Each night after the bedtime story has been read we send the girls for one last potty stop, and almost every night it creates a fight. Suddenly each girl is in a crisis situation and will undoubtedly wet her pants if not allowed to use the potty first. I have very little patience for the leg-crossing, potty-dancing, and occasional shoves and screams of selfishness that ensue. We have talked extensively to the girls about thinking about the needs and wants of others before themselves, but I guess at the ages of six, four, and three we may be aiming a bit high.
Tonight I was dumbfounded to find the potty fight taking on a whole new form. "No, I said you go first!" Hannah yelled angrily at Naomi, "I'm already sitting here on the stool waiting for you to go!"
"No, Hannah!" Naomi insisted, "I don't even have to go yet, and I said that you go first tonight!" To my disbelief the fight escalated until the girls were nearly in a wrestling match attempting to put the other girl on the toilet. It clearly wasn't a sudden heart change to utter unselfishness for either girl.
I had to intervene to deescalate the situation. "You girls are being ridiculous!" I scolded. "Listen to you fighting in here. If either one of you would just go potty first the fight would be over. You're both only thinking of yourselves. I've told you before that if each of you would think about the other person before yourself there wouldn't be anymore fights."
"But I am thinking of the other person," Hannah insisted, "and I think she needs to go first!"