Potty Training Pirates

Today, my three-year-old is barefoot, wearing shorts, a t-shirt and a necktie. And it's only fifty-four degrees.

Still, this is a vast improvement. His former attire of choice was just a diaper and his Nemo sandals.

No matter what, though, he's always a pirate in his mind and heart and he always wears a necktie.

His sister asked him why he wears the necktie. He said it's because he's ready to go to church. Now what parent wouldn't leap for joy at that proclamation?


I told him he had to stop wetting his pants and start using the bathroom like big boys (and pirates) do if he wanted to join us at church. He's not quite ready to take the bait even though he really, really wants to go.

I really, really don't want to deal with a diaper blowout in a solemn and sacred place… and I don't want to punctuate the service with his yowls as I change him in the van outside.

So I've upped the ante. I let him know that he would be able to go to church AND school (something he asks about all the time) if he stopped wetting his pants. I also told him he could even play in the front yard with the other big kids.

I suspect that somewhere between me offering him a pony and all the ice cream he can eat, he'll see things my way.

It's not like there's any rush. He's the fifth child, so we're more lenient with him. The firstborn had to be trained at two years of age. Within a week we were accident free.

The next child took a bit longer. So now that we've come to the last child our philosophy has become this: He'll stop going in his pants sometime before he starts kindergarten. Right??

So how do YOU bribe your kids to stretch for that next level of growth? How do you encourage them to try out the next level of maturity?

It was the three-year-old that came up with a solution. He wants to play with his pirate ship in the bathtub.

"You can't do that if you're not a big boy and use the pot like you're supposed to… ALL THE TIME." I'm not about to strain tub water for wayward misfired canon balls.

"But I'm a pirate!"

"And I'm the British Navy. No potty and poop in the pot, no sailing." Tough ultimatum for a pirate, I know.

I think we may have reached a compromise. He's stocking up supplies for his ship in anticipation of a maiden voyage. We'll see.

Even Captain Hook had to give up pull-ups for underpants at some point. Arrr.

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  • Guest

    This is hilarious!  I can't wait to hear whether it works!

  • Guest

    Avast, matey!  Pirate doings is a lamentable way to bring up a young gentleman proper. I say, make the scurvy bilge rat scrape the barnacles off his own diapers. Then you'll be learning  him how to keep his own keel hull ship-shape. Yo-ho, yo-ho!


    PS How do you know if he's the last child?