Have you read Raising Your Spirited Child? It's gold, people. Pure gold. So as ironic as this moment was, I backed off a bit. Two Fridays ago, I woke up with a fire in my belly and a razor sharp focus. My 3 year, 4 month old child is no longer steering this ship. We bagged up his diapers to take to a baby cousin and dusted off (not really, ha) the underwear.
Declan wasn't really on board but he humored me and went potty a few times on the potty. Then, the true battle began. It was time for #2. Now, as I am sure you've put together, my son is strong willed. I knew tackling #2 (he had never done it before on the potty...resisted it at all costs and holding it so long he got constipated). So I decided to take his very favorite Christmas toy (Kinex.MarioKart.Track) and put it out to the curb to be picked up by the trash man. Keep in mind, it's not trash day, this was all to encourage Declan to finally use the potty for #2. I told him if he went #2 before the trash man came, he would get it back. He cried, he was mad, he fought it. This went on for hours and right before nap I got all dramatic and told him "you better go, I hear the trash man coming down the street!!"
Wouldn't you know it?? He stripped down right there, walked over to the froggy potty and went #2. We had a huge dance party, called the grandparents and daddy and got his favorite toy from the trash. He was SO PROUD of himself. From there on out, the fear was gone and it's been smooth sailing. Like, way smoother than I thought. He had a couple accidents that next day and not really any since (except waking up wet from nap a time or two). But as far as his waking hours, he's done all his business in the potty these past couple of weeks. Easy peasy! Yay!!
Now, I thought awhile about whether I should post my "method". Seems a bit cruel, eh? I get that. Trust me, my son is way too smart for his own good. He loved that toy more than he feared #2 in the potty. Once he realized he wouldn't die going #2 (why do kids fear this so bad??), he was a rock star. Coming from a mom that tried everything and every method, my #1 advice is wait until their ready. Then when you're sure they are, find out what works for your child with trial and error and praise the heck out of it when they do use the potty.
Also, don't be afraid to take things they already have and use it to encourage them to keep up the good work. For example, we walk in the door from running errands and I ask Decs to go potty and wash his hands and I get a typical 3 year old response of "I don't wannnna" and I tell him if he goes and does it with a good attitude he can play Ipad for 10 minutes or watch a show before nap (both things I'm okay with him doing on a normal basis, again, I'm using stuff he already has privleges for to keep up the good bathroom skills). Does that make sense or am I rambling?!
I joke with Mark now that we are done with diapers, I'm ready to start diapering a new bum! C'mon baby H, #2! We are ready for you!!