E started showing interest in the potty a while back, but to be quite honest, S and I just weren't ready for potty training. So we waited. And waited. At the beginning of the summer, his teachers at school tried to get him to use their potty, but apparently that was a disaster. He cried, and they didn't force him. But because we didn't want him to be completely terrified of going to the bathroom when it came time to really train him, we gradually introduced the concept at home. We asked him to sit on it before bath time or in the afternoons when I picked him up from school. He would go every now and then if he was really encouraged, but we didn't do anything with regularity, so he just wasn't learning from it.
Then, during Bayram weekend two weeks ago, S and I came to the mutual agreement that we just needed to suck it up and train him. Also, according to his teachers, all his buddies at school were now trained, and therefore E was showing more interest, this time without the tears. He was clearly ready, and so were we.
The three-day weekend was perfect timing because a) it was three days and b) we had no plans. But then, uh-oh, we did have plans to go to the beach on Friday. Because of that we were *this* close to putting it off again, but decided against it. It was now or never. So, we stocked up on rewards like small candies and stickers, covered the couches, put towels over the rugs, and braced ourselves. That first day (Saturday) was a nightmare. He would go if you reminded him, but he would only sit long enough to allow for a splash of pee before hopping up and saying he was done. Then he would go back to his toys, or DVDs and inevitably, he would finish going to the bathroom in his pants. I spent the entire day washing towels and sheets and underwear and even couch covers (ours are removable AND washable, thank goodness). He started to get the hang of it by mid-afternoon, but when he woke up from his nap he refused to go. We all got frustrated so we eventually put Pull-ups on him for a few hours before bed time and figured we would start again on Sunday.
Sunday was a much better experience, and we were actually quite shocked. S and I were prepared for the absolute worst, but E surprised us. He told us when he had to go and actually sat long enough to let more than a splash out. He even went number 2, which was quite a dramatic performance on his part, but he still did it. S and I were quite the cheerleaders too. He only had one accident all day and we were stoked. The kid was learning!
Then Monday rolled around and it was back to school time. I told his teachers about the weekend training, and begged them to keep it going at school. This part made me the most nervous because I knew it was at school where he had cried and refused to go, whereas he was always comfortable at home. But when I picked him up that afternoon, they told me he did "wonderful" and went to the potty all day. I was so happy! Not only did he go, but he picked up the Turkish word for pee (çiş) and is using it at home now too. "Mommy, I need to çiş!"
So, far he has only had one accident since we trained him, but we are always cautious. We remind him about going çiş at regular intervals, but for the most part, he tells us when he has to go. I was quite surprised the other day when he came into the bathroom during my shower and announced that he had gone çiş all by himself. He couldn't figure out how to get his pants back up because he was naked from the waist down, but he had in fact gone çiş without me. We even tested out the whole "public bathroom" thing last weekend while grocery shopping. He had to go, but when S took him, he suddenly changed his mind. I was sure he would wet himself in the store (I had come prepared with wipes and spare clothes) but he managed to hold it until we got home. And when we attended dinner at a friend's house later that night, I again, showed up prepared for an accident. I even apologized up front in case he had one. Luckily she herself has a 2-year old that was recently potty trained, so she understood. But he told me every time he had to çiş and when I took him to their bathroom, he had no problems. Success? Success!
Now our next step is to do away with night time Pull-ups, which we still use. He wakes up dry most mornings, but we're just not ready to eliminate them completely. I figure that will come later. But for now, we take joy in the fact that our little guy is potty trained! Whoohoo! Fingers crossed it stays that way :-)