Over the two days that followed, he had more accidents on the floor than he had been having initially. Lysol and paper towels were our best friends.
That peeing every ten seconds problem? Gone.
The frustration and discouragement? Gone.
The really huge problem I thought we could never get over: peeing in his pants and not knowing/ caring? Gone.
It took the better part of a week of peeing on the floor and in his (super cool) new underwear, but with gentle reminders he now seems to know that pee doesn't go all over the floor or in his pants, but ONLY in the potty. He gets it.
He now refuses to pee in his pants. In the past three days he has been totally accident free except overnight, which isn't really an accident as overnight dryness is about physiological growing, not understanding or executing a task.
I still put a pull up on him at nap time and obviously at bedtime. Today though he did wake up dry from his nap but I'm still using pull ups just in case.
Today we even went out to the store with my mom and brother, potty seat in tow. He started jumping around and wiggling so I knew he had to go. We went into the big, scary, (even for adults) public bathroom and he went! Right away! No sitting and coaxing for 15 minutes. It was awesome.
I feel like I'd been dreading this particular milestone since he was a baby. Its like, a BIG one. I know he still has a long way to go; he doesn't pull his own pants down or say that he needs to go using words, and poop is pretty much luck if it goes in the potty or not (but we haven't really talked much about poop yet) and I know that he still may regress and go back to having accidents, but I feel like we have a good foundation. He gets the concepts, he seems proud of himself for learning and I think now I have SOME clue what I'm doing.
Things that Helped and Things that Didn't
*I loved the book The No-Cry Potty Training Solution. It totally goes along with my stress free, gentle parenting approach. Rereading certain parts really helped get through those initial dark potty days, after the initial enthusiasm wore off and before the success started to kick in.
*A lot of places talk about hyping the whole new underwear thing, but honestly, Sam could take them or leave them. He really doesn't care about clothes and prefers being naked to anything. It definitely wasn't a huge catalyst to peaking his interest, but now he really likes wearing them.
*He did respond to the whole sticker chart thing. It's just a piece of paper taped to the bathroom wall. I got books and sheets of all different kinds of stickers and he gets to pick whatever one he wants. It's a nice little reward that doesn't cost a fortune or fill my house with junk.
*TMI but the watch-and-learn method really works too. He watched both of us and we told him what was going on and then I propped up the mirror so he could watch himself and that helped him out too.
*Lastly and most importantly, the best decision I made through this whole thing was letting him run around naked and pee on the floor. Sure it was a mess and stressful, but n hindsight, I think this is what really got him to get what's going on with that "need to pee" feeling.
Now he's free to relax like a little man. Tighty whities, chillin' on the couch with a beverage.