I’m Not a Big Boy Anymore (and Sasha Will Never Be)

January 26th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

God, it’s great when babies become toddlers. After two years, I can finally really talk to Sasha, and I even managed to bargain with her the other day: She wanted to watch Elmo, but she didn’t want to clean up her Legos. I said no, clean up first—and it worked! She stewed for a minute, then got up and plunked her Legos in the box. Awesome.

Later, I tried a little test: “Is Sasha a baby,” I asked her, “or is Sasha a big girl?”

“Big girl!” she said.

Perfect—that meant she’s ripe for manipulation! From now on, I imagined, I’d be able to use the baby/big girl dichotomy to get her to do whatever I wanted. And, I figured, I’d start with toilet training.

Now, toilet training has been a bit of an issue in DadWagon’s comments of late. Apparently, some people think it’s terrible to make kids sit in diapers full of shit for hours. Well, not us. We don’t care. Yeah, I guess we don’t love our Sasha. And we’re too busy watching “Downton Abbey” to bother with any kind of communication, let alone the elimination variety.

No, my strategy was going to be this: I was going to buy Sasha a copy of “I’m a Big Girl Now,” the girl’s version of the toilet-training book I had as a child, “I’m a Big Boy Now.” As I remember it, the book features an elephant toddler who learns to use the potty and then, I think, at the end declares that that day he is a man. Or something.

I have no memory of whether this book actually helped me learn to use the potty. (Mom, Dad, the comments section is below.) And I didn’t really have any faith that the book would really teach Sasha not to be afraid of the potty. I just wanted to establish some kind of family tradition, and to try exerting the “big girl” pressure on her.

Alas, as I discovered through Google, “I’m a Big Boy/Girl Now,” published in 1977, is out of print and hard to find. These guys are selling it for $37 and up! Geez. I mean, I’d always imagined that every book I read as a kid was a big hit, and carried some cultural currency throughout the 1970s–1980s child-rearing world. But, um, I guess not. Maybe there was some other toilet-training book for kids that everyone else was reading?

Anyway, all this means that Sasha is going to keep sitting in shitty diapers for a while longer. Because, like I pointed out right at the beginning, I can’t be bothered to do anything else.


  1. beta dad says:

    January 26th, 2011at 5:04 pm(#)

    If you want to start a new family tradition, I recommend “Potty” by Leslie Patricelli. The drawings are cute, the text is minimal and kind of funny, and our kids can’t get enough of it. I have no idea if it will help them use the actual potty, but it sure makes them say “potty” a lot. And you can always tell Sasha that you got the book from your parents when you were a little boy.

    We got another potty book that they like a lot, called “The Potty Book for Girls,” but I hate everything about it, and keep it hidden from them.

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