I wrote two posts about it here and here.
I thought we were close to the end. Boy was I ever wrong.
It was an 11 month battle. We tried the week long potty training, which worked for a couple of months until our summer schedule messed it all up. And during that time he would never tell me he had to go. I just had to watch the clock and guess. And if I my mind was too much invested in something else (dishes, laundry, cleaning, budgeting/bill pay, cooking) and he had to use the restroom, he would run under the table or to a corner and do his business. We tried charts, rewards, marshmallows, gummy worms, m&ms, gum. We talked about it, read books about it, prayed about it. I told him we couldn't take him to disney world, and that he couldn't go to preschool until he started going pee and poop in the potty. Nothing seemed to work.
And I had many break downs. Mostly as I was cleaning poop out of his underwear. It was the one thing that would automatically put me in a bad mood, stress me out, and send me over the edge. There was one time when Cooper pooped all over the stairs and kitchen. And we have carpet. I was so mad. After I cleaned it all up, I rushed to the store and bought diapers. I was over it. Done.
The last couple of months I tried more desperate measures...we took monkey away (gasp!) whenever he had an accident. Didn't help.
I think that Cooper's issues were mostly a control issue. When he hit the stage of wanting to be the boss and say how things went is when he really started regressing. Peeing and pooping his pants was the only thing he could control and the only way he knew he could get a particular reaction out of us. He knew he was peeing and pooping, and no matter how many times I told him he needed to go to the bathroom for those things, he would still go under the table or in a corner. If he knew to go to those places to do his business, surely he knew where he really had to go, he was choosing not to. Because of that, and after praying about it and talking to a few friends about it, I decided to spank Cooper when he had an accident - and told him his spanking was not for having an accident, but for his choice to do it in his pants, not in the toilet, and for not telling me he had to go. Spanking has been the most effective discipline tool for Cooper during his toddler years. As he is getting older, different tactics are working. I thought maybe the spanking would be helpful in helping him be more aware of when he had to use the restroom. I also added a song and dance number and gum when I noticed he was dry.
I had only been doing this new tactic for a couple of days when we went on vacation to Florida. I decided that if he didn't have the hang of it by the time we got back, I was done. We would go back to diapers for a month before trying again. I don't know if it was the sunshine, or if it really did click, or the fact that we went to disney and he remembered what we said about not taking him if he didn't get it. Or maybe he knew he was turning 3 and needed to get his act together. Whatever it was, I'm glad it happened. About three days into vacation he was playing, looked up and said, "I have to go potty!" After him using the restroom he was greeted to a round of applause and cheering! This pattern continued for our vacation and has not stopped. We have had only a couple of days where there has been an accident. And when the accident comes, it has not been poop.
I'm so proud of Cooper. I'm happy that diapers (except at night) are behind us. I'm happy that my stress level really has come down.
After almost a year of potty training, I believe the end is finally near!