How do you potty train a parent?

Hey kid,

Did your mom leave the computer open when she went to find the poop you just left in the playroom? You've got a few minutes before she comes down to find you naked in her upholstered desk chair, so read up on these tips to help her help you.

  1. The internet is telling your mom to look for signs that you're ready for the potty. The potty means big bribes, so your job is to make her think you're ready, whether you are or are not. Follow her into the bathroom and ask questions. Hide behind the curtains when you poop. Put your favorite stuffed animal on the potty that's been in the bathroom since you started crawling. Throw your clean diapers in the trash. Your mom is desperately looking for signs, so really, any sign will do. Put all seven pairs of new undies she bought on your head and she'll let you try the potty. Mention that you're a "big kid" and she'll let you try the potty. Just look the bathroom and she'll let you try the potty.

  2. Now that you've got your mom hooked, ask for M&Ms each time you successfully pee or poop. I know you don't really care about the M&Ms, but your mom will sneak a handful each time you walk into the bathroom and will be in a better mood when you come out.

  3. If after a few days your aim is getting better, pee on some of the M&Ms so that mom stops giving you food bribes. You're holding out for the good stuff: toys and electronics. If mom offers her phone, you're golden: take it and sit on the potty for an hour, even if you don't have to pee.

  4. Ask your mom for the toys you saw while watching unboxing videos on her phone. If you play it right, she'll give you one of those toys each time you pee.

  5. You've probably figured out that when that little light goes on in your room during naptime, Mom's watching you on the baby monitor. This is a good time to play "Poop Pile or Stuffed Animal?" Collect all of your brown or black toys and curl them into tiny balls on the floor. Then wait for your mom to come check on you. Use this opportunity to escape naptime. Note: pooping on your bedroom floor is not recommended, as it will lead to a mid-day bath. Of course, if you like baths, poop on your bedroom floor.

  6. If you pee on the floor enough times, your mom will teach you how to start cleaning, which means she'll give you the paper towels. Try throwing them down the stairs to see what happens.

  7. If you use enough paper towels, your mom will have to switch to rags, which means she'll have to go in the laundry room. This is the perfect time to surprise her by taking off all of your clothes and putting them in the washing machine. She needs a reminder that you can take care of yourself, even if you don't want to do it. This is essential for making it to step #8.

  8. If your mom has read articles or books that advertise "how to potty train your toddler in 3 days," you'll be naked and under house arrest for 72 straight hours. On the fourth day she'll run out of bleach wipes, which means she'll have to take you to Target. It is essential you get this next part right. Do. Not. Pee. Or. Poop. In. The. Shopping. Cart. If you stay clean and dry through her errands your mom will be so relieved that she'll take you to the toys. Play it cool and just pick three. She'll be in such a hurry to get home that she'll buy everything as long as you're not greedy.

  9. Make the most of the goodwill you earned from the Target trip by politely requesting juice. Your mom, now likely worried that you haven't peed in four hours, will probably say yes. If she says no, don't pee for another hour and ask again. Repeat as necessary for unlimited juice.

The most important tip is to be patient and keep things in perspective. Just like you, your mom is doing this for the first time. Because she already knows how to pee, she can forget how hard it was to learn. She might also think, especially if you're following the above list, that you're peeing and pooping everywhere on purpose. You might have peed on the floor 20 times in the last two weeks. That's just how many times it takes to learn a new skill. But that means your Mom has had to clean the floor 20 times. She's already really good at cleaning. Because she doesn't need the practice, she's getting frustrated. That's why, the next time you see her cleaning the floor, you should jump on her back, give her a huge hug, and say "I love you." You'll reap the rewards on your next trip to Target.