Posted by: Jamie Stamm | January 4, 2009

Derailing the potty train

With more than 225 blog posts now under my belt, I can’t remember if I’ve previously mentioned Anthony’s obsession with sticky stuff. So please forgive me if I’m repeating myself here.

For as long as I can remember, Ant has been a fan of tacky things, from stickers and toy decals to the labels on juice and water bottles.


It’s impossible to wrap presents around my boy without him trying to thieve the tape and bows …


… and I’ve had to hide outgoing mail from him since one night a few months ago when I left a stack of bills on the couch and found them the following morning stripped of their stamps and return address labels.

If something is even the least bit adhesive, Ant will peel it from its backing and stick it to his face. Then he pops two fingers in his mouth, and viola – the ultimate in comfort.

So in my efforts to encourage potty training, I bought a book of motivational Thomas the Tank Engine stickers (Thomas, along with sticky stuff and hockey, completes Ant’s system of solace) and, with the help of my daughter, created “Anthony’s Potty Train” on the kids’ bathroom wall.


The deal – Anthony gets a sticker on his chart and one for himself anytime he uses the potty. And when he reaches the caboose, we’ll head to Target so he can pick out whichever new Thomas engine he wants.

Notice, there’s only one sticker on the chart so far, and that incident, which allegedly happened at school and was not witnessed by my husband or myself, is now under suspicion in the Stamm household.

Anyway, since Ant turned 3 a few days ago, I’ve been trying to push the potty pretty hard. So before his bath last night, I tried to convince him to sit on the toilet for a few minutes, just to see if he might pee there instead of in the tub, which he does on a pretty consistent basis.

“If you go, you’ll get a Thomas sticker,” I said, with a hint of hope in my voice.

But my stubborn toddler refused.

“I already have Thomas stickers,” he told me matter-of-factly. “I don’t need yours.”

Unfortunately, he’s absolutely right. Because for Christmas, my parents got Ant a book with nearly 700 Thomas stickers in it (in addition to the 6,000 animals stickers he received from my mother-in-law).

I think Mom and Dad unknowingly derailed my Thomas-themed potty train, at least for the time it will take for Ant to affix hundreds of engines and railway signs to his bedroom floor and walls, his stuffed animals and himself.

And with my sticker-obsessed toddler, that could take another week.


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