This afternoon, we had a potty training breakthrough, or at least I hope we did. I was in the livingroom with Quinn, when Celeste came running in saying she needed to go potty. It was the first time she's directly asked to go to the bathroom without being prompted — and she wasn't joking she really did have to go.
Back when we started working on potty training, Celeste was content with stickers as a reward/inducement for going potty. Then it shifted to Hello Kitty stickers. And then, after a bad stretch of potty regression, she started getting chocolates — specifically, Hershey's Kissable. In a fit of disgust over the using food as a bribe, I tried to redirect her to stickers, including a bunch of dog stickers, with very little success. ("Celeste go peepee. Celeste want chocolate!)
And now the bathroom looks a bit like a booth at a carnival midway with high-value (to Celeste) Little People figurines, which are the reward for going number two entirely in the toilet. Celeste has a pretty strict hierarchy for her figures: the dogs, chickens and pigs ("Percy Piggy") are her favorites; they are granted access to her pink purse, to the "puppy house," can drive the bus, and Quinn isn't allowed to play with them. The rabbits ("Honey Bunny") are a close second tier — allowed everywhere, but don't have to always travel with everyone else. New additions are a cat and a bear; it remains to be seen where they end up, but right now they are both on at least the second tier.
At the very bottom are any and all human figurines. Just about the only person Celeste will bother with is Carlos the Bus Driver ... and that's usually just to give him to Quinn. The other animals vary between being loathed and being tolerated, but I have hopes that a few of the ones in the bathroom will prove intriguing, if nothing else.
I started building up our stock of Little People figures by scouring the local thrift stores. Even if only one of the guys in the bag is of value, it's worth the 60¢ to just toss the others in the toy chest. But that route is probably exhausted, at least in the short run.
Hopefully, Celeste will have the potty down within a few months (and that she buys my attempts to talk up the little dragon, kangaroo, stalk of corn, and other non-dog/pig/chicken figures), so I'm not having to spend too much time scouring eBay for lots like this one ...