Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Resume builder

Fresh out of corporate workforce, first thought came to my mind when I realized, I finally potty trained my son, was that it would be a great addition to my resume.

Well, as a consultant we always kept our resumes updated, so that it could be send to potential clients for upcoming projects. Experience, personal skills, continuing education etc. etc.

Now, when I think of potty training my 3 year-old, stubborn son, it was one of the hardest tasks that I have ever accomplished. It was a challenge. I had tried at least 4 times before, one of which took a month without diapers and loads of laundry and disinfectants and he did not give in.

What would you do if you had seen a paragraph like in on a resume:

Full-time-mom July 2008-Present
Chicago, IL
* Potty trained a 3 year-old stubborn boy - all by herself. Saved $$$s of diaper expense. Saved myself and other household cleaning up sh*t.

What is it? It's everything you are looking for in a skilled employee here: Management skills, communication skills, negotiation skills, problem solving skills, creativity...

Here is the narrative of my experience:
Well, it was a big challenge but I am committed to my goals (underlining important action verbs here). I knew I could accomplish this even when my peers (my mom and other moms) advised me to partner up with another expert in the field (the preschool teachers) to address the issue. Even though I am a "team player", this was my own challenge.

I woke up that morning. I printed out a plan (a chart for stickers, made in Excel) and handed it to my son. I told him if he gets 10 stickers (one for each pee), the finance VP (his dad) was going to give him a bonus (a big excavator from Target).

He repeated after me, that "with 10 stickers, he was going to get a big excavator", as he always does with all reward promises. But he did not seem to be ready to go into action by himself. So I decided to give him a friendly push and I(un)dressed him as Adam and let him play. When he started to bend and curl, I took out all my available tools. A yogurt cup, a Dora cup, 2 musical potties and a toilet adapter. I offered them one by one and he refused them all. I had seen him hold his pee and poo for a whole day before, so it started to get discouraging. But I persevered and continued to follow him around with my old yogurt cup. He was looking for a book in the shelves when a drop dripped. He looked down. I told him to let it go. He did.

So the first one did not hurt, right? But it was not voluntary. I rewarded him with one sticker. By the way, stickers are better than popsicles which we had promised him before and had not worked, because then you have to give so many popsicles. Anyway, hours later again bending and curling, when he saw the cup again he was changing his route. Then came out the pee targets. (Not ready ones, did not have time to buy them.) Of course this only works with boys but it is a good idea. Second one, he hit the target, he got the sticker. And believe me every time, he put the sticker on his chart and he repeated, what he was going to get.

Long story, kind of shorter, he got his excavator (he chose the most expensive one, bad idea to let him pick) on the 5th day. It tells you how long he can hold. He still needs to be reminded and convinced a little bit but we had only one accident.

Poo is still an issue, but as my skills as a hands-on-mom improve, I will get it soon.

Well, lessons learned:

*It's great to be at home with the kids.
*Never ever listen to anyone that it is too early to potty train a kid at 2 or earlier.

We have saying that goes like "if milk burns your mouth, you'll blow on the yogurt before eating". That is why my daughter pees and poos in the toilet at 8 months. (thanks to EC, which is another post topic.)

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