The Red Bribe

covet cartoon girl with red hair_full

Some of you already know this (because God knows I complain about it enough), but my daughter recently turned four, and she absolutely refuses to use the toilet. This is far beyond a potty training issue, as she knows *how* to use the toilet, but will not. I have tried everything you can image, and have consulted all those around me. My pediatrician is out of ideas. My day care provider who has been in the business for nearly 2o years has never seen such a stubborn child. My friends and family have attempted helping as best they could. Ally is a resilient little thing.

My most recent efforts involved placing her on the toilet and not allowing her to leave until she has accomplished something, repeated over several days. Each time she will hold it all in until after the trial is over, up to five or six hours, and sometimes the entire day. This is obviously not healthy. She is fighting me on it to the point where I am actually worried about harming her if we keep this up, so of course I relent.

I have tried talking, ordering, threatening, bribing, but none of these methods work. We talk, and she promises she will try, but never does. I have ordered and she has done nothing. I threatened, but how am I supposed to follow through? I have bribed, but there is nothing she wants enough to give in for. Until now.

For almost a year she has been practically obsessed with my red hair. She has collected every red haired doll she could find (and Disney has done a great job recently with providing her with such things). She constantly asks about it, and has shown disappointment at not having any of her own. I have shown her pictures of younger me with blond hair just like hers, but her four year old mind cannot understand that my red hair is produced from a bottle. She wants to be like her mother which of course is very endearing to me. However, the older she gets, the more obsessive she has become about it. I have several times assured her that once she grows up, should she still want it, she can have it.

The other day she said that she wants to shave her head because she does not have red hair. My first reaction was to the extreme nature of her statement. I told Tanya about it who then related it to her husband, and he had an amazing idea. This is the one thing she has been asking about that is not fleeting (as in some of her interests that have lasted all of two days). This is something that she *really* wants.

Well, as it happens, there is something I really want. Hrm….

I immediately started researching different types of hair dye since the ones I use are pretty harsh. I found some organic henna ones that would work pretty well and have less chemicals than most commercial dyes. This is not to say they are totally not harmful, but considering I was only a few years older than Ally when my mother started dying my hair, I am sure she will be fine. And let’s just say my mom wasn’t too concerned with safety – little me got to experience peroxide at its best. However this does not mean I want to do that to her, so I found some that won’t damage her hair almost at all, will wash and fade over time, and won’t burn her skin. I am not saying this will be a regular thing, because it won’t. And she most certainly will not be dying her hair every three to four weeks like me. More like once a year at most. But, as I have now told her, if she uses the toilet regularly for an entire month, she gets to have red hair.

If this doesn’t work… I give up.

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