Clare is potty trained. Sort of.

She wears pullups at night, which I think is pretty normal. She also refuses to use a public toilet. Ever. She will hold her pee indefinitely, and by that I mean many hours, until we get home to her comfort throne. She’ll whine, beg and plead to go home. Her twisted face and writhing torso make me uncomfortable. Usually, by the time we pull into the driveway, it’s hard for me not to shove her out of the way to relieve myself first.

Today, as usual, she was dancing in place when I arrived at preschool to pick her up. I asked, as I do every day, if she had to go potty. She said no. Until, as is the case every day, we got to the car. When, predictably, she started whining, “Mooommmmm, I have to go potty reaaaallly bad!”

I decided to try a different approach to the usual, “WHY don’t you just GO when you have to?!?!?”

“Clare,” I said, “I’ll take you to get a happy meal if you use the potty in school.”

Yes, I used fast food as a bribe. No, I’m not proud of it. But guess what? It worked!

She went inside, promptly kicked me out of the potty room (“I want you to shut the DOOORRR!!!”), and emptied her poor, stressed bladder.

The preschool has these adorable, tiny flushable toilets, so I only count this as a half-step. But I’ll take it.