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Once Upon a Potty
by Alona Frankel
Review by Liz Fretz

Around 18 - 20 months of age, Elizabeth started to show signs of being ready for potty training. She told me when her diaper was dirty and she wanted it changed. She knew that kitty litter box was the place where the cats would go pee-pee and poo-poo. She followed me into the bathroom and bombarded me with questions about what I was doing. She liked to flush the toilet and wash her hands with me. I decided that even though she was on the young side, it was time to follow her lead and think about potty training.

Alona Frankel's book "Once Upon a Potty for Her" with the companion video by the same name seemed to be a good choice to start with. I immediately bought the book, the video, and a molded plastic potty from Baby Bjorn that matched the potty in the video. Elizabeth and I took our new possessions home and started to "play" right away.

Frankel wrote "Once Upon a Potty" for her son when she toilet training him. There are two versions of the book—one for HER and one for HIM. But, the stories are basically the same.

"Once Upon a Potty for Her" stars Prudence—a little girl. Prudence's mother tells the story. We learn that Prudence wears a diaper and her mother changes the diaper. Prudence has been wearing a diaper since she was just born. One day, Prudence's grandmother gives her a big present. It contains a strange object. We have to figure out what it is... it's not a flower vase, a birdbath, a cat bowl, or even a hat. It's a potty! Prudence has a few false starts and a few near misses, but eventually she learns to use her potty.

The video has a cartoon version of the same story with two exceptions—in the video Prudence's father also helps change her diaper and there is an extended sequence in the video about all the great things Prudence has learned to do with her body. The video also contains a music video of "The Potty Song." This is a cute video with live babies sitting on potties, walking, dancing, and having a good time. The song is also pretty catchy and Elizabeth has watched the video so many times I now dream about it. The video also contains a segment for parents with potty training tips and information.

We started with the potty in the family room. She enjoyed sitting on the potty while watching her potty movie. Sometimes she sat on it with her diaper on and sometimes her diaper was off. She really liked to imitate the kids on the video. The one bad part of this imitation—the kids on the video are naked. So we went through a period where Elizabeth thought she has to be naked to use the potty.

Elizabeth watched the video and read her book. A couple of times Elizabeth went pee or poo in her potty, but not much happened. Then after several months, Elizabeth announced that she wanted to wear big girl panties - and that was that. She was potty trained. I can't guarantee this kind of success with every child, but all I had to do was buy the book and video and she did the rest.

The two best parts of "Once Upon a Potty" are the emphasis they place on personal satisfaction from achieving goals and the greatness and wonder we can find in our own bodies. Prudence learns to do lots of things with her body and using the potty is just one of them. Prudence has a great and wonderful body and so do each of us.

Visit the StorkNet Mall, click on Babies R Us and choose potty training for the potty that goes with this book.

To Purchase for boys:
   • Once Upon a Potty for boys at Amazon.com
   • Once Upon a Potty for boys at Amazon.ca (Canada)
   • Once Upon a Potty for boys at Amazon.UK

To Purchase for girls:
   • Once Upon a Potty for girls at Amazon.com
   • Once Upon a Potty for girls at Amazon.ca (Canada)
   • Once Upon a Potty for girls at Amazon.UK

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