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My daughter is a genius

It's true. She's a genius. How do I know this? No, not because I've had her assessed by MENSA - come on, I'm not some pathetic parental cliche - but because I went through the potty training experience with her.

Firstborn initially liked the whole potty training drama. She liked her new pink potty (yep, her obsession with all things pink started early), thought it was a great place to stash her toys, and since she's a bit of a nudist the pants-off scenario suited her just fine.

We had the occasionally soggy carpet to contend with (much to Alpha Male's horror - I've always suspected that he harbours a mild case of OCD) but apart from that Firstborn took to weeing in the potty with great enthusiasm.

But poos? No way.

I tried everything - I morphed from understanding Mummy into sad Mummy, from insane Mummy to annoyed Mummy, angel Mummy to monster Mummy - I did the lot. But whatever I did, there was no way that this child was going to poo anywhere except in her nappy and preferably once she'd secreted herself in the hall cupboard (she was going through a bashful stage, as well as a stubborn one, at the time).

Worried that Firstborn would be the only child in history to start University with a pack of Pampers in tow, I took the hard line and banned nappies during daylight hours. Surely she would give in? Surely she would know when she was outmaneuvered?

Nope. Firstborn held fast. It was a case of 'no nappy, no poo'. She would wait until her nappy was put on just before bedtime and then she'd race to the hall cupboard to conclude her business. Her face always looked especially smug when she emerged.

Finally, I resorted to bribery tactics. Out went all treats - UNLESS she did a poo on the potty. Every poo would be rewarded with a Smartie. Firstborn liked the sound of this so she raced to her potty as soon as the new regime was explained and then claimed her prize. Alpha Male and I patted ourselves on the backs and thought that we'd cracked it.

That is, we thought we'd cracked it until Firstborn started doing a minimum of ten tiny poos a day. Yes, the child had figured out that the more poos she produced the more chocolate she'd receive. And she adjusted her habits accordingly.

I'm happy to put money on Firstborn turning out to be either a lawyer or a master criminal - although some might say there's not much to choose between the two.

And now it's about to start all over again with the Small(er) One... oh the immeasurable joys of being a parent.


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