Some of you have read this many times before, but it just needs to be included here. The whole ordeal occurred in the summer of '07.
So I kind of accidentally started potty training my son when he got yet another horrible diaper rash because he was withholding poops. I told him "Thats it, no diapers tomorrow (Friday) they are giving you these rashes" (They weren't, it was his own fault, but it was another desperate attempt on my part, and I was surprised when it worked) and after one early accident he did great all day Friday peeing, but never pooped. There was an ill timed block party we were invited to on Saturday, and we went, armed with his only 3 pairs of underwear and about 5 pairs of shorts. So, he of course peed on the sidewalk at one point because he never has these kinds of distractions anyway, much less when he's supposed to be remembering to use the potty. So that took out one pair of underwear. He then soiled the last two pairs trying to hold in a poop, which had been occurring a lot because of the aforementioned diaper rash. So, I was left with no choice but to send him out to the party in shorts "commando style" while we tried to get his underwear washed and dried. About a half an hour later we are sitting there and I see him go across the street and start his "holding-it-in" dance. I figure he's yet again sure to win this battle so I don't think much of it at first, but all of a sudden, he uncrosses his legs, does a little shimmy move and out of the leg of his shorts drops the biggest freakin' turd right out into the street. I don't know whether to laugh or scream, so i try to do both (doesn't work) and I tell(screech at) my husband to get a bag or something. There was no hope of keeping it a secret, either. If he had been the slightest bit freaked out by this I wouldn't be sharing it, but I guess he was just happy to be rid of it (remember, it had been since, I think Tuesday or Wednesday since he had gone!) and wasn't phased at all. Which is weird seeing as how 45 minutes earlier the idea of pooping at all, anywhere, was freaking him out.
Anyway, I expect a day to come, perhaps his college graduation party or his wedding, where at least one guest will turn to me and say, "Hey, remember the time he crapped in the street?"
In the weeks since The Incident... [side note: I have come to find out that the hosts of the party now use the phrase "parked the Kia" to describe Cameron's unfortunate on-street deposit. I find this a little offensive. This thing was at least a Camry!] Cameron has had his fair share of forgetfulness, some wet beds and a slew of almost-made-its, but I am happy to report that he is completely potty trained and has not had a single diaper rash since he decorated Ardale St.
Personally, I'm pretty happy we let him take his time. We had considered quite a few methods when he was younger. There was one that was pretty much like housebreaking a puppy: confine him to the bathroom, pump him full of water and keep up a routine of taking him for a walk, er, um, putting him on the toilet at regular intervals, complete with praises and treats and belly rubs when he had success. I decided against that method because what the hell do you do between pee breaks? Scrabble? The redecoration that would have been necessary from him bouncing off the walls was a little out of our price range. The method of putting a sticker on a reward chart was an appealing one... for about a week. Complete a row and get a new toy! Who knew the bladder had magical powers? All the logic, threats and pleading to get a kid to give up a toy at the store, but face a kid with the question "don't you want to pee on the potty so you can get a new train?" and he suddenly becomes completely uninterested in the acquisition of material things. Like he turned into a monk overnight.
We went with the "wait until he's ready" method. That way they practically train themselves. See, the amazing thing about a 3.75 year old boy is that he has finally discovered his peeper. The appeal of the potty comes best when they realize how much more handy it is to have that thing, well, at hand. No diapers covering it up, just letting it all hang out, balls in the wind freedom for the little buddy. That's when you can say "No more diapers" to them, and they will say "Thanks, Mom! Oh, and by the way, have you seen what I can do with it?"