Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the field of potty training.
You've heard the stories... you know the signs: the child stays dry through the night, they show interest in the potty, they act uncomfortable in their soiled diaper. The signs that say Hey mom I'm ready. You get excited, your heart all a flutter, you jump a little jump for joy. You buy some underwear, and a little potty special just for him. You introduce them. Child this is your new potty, Potty this is your new child. And they lived happily ever after..... NOT! (I haven't said that in a long time.) Then it begins, the upward ever upward battle of potty training. I'd like to say I have always been relaxed on the subject, but when my boys were little, it was quite literally the push from outside sources that made me think, IT IS TIME. Had anyone warned of the nightmare that lay before me, I never would of even tried. I battled my oldest son for well over a year on the subject. Diapers, underwear, Diapers, underwear. Pee everywhere.... like puddles after a spring rain.... and we won't even talk about the other end. Then one day... after he had turned 3 I bought a video. It was a video that sang about pee and poop, potties and washing your hands.... it was the miracle I'd been hoping for. Because that is when something inside his little head clicked. The moment it all made sense. And he never had an accident again. NOW this is not the miracle solution for all children. My second son, followed his big brothers example, that made it click with him. He potty trained a little earlier. Then there was Daughter number one. I was so excited for her because I was told girls were easier than boys. Not so much! For months she would hide in the closet, sometimes accompanied by her friend and they would Poop together. Seriously, like it was a club, and you had to poop your pants to join. I'm not sure what was the clicking point for her.... One day we just woke up and she was done. Last but not least.... my WILD CHILD. I'm not sure she ever showed any interest at all, but at 3 1/2 I finally decided it was time. I bought the potty, I bought stickers, I bought incentives, I bought pull ups and panties with pretty designs, I bought candy, and she still gladly pottied in her pants. I got serious.... then when that didn't work I put her back in diapers for a couple more months.... then I started over again. I bought a video... I bought more incentives. And then I went to work... like I've never worked before. We went potty every hour, every 2 hours, every 1/2 an hour. She cried "I don't want to go potty." I cried. But after four children and a wiser point of view... the thought echoed through my mind, and gave me the courage to go on... No one ever started kindergarten in diapers! It doesn't matter wether your child gets it at 18 months or 4. They Will Get It. Something will make it click for them. My WILD CHILD still has an occasional accident, but she's almost there, and my potty training saga will be over, and it will be a small bump on the big map. So good luck to all of those about to or in the middle of embarking on this great adventure, that seems all uphill... until you look back and say "wow that's right, we made it." And just remember they don't ask you when you were potty trained on your college applications!