Dorian has been out of diapers for 5 weeks now. He did great the first 3 weeks as long as I reminded him to go periodically (we had treats and a fun iPhone app and all that). He had a little trouble with the pooping, but we finally bribed him to do that (Thomas trains and matchbox cars). Then it started becoming a power struggle (he absolutely wouldn't go if i asked him to). I figured that was normal and he just needed me to stay out of it, so I stopped reminding him to go. He had a few accidents, but then actually started telling me when he needed to go, and for about 3 days i thought we were almost done.
But then, since he wouldn't go when I asked (like right before leaving the house), he started having accidents in the car, or while I was feeding Dexter or taking a shower and couldn't help him. I started taking away the trains he had earned whenever he had an accident. I didn't make a big deal out of it or try to make him feel bad, I just told him I was putting Thomas or Spencer back up on the wall. He seemed to understand why I was doing it, and how to earn them back, and didn't seem overly distressed about it.
But then I guess I started making a bigger deal out of him going by himself because I needed him to be able to go when I couldn't help him (and for the record, I knew he could do it by himself; I usually just sit by and watch when I am "helping" him). Maybe that was what ruined it? Because now, for about the past week and a half, he has just completely stopped going in the potty (unless grandma asks, he'll go for her!). Five accidents today, including one involving sticky poop (as opposed to the non-sticky kind, you know...sorry...TMI). Not a single success (oh, unless you count when he went for Grandma!). He knows what an accident is, and he will even sit in the bathroom after he gets cleaned up and count on his fingers "One: go in the potty, two: by myself, three: no accidents" (those are the 3 criteria I have given him for earning his Thomas and Spencer trains back). I don't get upset with him when he has an accident, I just clean him up and remind him to go in the potty next time. I think he knows what needs to be done, but is just pushing against any kind of control. I think.
I have asked him if he would rather just wear diapers, and he says no. He likes to wear underwear. But I did actually put him back in diapers for a couple of days last week and he didn't complain at all. In fact, he seemed a little more relaxed. I know every kid is different and all that, but I'd love to hear how you handled things with your potty-training kids (unless it's one of those, "she just climbed on the potty one day and we never went back to diapers" kind of stories...I don't need to hear those :) and how you dealt with similar challenges. Should I just go back to diapers for a few months and then try again? Or is it possible that we're getting really close and I should just hang in there?