I can defiantly say that the difference in potty training my boys has been striking. Gerry was the grandpa- stuck in his diaper wearing ways and refusing to change. While as, Ben is the dictator- taking absolute control of all substances leaving his body and wielding power from all those around him.
Gerry was nearly 3 and 1/2 before he potty trained. Up until that point, he outright refused to sit on the potty. He would scream and cry at the idea of not wearing a diaper. All the books say "don't force them" and "make it a positive experience." Apparently, they never met Gerry Miller. I don't know why using the potty was such a frightening event for him which made it all the more frustrating. We finally took the boot camp approach. We refused to put a diaper on him and played with him in the bathroom all morning while his potty awaited him. He held it from the moment he woke up (with a dry diaper)until around 10:30 a.m. Then, he finally made pee-pee on the potty while screaming in terror. Afterwards, we had a major celebration which must have had an impression because he totally changed his attitude and used the potty like a professional from that moment on. We skipped pull-ups and went straight to underwear.
And then there is Ben. Ben is my little dictator. He likes to tell me when I will eat, where I will sit, which toys I will play with etcetera, etcetera. In the beginning, Comrade Ben enjoyed the idea of using the potty. He would go all day with out an accident in the first week or so. Then, the novelty of the potty wore off. The dictator decided that it was old hat and he wasn't going to do it anymore-especially when Mommy suggested it. So we went back to diapers for a time. Then, I decided not to put any pants on him. He really liked this idea. He could use the potty without any help. And he did for a while- until that got old too and he was back to asking for a diaper or peeing on the floor. So, I broke out the training pants. Well, he didn't like that they got wet so he would very reluctantly use the potty. He would wait until the absolute last second- when the potty dance was no longer effective in delaying the inevitable. And then he would still insist that he didn't need to go. Of course, he would wet his pants just a little bit. And then he would make sure that I had given up waiting on him and went to do something else that wasn't paying attention to Ben. Only after this would he announce he had to "go potty, QUICK!" So, being the dutiful subject, I would halt all activities and run Ben to the potty and be amazed at the amount of pee that can come out of a two-year old bladder. This little routine has been going on now for a month or so. I have been trying to think up little ways to derail his game without hurting the potty progress, but all of my tricks have not really worked. He enjoys watching me drop everything I am doing to run him to the bathroom and if I ask him if he needs to go before his announcement, the answer is always "NO!" despite the yellow eyes and dancing feet. It has to be his idea and it has to interrupt what ever I am doing.
His power wielding game also works nicely when we leave the house. Except he doesn't wait until the last second. He is curious to see what other bathrooms look like. He wants to see how other toilets work and how other sinks work. Who knew that there were bathrooms all over town! Its been a fun discovery for him and every time we go out, he can produce at least 3-4 drops in the potty in order to justify a visit the new and interesting bathroom. I have considered traveling for the next 6 months or so in order to speed this process along, but then I figured the discovery of a new bathroom will also be old hat soon.
I have been a little frustrated at this potty training experience. Everyone told me that Ben is so smart- he would train early and it would be easy. They were right about the smart part- he showed all the signs for potty training readiness at 27 months or so. But he has decided that he is too smart for potty training. It's too easy and boring and it doesn't interest him- unless he can get some entertainment out of it by wielding power from atop his potty.