Thursday, July 9, 2009

Everybody Needs A Wee-Minder Sometimes

Wee-MinderI recently blogged about my son's potty training. While I accurately described the system we used -- we sent him to the potty every hour on the hour. Period -- I chose not to discuss the exact mechanism we used. No, it wasn't that strange and mysterious new invention called "a clock" it was .... [drum roll] The Wee-Minder Potty Training System. [wild applause]

The Wee-Minder system, besides having a name so ridiculous that I have to admire it, consists primarily of a big, bright-red watch for your child to wear that can be set to go off at specific intervals. It also comes with a decent-sized book and a short DVD.

Overall, I love it. The watch can be set to go off at different intervals, so you can increase the time between potty visits. When the watch goes off, it sings a happy little tune about it being time to "hop, hop, hop to the potty place" that your child will probably love and you will probably come to dread; as with most such things, you will learn to happily sing it anyway because it works. The book is cute and features Wally Wallaby forgoing a number of tempting situations because he knows that it's time for him to "hop, hop, hop to the potty place." While it's hardly one of the great masterpieces of children's literature, it doesn't need to be. I've certainly read worse books to my son.

The video is simply the re-telling of the story from the book, without animation; the "movie" simply recites the book while showing pages from the book. For example, when they want to show Wally jumping up and down at the end because he's excited that he made it to the potty place in time, they simply leave him and the scenery stationary while the camera moves up and down. It's possible that this was intended to be campy, I suppose, but if so it fails pretty miserably. The DVD also includes a "music video" that was less than inspiring. For only twenty bucks I'm not going to complain about the video's quality too much. But I do think that the system might have been even more effective than it was had the video gotten my son more excited.

1) It worked. My four-year-old son loved the song and the book and he was "hop, hop, hopping to the potty place" almost immediately.
2) It can get wet. At least a little. This is a major distinction between this product and other similar things like The Potty Watch, which cannot get wet at all. How in the world do you get your preschooler to wash his hands and not get the huge watch on his wrist wet?

1) You can't set the watch to ninety minutes. While the watch can be set to go off every hour, every two hours, or every two and a half hours, it cannot be set for every hour and a half. The jump from every hour to every two hours was too big for our son and I'm sure he isn't alone.
2) The DVD was pretty pathetic. As described above, the "movie" (which did not actually contain any moving pictures) left a fair amount to be desired.
3) Ship at your own risk? Incredibly, the website states that not only are they not responsible for lost or damaged packages, but that all sales are final unless the product is not as described. Given that the description is essentially "This product contains an alarm watch, a book, and a DVD" you'd have a pretty hard time getting around that clause. While the Amazon price for this product is substantially higher ($28.00 vs. $20.00), it might be worth it for some people in order to gain Amazon's return policy.

I hereby award this product EIGHT Happy Munchkins (out of ten)


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