One (and Only One) Trip to the Potty

March 8th, 2012

Bedtime with Miss Mouse can sometimes be a challenge.  Most nights, Josh puts her to bed and I take care of Buggie.  There are never any bedtime shenanigans when Daddy is in charge.  They read a book, say a prayer, and she’s in bed.

When I’m at the helm of the Good Ship Beddy-Bye  it’s a whole different story.  Miss Mouse has learned to stall.  Big time.

She wants a different stuffed animal to sleep with.  Her pillow needs to be turned over.  A gorilla may or may not be lurking under her bed.  Her alarm clock needs to be adjusted three millimeters closer to her bed.

And then there’s here secret weapon.  “I have to go potty.”  She’s actually had this weapon in her arsenal for almost a year, but she only recently started using it on me again.  I get her all tucked in, only to hear the dreaded words.  I glare.  I sigh.  I frown.  And I grudgingly take her to the bathroom.

Or rather, I did all of those things until I (finally) figured out how to respond to this oh-so-irritating habit of hers.

I had to dig back into my Love and Logic memory banks to remember the following: you cannot always control what your child will do.  But you can control what youwill do.Thus, a new bedtime rule was born.  “Mommy will tuck you in one time.”

I ask Miss Mouse several times on the way upstairs if she needs to go potty.  If she says no, I ask her to please quote me The Rule.  She does.  If I get her all the way tucked in and she tries to request a pit stop, I reminder her of The Rule.  She is more than welcome to get up and go potty.  I’ll accompany her to the bathroom.  I’ll even help her unzip her fleecy Minnie Mouse footie pajamas.  But, I warm her, I will not tuck her in again.  She’ll be on her own.
And suddenly, the urge passes and she nestled into bed.


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