Saturday, December 6, 2008

Zero Means None

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are in the process of potty-training Ivie... We, admittedly, haven't had the time to concentrate on it since Macie's arrival, so I guess she finally decided to take matters into her own hands. On Thanksgiving Friday, in Hickory at Dale's parents' house, she randomly just started going to the "big-girl potty" several times throughout the day. So we figured the time had come.

The potty part of the training is going well. She's pretty much got it down. But poo-poo..., not so much. So, in an effort to further encourage her, we've started rewarding her with M&M's when she successfully uses the potty. My brilliant idea - 1 M&M for potty, 3 (or maybe more!) for poo-poo.

Ivie has made it known that she does not think that one M&M is a sufficient reward for potty. She continues to ask for "a lot". To try to make her realize that she's lucky to even get one, I said to her, on several occasions today, "Ivie, you can either have one or zero. How many do you want?" And she answered, with enthusiasm, "I WANT ZERO!", clearly thinking that zero has GOT to be more than one, since one is... well... only one!

Realizing that this had not had the desired effect, I launched into yet another word lesson. I explained to her, "Ivie, zero means none. It means you don't get ANY. So do you want zero, or one?" Sometimes she caught on and said "one". Other times, she continued to be adamant about zero, and the definition game went on for several more minutes.

After having this conversation about 4 times today, I think she's finally gotten it. How do I know? Well, as she climbed on the toilet the last two times this evening, she was talking about wanting an M&M (the reward is apparently working, though I'm concerned that we might be buying M&M's now for the next 5 years...). And after saying that she wanted some, she looked up at me, very sincerely, and said, "Mommy, zero means none. I don't want zero. I want a lot."

Bingo, Ivie. You've got it. Now just start going poo-poo on the potty, and we can hammer out the definition of "a lot"...

1 comment:

Mark said...

ONE M&M? That's clearly cruel and unusual punishment. Who can only eat one M&M? That's like eating one potato chip.

I'm surprised you haven't thought this through more. If you were going to do 1 M&M for potty, then why wouldn't you do 2 M&Ms for poo-poo. This way she can differentiate between a number 1 and a number 2.

Furthermore, why aren't you using yellow M&Ms for potty and brown M&Ms for poo-poo? Think Amy, think!