So as it turns out, we’re still suffering the consequences of Arddun’s squeamishness with the potty, and we’re still nowhere near getting her out of diapers. But she’s perfectly happy reading all about it, so today I thought I’d borrow a leaf from our potty-training story book and start role-playing the process.

I don’t expect you to have read the book or any number of potty-training philosophies or techniques, so here’s how it goes.

  • You find a suitable teddy.
  • You role-play the whole potty process using said teddy.
  • Child miraculously understands how using the potty pertains to her, and voila. Diaper free days!

In our case, I decided to use a stuffed toy Arddun had never met before. Rummaged around for a candidate, which turned out to be a dog. Granted – dogs don’t usually park themselves on a child’s potty to relieve themselves, but neither do bears for that matter. So Doggy Doo-Doo had to do.

I made the entire concert as entertaining and positive as possible,

“Oh look, Arddun! It’s a potty! She needs to go to the potty! Okay, let’s have a sit… doo-dee-doo-dee-doo…”

After a suitable waiting time and some ad hoc elevator music, Doggy Doo-Doo stands up and peers into the (empty) potty.

“Oh LOOK, Arddun! It’s a POO! Yay! Well done! Good job, Doggy! What a great effort, Doggy Doo-Doo! WHOOO! Now… we take a bit of toilet paper…” (I let Arddun tear a piece. She tears 3 long strips straight after that, so it’s obviously a huge job.) “Oh-kay enough toilet paper. Alright, let’s give Doggy a wipe… All done! Now throw the paper into the big toilet, aaaand… FLUSH TOGETHER! Yaaaay!”

We do this twice, Doggy Doo-Doo and I. We make a huge fuss over the imaginary turd, and what a triumph it was. We emphasise that toilet paper-tearing is a privilege reserved purely for potty users, and that flushing the toilet after is extra special.

And then Arddun starts making gestures that she wants to give it a go.

So I watch as Arddun seats Doggy Doo-Doo on the potty. Very cute.

Two seconds later, she flings Doggy off the seat, sticks her face into the potty to peer at the imaginary turd, and yells “OH NO A MESS!”

Obviously my rendition was NOT how she remembered things.

Back to the drawing board?

Arddun role-playing potty-training with Doggy Doo-Doo
Found ten minutes later: Arddun reading to Doggy while the latter’s “on the can”.