Monday, August 29, 2005
Mr. Na's Choo Choo Fund
Mr. Na had his first lesson in economics this week. I think he may be the only three year-old I know who earns up to $.75 a day for doing simple chores around the house and keeping his Thomas the Tank underpants dry all day.
It really started out as an incentive to stay dry. Pa and I are frustrated with how close Mr. Na is from being 100% potty trained, yet still it's so far away. He mostly just lets it fly if he's too busy playing with his toys and unless we tell him to go to the potty every two hours or so, he won't go. So, by the end of the day, if he doesn't wet his pants, we make a big deal by giving him two quarters and follow him to the kitchen where he deposits them into his very own piggy bank. If, however, he wets his pants, we take him to the potty, bring in the piggy bank and remove one quarter for the deed.
So to hold Mr. Na's budding but still short attention span, rather than wait until he saved $20, we took him to the toy store on Saturday and allowed him to pick out a choo choo. He picked out Annie and Clarabel, plunked his piggy bank on the counter (Pa stealthily whipped out his credit card and pocketed the quarters for household redistribution).
The verdict? So far, so good. He's definitely understanding consequences, but I'm firmly convinced now that there is NOTHING anyone can do as a parent to speed up potty training. Kids master it in their own time. He hasn't worn diapers in the daytime in 9 months, but he still doesn't understand that there's a difference between not wanting to go pee and not having to go pee. Although I'm thankful, I just wonder why it was so easy for him to be bowel trained.
In any event, our economics lesson is a win-win. Mr. Na unpacks the silverware basket in the dishwasher every morning and he's learning responsibility and the value of money. We still have some kinks to work out, but over time, he may very well be making more than his mom!