I was reading a blog post about how to cure kids of 'potty talk', which suggested that the cure was to have the child sit in the bathroom and talk to the potty. This is brilliant for a certain type of child. For Little Guy and Snuggler it would be a disaster. I mean, there's water in a bathroom. There's shaving cream. Soap. Toilet paper. It would not be boring. Trust me.
I learned my lesson on this back when Eldest was four and Big Guy was two, and I got fed up with their messiness. I'd tried many, many methods of trying to get them to pick up after themselves. One day in desperation I decided to remove ALL the toys from their room except for one for each child (their choice). I explained to my children that if they took good care of their toy, the next day they would be allowed to choose a second toy. At the end of the second day (if all went well), they could choose a third. Smart, eh?
No, not smart. Do you know those kids never asked for a second toy? Never. They played happily with a rubber band they found, made a game of 'library' with their books, invented things from paper, and seemed utterly content. It wasn't stubbornness on their part; they genuinely didn't need toys in order to play. They could play with anything.
For an entire month those toys sat in a corner of my room, until the clutter drove me crazy. When I finally put the toys back, the kids were delighted. It was like Christmas all over again. They were happy. They played with the toys. And it was still a battle to get things put away at the end of the day.