When we were trying to transition Sparky from nighttime diapers to plain old Dora the Explorer undies, we ran out of diapers one night without realizing it. Of course this was discovered at 7:30 at night as we were getting the kids ready for bed.
"I have an idea," I said. I went to my bathroom and found one of the heinous dreaded maxi pads still left over from my post-pregnancy days -- rather small, as those things go, but still, *shudder* -- and showed it to Sparky. "I'm a little bit unsure about this," I began. "See, if I understand it right, this thing might give you a mild shock if you piddle on it."
"Not enough to hurt you, of course -- and I'm not even sure it will happen? But maybe? And if it does, I think it will just be a tiny little zap, to wake you up."
"So, what should you do if you start to piddle in the middle of the night, Sparky?"
"Stop piddling and go to the potty?"
"Yep, that's right --"
"'Cause it'll give me a shock!"
"Well, actually, I'm not sure about that, but it might, so --"
"So I'd better not piddle 'cause of the shock!"
Before I went to bed I woke Sparky up and took her to the potty. She was NOT happy about it, and wished me a face full of poo, and threw a wad of toilet paper at me, but that's unimportant. The important thing is that Sparky piddled in the potty. Because she wasn't speaking to me at the time, I let her put herself back to bed.
When she crawled into bed with Chas and me, about an hour later, she was dry, and stayed dry the rest of the night. We celebrated her success the next morning.
All this warm fuzziness went out the freaking window when both Chas and I forgot to buy more Pull-Ups again the next night. Sparky reminded us of this fact at 7:30 once again, when she asked about her diapers. "Oh crud!" I said.
"That's okay, Mama," said Sparky. I'll just get another one of those things that shock me if I piddle."
All rumors of a shock mechanism (as well as all claims of brilliant parenting) were dispelled that night when Sparky flooded the bed before I got to her to drag her to the potty.
The moral of this story is
- Don't lie to your children.
- Lie to your children, but have a better back-up in case of full lie meltdown.
- Keep the lie going at all costs, blaming shoddy Chinese workmanship on the maxipads.
- Keep the lie going at all costs, giving her a mild electric shock with a household appliance if necessary.
- Learn to love that pee smell, since at this rate she'll be in grad school before you get rid of the diapers.
- Pick one and run with it. If you're getting parenting advice from a blog called Foolery you're in worse shape than even ME.