Ansel and Doll.
Ansel has a doll.
For pretty much as long as he has been potty-trained, almost a year now, Ansel has had a difficult time pooping anywhere but his own home. He's never pooped at daycare, and he holds it as long as he possibly can when on vacation; days if he has to, unless it's finally too late or sometimes barely in time. We've been telling him recently that if he poops at daycare, he can have any present he wants. Anything. Nothing going; for reasons no non-toddler can fathom, he insisted to go only at home.
Then on Sunday, he and I were in the restrooms at Sears in Iowa. He was peeing in his stall and I was peeing in the stall next to it, and I idly asked if he had to poop as well. "Uh huh!" he said.
"Really?" And he insisted, "uh huh!" He rarely says yes, as he prefers to say uh-huh. But sure enough, he pooped for the first time ever in a place he doesn't consider home. At first I wasn't making a big deal out of it because I didn't want him to realize he was doing it, but after a while I said, "that's great, you're pooping!"
"Oh, whenever I have to, I just go," he commented. Liar. Little liar!
So, mindful of my promise, I took him shopping that night at Dubuque, IA's lovely Theisen's Farm and Auto. First, I picked out a pair of snow boots for him, letting him choose the color. "Do you like this one," I asked; "uh-huh!" he said, "but it can't be my present!" It's hard to fool my toddler.
"I don't want a car, either, because I have lots of cars." True to his word, he picked out a $3.99 John Deere tractor because "I have cars, but I don't have any tractors!" He's right about that, but I thought he was short-changing himself, so I encouraged him to look around a bit more before committing. He then traded up to a #48 Jimmie Johnson NASCAR die-cast. "It's a car, but it's like the car at your work that you won't let me play with!" Everything he says ends in an exclamation mark, I can't help that. So I have this #88 die-cast in my home office that, indeed, I won't let him play with. Ansel has a masterful control of logic. I okay-ed the #48, but then his eye fell on the next, better thing.
A doll. He wanted the doll. Because "I don't have a doll at home." "But, Ansel, would you even play with a doll?" "Uh-huh! I play with dolls at Moe's house." Moe's house is his daycare/preschool. Like I said, you can't challenge his logic.
No matter how long I pushed him around the store, his wouldn't waver in his choice of the doll. He said it was going to be "his most favorite toy to go night-night with." Eh, what's a parent to do. "Any present he wants" was the reward for pooping, so I set myself up for that one.
And apparently, he wasn't bluffing. It is his most favorite thing to go night-night with. That very night, he cuddled up to his doll, which he has named Doll. A toddler and his logic.