Touch of Spice

What's the point of an 'otty' chair?

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Katie's still clinging to what I like to think of as "the end of the terrible twos."

I mean, seeing as how she started that stage when she was one-and-a-half, and she turned three last month, we should be nearing the end.

Shouldn't we?

"No" continues to be one of her favorite words. That I understand. Comes with the age. It's the phrases she steals from me and puts her own downright mean spin on that I wonder about.

I was talking to the baby-sitter the other day and started with "I'll tell you..."

Next thing I know, Katie's pointing at me with her eyes narrowed saying, "I'll tell you," forcing each word out and clipping it at the end. You know, the tone that means the next words are going to be, "Go to your room."

It was scary.

She's also in the habit of raising her finger to her mouth and telling me "shhhh" every time I tell her to do something she doesn't want to do.

I'm not really sure how to deal with that one.

But it gets worse.

We continue the struggle with potty training and that's one point where the last vestiges of her twoness haven't even begun to fade.

First she psyches me out by asking to use the potty and going through the whole process correctly. Then, when I try to get her to do it, she screams like a banshee and continues to wail until I pull her off the toilet. I checked. The hundreds of needles she convinced me were poking out of her seat weren't there.

No trace of them.

They must disappear the instant she rises.

The baby-sitter has been pushing the issue too. More for me than for herself. She loves babies.

She sits Katie on her little potty and lets her watch a movie. When Katie gets up and the chair (empty of course) is stuck to her butt, the baby-sitter figured she'd just let Katie set her own pace.

After six kids and 12 grandchildren of her own, she knows they'll do it when they're ready.

We try not to push it either, but it's hard knowing that she knows what to do and how to do it, but

won't.

So, we dangled the carrot. She fell in love with a computer game. Elmo's Preschool to be more specific. I sat down and played it with her and in about four games, she got the hang of the mouse.

We decided playing that would be her reward for using the potty (cookies weren't working).

So, she asked to play and I asked her to go potty.

Bet you can guess what the answer to that was.

You might have even heard it.

I left it alone and walked into another room. Five minutes later I came out again and found her playing the game.

It wasn't on when I left.

She loaded it up, started the program and was happily matching shapes and colors.

Yeah. Don't tell me there's a good reason why she still can't use the toilet.

Explain that to me.

No, don't. I know exactly what it is. Stubbornness (that certainly is not genetic) and the remnants of the terrible twos.

I'm thinking of putting her potty chair in front of the computer and sitting her on that while she plays Elmo's Preschool.

That might just get the job done.

How fun is my life? I've got one child just entering the terrible twos and the other refusing to leave them.

I'm beginning to think that childbirth was the easy part.

I tell people not to complain about the ills associated with pregnancy. Easier in than out, I say.

People told me that, too.

Didn't matter.

I'm holding out for the possibility of a two-fer -- you know, in the process of potty training Katie, Nikki will be enthralled and follow suit.

Like I said, I'm holding out for that possibility, but I'm not

holding my breath.

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