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March 21, 2003 - Friday
Yesterday morning Harry pooped in the potty again. It had been a couple of days again since he had had a bowel movement and the time seemed right to try. It had also been a couple days since he had gotten the last of the five Thomas the Tank Engine Take-Along characters waiting for him on the bathroom shelf, the last being Harold the Helicopter, with the somewhat cryptic comment that he "had enough engines." Was he thinking he was done pooping in the potty forever because all of the engines where gone? I told him there were more we could get - Edward and Henry, for example - but did not seem interested. Perhaps the opportunity cost was too great for him. I had even offered to go get one for him yesterday afternoon while we were up at a different store checking out a sale on children's sneakers. He seemed to ignore my offer.

What a difference a day makes. He pooped in the potty again this morning and immediately started talking about getting Edward. I'd told him I would do it in the afternoon and so we went. Of course, while there Harry pointed to several engines and characters he'd like to have and I, in the vulnerable state of parenting a first child through potty training, was a pushover. (Actually, these are toys that Harry really does love and we've learned that keeping things around the house that genuinely keep his interest and imagination is a good thing. What's more, with the exception of Edward #2 and Henry #3, he's got engines 1-10 at a time when he's just learning to count. My left brain had long since committed to finishing that part of the set.) So, I bought five more characters, including Edward and Henry, and the final Engine Works extension to his Take-Along set (after all, with all these trains he's got to have somewhere to go). Beyond that need for more track, I wasn't immediately sure how we would present Harry with that final $15 Engine Works/Engine Wash; what reward or bribe it would be. Harry saw it and wanted it so I needed a story fast. I called his mother of the cellphone from the parking lot, Harry and Jeremy in a shopping cart looking at the loading dock. When he wears underwear? No, potentially too far away and too much pressure. Peeing in the potty at school? Yes, that would be it. That would be the story and the special prize.

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