Lessons in Obstinance. By Kate, an Expert.

Lesson One: Using the Potty.
First, refuse to use it. Even if your knees are pressed together to prevent an accident. Then, insist on being in the bathroom alone. Once everyone has sufficiently made some distance between themselves and the bathroom, call for help. You can’t open that toilet seat yourself… it’s too heavy, it’s wet, you suddenly hate the color white… use whatever works. Insist on being lifted to the toilet. Threaten an accident, this will make them work faster. Insist that you can wipe yourself and remove half a roll of toilet paper before feigning dramatic failure.

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Lesson Two: Bathtime.
First, refuse a bath. Then work towards negotiation. What extra treats and privileges will getting a bath give you? Be creative. Once a contract has been established, be cooperative to the point of entering the bathing area. Then promptly get lost in your clothes and go hysterical. The more you can get your clothes twisted, turned inside-out, and stretched — the better. Perch on the edge of the tub and insist that the water is too hot. Then insist that it is too cold. Keep up these extremes until you are thrown into the water. Once in, find every toy you can to make the biggest possible splashes. Extra points if you can get your bath towel soaked or cause Mommy to submerge her sleeves into the water. Once out of the tub, hug Mommy as many times as you can before you are dry. Be sure to insist on evaluating at least 3 sets of pajamas before going for a fourth to wear.

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Lesson Three: Bedtime.
First, refuse bedtime. Insist on your alertness, even if it means pinching yourself to stay awake. When you have run out of options, go boneless. You’re too tired to walk, you can’t move. Drag yourself, in your clean pajamas, along the floor — this makes for great impact. Once you’re in your room, perk up enough to take a pile of at least 12 books for bedtime reading. Negotiate down to no less than 8, making sure you’ve picked the longest ones. Note page numbers and make sure every sentence on every page is read thoroughly. Stall everywhere. There are monsters in your closet, under your bed, and even some inside your pillowcase. You are hungry, thirsty, and cold. Also, you’re hot and your tummy hurts. Once you have been left alone in your room for sleep, get out of bed and drag your pillow and blankets into the hallway, it sends the message that you are still in charge. Set up your own sleep space there. If they don’t notice you, take a few minutes to erase your chore chart before settling into your chosen restful spot. Then curl up in the hallway and settle in for sleep. If you happen to wake up a few minutes later in your own bed, promptly pee. If necessary, remove your pull-up to ensure your blankets are wet. Then cry out for Mommy. If you do this enough, she’ll run out of laundry and have to bring you to her bed by default. Once you are in Mommy’s bed, kick, curl, cuddle, and lay on her all through the night. You want her nice and exhausted in the morning — it will make the your lessons much more effective tomorrow.