Standoff at the P.P. Corral

Prologue: Following a week of scattered confrontation, Phoebe “The Kid” and the Marshall square off for a day of showdown.

Scene 1: In a kitchen, shortly after breakfast.

    Phoebe “The Kid”: I need to go pee-pee.

    The Marshall: [perkily] Do you want to try sitting on the potty?

    Phoebe “The Kid”: No!

Scene 2: In a living room, about 20 minutes later.

    Phoebe “The Kid”: I need to use the potty

    Marshall: [perkily] Okay.
    [Phoebe and the Marshall go into the bathroom. Phoebe pulls down big girl underwear, climbs onto the toilet with special potty topper for small-bottomed bandits. Phoebe tenses up. Silence ensues.]

    Phoebe: I’m all done now!

    The Marshall: But Phoebe, there was no pee-pee. Can you sit there for a little bit longer?

    Phoebe “The Kid”: I’m all done now!

    The Marshall: [Attempts to negotiate, using various pleas, grovels, bribes…] Just like you’ve done so many times before. And you can get a sticker!

    Phoebe: [starting to sob] I’m all done now! I don’t need to go pee-pee.

Scenes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, …
Scenes play out much as above, with dialog varying slightly. Intersperse with scenes of Phoebe looking uncomfortable and wanting to be held like a little baby. The music builds. The bladder holds tight. The underwear stays dry. The Marshall’s resolve withers.

Summary of the umpteenth scene, the final standoff, over 4 hours later: The Marshall realizes that she is outgunned and outwitted. Banging her head against the wall (which offers no more than a satisfying thud), she is about ready to raise her hands in defeat and give in to the diaper demands. In desperation, she calls for backup. The reinforcements come. As the Marshall sits pouting on the couch, the reinforcements’ masterful negotiating skills convince Phoebe to surrender her urine to the potty. Phoebe “The Kid” appears to be reformed, and is awarded a star.

Stay tuned for the riveting sequel, wherein new versions of the scenes above are played out following the nap.


Over 6 weeks, 4 full charts, 28 stickers each chart, representing well over a hundred successful potty usages. (Things were looking so promising that we weren’t even putting stickers for most pee-pees. I’m sure you don’t want to get me started on the topic of “the other,” which has been another story. Actually, the story hasn’t been all that different from today’s feature film. Imagine dialogs much like those above, repeated about every other day.) Anyhow, we seemed to be in the home stretch. Phoebe had been using the potty at daycare for 2 straight weeks, coming home in the same dry pull-up diaper we sent her in. And then this last week, she stopped using the potty at daycare altogether. It could be that a new baby started at daycare. Which doesn’t quite bode well for the upcoming weeks…

It’s not like we’re back at square one. Phoebe is still using the potty at least once a day. But damn would I like to be done with this.

8 thoughts on “Standoff at the P.P. Corral

  1. I try not to think of these upcoming days. Yes, I live in denial land….but that’s okay for right now. :)

    She’ll get through it, and so will you..

  2. I find one of the hardest things about parenting is not seeing the backsliding coming until you’re in the midst of it. No matter how many times you tell yourself that kids need to have these developmental dips, when they happen I am always forced to the brink of despair.

  3. Yesterday Marc had an accident, and rather than try to carry him into the bathroom (because I was there as it was happening), I decided it would involve a smaller surface area to clean up if I just let him finish where he was. The problem is that we have a sloping floor. Yuck.

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