Anyone who has talked to me recently probably knows that we've been experiencing some ups and downs on the potty training front.
That is, William will have a very rare success, and there will be lots of wahooing and dancing-of-celebratory-jigs....followed by days and days and days of backsliding. The sticker chart was successful at first. Now, not so much. The Thomas the Tank Engine and Spider-Man underpants? He liked them, liked the cartoon pictures, but not enough to replace his diapers and Pull-Ups with them. Even the big jar of M&Ms only worked for a few days. Can you believe that? We were willing to give our child pure unmitigated sugar as a reward for going potty, and it didn't even work! What child turns down M&Ms for something as simple as going potty? My son, that's who.
So we upped the ante. David bought a Darth Vader TIE fighter toy and ceremoniously displayed it in front of our wide-eyed son.
"If you can start going poopy in the potty, then you can wear big-boy underpants all the time. And THEN then you can have this," he told William, who eagerly reached out to touch the package.
Now, given how much William adores his little Star Wars figures, we thought surely that little bribe would work. Well. The TIE fighter has been sitting on the dresser in the guest room for at least three weeks now. William goes in there to visit it, but he seems content enough to just know it's there. For someday. He totally understands what it's for. He knows that he can win the toy by just going potty; he even told his teachers at school that he could get Star Wars toys for going potty. But he just doesn't want to. So he doesn't.
Upon hearing about all this, experienced parents tend to smile and shake their heads and say either, "Boys are just so much harder than girls to potty train" (gee, thanks for the newsflash) or "He'll catch on one day, but he has to decide on his own" (I want to believe you but why should I?).
I know that all the books just advise parents like me to chill out a little, to do the best we can to encourage our child to use the potty, and eventually William will come around. He has to come around. He's just about outgrown all but the very largest sizes of diapers and Pull-Ups!