Eleri's had her potty training sticker chart up for almost 2 weeks now. She has a grand total of 2 stickers on it (one sticker per accident-free day). I'm not saying this to pick on her, but to merely illustrate that it's still not super easy for her to go all day long without any accidents. Usually she has one, sometimes two, late in the day, once we've returned home from whatever we've been out and about doing all day. She's great about focusing when we're out of the house, and I'm also better about reminding her to go fairly regularly.
But none of this is really the point of this post.
The thing is, Soren's been eyeballing this sticker chart of El's for, like I said, about the past 2 weeks. He would very much like to earn rewards (and stickers) like she's doing, and has repeatedly asked me if he could have a chart of his own. For a while I just kind of brushed him off ("Dude, you already know how to use the potty...I'm not going to reward you for that. Look how difficult this still is for Eleri.") but then I thought about it some more and decided to come up with something that would be equally challenging for him. Say...not whining, for instance.
Anyone who's dealt with a 4 year-old for any significant length of time knows that "no whining" is a pretty tall order. (Yes, all kids are individuals, your mileage may vary, yada yada, but in my experience, 4 year-olds are a whiny crew.) I actually worried for some time that I was maybe setting him up to fail. No whining? At all? Get real. But we talked about it and agreed that, just like Eleri has to work hard not to have any potty accidents, Soren could work hard not to have any whining accidents. Eleri's stakes are currently higher - for each accident-free day she's earning not only a sticker but a lollipop - and Soren was extremely interested in being able to do the same. So I told him if he could make it a whole day without whining, he would earn himself a lollipop and a sticker chart, from which he could earn more awesome prizes, just like Eleri can.
I will freely admit that I did not anticipate his being able to collect on this offer any time soon. But then, two days ago, he almost made it. We had a whine-free morning, and a whine-free mid-day, and it wasn't until about 4pm that he had "an accident." Quite impressive, actually.
And yesterday? He did it. He actually made it all day long. Oh, he came close to whining a few times, got right up to the edge of a whiny tone, but he held himself together and soldiered on to earn that lollipop and sticker chart. I can hardly believe it worked.
Less than two weeks to a day without whining? Damn right I should write a book. ;)