My friend, “M,” is a crafter, a serious crafter. A spare bedroom in her house serves as her craft room with an inventory that easily rivals any Michael’s craft store. As you might expect, M follows a lot of crafting websites and blogs. While perusing one of these blogs recently, M came across something she just had to share with me.
Now, technically, this is not really a craft project. It’s more of a mama’s-lost-her-mind sort of project. What is it? It’s a special treat for the toddler who has successfully achieved the potty training milestone of pooping in the toilet. As I understand it, you simply slice a banana into a toilet shape and toss some chocolate chips in the middle. Yeah.
Let’s be honest. Your 2 year old will not give a crap (pun intended) if you sculpt a banana into a porcelain throne replica – he or she will simply grab the chocolate chips from the middle and be on his or her merry way. Maybe the other mommies in the play group will be amused by your creativity, but there’s an equally good chance that they will ooh and ahh to your face, while tsk tsking about your emotional well-being behind your back.
As I recall potty training days (thankfully, they were long ago), I tried using M&M’s to reward successes. They were completely ineffective as a motivational tool, though I enjoyed making sure that they didn’t go to waste by consoling myself with a generous handful of M&M’s for each and every unsuccessful try with the potty. In any event, my children somehow managed to master the skill anyway.
Of course, if you find that this sort of special treat works for your kids, I’m happy for you, ecstatic! My fear, however, is that this will become just another opportunity for over-zealous parents to try and one-up the neighbors. Remember that years ago, kids’ birthday parties featured the basics — pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, balloons and a homemade cake. Now, it’s bouncy houses, pony rides, make-overs, custom cakes and blinged out party favors.
So while bananas and chocolate chips seem innocent enough, I will leave it to your imagination to worry about where this could lead. Suffice it to say that if my neighbors install a lemonade spouting fountain in their yard, I’m moving.
Many thanks to M for alerting me to this disturbing trend.