily excrement, we are successfully using the potty.  She is not yet at the point where she will tell us that she needs to go, but it’s pretty obvious when she starts walking around in frantic circles with her knees glued together that it’s time to set her on the potty.  She is not necessarily a WILLING participant in these little jaunts to the potty, but she will eventually perform. 

Then this afternoon, I think we had a breakthrough.  I’ve actually discovered a potty training reward that is more effective
than M&Ms.  You’ll never guess what it is. 

Okay, so I’ll tell
you.  A shower.  Not just any shower, mind you — the public shower at
the swim club. 

Oh yes.  Just when I thought potty training couldn’t be any more
undignified, now I’ve not only become intimate with every public potty
at the swim club, I’ve also had the joy of taking not one, not two, but
THREE showers in a span of two hours in the dank and dark cement bathhouse that adjoins the swimming pool.

But.  I think I can say with confidence that the potty is no longer a source of fear and trepidation.  In the span of two hours, we went from
kicking and screaming and the use of bodily force to willingly and happily requesting the use of
the potty.  And not just the little Baby Bjorn potty chair that has
accompanied us everywhere for the past week — the formidable
adult-sized potty.

You see, on the first potty excursion, when I grabbed her slithering wet body from the pool and carried her, writhing and protesting, into the bathhouse and set her on the potty and bribed her with re-entry to the pool, and she miraculously released the copious amounts of chlorinated water that she had been drinking for the past hour, all over the potty and down her legs, I decided that I should wash her down in the adjoining shower before returning her to the pool with all the other unsuspecting patrons.  Which I did.

And she had so much fun turning in circles under the spritzing water from the shower nozzle that she begged to "do again".

So the next time we went running to the bathroom she came along willingly, and after producing her tee-tee in the potty, this time with less spewing and spraying, she asked, "Shower?"

And so delighted was I with her performance on the potty that I agreed to another shower.

And so delighted was SHE with the shower that less than 15 minutes later, she was actually REQUESTING to go to the potty.

Although I had my doubts as to the necessity of the third potty trip, I didn’t dare call her bluff, so I went along with it as any mother of a just-newly-potty-training child would do.  When we got to the potty, it was soon evident that there was no reason to be in the bathhouse except for a 2-year-old’s morbid fascination with the shower. 

And because I was so relieved that the worst of the potty training seems to be behind us, I gladly humored her with yet another shower before we gathered up our stuff and headed to the car, cutting the first pool trip of the season a little short. 

After we got home, it wasn’t long before I saw the tell-tale signs and plopped her little bottom on the potty.  Without any complaint or protest, she promptly produced her tinkle and proceeded to cheer for her accomplishment.

And that, my friends, is worth spending the better part of my day in a public bathhouse.