Going potty is serious business in our household, especially if you happen to be our daughter Keira. For whatever reason she is potty-competitive, and she must be the first to pee or poop at all costs. She does this to the point of being annoying and downright mean. If anyone states we are going potty she runs screaming like a whirlwind with pants coming down along the way, trouncing everything in her path to be the first one on the toilet to do her business. Being first at all costs is a necessity for Keira. One time Tristan was mid-business, and she shoved him off the toilet only to get covered in Tristan’s poop. Yesterday, Tristan exclaimed he needed to poop. Immediately, Keira screamed “I go potty first!” This of course caused poor Tristan to run wildly, holding his butt and screaming, “No Keira, I have to poop, go, stay away!”
What is it that makes us as humans so competitive at even young age? I was never competitive to be first on the toilet as a child, but I remember races over who would sit shotgun or who would be first in line at school. My daughter is only two and yet she already has a need to be number one. It started the entire nature versus nurture argument in my head, and I wondered if we as her parents were responsible for teaching her this competitive behavior. Being first is something our society prides itself on and even celebrates. When a football team wins the Super Bowl or another big game there is much fanfare. We currently see this behavior in political candidates who clamor to become president. There are women who will be induced Saturday in hope to birth the first baby on New Year’s Day. So, perhaps as part of this society, my husband and I impart some of this competitive behavior to our children. As for the toilet issue, I believe my daughter is competitive in this area primarily for attention, but maybe also for the ability to control other family member’s ability to pee and poop. Perhaps this is her first ability to control or influence her surroundings. She is extremely proud of herself every time she uses the potty and receives praise every time she does it nicely. In that respect, I can see why she wants to be first on the potty; to receive attention and praise. While this behavior is annoying, I assume it is only a phase. Otherwise, the kids at school better watch out for my little screaming whirlwind!